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I'm not on the bandwagon (I don't use Yelp regardless, and I suspect long-term it would be damaging to the brand if good Yelp reviews don't correlate with good experiences), but the evidence Yelp present here is hardly cast-iron. I can see a number of ways such a suggestion could be made without it being evident in those recordings, such as:

- [Unlikely] Recordings have been edited, or certain recordings not disclosed

- Additional contact before/after this series of interactions where review removal was discussed

- Threats not made to this plumber, but another company/plumber who passed on a warning

- Raised by the plumber, and so not recorded ("Will you remove my bad reviews if I advertise with you?" "Yes, sir, we will do that" sounds perfectly benign if you only hear the Yelp end)

- [Not Yelp's fault, though could warn against(?)] Scam by a third party - Attempting to blackmail the plumber by pretending to be Yelp and threatening to post bad / remove good reviewss




If that doesn't convince you, how about this independent study showing that Yelp's filtering algorithm doesn't treat advertisers' reviews differently than non-advertisers'?

http://officialblog.yelp.com/2013/12/harvard-study-debunks-y...




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