I have been Yelping for years now. I recently got invited to be Yelp Elite, and it’s all I could talk about for a week. My Yelp reviews once got me a marriage proposal.
A bar in South Carolina printed out my Yelp review and hung it on their wall. That’s not just a South Carolina tradition, by the way. They just liked the review that much.
And so I’m finding it really hard to deal with the email I just received from Yelp. And I’m finding it really hard to deal with me trying to access their site to try to contact them and getting this:
The email, short and sweet, says,
I’m writing to let you know about our Support team’s decision to close your user account. Your account has been closed because of Terms of Service (http://www.yelp.com/static?p=tos) violations, including using your account for commercial or promotional purposes.
Please note that we do not provide further details on account closures.
In other words, “We decided to close your account and we don’t need to tell you why. Oh, and since we decided that, we’re blocking your IP so we never have to talk to you again.”
Can someone queue that Gotye song, please? Yelp just dumped me and I’m feeling fragile. No explanation. No talking about it. They just peaced out on me, and they could care less.
I checked out their terms of service from another IP to try to see what they were on about. The infractions they eluded to are explained as such:
Your account is for your personal, non-commercial use only. In creating it, we ask that you provide complete and accurate information about yourself to bolster your credibility as a contributor to the Site. You may not impersonate someone else (e.g., adopt the identity of a celebrity or your next-door neighbor), create or use an account for anyone other than yourself, provide an email address other than your own, or create multiple accounts. If you use a pseudonym, take care to note that others may still be able to identify you if, for example, you include identifying information in your reviews, use the same account information on other sites, or allow other sites to share information about you with Yelp.
And I just don’t get it. I’m not impersonating anyone. I’m not promoting myself. I’m clearly who I say I am. I had a bunch of friends on Yelp. I checked in at places I was at. I reviewed regularly. What did I do wrong?
And I don’t take issue with them trying to make sure there aren’t any fake accounts or people dogging other businesses to try to make their own look good. But I do take issue with them not even bothering to consult me about it. They could have cleared this up with one email. “Hey, dog, are you real? Are you a business owner?” I know they have employees. Have the asshat who sent me the kill email instead send me a preliminary email explaining the concerns.
But now I’m left with nothing. And just as I used to love Yelp; as much as I was a huge supporter and defender of Yelp? I now hope they burn to the ground. I spit on them. I hope one of the many lawsuits regularly filed against them takes them down. And I will miss them very very much.