People (don't) Love Us on Yelp

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    A few weeks ago I noticed while passing by the Bagel Basement in Lebanon, NH that they had added this "People Love Us on Yelp" sticker to their door.

    I was a little surprised by this, since the last time I had checked their Yelp page, the reviews (three of them) were all one-star reviews (disclaimer up front: mine was one of them). So I decided to go and look and see exactly how well Yelp users love the Lebanon Bagel Basement.

    Interestingly, now that they've hung the sticker up, all the negative reviews of both this and their other location are "gone".

    Well, it's actually more complicated than that, since if I go to my own profile page it still lists my review. So they have my review, they just aren't showing it. Kind of odd that of all the available (negative) reviews of a location, they show none of them?

    Something's rotten here. Whether deliberate, or lousy management of reviews (their FAQ says that they don't always show all reviews), this certainly doesn't give Yelp an air of legitimacy, and does indeed suggest whitewashing of reviews.

    UPDATE: My review is back, and jstoppelman below mentions Yelp's policy of not always showing available reviews...

    UPDATE 2: The Bagel Basement Lebanon location closed permanently on October 29, 2009. The yelp sticker is still there ;)

    cambodia4kidsorg and Seth and Alexa added this photo to their favorites.

    1. vermontgirl 80 months ago | reply

      That is shady. I wonder if the BB turned off all reviews of their Lebanon location but left the Hanover ones because they were slightly better? I wonder if the business can flag a review as "inappropriate" or something, to get it disabled...

    2. jstoppelman 80 months ago | reply

      There are no reviews currently on that page. We don't show all reviews all the time and this is fully disclosed in our FAQ here: www.yelp.com/faq#missingUserReviews

      It's possible a business could get one from another owner or location and put it up. We do have a solid threshold you have to meet before receiving a sticker. Also do you have another photo of the sticker in full context (where we can see it's actually on the door of the business you say it is?). That would help me establish what may have happened (maybe it's intended for the business next door?)

      Thanks.

    3. kaszeta 80 months ago | reply

      Thanks for responding. I saw that FAQ, but I'm still a bit puzzled. There have been at least three one star reviews of bagel basement's Lebanon location (others can look in the Google cache to see two of them, including mine). I can understand not showing reviews if you've got a lot of them, but not showing any reviews when you've got three of them, all negative? Mostly curious.

      As for the rest of your comment, Bagel Basement has several locations, at least one of which (Hanover, NH) is owned and operated by the same owner, and it does have noticeably better reviews (it also, however, has a noticeably different clientele, mostly Dartmouth students, and a noticeably different ambiance). I'm guessing they got the stickers from the positive comments up at Hanover, and also put them up at Lebanon?

      I can take another picture in context next time I'm up there. It's clearly for them, they don't share that entrance with another business. And it's overlapping the Boars Head sticker for there cold cuts...

    4. jstoppelman 80 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the follow up. We send a sticker once a year to each business that qualifies. Def possible the owner got a second sticker this year and used it at one of his other locations... we'll likely add a date to the sticker to help resolve this issue.

      As we've grown we've become a target for review spam so we do have to work aggressively to prevent manipulation of our trusted ratings. This can be confusing on rare occasion to consumers (but more so to biz owners), though it's something lots of major sites face (Google with web spam, etc.).

    5. kaszeta 80 months ago | reply

      Okay, I can definitely understand if it's a technique to handle comment spam. Thanks for the followup and some of the explanation.

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