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Do Not Trust Yelp Reviews

By September 27, 2016April 20th, 2017Travel + Culture

Do Not Trust Yelp Reviews

Avid foodies, travelers, and people of leisure often turn to review sites for opinions on restaurants, excursions, travel, or to gather recommendations for local services.

..I did that.

In mid August of this year, I did just that. I went to Yelp to get suggestions for nail services in my hometown. I hadn’t been in the area for quite some time, and the place that I normally frequented when in the area had reports of bacterial infections, so that was a no-go.

I needed nail services badly, so I typed in, “Best Nail Salons in Little Rock” and found favorable reviews for a few salons in the area.

Oh, what a relief…


I happened upon the Heights Spa and Nail Salon which had a good amount of favorable reviews on Yelp. The location wasn’t too far from us and near to where we wanted to have lunch, so it seemed like the perfect location.

…and looks as well as reviews can be deceiving.


My mother and I visited the salon, based on the Yelp Reviews, but had quite different experiences; it was awful. The experience ran the gamut from down right discrimination to being excluded from services, denied complementary items, ignored when posed questions, and a host of other unpleasantries were upon the infractions. However, when other patrons, white patrons, needed air pumped into their nostrils, they were catered to, respected, and given stellar treatment. Initially, we thought it was a fluke and perhaps the manner of those technicians but, when other black patrons came in, they too received less than acceptable service, and maltreatment even.

At that point, there was no reason to engage the manager because she too was lackluster and off putting. So, as I do after many of my leisure activities, I went to write a review. I went to the normal sites like Yelp, Trip Advisor, and Google and penned messages about our experiences.

Soon after, I noticed that my post on Yelp was missing, so I quickly penned another. Thereafter, I received this message from the Yelp Community Manager out of San Diego.


My initial review was extremely detailed and outlined everything that I’ve put here and more, but where is it? The second review was to the point and it’s gone as well.

“Yelp” claims to be a website that helps people find services within their communities and they also state that they use “software” to highlight reliable comments.

Dear Yelp,

Sharing unconscionable practices about a business, such as “Heights Spa and Nail Salon” discriminating against black patrons is a reliable review. Just in case you didn’t know, black women are top contributors to the beauty industry adding about $7.5 billion annually. With that, it is reasonable to believe that another black woman, such as myself, would happen upon your review site, your filtered, and misleading reviews in a quest to find services in her area. We should be authentically aware about the businesses that we patronize. For you to “filter” and offer what you think are reliable reviews makes your site and what you stand for untrustworthy.

With that, I say to the world, DO NOT TRUST YELP REVIEWS.


Sick of Your Shit.

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