Websites like Yelp can have a backlash
TAMPA, FL - The Minnesota dentist who killed a protected lion in Zimbabwe has sparked outrage on the Internet.
In the last 24 hours, thousands of people have turned to Yelp bashing his dental practice.
It goes to show one review can really make or break a business.
Right now, Yelp has more than 83 million reviews to help people find the best local restaurant or hair stylist.
But one bad review can cost a business everything.
Datz in South Tampa got dinged once responding with a billboard saying “Some guy on Yelp hates us, come in and see why."
“We deal with happy and very unhappy customers all the time,” said Tony Pullaro, “five star review from Samantha L., wow what a place.”
Pullaro writes back to everyone whether it’s good or bad publicity.
“Thank you for understanding. We do have a wait,” said Pullaro.
That effort is why the gastropub is now the number one reviewed business in Tampa Bay with a four star rating.
“Social media is how we get the word out. It's word of mouth. Someone shares something on Facebook. Someone talks about us,” said Pullaro.
The buzz has helped them expand to three different restaurants and now, a bloody mary line.
But other businesses like River Bluff Dental are not so lucky. Hundreds of people have found a place to vent their anger towards Dr. Walter Palmer for killing a protected lion.
Charmie P gave a one star review saying “shame on you, killing a majestic creature”.
In the past, Yelp has been sued by many owners who were ruined by unfair or malicious reviews.
The company released this statement:
“Yelp reviews are required to describe a firsthand consumer experience, not what someone reads in the news. Our user support team ultimately removes reviews that violate these guidelines.”
That’s why Jimmy Kimmel is taking a different stand.
“I don't think the answer is to start a witch hunt for the guy. Some people are saying we should skin him and feed him to the lions,” the comedian said.
Instead he’s calling on the public to forget about ruining someone’s business. Rather, donate to a cause that protects wildlife.
Right now a team at Yelp is working on the dentist’s page removing reviews that violate the company’s policy.