Local restaurant says Yelp review lowered after not buying ads - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Local restaurant says Yelp review lowered after not buying ads

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CANTON, GA (CBS46) -

You can count on a quick meal at Yoon Sushi restaurant in Canton, but management says you can't count on an accurate review of their business.

"With the amount of people who look at Yelp it's definitely going to impact the business," Yoon Sushi employee Sam Woo said.

Woo said their impressive Yelp review became less impressive after they decided not to pay $299 a month to advertise with Yelp.

"They're kind of extorting us to pay the $299 a month or otherwise our ratings go down and we can't do anything about it," Woo said.

Woo also pointed out that at the bottom of Yoon Sushi's profile there's a link to 15 other reviews that are not currently recommended, the majority of which are perfect 5 star reviews.

"One of our customers came in and told us that he put a 5 star review and then noticed the review went straight to the filter and was under the un-recommended section," Woo said.

Yelp's website says its automated recommendation software displays the most useful and reliable reviews to consumers.

"Advertising has nothing to do with what reviews are recommended or not and our recommendation software does not 'punish' those who do not advertise," Yelp Senior PR Manager Kristen Whisenand said.

"With a website like Yelp, thousands of people visit the website every day so for a local business it's extremely important that our ratings are high and reflect our business," Woo said.

CBS Atlanta News has learned there have been other reports on this issue as well as a class action lawsuit which was dismissed.

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