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Oh dear Yelp!  You are in heaps of trouble…again!

Anyone hear of the Union Street Guest House scandal?  Apparently this inn was telling guest that if they left a negative review, then a $500 fee would be deducted from the deposit.  It’s been all over social media for the last couple of weeks.

“If you have booked the Inn for a wedding or other type of event anywhere in the region and given us a deposit of any kind for guests to stay at USGH there will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH placed on any internet site by anyone in your party and/or attending your wedding or event. If you stay here to attend a wedding anywhere in the area and leave us a negative review on any internet site you agree to a $500 fine for each negative review. (Please NOTE we will not charge this fee &/or will refund this fee once the review is taken down).” 

Over the last few weeks Yelp has taken down over 3,000 reviews on Union Street Guest House Page, stating “…your reviews should be focused on your own everyday customer experience with a business.”   What is more interesting is Yelp’s response (see Mike Blumenthal’s blog).


The perception is Yelp has sophisticated algorithms that filtered-out fake reviews.  If this is the case, would not the 3,000 reviews gone into the “reviews that are not currently recommended” folder?

Yelp, we think you just shot yourself in the foot over this one.

Weigh in!  What are your thoughts?  Is Yelp being ethical?  Do you think Yelp has the filtering algorithms they say they do?  Do you care about Yelp reviews?