Just Recently on Yelp

Just recently I went to see a movie and then got a message.  No, this post is not about either one of those things, it’s about what happened after.  I decided to post a Yelp review about the place I received my massage, again not the purpose of my blog.  I started looking at other message locations and their customer reviews.  One place in particular caught my attention.

The message place, located in Seal Beach, which I won’t mention by name, received a fairly negative review by a customer. I am a patron of this day spa. The owner took to Yelp to respond, even throwing out the words libel, slander and defamation.  It seemed as though she attacked the writer of the review because of her not so positive experience and comments.

The original review, I felt did none of these things. The reviewer loved the massage but didn’t like the masseur. My opinion/personal experience of this spa didn’t change because of this review, my opinion changed because of the response written by the owner.

Companies have the right to respond to criticism, Yelp is an open forum.  I would think, however, the company would want to rectify the situation.  This review was one person’s OPINION based on their own experience and was in no way libelous or defamatory. This isn’t the first time I’ve come across something like this.  There’s a country western dance saloon located in Anaheim and whenever someone criticizes said saloon, the owner takes to yelp and aggressively responds to the customers’ negative criticisms.  

So I pose some questions, as consumers, do we have the right to publicly complain about poor services or bad products on sites like Yelp? How responsible should companies be for their employees actions and how should owners respond to the negative comments?  How much does a consumer’s review really impact a good or service? 

I use Yelp all the time.  I use it to research restaurants, day spas and nail salons. Consumers have the right to know when a particular company’s product or services are bad.  I love sites like Yelp.  A few weeks ago I spent a few hours researching reviews of dog groomers.  I wanted to make sure I was taking my Mia to a place I felt comfortable with.  Before I purchase a Groupon to someplace new, I research consumer reviews on Yelp.  

By the way, the customer’s review of this day spa didn’t affect my feelings about it.  I went for the first time on my birthday, had a lovely experience and now I have a gift certificate for a 90 minute massage, which I will be using soon.

Gotta love the freedom of speech.

To quote George Washington, our first US President, If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.  

Speak up folks!!