Why you should never trust a Yelp review of a rental service

by Joe Zekas on 1/31/13

The above ad appeared on Craigslist yesterday, and it tells you everything you need to know about why you should never believe a Yelp review – positive or negative – of a Chicago rental service.

If you’re naïve, you might think you can simply disregard comments by new Yelpers with few reviews and trust reviews from veteran Yelpers. The ad, which is clearly soliciting fraudulent reviews, requires that the ethically-challenged scum who respond to it “have a Yelp account with many reviews previously written.”

Anyone who thinks it’s a good idea to pay their cell phone bills this way is a lowlife. Anyone who writes a phony review on their own behalf or on behalf of a friend or someone they work with is a degenerate creep. If you have a friend or a relative or an employee who writes fictional paid reviews on Yelp, don’t leave them alone with anything valuable and don’t lend them any money you hope to see again.

Is it fair to make such harsh judgments about people who may simply need a few extra bucks to pay the rent ? If you don’t think it is, you’re being unfair to yourself and to the many honest people who work hard to earn positive reviews and avoid negative ones.

If you patronize one of the rental services that pays for or solicits phony reviews, you’re rewarding dishonesty and putting yourself at risk.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

DP January 31, 2013 at 11:20 AM

While this is obviously not the intention of yelp. It does take a bit of experience parsing through reviews. There needs to be a critical mass to substantiate any one business’s reviews. If it doesn’t have that then yelp reviews obviously should not be used as the primary decision tool. Probably part of an aggregate of resources online and offline to make any decision on a business.

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Joe Zekas January 31, 2013 at 11:30 AM

DP,

It’s easy to achieve “critical mass” with phony reviews, so the safest approach is ignore all Yelp reviews for rental services.

Ignore good and bad reviews alike, since rental services plant negative reviews about their competitors.

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