Shady shady

Yelp makes yet another enemy in Anvil's Bobby Heugel

Yelp makes yet another enemy in Anvil's Bobby Heugel

We covered it in March — how review site Yelp is making fast enemies among small business owners for its sometimes shady business practices.

Many business owners claim that Yelp deliberately manipulates reviews in order to gain advertisers. Some even equate Yelp's standard sales tactics to extortion.

The latest shit list Yelp has landed on is Anvil's own Bobby Heugel's. The co-owner of the Houston bar, Heugel launched into a Twitter tirade late last night after Yelp allegedly created an unofficial (and misrepresentative) Facebook page for Anvil that directs browsers straight to Anvil's Yelp entry.

Heugel points out that rather than electing to create a profile or fan page, Anvil has an official Facebook group. "@Yelp and everything associated with it is extortion. If you're a user w/o an agenda, Yelp uses you to grow and extort more," Huegel tweeted.

And he wasn't done there ...

"@Yelp - [yelp], noun - (Synonyms) predator, blackmailer, internet devil; (Antonyms) small business supporter, source of valid reviews," Heugel posted.

It all began with "@Yelp Have sales dept call again tomorrow. Tell me how we get bad reviews to disappear ($) / talk new Facebook tactic-," Heugel tweeted before giving Anvil's phone number. 

His twage lasted into this morning with 10 tweets leveled at the Web site. His justifiable ire seems to have simmered, though — he wouldn't indulge CultureMap in a bitchfest, declining a phone interview.

Anybody out there have similarly sketchy experiences with Yelp reviews and sales reps? Do you respect Heugel for publicly standing up to the review giant?

Yelp is under attack for its shady business practices from Anvil owner Bobby Heugel.
Places-Drinks-Anvil Bar & Refuge interior
Inside Anvil, where Yelp is encouraged to call. Courtesy of Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau