Article from Tribune Newspaper:
Articles from Pacifica Patch:
Milestone posted on Facebook:
I had your cupcakes on vacation earlier this year and told my family how great they were. Yesterday, when we were camping in Half Moon Bay, we all drove up to Pacifica to your shop and got some more cupcakes. The staff there is the best. Very attentive and nice. I had stopped at another cupcake store the day before in San Mateo and that lady acted like we were interrupting her. Pacificakes Bake Shop people were busy but didn’t act like we were a bother. They were very accommodating to such a large group (10 of us). But the best part was that the cupcakes were the best. The maple bacon was a family favorite. Thank you for such good treatment on a very rainy miserable camping day. The trip to your shop was the highlight of the day. Kathy, September 2013
Dear Mariel, Everyone loved the cupcakes tonight. I’m so glad Ellen gave you a tour of KQED today. Thank you for the tote bag. I will use it all the time. Warmest regards, Ann from KQED, September 2013
Had to sample a macaroon last night – MY GOODNESS!! Cannot wait to sample a cupcake tonight! Looking forward to doing lots of business with you in the future!! Tracey, June 2013
The cake turned out beautifully! Thank you so much. Milan had a lovely birthday party. Elizabeth
Just had the peanut butter and jelly cupcake… I’m in heaven Sam, June 2013
Thank you so much for the delicious mini cupcakes and chocolate chip cookies you made, nearly 2 weeks ago, for the bautizo for my son! Even with last minute notice, you really helped us out and I am so grateful. I plan on continuing business and referring all my friends and family! -Veronica. June,2013
My friend and I came in yesterday for the first time…SUPER YUMMY cupcakes!! Thank you for dessert that hit just the right spot! Vicki, April 2013
Seriously, the Banana Cupcake with Chocolate Chips was AMAZING! Sea Jay, April 2013 We loved meeting you today! Your cupcakes are fluffy dreams of wonderful yumminess!!! We’ll be ordering a birthday cake soon and look forward to seeing you again!!! God bless you! Lori, March 2013
It truly says something when your kids will devour the cake and not just the frosting. We love Pacificakes . The minis disappeared within minutes!! There were a lot of other leftover desserts, but not yours! Thank you again. Lola, March, 2013
This place is amazing!! The best carrot cake in town! Can’t say enough good things about the staff and the owner. Her heart is in the right place for sure! Tala, May 2013
Natural ingredients and no preservatives that’s what I love of these cupcakes!. Super friendly and knowledgeable staff. Juan, March 2013
DEAR CUSTOMERS: UNFORTUNATELY WE HAVE TO LET YOU KNOW OF THIS.
THE SAME HAS HAPPENED TO US.
PLEASE DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THIS SITE.
(ARTICLE TAKEN FROM WIRED MAGAZINE)
Yelp Accused of Extortion
- By Kim Zetter
Yelp, the online review site, is being accused of extortion in a class-action lawsuit filed in Los Angeles this week. The suit alleges that the site tried to get a Long Beach veterinary hospital named Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital to pay $300 a month — for a minimum 12-month commitment — to suppress or delete reviews that disparaged the hospital. The popular San Francisco–based site Yelp is one of the leading sites for consumers to post reviews and comments about their local businesses and services. It touts its integrity with the slogan: “Real people. Real reviews.” The company was founded in 2004 and has spread throughout the Unitd States. It launched in the United Kingdom and Ireland last year. But according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court (.pdf) for the Central District of California, the site manipulates the reviews, and therefore a business’ ratings, through an extortion scheme that offers to remove a business’ negative reviews or relocate them to the bottom of a listing page where fewer visitors will see them, if the business purchases a monthly advertising subscription. “Yelp thus capitalizes on the presumed integrity of the Yelp.com ratings system to extort business owners to purchase advertising,” says the complaint. “As a result, business listings on Yelp.com, contrary to the website’s ‘Real people. Real reviews.’ mantra, are in fact biased in favor of businesses that buy Yelp advertising.” The suit alleges that last September, Cats and Dogs owner Dr. Gregory Perrault became aware of a negative review posted on Yelp by a user named Chris R. Perrault viewed it as defamatory and possibly false. He researched the information in the review and discovered that it referred to a hospital visit that occurred more than 18 months prior to its posting. (Yelp’s policy allows reviews to be posted within 12 months of an experience with the business.) The hospital asked Yelp to remove the review for violating Yelp’s review guidelines, and the site complied. But a second negative review appeared five days later from a user identified as Kay K. That review read in part:
Dr. Perrault is the rudest vet I’ve ever been to … probably one of the rudest people I’ve had the displeasure of meeting. I agree with the previous reviews about making you feel like an unfit mom. My pup had been sick and I had a theory on what the problem may have been and he wouldn’t even entertain the idea, but instead, made me feel bad because my dog got sick. And, my poor dog was terrified of him! He made me feel like I was 2 inches tall and repeatedly looked down his nose at me. Oh, and OVER PRICED! OMG! Who does he think he is??? I did not feel welcomed by him nor his staff. I paid you for a service! No need to treat me so bad!
The plaintiff claims that Yelp sales staff then began calling the hospital frequently with “high-pressure” tactics promising to move or delete negative reviews in exchange for purchasing a one-year advertising contract. The site also allegedly promised to ensure that negative reviews wouldn’t appear in Google or other search engine results. When the hospital declined, the negative review from “Chris R.” re-appeared on the site, followed by a second negative review from Kay K. The latter review referred to Dr. Perrault as “an @$$” and “a jerk, a D-Bag, And so arrogant.”
I ran in to him in a neighborhood store right after he saw my poor sick dog at his clinic and he looked right at me, recognized me, rolled his eyes and looked away!!!! Seriously, someone needs to knock this guy down to the size he really is. He needs to drop his Napolean complex and be a professional. After my horrible experience with him, I took my sick dog to Bixby Animal Clinic and I have never had a more pleasant vet experience! Go there instead! My dog loved everyone there!
