I used to <3 Yelp

An obsession I have had for several years, Yelp and I have spent a lot of time together. While I was to be paying attention to my friends, I was keeping track of all the foods and wine we had along with the style of service we were receiving. Going out to dinner or lunch became much more than just a meal, it became a mission to type out all of our experiences to the detail, the only reason being,  my fellow Yelpers.

I have found myself obsessed with Yelp to the point where I spend so much time obsessing on my reviews even before I am done with the experience. I call myself a “dedicated Yelper” or a “true Elite”. Naturally, you can imagine my frustration when I see this after my nomination for the 2012 Elite Squad:

I am so frustrated with Yelp. Here is a recent email about my Elite status:

“Hi Jessie,

We’re writing you today because we’ve received your nomination for Yelp Elite Squad.

We have reviewed your case and while we greatly appreciate all of your contributions to the site, unfortunately, we’re unable to welcome you to the Elite Squad at this time.

Yelp Elite Squad Messenger
San Francisco, CA”

I give you my all since 2008. I photograph pictures of the restaurants and save itemized receipts, I even have a Yelp folder so that I am able to provide the most information. This is the response I get? I feel like the sad seventh grader whose best friend had to break up with her for her so called boyfriend at lunch break. Now how do I show my face in sixth period?!

I have given Yelp my time for many years. I give my all, care about my reviews and talk about the greatness Yelp is. NOW, I am sad, mad and confused. I hate the thought of feeling like a sad little rejected pre-teen. Why give me Elite, breed me the way you want for years so that I continue to think what I am doing is correct and then shot me down?! Some of you may be reading this and thinking, “wow, ease up girl, it’s Only Yelp, who cares about Elite?”. True, it’s really not the end of the world. However, if I didn’t JUST receive a call {a very pushy call} from a North Bay Yelp sales representative asking if our company would advertise with them, I would not be so upset. Can you guess what our answer was to advertising? Yep, that’s correct, we declined. Last year when we declined, our reviews suddenly began disappearing. Word on the street was that is Yelp’s motto; you play but if you want to continue to play, you must pay. Their form of retaliation is hurtful to businesses and now I see, my ego. And I know I am not the only one…. So, now my question is: where do I go from here? Do I continue to post my reviews for the sake of my followers and friends I have made on Yelp over the years?

The saddest part about this is there are so many other Yelpers just like me who take it very serious and have been rejected in 2012. Nobody really understands. I wonder what Yelps plan is, what is the goal if the outcome is angering so many people that love to spread the word?

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