Read a great story in the SF Chronicle today about a restaurant that has decided to go all guerrilla on
Yelp by rewarding customers for giving bogus one-star (i.e. "bad") reviews. It is working so well that they've received a threatening letter from Yelp about posting false reviews and "paying customers for reviews."
The latter is forbidden by Yelp and could result in them being removed from the system, which happens to be exactly what the restaurant wants.
This strategy could backfire on an unknown and less than popular restaurant, but this place is generally packed to the walls and has a loyal and vocal clientele and it demonstrates a potential path for getting out from under the Yelp umbrella. It's also another indication that the review company is heading into serious problems.
This could turn into a new version of the Dell Hell story that cost the computer manufacturer literally billions in lost stock value. Jerry Stoppelman, Are you listening to your own reviews? Time to get out of your echo chamber and get some help.