Digital Racketeering? ... Lawsuit Accuses Yelp of Extortion
Posted on Feb 25, 2010
A class-action lawsuit claims online business review repository Yelp charges businesses a kind of protection fee to make bad reviews disappear. Yelp vehemently denies this, although the allegations line up with an earlier report of bad behavior.
Without the trust of its users, Yelp is pretty useless. If this is true, it’s despicable. If not, it’s a devastating smear. —PZS
TechCrunch via LA Weekly:
Two law firms, Beck & Lee from Miami and The Weston Firm in San Diego, have filed a class action lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court alleging unfair business practices by local business review and rating website operator Yelp.
The plaintiff in the suit, a veterinary hospital in Long Beach, CA, is said to have requested that Yelp remove a negative review from the website, which was allegedly refused by the San Francisco startup, after which its sales representatives repeatedly contacted the hospital demanding payments of roughly $300 per month in exchange for hiding or deleting the review.