A Yelp Awakening
I guess I am a little clueless as I did not realize a restaurant owner could report me to Yelp for my review. I found that out today when I got an email from Yelp. I am an avid user and don’t use it every day, but probably one day a week for many purposes. However, I am not typically a commenter on the platform. In fact, I have only posted two reviews. A food poisoning experience, however, led me to post.
But then I received an email about my review. The restaurant had reported my review and I was offered the option to revise my review or delete it all together.
Here is the primary context of the email I received:
“We’re writing to let you know about one or more complaints we’ve heard about your review. We recommend that you ensure that your review complies with our Content Guidelines (http://www.yelp.com/guidelines) and Terms of Service (http://www.yelp.com/static?p=tos). Steer clear of exaggeration and embellishment, and don’t draw conclusions about the broader business practices of the business you reviewed based on your own experience. Ultimately, your words are your responsibility, and posting false information can have legal ramifications. If you think you need to make changes to your review and you posted your review within the past 30 days, you can use the edit function to revise it. Please keep in mind that if you posted your review over 30 days ago, you will not be able to edit it. However, you can always remove your review if you no longer stand by what you wrote.”
A few months ago, my youngest and I visited an establishment in Carmel. I don’t remember what we had eaten the few previous meals because frankly, it was four months ago, and that would be weird. However, I do remember what we ordered for that meal because of the brutal stomach pain following. There is a small chance it was something else, but I am also 99.9% sure it was this meal because we shared it and within minutes had the exact same reaction.
Following our lunch, we went home so I could put my daughter down for her nap. Roughly 30 minutes after finishing our lunch, I got sharp stomach pains and was debating going to the emergency room. Then I heard my daughter crying from upstairs. She was 2 at the time and was visibly in pain. I quickly realized we had both been the recipients of food poisoning. I now wish I had gone to the doctor’s office to have medical records to back my statement.
Because our encounter and my review took place four months ago, I was not able to make any edits. My only choice was to ignore or delete it completely.
When I got the email today, I was upset. The restaurant had never reached out to me. They didn’t apologize and it seemed as if they didn’t care about my experience as a customer. I looked the restaurant up again for the first time since our experience and I was shocked. It turns out my comment was the most viewed comment for this restaurant. Had I unknowingly made an impact on their business? Additionally, the restaurant had even started personally thanking every individual that did leave a positive comment.
In the end, I decided to take the comment down completely. Ultimately, I don’t want to damage someone’s business – that we was never my intent. But I will continue to warn my friends and certainly won’t give this restaurant another thought beyond that.