Whatever happened to protecting the names and faces of reviewers so that they are able to experience customer service from a typical guest’s point of view? The tradition of keeping reviewer identities under wraps is being tainted by the self-titled reviewers who are now flaunting their power as an active “Yelper” with the newly introduced Reviewer Card.
Those who return home after a bad experience to sulk by a computer and rant about it on Yelp or TripAdvisor are now being rewarded for their efforts with the Reviewer Card. One hundred dollars and proof of your frequent use of reviewing websites will buy you a VIP card. But is this really promoting honesty and transparency when it comes to reviews? If anything, waving the Reviewer Card in a server’s face may encourage managers to send free drinks and servers to sing and dance to prevent any negative backlash on online reviewer sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.
Entrepreneur Brad Newman has recently introduced his new Reviewer Card for frequent Yelpers when out at any service-oriented establishment. Newman insists the card is not suppose to be used as a threat to management but rather a way to spread honest information about the quality of food and service of an eating establishment.
But is the Reviewer Card perhaps giving the consumer a little too much power? Real reviewers (the ones who get paid to do it) offer opinions that we respect based on their level of expertise and experience. The beauty of Yelp is that anybody can write a review. There will always be good and bad reviews, and as consumers of information it is our responsibility to take Yelp reviews for what their worth – individual experiences that add up to something more substantial.
Those who write Yelp reviews are welcome to their opinion, and often times they can be helpful (and sometimes hilarious- see above YouTube video), but to say they should be automatically given some sort of special treatment because they will go online and “yelp” about it is taking their opinions a little too seriously. Sure it is nice to read a few reviews on one of these online rating sites, but you always have to take what they say with a grain of salt. Let’s leave the real power in the hands of the professionals.