There’s a first for everything, and today I got my first banned review on Yelp. The email I received said that my review “fell outside our Content Guidelines as it did not appear to describe a customer experience.” Yelp’s Content Guidelines are available here.
So I do admit that I was hangry when writing the mobile review, but after reviewing the guidelines, I don’t see specifically where my review crossed the line. Here’s my verbatim review:
Can’t accommodate people even with open tables and counters. We were there ready to go. There were at least 3 tables open and prepped along with 5 counter spots, but the wait list was 90 minutes. Take out at a 20-min wait was suggested. It’s a reasonable alternative, but the open seating was still baffling. It was 11:38 so possibly 11:45 reservations were coming? No explanation given so I don’t know, and overall I don’t get it. Went elsewhere. Sad start.
***Update: Wait, reservations not taken?!?! I really don’t get it.
Like I said, hangry but no inappropriate content, no conflict of interest, no promotional content, no publicizing private information, no stealing intellectual property, no payment demanded, and all relevant describing my consumer experience.
Yes, my review was my personal experience with a local business. Granted that business was cut very short since the establishment could not accommodate my family. And really, that’s the crux of my review – the handling of the situation and lack of communication. There was no reason given for the 90-minute wait time, especially when there were open seats and tables available. After the fact, I had learned that reservations were not taken so even more so, why couldn’t we dine at the open available seats? No reason was given.
That’s really disappointing. It signaled that the business didn’t want our business and doesn’t respect their customers. Why not give any explanation of any sort? Too busy, not enough wait staff? For me, some reason would be better than leaving customers to come to their own conclusions (and poor Yelp review). From other reviews, I learned that the restaurant has a pager/notification system available, but that too was not communicated as being available.
I did appeal to Yelp asking for clarification on my review and where the transgression was. But the page does openly admit that “Although we rarely end up reversing our original decision, it doesn’t hurt to have someone else take a second look,” so while I don’t expect my review to be reinstated, I do respect the openness Yelp is demonstrating.