Yelp vs. TripAdvisor: Which reviews should you trust?
Yelp: Some reviews open to the publicIf you want to read filtered reviews on Yelp, you have to find the link at the bottom of the page, then type in a CAPTCHA to gain access to the filtered comments. The problem is that Yelp’s filtering system removes legitimate reviews from real people without reason. And it’s impossible to ask Yelp to unfilter a review. Once Yelp filters it, it’s filtered forever.
TripAdvisor: All reviews open to the public.On TripAdvisor, you have immediate access to all reviews of a business. No review is filtered out by TripAdvisor. Everything is there for you to read on TripAdvisor.
Yelp: discourages business-to-customer interactions.You won’t find our successful interaction with Christina M. on our Yelp review page. Christina initially wrote a negative review on September 3, 2011. We responded quickly to fix her issue, and she was so happy she wrote a new, positive review two weeks later. Here’s what Christina said after we helped her:
“I finally got to go on the Big Island tour with Discover Hawaii Tours. A quality assurance manager called me directly to sort out the situation and even offered me a discount on the tour, which I thought was thoughtful and professional….
…In a nutshell I am glad I gave the company another chance because you can tell that it values customers and wants to ensure they are satisfied with the tours. I am actually planning on taking a tour to Oahu with Discover Hawaii Tours in a few weeks.”Guess what? This successful business-to-customer interaction was filtered by Yelp. Go figure.
TripAdvisor: encourages business-to-customer interactions.If a customer gives us negative feedback on a tour by writing a review on TripAdvisor, we can respond publicly without worrying about our response being filtered. You can view all business-to-customer interactions when browsing reviews on TripAdvisor. There are no hidden, filtered, masked, or camouflaged conversations anywhere on TripAdvisor.
Yelp: unhelpful and unresponsive customer serviceWe’ve contacted Yelp many times about filtered reviews for our site, especially since our interaction with Christina M. was so successful. Yelp responds with a cookie-cutter response every time:
“Thanks for contacting us with your concerns. We offer some detailed answers [in our FAQ section] that explain our review filter. We also invite you to watch a short video on the subject.
If there are certain customer reviews that you want to showcase, feel free to ask your customers if you can add their testimonials to your own website.”We’ve also asked the Yelp Honolulu representative about reviews that have been filtered unfairly. Guess what? We got the same response from the local rep: “Watch the video.” (We’ve watched it, it doesn’t help).