11.7.14 yelp and the anonymous reviewer

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As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts ahem, Full Dinosaur Disclosure I own a shop. One of the evils of being in a customer service business is Yelp. Most of the time I’m completely tickled by my reviews. Actually, most of the time it takes me three months to notice a review, and then I’m tickled. Every once in a while there’s somebody who’s annoyed with how I’ve handled a situation, and the lesson there is that you can’t make everyone happy. Hello? I’m not Nordstrom’s, I just cannot accept a return of a pair of PJs that has been washed, worn, and the size tags removed just because your grandchild no longer fits them. Regardless of rightness or wrongness I feel bad about this kind of Yelp review. But I brush it off. Yelp happens. I doubt it even effects my business.

I sometimes use Yelp myself. To get a phone number or to see the reviews of a new restaurant. I prefer to read the bad reviews to see if the complaints are legitimate (food poisoning) or not (bad date, location is happenstance). But again, this is rare, since I’m a creature of habit and usually frequent the same five restaurants.

What bums me out about Yelp is this Hutten Jewelers page. I’ve mentioned Hutten Jewelers before. They are the most amazing jewelers for so many reasons. Izabella, the owner, is a 60 year old Brigitte Bardot type lady with a heavy Polish accent. Not like the current Brigitte Bardot, mind you, but if Brigitte Bardot had aged the way we all expected her to. This is a picture of her below, usually she’s got this giant contraption strapped to her head that magnifies the gem stones she’s working on.

Izabella

Izabella’s customer service is amazing. My husband shopped around for a jeweler when he was preparing to pop the question. He had some vintage diamonds and needed a jeweler to set them. Most jewelry stores charge a “corkage” fee for supplying your own diamonds. Not Izabella. But the greatness of Izabella is more then this. We bring everything to her: engraving needs, mending, designing, appraising. The other day I dropped in with one of my Goodwill finds to ask her what kind of material it was. (Agate, it’s an agate bangle. I am such a pest.)

Hutten Jewelers

Her fees? So reasonable. Plus, as repeat customers she always knocks the price down for us to be even lower than reasonable. She nurtures our relationship. She can never retire, we need her too much!

But so what breaks my heart about Yelp is when Izabella, who is excellent at her job, but who does not use the internet, or really understand that a Yelp review is not such a big deal, when she gets herself all worked up over a bad review that is completely meritless in its criticisms. And she has no recourse to dealing with it. There’s no check and balance system in place where Yelp confirms “Yes, this is a legitimate complaint” or “No, this is a person who demanded the name of Izabella’s landlord and when Izabella did not feel comfortable providing this kind of info to a stranger on the sidewalk, they wrote her a terrible Yelp review.” She cares about what you think about her and her business when you read that review. She has three reviews. She really needs a freaking website already, but that’s a different pig to fry.

So I say fuck it! Fuck Yelp for making people feel bad about doing their jobs. Fuck the power of this anonymous stranger. You got a problem with a business, address them directly. Cut out this awful Yelp middle man. Yelp has far too much power for its own good. If you can’t cut out the Yelp? Then your complaint is probably ridiculous to begin with.

Today’s bangles are the North African hinge bangle, horn skinny bangles, Hermes Caleche in puke green (Just kidding! I think it’s Chartreuse), brass Goodwill feather which may or may not end up in my online shop, and four skinny brass bangles. I’m loving those guys this week, huh?

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