Yelp announced that it has released a new round of 51 consumer alerts, which will be posted on business pages for 90 days. That brings the total for this year so far to 185.
In January, Yelp announced a round of 85 alerts. Then in June, they announced another round of 51. Once again, Yelp is calling out specific businesses in its announcement.
Yelp’s Kayleigh Winslow writes in a blog post, “Wouldn’t you want to know that Spokane Laptops was caught threatening customers and offering to pay $50 in exchange for the removal of negative reviews before taking your broken laptop into that shop? Likewise, you’d probably appreciate a heads up that this MedRite Urgent Care was caught twice attempting to inflate their ratings before rushing in with a medical emergency. Similarly, you’d want the tip-off that a large number of five-star reviews for Family Dental Care came from the same IP address used to claim the business owner’s account before heading in to get a tooth pulled.”
She adds, “In addition to giving consumers a false perception of the business where they are about to spend their hard-earned money and violating Yelp’s Terms of Service, buying positive testimonials without revealing they were paid for is a form of false advertising.”
The consumer alerts fall under a broader initiative that the company refers to as its Consumer Protection Initiative, which also includes its work with government and research agencies as well as its health score information for restaurants.
Image via Yelp (Flickr)