• Chicago Yelper Exposed: Yelp Sweeps it Under Rug!

  • 4-29 Intro: That is all we humbly ask, just be fair and honest in any reviews of any business, not just ours.  Don’t bully others with lies and deceit!  As a small business, deliberate attempts to harm us and bully our employees by making up lies online can prove to be a tough obstacle to overcome.  We are not a big corporate business with high paid lawyers and a never ending supply of resources to sue.  We are your neighbors, the single mother living down the hall from you, the returning military Veteran that is getting adjusted to working a job again, etc….  Hard working employees are harmed by lies as not all businesses can sniff out a deliberate lie like we just did and the repercussions can not only harm the business, but the employees jobs as well.  Over the past 2 years, this has gotten out of hand.  It never used to be this bad.  Now we have proof, which is extremely rare to obtain!

    Update 5-2 Yelp’s Reply: To prove the failure of Yelp’s system, they have responded to the request to review the facts of this situation (shown under Timeline) and remove her fake abusive review.  Yelp recently responded in an email with a “canned/automated” response stating everything looks fine to them.  You can see the facts for yourself and determine how reputable Yelp’s review system really is when the most obvious of abuse they consider to be legitimate. 

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    4-29: TIMELINE (The Evidence):

    Profile of “ChiTown Ultimate Foodie M” as of 4-28.  Notice  11 x 5-stars, 4 x 2-stars and the majority of reviews 26 x 1-stars.  Almost every 3 of her 4 reviews are negative (2-stars or less).  (screenshot 4-28)

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    Review of Frato’s by “ChiTown Ultimate Foodie M” on 4-25.  It was “detestable!” (screenshot 4-28)


    adjective: detestable
    1. deserving intense dislike.
      “I found the film’s violence detestable”

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    Review of a Sandwich Restaurant by “ChiTown Ultimate Foodie M” with a screenshot date of 4-28 (notice the caption in the picture she took, the staff is “retarded” because they forgot to cut her sandwich in half therefore they only deserve a 1-star.):

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    Frato’s initial reply to “ChiTown Ultimate Foodie M” on 4-28 (screen shot 4-28)

    Dear Ultimate Foodie,

    I believe Yelp can be a great platform for constructive criticism, but your account is a reminder that not everyone uses it for the correct reasons. I’ve never been more proud of my staff over a 1 star review.

    I’m very disappointed in your trend of bully behavior. Your track record is as follows: 56.5% of your reviews are 1 star and 65.2% are 2 stars or less (outrageous percentages I have never seen before). In a recent review, you called the staff of that restaurant “retarded” simply because they forgot to cut your sandwich in half. This is not the conduct of a mature individual or an opinion that garners any value whatsoever for the intent of a review site.

    In this instance, our staff never argued with you, apologized profusely for their honest mistakes, and never defended themselves against your unnecessary attacks. They actually offered you a full refund, to remake the food (by staying late at their own choice since we were closed) and deliver it for free. You didn’t have to personally attack them over the phone. Even after you did that, they still never argued with you. They were genuinely doing everything they could to overcome the new driver’s honest mistakes, who is actually an “Army Veteran.” Despite this, you continued to belittle them as if they were inferior and threatened a negative review to further punish them. Contrary to your belief, our staff is not “retarded” and actually they handled the situation with complete maturity. They did everything in their power to fix the situation with the new driver, but you were determined to punish them regardless of what they offered.

    This is a clear abuse of the intent of a review system to lower ratings. Constructive criticism is appreciated and the opportunity for a business to fix any honest mistakes is even more appreciated, but that is not what we have from your reviews. You belittled the staff over the phone when they did nothing but accept responsibility and offer everything they could to fix the situation. I’m very proud of them for keeping their composure in such a stressful situation that you placed them in with your unnecessary abuse.

    I look forward to seeing if Yelp will do the right thing and remove you from their platform.

    (screenshot next)

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    Overnight 4-28 / Morning of 4-29 “ChiTown Ultimate Foodie M” updates her profile page and previous reviews before replying to Frato’s response.

