Texas-based Cavalli Pizza is accusing the review website Yelp of removing over 20 four- and five-star reviews and then having their salespeople repeatedly call them up with the offer that "it would get better" if the pizzeria advertised. Posting on their Facebook page, Cavalli Pizza wrote:
Fans, just wanted to let you know that YELP has been removing our 5 star reviews for our McKinney location, we have talked to them and they have told us we can't do anything about it. YELP has been unfair and removed 24 reviews all of which were 4 and 5 stars. But they keep calling us to advertise, and told us it would get better if we advertised. It's all about making money, what a shame they used to be a great site.
The list of restaurateurs' grievances against Yelp runs very, very long, and the company has been sued in the past for allegedly having their sales reps contact businesses looking for payment "in exchange for hiding or deleting" negative reviews.
But Cavalli Pizza's accusations are on the flipside: that Yelp is asking for payment to keep or reinstate five-star reviews that have been flagged by the automated filter. Said filter relegates suspicious reviews to a sad pop-up purgatory.
Some of the filtered reviews are suspiciously glowing, but most just look like normal Yelp reviews. Unfortunately, a higher star rating can lead to more business, so hopefully more people like this will come by and write a review.