Making Out With Yelp

Yelp, a four letter word indeed.  Scares me like the smoke monster from Lost.   Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.  It’s the gospel and total bullshit.  People will write reviews of car washes and pay toilets.  Personally, I have used it only once when I had food poisoning from an Indian restaurant down the coast where I live.  It seemed warranted to note that, “I almost died from the curry in this joint.”  Looking back on the incident, it is possible that maybe I was sick before I had the lunch special, and maybe one star was unfair??

I realize the service that yelp provides, giving us clueless people a heads up so we don’t step on glass when we try a business.  As a business owner, feedback is important, I want to know if I “suck at processing film.”  I want to know if an employee has treated you poorly, or that you feel ripped off.  I get that it is your civic duty to monitor local businesses, give reviews, commentary, love and hate.  And, I clearly understand that the savvy yelper takes reviews in context, and that it is clear when the reviewer is a nut job, or just a vindictive asshole.    Having said all of this……………I still hate a bad review, even if the comments are just.  I am an onsite owner who you can talk to and complain to my face.  Whatever happened to, “can I speak with the owner.?  Can’t we resolve our differences the old fashioned way?  I’d rather “take it outside” then have you go home and blindside me with your keyboard. Wake up Dave, it’s the internet!

Hey I have 4 stars, so what’s my problem?  I guess I take everything personally, and it hurts when someone gives you one star, and honestly the few bad reviews I have are pretty off base, not all but some are just plain wrong.  I look at this as a loss of income, food off my kid’s table.  Should I take the “input” and make the necessary changes?  Sure, but has the damage been done?  I wish I was as cool as the God Head Produce Market in The Mission, but I’m not that kind of business.  We provide many different services to many different types of customers, which does open the door for scrutiny.  All I am asking is that if you are going to be negative, ask yourself this question:  “Is it possible I had a stomach ache before I ordered?”  And please remember that small businesses are run by small people with small families, and that what you say really matters.  This is coming from a guy who mouths off at everything, but at least I try and fire my shots at the Chevron’s of the world.

In closing, let me say that this is a bit of a pathetic blog post on my part, borderline sensitive…I’ll go back to sarcasm next time.

FOOTNOTE HERE:  I just did a Yelp Deal Of The Day, basically giving away money.  I’m hoping for new business, but also hoping to offer something nice to the loyal regulars.  So, I’m in bed with yelp now, playing both sides of the fence.

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6 thoughts on “Making Out With Yelp

  1. mike josepher says:

    i just love your sensitive side

  2. farthingsworth says:

    You may find this ironic (I do) but the last time I had to eat crow in your shop it was you, Dave, serving it up. The problem was eventually resolved, however, you wanted to argue about doing the work over again, and it was for a scanning service that you weren’t really able to accomplish to a professional level. A service you offer at a price premium over your regular scanning services. The other times I’ve had to eat crow, it was your long time biz partner serving it up. It’s hardly ever your counter staff, it’s you guys. I literally shiver coming through the door and seeing one of you behind the counter. I have in the past let other behind me pass me so I could wait for one of your employees rather than having to deal with you. You might think of me as a “nut-job” having said so, but it’s the gosh darn truth.

    By way of advice I’d also like to mention another observation: when a lab blunder has occurred your staff almost always offers an apology, however cursory or genuine. You two guys just get defensive. Kind of like your post here…

    • photoworks says:

      This makes me sad, if you ever feel like stopping by to chat I’d like to clear the air, as from this post I can’t tell who you are. I do apologize bad experiences you’ve had with my partner or myself.


  3. KyleM says:

    I just wanted to mention that food born illnesses can take up to 48 hours to show symptoms, just like colds. Anything that shows signs immediately after consumption will be strong enough to kill you equally quickly. Many people misdiagnose food allergies this way as well. You should redact your review. You just took a lot of food out of some kid’s mouth.

  4. KyleM says:

    I’d like to get off my snark machine and make some serious comments – and do it here and not on Yelp. The price of making prints and developing is up and its up everywhere. When I worked at a pro lab in 2001 a 4×6 was 35¢ digital, film, color, or B/W. So while I think a dollar for a 4×6 B/W is ridiculous, I really can’t complain to you specifically.

    What I can complain about is turn around time. I don’t expect one hour photo work. I understand you’re developing, scanning negs, doing color correction out of the goodness of your heart (actually since prints from negs cost more than from files I’m assuming that bit is baked into the price). But it would be nice if color film had a flat 24 hour turn around. I find that whether I bring in a roll at 3pm or 10am on the dot I won’t get it until 6pm the next day. I usually bring in film early in the day because that’s when I have the time. If its ready at 6pm then it might as well be the next morning.

    Also, I’d like to know why B/W film takes four days to process. Considering it’s nearly twice the price as color to print it would be nice if insult wasn’t added to injury. Are you sending it out to another lab to be done? I want to bring you a lot of B/W film in the future, but that development time is extremely daunting.

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