    New Profile as of 4-29 (Notice how she rushed to add 7 x 5-star reviews overnight to help reduce how negative her overall reviews have been over the years of being the “Best Yelper Ever”.  More importantly, notice how a 1-star review is conveniently removed):

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    New 4-29 Modified Review of Sandwich Restaurant changing the rating (she changed it from 1 to 2 stars) and also changed her review to remove the derogatory language in order to appear more “fair” upon first glance.  Luckily, we screen shot everything!:

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    Then after making multiple changes to her account (as noted above), Reviewer changed her own initial review of us to spin a more innocent review therefore claiming our small business restaurant is attacking her without any evidence.  This entire blog post serves as the undeniable evidence to prove her deliberate abuse and harmful intent to bully our defenseless staff, void of any truth or credibility (We are thankfully no longer “detestable” though!).  This is just a deliberate attempt to make her appear to be honest and fair so our initial reply sounds abrasive for anyone that hasn’t seen her changes.  Smoke and mirrors tactic?

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    In summary, we did not attack your character in our first reply, but now we highlighted your character in our second reply (this one).  In our first review, we simply stated the facts of the situation as you were intent on punishing an honest mistake no matter how genuine they were in apologizing and attempting to make you happy.  All the changes you made between your initial review and your reply to us prove your intent was to do harm to them, void of any truth. You removed derogatory words from your previous reviews, added in multiple 5-star reviews to make yourself “appear” more fair. Then, you intentionally changed around your review of us in a deliberate attempt to make it “appear” fair so you could accuse us of unjustified attacks. You even changed the rating (from 1 star to 2 stars) and derogatory terms of the sandwich place that you called the staff “baked & retarded” simply because they forgot to cut your sandwich in half.  You tried very very hard to lie and abuse our small business/employees.  You were caught!

    To reiterate, instead of just realizing how exaggerated reviews and deliberate lies can harm others and their careers, you chose to double down with your lies by deliberately changing around your Yelp account thinking you could successfully attempt to punish us further.  This time, you were caught and exposed!  Though, how many people have lost their jobs or their business suffered because of your lies (and others who use review sites with the same intent you do) though?  That is what concerns me the most and should concern all the Yelpers who use the review system correctly.  My staff was praised by me instead because despite their honest mistakes, they handled everything completely professionally and genuinely.  They never argued, they took full responsibility and did everything in our power to make it right.  Management feels bad though, because our policy/culture teaches our staff if they do those things to be genuine to the customer, customers will be happy in return.  You proved that to be wrong though because despite that policy of being genuine to our customers, it backfired with you and you were not genuine to us.  How many businesses actually believed your lies and replaced some employees?  Is that what the point of anonymous reviews have become?  Entertainment to harm others?

    To further explain what our culture is about as well as our goals.  We go above and beyond to make our customers happy.  This is our life.  Many of us work very tough and long hours without much appreciation or understanding of this (most any former or current service worker knows this firsthand).  We genuinely appreciate when a customer comes to us with a potential error that we made therefore giving us an opportunity to make it right so we can turn a potential negative experience into a positive one.  We didn’t get into business to take advantage of others.  We got into business to perform at a high level and make our customers genuinely happy.  Sure, mistakes can and will happen when humans are making your food in a fast-paced environment.  We own up to those mistakes with humility and compensate the customer immediately/correct the order.  I’m very proud of the staff because they did what is right without lowering themselves to your level.  Despite the honest mistakes made that we are determined to improve upon (we never claim to be perfect), they handled this situation with complete humbleness and genuineness.  It’s a shame you were so intent on punishing truly genuine people and the business they devote their hard work to.  You should be ashamed of yourself.

    We have no idea if Yelp will do anything about this as in other reviews, they have not (5-2: see update at the top of the page as we now know how yelp handled this).  However, others need to see this proof of how fake abusive reviews are growing in quantity due to Yelp’s growing popularity/lack of systems to fix this.  This is actually called, “Toxic Disinhibition” and has been studied for quite some time now.

    I hope Yelp does the right thing and I sincerely hope you realize how your deliberate lies/abuse can harm others!  Treat others as you would like to be treated even if they are paid to serve you!

    Direct Link to Ultimate Foodies Yelp Profile

    Direct Link to Ultimate Foodies Yelp Review of Frato’s

    Direct Link to Ultimate Foodies Yelp Review of Sandwich Shop

    Direct Link to Screenshots posted on Flickr