Part of the Bay Area News Group

Fremont News of the Day

By Matt Artz
Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 at 8:15 am in Uncategorized.

fremont_news_linkFrom the cops:
Some dude grabbed a purse from a 49-year-old woman at the Trader Joe’s parking lot.

Two men started arguing and then started duking it out on the 4600 block of Fanwood Terrace. Several neighbors called police who arrested the combatants.

Three perps, who said they had a gun, lightened one man’s load of a cell phone and some cash near the McDonald’s at Fremont Boulevard in Centerville.

From the wire
Our restaurant person liked Bombay Express, the new veggie chaat house on Mowry.

Apparently, there is a lot to do in Fremont, at least according to Yelpers.

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  • JIM_FREMONT

    Yelp is a scam. It is a corrupt website which seeks to extort money out of honest businesses.

    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/eastbay/yelp-and-the-business-of-extortion-20/Content?oid=1176635

    The reviews are anonymous and many are written by competitors, disgruntled workers, or people with an axe to grind. It is the local complaint board. The businesses have no way of defending themselves and information that has been proven false is not removed. Yelp hides behind unclear laws that give them an easy way out.

    Yelp has got its list of problems, including a class action lawsuit, extortion scheme by Yelp and Yelpers(”Give me a 50% discount or I will Yelp you and you can’t do anything about it”), and pay to play review system.

    http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/TheLaw/yelp-faces-extortion-claim-class-action-suit/story?id=9944826

    http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/24/yelp-class-action-lawsuit/

    Yelp is not a true representation of what actual people believe. Most of the reviews are suppressed and only active yelpers have any authority. The reviews are gamed and only “elite yelpers” can get there reviews posted. The rest of the folks have their reviews supressed by a manipulated pay to play scheme. Yelp throws extravagant parties to bribe these Yelp elite active yelpers to write reviews.

    Yelp’s defamatory reviews are hurting small businesses and are further causing collapse of small businesses.

    Please Matt, stay away from Yelp as a “reliable source.” We don’t want the Argus to be equated with the National Enquirer.

  • JIM_FREMONT

    Part 2 of Yelp extortion allegations stack up:

    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/eastbay/yelp-extortion-allegations-stack-up/Content?oid=1176984

    The city council, chamber, and every other political person needs to do something about Yelp’s abuse of power

  • Eyesbright

    Au contraire, Jim_Fremont. I know for a fact that reviews on Yelp have helped small businesses. For one specific example: ask the owner of Le Moose Crepe Cafe. I wrote one of the first reviews of her great little cafe. Later, I mentioned it to her during one of the many times we’ve had great food there. When I told her that I’d written a review, she quoted it to me, nearly word-for-word, and thanked me profusely. There are more stories like this than you’ll ever know about.

    I’ve been reading and writing reviews on Yelp for about 4 years (since March, 2006). I, too, have heard the stories about high-pressure sales people at Yelp. However, I find it ironic that these tales seem to invariably come from some business owner who has bad reviews and wants those bad reviews to disappear. Funny how that always seems to be the case. By the way, I’m not one of the Elite Yelpers and all my reviews have been posted. Always.

    It’s really a shame for someone to post something like you did that is completely off-topic and get away with it. Yelp ought to sue you!!

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/ Marty

    I don’t know, Eyesbright. Jim linked stories from three relatively durable news sites and a popular tech blog.

    On the other hand, you have the anecdotal equivalent of an internet nerd’s fantasy of being appreciated in meatspace for their otherwise useless presence on the internet. And true to your usual form, you wish to have those who disagree with you shut down, banned and sued.

  • Eyesbright

    As usual, Marty comments without having a clue what he’s talking about. It never fails.

  • http://fcnisbacon.wordpress.com/ Marty

    There’s a long history of complaints against Yelp. As referenced in the EB express story, the NYT and the WSJ have chronicled alleged abuses. Our local network news has run segments on the topic.

    You’re pretty much saying Jim is full of s__t and should be sued. I’ll let your perspective speak for itself.

  • bbox231

    Opinions re Yelp aside – What is incredibly disingenuous here is that Marty sees fit to subordinate facts to opinion in post #4 above

    - but, seemingly chooses to elevate opinion over fact when it suits his/her/its purpose – see post #8 here –

    http://www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat/2010/07/20/council-meeting-journal/#comment-13250

    Far more significantly, and as Marty suggests, this is the stuff that discussion frequently consists of and is to be expected.

    But, Marty feels compelled – again and again – to venture into the realm of personalized offense, in this instance characterizing other contributors as a “useless presence…” – -

    And for what possible motive ?

    What kind of troubled psyche is unable to remain on point and is compelled to offend at a personal level when someone else disagrees ?

