Yelp Fights Businesses Manipulating Online Reviews With Reputation Warning Alerts

Listings managed by the moving company received Reputation Warning alerts after Yelp discovered customers were being pressured to write positive reviews.

To further its Consumer Protection Initiative, Yelp reports that it has issued Reputation Warnings on more than 100 listings connected to Movers Alliance. It’s a group that, according to Yelp, has engaged in suspicious behavior by pressuring customers to write positive reviews.

Yelp’s Reputation Warnings are part of the site’s overall efforts to stop businesses from manipulating their online reputations and being involved in deceptive practices to gain positive online reviews and mislead customers.

We have evidence that this group and the businesses connected to it pressure customers into writing positive reviews (sometimes on the spot) in exchange for a discount, manipulate customers into posting reviews to listings other than the one they transacted with (sometimes in an entirely different state), ask customers to sign a contract preventing them from publishing negative reviews in case of dispute, and purchase fake reviews online.
Yelp Blog

Now, listings connected to Movers Alliance, an organization that operates several moving and relocation companies, will include the following Reputation Warning.

Yelp Warning

Business listings with Yelp’s Reputation Warning will not include any reviews or star ratings. Instead, the listing will only display the warning, along with a link to evidence of the business’ deceptive behavior collected by Yelp.

Yelp says its Reputations Warnings are just one part of its evolving Consumer Alerts program, noting that it has added public health scores for restaurants and government ranking data for health care providers. The site is asking users to report any suspicious behavior on its Support Center page.

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