The Yelp mess may never go away. Businesses by the thousands and tens of thousands are being screwed every day by this perversion of a business.
Yelp is a customer review site. Trouble is Yelp salespeople call small businesses and tell them that for $300 a month they can control the favorable and unfavorable ratings of their business. If the business doesn't pay the extortion, Yelp puts all bad reviews at the top of the review and limits good reviews.
I wrote a blog in July of 2008 calling attention to this business disgrace. My blog became the court of record for the on-going disgrace of Yelp. And a source of plaintiffs for several lawsuits.
A recent complaint (Sept. 26th) reminded me of this on-going fraud, which might be stopped if the Wall Street Journal did two or three articles on the subject and followed up on it.
Fraud in business will be severely suppressed only when we get a special court with specially skilled and experienced judges. I called this the court of Class Actions and wrote about it in the 1980s.
Such a court would deal with fraud that occurs on a broad scale where each case of fraud may be minor but taken together the impact is major, and where the fraud can’t be stopped by criminal punishment.
In the Yelp case, the cost of a lawsuit is trivial to the Yelp corporation and the punishment will be a small amount of money going mostly to a few lawyers.
A special Class Action court for this type of case would issue a cease and desist order immediately, which if violated once would put a trustee in charge of the company, who in turn would fire enough people to get the message across that fraud is not OK.
We need a special Class Action Court. Get on the bench and create one!