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National Express is A+ Rated, accredited, and has some of the best reviews in the business. Many praising us for good service. However, more and more we have become concerned about Yelp!. Yes, we know that overall 20% of the reviews on Yelp! are fake. That is almost 1 out of 4. We know customers leave us good reviews there all the time but they don’t show up.

Customers have even left us a great review and had taken the time to post photos, but when we take a look they are not there or disappeared a short time later.

It is also true that we are not sure who many of the customers are. It appears that Yelp! easily allows negative reviews from users that have little to no friends and activity to post on the site, which leaves it pretty wide open for competitor reviews. (Some reputation companies actually specialize in negative campaigns. Yes this is indeed a thing. False negatives help lower ranking competitors look better.) But if the “Yelper” that leaves a 4 or 5 star review does not have several friends or does not log a lot of activity with them, the review is either “not recommended” or removed altogether. Some say there is a very unethical reason for this.

Others in Our Industry Think that Yelp is Manipulating Reviews that Favor Paid Advertisers

It is alleged by many that their goal is to lower the rating score of companies that don’t advertise with them. Businesses have mentioned hiding positive reviews is crippling them. They have been sued many times. But yet it’s something that seems like that little can be done about.

We do not currently advertise with Yelp! and we don’t plan to.

Popularity of Yelp! declining

Fortunately their plummeting in popularity may lead to the end of these issues.

Fact: Our company has 4.5-4.6 or higher on EVERY OTHER site except for Yelp!

Go to the BBB, Google, Transport Reviews, the proof is there. These are legitimate review sites. It’s clearly one website that is creating frustration not just for us but for many others. Just search “Yelp Hides Positive Reviews” and you will find a lot of posts on this.

If we lose a customer because of our mistake well, then, ok we need to learn from it. But if it’s because of some website that wants us to pay for advertising, has the power to show up near the top of the search, and is telling customers we have a 2.5 that is is falsely calculated, then yes, we have to make it known and say it out loud.

It is not a coincidence that the three largest auto transport companies in the nation. National Express (that’s us), Montway, and Direct Express, have made this known to their customers. It has to be a big deal to be addressed this way, and it is! We ship thousands of cars, have hundreds of reviews yet suffer with Yelp!. It’s a huge deal as this false garbage could potentially affect the well-being of our hard working employees and their families, This is my reason for wanting to share the severity of this issue. It could drop search rankings for great companies. It could do long term damage to this legitimate business and others like us.

Yelp! Reviews are Great Geared for Diners, Coffee Shops, Not Auto Shipping

“Great “is not the word, but yes, primarily designed for local hangouts, coffee shops, etc. is accurate. I mean, that’s all -I- personally have ever used it for.

We’ve noticed many who take issue with this have businesses where the service was not performed at the business location. Like a landscaper or plumber.

Auto shipping is an even more extreme example of the location of service not at all being at the location of the company. Where the reviewer is not in even the same state as where our company is headquartered and yet we are performing the work in a state the customer doesn’t even live.

If we are to assume that this is a legitimate reason while reviews are filtered, then the super special filter they use probably doesn’t like or understand that. But let’s say by now after so much controversy, they know this. So why is it still happening? It’s harder to suppress good reviews when a positive review is written with a photo taken that is clearly at the location they are reviewing. Suppressing such reviews would be a blatant example of preferring advertisers vs regular merchants. That is why service based businesses like ours are fed up. Most auto shipping reviews will not have a picture and definitely won’t be at our offices.

We’re Not Saying Don’t Use Them

If you do decide to leave a review there and you are a very active Yelper, please do . It may help us. But please consider leaving it on other sites as well in case it gets the axe.

We’re not asking you to “not use Yelp”. But we are asking you to do your research and if one source only has something bad to say, it means something significant.