When the hospital complained to Yelp, the site sent a letter to the hospital saying it would be leaving the reviews in place. “Because we don’t have firsthand knowledge of a reviewer’s identity or personal experience, we are not in a position to verify your claims that these reviewers are the same person, or that they are connected to the recent vandalism at your hospital,” the letter read. “If a review appears to reflect the personal opinion and experiences of the reviewer while adhering to our review guidelines [link], it is our policy to allow the reviewer to stand behind his or her review.” The suit’s claims seemed to be backed up by an East Bay Express article published last year that also accused the site of running an extortion racket. In that piece, numerous business owners described similar scenarios to the one alleged by the plaintiff. The Oakland, California–based newspaper later reported that after its first story published, many more businesses from around the country contacted it to complain of similar experiences. “Yelp’s sales tactics amount to high-tech extortion,” said plaintiff attorney Jared Beck in a press release. “The victims tend to be small businesses, such as our client, who often have no choice but to pay Yelp exorbitant sums in order to prevent further harm to their livelihoods.” Yelp recently received a $25 million investment from Elevation Partners through the purchase of preferred stock with a plan to invest an additional $75 million through purchases of employee and shareholder stock. The site earns revenue from search and display ads. The company claims that its site had more than 26 million unique visitors in December 2009 and that it has published more than 9 million reviews. Yelp recently walked away from discussions with Google to buy the company for about $550 million. Yelp released a written statement in response to the lawsuit. “The allegations are demonstrably false, since many businesses that advertise on Yelp have both negative and positive reviews,” the statement read. “These businesses realize that both kinds of feedback provide authenticity and value. Running a good business is hard; filing a lawsuit is easy. While we haven’t seen the suit in question, we will dispute it aggressively.”
Something similar happened to my friend’s business recently. Has anything been done to stop Yelp from blackmailing small business owners
Can one review Yelp on Yelp?
Yelp.com is the biggest SCAM. I go this this amazing Crepe Paris Cafe restaurant all the time, every website evaluates it 5 stars, on Yelp, they got 1 star. So I went and wrote a review… guess what… my 5 star review never showed up, but the 1 star reviews are all there. So I signed up with another email account just to test it and wrote another review. Then I asked my dad to write one also from his account, since he goes there all the time with my mom. Well, I can now say, it’s true. Their positive reviews did not show up either, ONLY THE NEGATIVE ONES, so Yelp.com is simply out to hurt businesses, then I guess they make money buy charging businesses to have negatives supressed or removed. Sick
I really liked Yelp – until I found out that it really isn’t “real people, real reviews.” My wife got the call from Yelp sales. $300/month, vague promises.
I am a business owner. I had all 5 star unsolicited reviews from my clients. Then I started to receive aggressive advertising calls. I refused to advertise in exchange for good ratings because I don’t need to do so and because it is unethical. I also told them that everyone knows about the extortion yelp perpetrates on small business owners who don’t advertise with them. One week later, I received a one star rating. My 10 and 20 year clients who gave me all 5 star reviews were put into the filtered category and the one star rating was left behind. When I complained about this and made the connection between my refusal to advertise with them and the plummeting rrating from 5 star to 1 star led to them filtering another 5 star rating. I also asked them to remove the 1 star rating because it was a fabrication that violated their own policies. They responded by filtering another 5 star rating. I have ten 5 star ratings and one 1 star rating. They list only 2 of these 5 star ratings along with the one star rating, cutting my overall rating in half. All of you who are complaining below are inviting more retaliation. Thanks for speaking up anyway.
Why would they walk away from Google? Easy. Google probably demanded to examine their records and logs so they could be sure Yelp wasn’t up to any shenanignans, Yelp refused – maybe they have something to hide?
As a small business owner who opened my business only 8 months ago Yelp has become an unpleasant force to be dealt with. When a client would review Yelp would pull the reviews. Although most of my reviews have been positive I called Yelp to have them explain why all of my reviews were being removed. The girl who took the call gave me bs about its the computer system randomly removing the reviews from my page and that they did not personally involve themselves in the reviews. She then went on to say “We are the biggest, most successful review site in the world are not “picking on you”, she then went on to infer that maybe my reviews were fake and thats why they were removed. A few months later I am being bombarded by sales calls from yelp to advertise for 400 a month. I built my business on word of mouth, now Yelp takes credit for it. As a business owner we have no choice about being on yelp. We are powerless and the burden of proof is always on the owner, never is Yelp responsible for anything. They hide behind the free speech crap while allowing their VIP yelpers to personally attack an owner or employee allowing them to give their name, use profane, derogatory language without any accountability. I find that this type of “review” has nothing constructive to offer anyone. I am fine with accountability on the part of myself and my staff, Yelp does not hold themselves or their reviewers to any standard and its the businesses that drive their business. Without us, there would be no yelp. They seem to think they are gold for a small business. Yet many of us have been around long before yelp existed. I truly pray that they go away.
Yelp is pure fraud and I NEVER base my purchasing decisions upon anything found there.
Integrity huh? Why would you trust Yelp? How would you know the reviews there are legit? For all you know it could be their employees
Yelp most definitely falcifies reviews. I once saw a review written by me for Citysearch, on Yelp.com, supposedly written by a “Steve” who had mysteriously managed to post 500+ reviews in a year (2 per day!).
@exel0n Its the classic mob tactic – “Awfully nice pet hospital you got there. It would be a shame if something… happened to it”. . I didn’t know yelp censored negative user reviews for a price. That’s shady. I would prefer to see uncensored reviews that allowed the business to respond inline, similar to Amazon’s comments.