Yelp has been taken to court again and this time the courts have ruled in favor of the review giant. “How?” you might be wondering… According to SFGate (a sister site of the San Francisco Chronicle) Yelp has the right to manipulate ratings. That’s right. Judge Marsha Berzon of the U.S. Circuit of Appeals in San Francisco stated, “As Yelp has the right to charge for legitimate advertising services, the (alleged) threat of economic harm… is, at most, hard bargaining.” In the 3-0 ruling earlier this month these practices are not considered unfair or extortion.
The proposed class-action damage suit by small business owners was also dismissed. The business owner’s lawyer, Lawrence Murray responded to the ruling with this statement, “I’ve got hundreds of people who have called me with this problem: When they stopped advertising with Yelp, their good reviews got stripped out. What does it take, to have a gun to their head? … This is extortion in any other setting.”
What does that mean for us, the local florist? It is possible that this ruling could tarnish Yelp’s own reputation with the public, but what really we need to continue to do is focus on exceptional customer service. Being a “Yes We Can” Florist is one way to do that. We offer a free “Yes We Can” business success pack to any shop wanting to make this an expectation for their customers.