Prost Films is  in the post production phase of their documentary Billion Dollar Bully. This film exposes the questionable sales tactics exhibited by Yelp. The aim is to investigate claims of extortion, review manipulation and review fabrication.

These are startling claims about a company that has such a large effect on the food industry as a whole. Mom and pop shops live and die by Yelp reviews and sites like them. Sure, no restaurant experience is perfect every time, for ever customer. You will have some ok to terrible experiences at beloved places. We’re all human and are susceptible to imperfection.

However, this documentary brings forward claims that the private review algorithm Yelp has is surfacing negative reviews more than owner’s good reviews.

Also, there appears to be a phone call recorded exposing the sales tactics Yelp has in place to extort owners into buying into the review system.

As one business owner says in the trailer:

It is extortion. They call them up and tell them pay for this, or this is what’s going to happen. So to me, I mean, that is extortion. There’s no way to sugar coat it in any way. It’s extortion.

Another business owner says Yelp is like dealing with the mafia.

Interestingly enough, we seem to be feeding the review giant. One claim in the trailer is that if all the small businesses in America would stop advertising with Yelp, they’d be out of business within weeks.

Take a look at this trailer and let me know what you think about Yelp. Do you think they have a monopoly on food reviews? Is Yelp too big to fail now?

I for one am looking forward in seeing this documentary.