A few months ago you sold me a Yelp ad package over the phone. I’m writing to you today because I feel it’s important that you to understand the consequences of the sales work you are doing. This is your job, to sell Yelp products to people who own small businesses. You are REALLY good at it. When you called me, I shared with you my apprehensions and fears around engaging with Yelp. I told you I didn’t trust Yelp and why. I told you that I was a sole proprietor of a small business that didn’t pull in much revenue. We talked at length about these anxieties I had. You assured me that this was a good investment in my business. You talked with me like a friend, and unfortunately I fell for it. I felt assured by you that I would not max out my cost-per-click budget each month, that this would bring in more revenue than it took away. It was all about getting me to sign that contract. Again, I know this is your job, but I also need you to understand what the costs are.
I ended up purchasing a product that was not appropriate for the business I own. It was very irresponsible of me to sign that contract with you. That’s on me, and I have to pay the price of getting out of the contract, a process which will, all told, cost me more than the income I made from my business last month. Your bottom line means I can’t afford to pay my health insurance this month. I can’t afford to buy holiday gifts for my loved ones. This was a huge mistake. Unfortunately it isn’t a new mistake or a unique one. I have spoken to several massage therapists who have had similar experiences.Yelp is targeting these small businesses, selling us products we can’t afford, and it is completely illogical. You need us to continue to be in business and if you continue to create such costs for us we will go out of business and take you with us.
I urge you, and Yelp to change these business practices. Develop products which are ACTUALLY affordable to small businesses instead of being a scam that sets us both up for failure. Your bottom line means nothing if the products you sell are unsustainable and unlikely to provide growth.
I am posting this letter to my blog as a warning to other massage therapists not to sign with Yelp and I will continue to speak out against your business practices and sales techniques until such time as you change them.
Emily Taylor, LMT
2 thoughts on “Open Letter To Yelp”
I have had my own issues with Yelp – aggressive business tactics, and punitive results when I refused to buy in on behalf of the employer I had at the time. I also see what I feel is their dishonesty towards my current client – any lower-star review is instantly posted and ‘valid’, negating the vastly larger pool of positive ‘invalid’ reviews. I’m sad to hear that you got burned so badly. I hope someone at Yelp can see this, and maybe figure a way to fix their broken system.
Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry that you have also had bad experiences with Yelp. My hope is that I can save some people the trouble by sharing my story. I sent my letter to the salesman and to Yelp’s account management team. Here’s hoping they hear me and change these practices!