If you are concerned about the reviews on Yelp I want you to go ahead and read this entire page and then judge for yourself the real Yelp reviews and whether or not you should believe them. First things first for the Yelp Reviews of Empire Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical:
1. The reviews are real reviews from real people. Someone type in those Yelp Reviews, so they must be real, right? Yes, those, for the most part, are real Yelp reviews. About half of the bad reviews on Yelp are people who will not respond to any emails and we don’t know who they are or what job or estimate that they refer to. Some of them claim to be relatives or children of protecting their parents. To date we have not received, despite many requests from those Yelp Reviewers, any explanation as to what caused the bad review other than what you read. Truly Yelp Sucks. Type “Yelp Sucks” in your browser and you will find the validity of Yelp and its filtering algorithm.
2. Where are the positive reviews? That’s easy, check the filtered reviews. If the first person that reviews a company reviews it negatively that company is put into the “sandbox”. This is the Internet term for no man’s land. Once a company is in the sandbox, that company will have very hard time getting out of the “sandbox”. It is because the way that the algorithm treats the bad review. These reviews are automatically screened for authenticity. It is believed that once a negative review it made that the company that is negatively portrayed on yelp will attempt to game the system by posting positive reviews in an attempt to change the company score and change to a positive light. The reverse is also true. A first positive review will land you in Yelp heaven for a period of time. My first review was bad in that Nate C. from Newport Beach thought he could get a short circuit fixed and a chandelier hung in his million dollar home for $30. It was incredible stupidity on his part.
3. Did I ignore those Yelp complaints? No, of course not, but look at what they actually spent. The combined dollar amount of every complaint on Yelp for Empire Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning and Electrical as of today February 1 2012 is Zero dollars, except one. The one is a gas leak that she called the gas company out. We returned, offered a free 1 year maintenance plan, she accepted and she is still our client. It is weird that she has not removed her Yelp complaint. We asked her to remove her Yelp review; she said no, it is what it is. She has 8 more years on her warranty from us for her new heating system and she has been a client of ours for nearly 10 years. She loves the heating system, but my employees did screw up and there was a gas leak in here garage. We will still honor her warranty without regard to her Yelp Review.
Yelp is a search engine that focuses on sales. I refused to pay them for advertising early on when they were a startup and have left some nasty reviews concerning the lies that they told in order to sell their ads. It could be that I am a victim of revenge or it could be that I am not a victim at all and this is just the way that they conduct business. I don’t know.
A Yelp salesman called me today and I told him that I would not consider advertising with them until they remove reviews that were bad where we never performed any work (all but 2 of the bad reviews). He refused, good for him, but still extolled the virtues of the Yelp advertising model. Yelp advertising is fantasy. Every contractors online business list I am a part of, many, has discussed the false promise that Yelp brings and lack of return on investment. The salesman today said that Yelp is biggest search engine used in the world today. Come’on Yelp. Google is the biggest followed by Bing and Yahoo and everybody else is fighting over the last 10 percent. Please Yelp, stop lying and start allowing positive reviews for business clients that don’t advertise with you as well as those that do.
Until that time comes…Yelp will still suck.