  • bbox231

    … my mistake – line 1 should read “..sees fit to subordinate opinion to facts in post #4 above”

  • Charlotte Allen

    OMG I’m agreeing 100% with Marty on this one. I used to rely on Yelp reviews but then the owner of the yoga studio I frequent told us that when she talked to the Yelp sales force they promised her that if she signed up for advertising all her bad reviews would be moved to the bottom or removed and her good reviews would be highlighted. She had no reviews at the time and thought it was just the way Yelp did business. I haven’t used Yelp since.

  • JIM_FREMONT

    Facts about Yelp scam:
    1. Yelp suppresses free speech – Yelp should allow comments either by everyone or no-one. Yelp removes positve reviews as well as negative reviews. Many people (esp. baby boomers) are not in the habit of writing reviews. If someone post 1 or two reviews, they get deleted by the “filter.” I would propose that either yelp become more accountable and police reviews or that they allow each and every review that comes up to remain posted. Let the people decide. By picking and chosing, yelp is manipulating content. This makes Yelp responsible.
    @eyebright – you are a true yelper, you started writing reviews when yelp first started, you are part of the problem, they would not remove your reviews because of your status, you gave them free content for free

    2. Yelp initially launched a pay for play system. They would remove 1 negative review for every 6 months of payment. Later, they came up with a scheme to “highlight the best review” because “nobody reads the reviews after the first 1 or 2…they only look at rating and main review.”
    3. Yelp discourages human to human interaction. Businesses want to do what’s right, they want to fix whatever it is that was a problem. They don’t want to see a review after you’ve gone home.
    4. Businesses are not mad because Yelp allows negative reviews about there businesses. They are mad that Yelp’s review system is NOT FAIR.
    5. Many reviews are written by people that have skin in the game. For example, many competitors trash others anonymously. Others are friends and family of the owners.
    6. Anonymous reviews bring out the worst in people. I can write all sorts of garbage about you if you don’t know who I am, but if I know that my name and info is posted I will be more reasonable. Better yet, yelp should allow business to review the reviewer (360 degree reviews) like ebay. That way, you know who the true liar is.
    7. The best reviews are those of your family and friends who share similar philosophies. I don’t want to know how a hamburger tastes from a vegetarian. I also don’t care how expensive a place is from some cheapskate kid. The opinions of people close to you are more valuable. I would recommend a review system based on your facebook friends. That would be nice.
    8. Yelp started by bribing people with starbucks cards to write reviews. They also host yelp parties to promote reviewers.
    9. Yelp has brought out the worst in people…the next thing is review individuals anonymously, co-workers anonymously, and now even politicians and classmates.
    10. Only yelp has the credibiltiy problem. Do you see people complaining about Google reviews, Yahoo reviews, Insiderpages, or others? Why? because the others are fair, they are transparent. they either leave all of the reviews or they remove questionable reviews.
    11. Yelp is bias and yes it can help small shops like le moose “whatchamacallit.” However, Yelpers discriminate against corporations like IHOP, Elephant bar, Target, etc. How can a business guarantee that all of there workers and all of the interactions be perfect? the smaller the operation, the smaller the players, and the more “perfect” one can be.

    Yelp out to sue me for what? Freedom of speech? Is the yelper trying to ban my review of Yelp?

    Yelp Better business bureau:
    http://www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/internet-services/yelpcom-in-san-francisco-ca-193927

    http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/yelpcom-c156716.html

    http://blogs.wsj.com/digits/2010/03/17/small-businesses-join-lawsuit-against-yelp/

    http://cbs5.com/wrapper_consumer/seenon/yelp.business.complaints.2.820867.html

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/02/26/reviews-site-yelp-hit-lawsuit-fraud/

    Need I say more?

  • Nessal

    For those of us that have dealt with Salwan, we know his true character. What Matt says here is complete true from my experience. Also another thing to consider is if someone has no tolerance for other people’s opinion, they have NO BUSINESS in politics. Salwan have shown this through threats of legal action for people that express their negative opinions about his business practices. If he really wants to sue some reviewers for slander, he would just be wasting his time because his arguments are baseless. Salwan knows that your average yeoman isn’t comfortable with anything that has to do with our legal system. Not because they fear it persay, but because they are ignorant of it. Salwan capitalizes on this fact to muscle others into submission. Is that someone that you want to have making decisions for you? A smart and mature person accepts the fact that not everyone will agree with you. A corrupt person will strongarm you to agree with him/her.

    Also after reviewing some of those other “review” sites posted above. If you actually look through most of them, 90% of them are bogus accounts or created by one time guests. I wouldn’t give them any credibility. I also wouldn’t put too much credibility on Yelp either. If one chooses to deal with Mr. Salwan, they are free to do so. Just don’t be surprised if your experience isn’t what you expected.