Sonoma County business owners are on the receiving end of a marketing blitz by online review site Yelp.com. The San Francisco-based company has launched an aggressive telemarketing effort to get more advertisers on its site. Frequent sales pitches aren't new -- as anyone who lets their newspaper subscription lapse knows. But some business owners feel Yelp's telemarketers have gone too far, and that its salespeople are misleading. Yelp lets people share their reviews about businesses and has become a popular search tool to find shops and services.
Now some business owners are giving Yelp negative reviews for its sales pitch. Condra Easley, co-owner of Patisserie Angelica in Sebastopol, said she was told that for $300 a month she could rearrange the reviews about her pastry shop so the bad ones would drop to the bottom.
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Seems to me that Yelp could be the one's writing the bad reviews so they can go to the business' and get them to pay monthly to move the good reviews up. Very thuggish behavior, don't you think? I find this a bit disturbing. What's the use of reviews then?