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Restaurant revels in bad Yelp reviews, plays audio versions to diners

Social media cuts both ways, as proven again by a San Diego restaurant who now plays bad Yelp reviews about their establishment over the loud speakers.

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Company turns bad Yelp reviews into a mockery

While there is currently a lot of attention on web reviews, particularly bad Yelp reviews, in light of a current lawsuit between a contractor and a dissatisfied consumer who now faces a $750k defamation suit, not for leaving a bad review on Yelp, but for allegedly lying about details the police say don’t check out.

There is a lot of fear from businesses, particularly those who rely on good Yelp scores like restaurants and retailers, and there is a growing fear from consumers who don’t understand that they can leave bad reviews, just not inaccuracies. Additionally, fake reviews are under scrutiny, with Yelp launching an enforcement effort, penalizing companies found to be buying illegitimate reviews.

Meanwhile, Craft and Commerce, a lone restaurant in San Diego has made a mockery of their bad Yelp reviews by recording audio versions of the complaints and piping them into the speakers of the bathrooms to entertain diners, according to Yahoo!. This restaurant obviously has a sense of humor though, here is some of the decor in their interior:

craft and commerce

The owner told The San Diego Bugle, “We just thought that some of the reviews on Yelp were so melodramatic. The way these reviews are written, it’s like people are appalled at something we’ve done. So we thought this was a funny way to respond.”

Reviews currently being played for diners include:

  • “I have never been in a place that tries soo hard. This place is the epicenter of those assholes with the mustaches….Next, the place is jammed with hipsters eating corn dogs….” — Adam I.
  • “The food doesn’t live up to the hype. Biscuits that taste like the ones from Red Lobster but half the size. Average fried chicken. We’ve had better mussels at Bleu Boheme. And the bacon ice cream sandwich? Re: bacon — just because it’s trendy, doesn’t mean you have to do it.” — April L.
  • “There really is no vodka here. But the bartender who helped us had big muscles and suspenders, so I guess that makes up for the lack of my alcohol of choice. Settled for a Mule and was content. It’s like a mojito, but the dominant flavor being ginger instead of mint. Me loves me some ginger.” – Azure I.
  • “FRIES — Too chewy and hard. In my opinion, not ideal. If I came back, I’d substitute the fries for something else. You know, like replacing one American puppet dictator with another. You know, to eventually promote democracy or something like that….ATTIRE – To blend in, dress up with hipster tones and flaunt a New York accent.” – Brian K.

Perhaps the restaurant felt confident enough in their product to be ironic about bad reviews, especially since they’ve been named one of the 50 best bars in America by Food & Wine Magazine, so how other businesses follow suit should depend heavily on their confidence that most diners will find the complaints ridiculous and melodramatic.

More proof that social media cuts both ways

Years ago, a New York pizza company began getting bad Yelp reviews and mocked them by having the reviews printed on their employees’ shirts (“this place sucks,” and “their pizza tastes like crap”) which skyrocketed their positive reviews of loyal consumers who otherwise wouldn’t have been moved to defend them.

Alamo Drafthouse in Austin launched a video PSA that went viral which was nothing more than an audio recording of a real complaint left on the company’s voicemail. The video actually played in all of their theaters for some time and without editing, made a mockery of the particular review, and like most nasty reviews, the caller didn’t help herself by using words like “Magnited States of America.”

“Social media cuts both ways and businesses are starting to stand up rather than cower in fear,” we opined in 2011. “A change is coming, we feel it. In the era of social media, consumers have been empowered, and businesses have been made to feel powerless and now go so far out of the way, even changing their entire business models because a pissed off consumer didn’t get a $500 rebate and left a bad review on an obscure site. Alamo’s standing up should help you as a business to realize that social media opens you up for criticism and leaves you vulnerable, but [businesses] are not powerless.”

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

Business News

Ending a dismal year, Samsung says goodbye to CEO

(BUSINESS NEWS) Following a tumultuous year, Samsung now must face their CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun, stepping down.

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Among exploding phones, recalled washing machines and an indicted former chairman, Samsung has had a rough year. Just as they start to get back on track, they have one more crisis to deal with.

Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung CEO, has officially announced his departure.

In a letter to the employees, Kwon announced his plans to leave the company by March of next year. His words touch on all of the typical sentiments, like that he “had been thinking long and hard about (leaving) for quite some time,” and that he wants to “move on to the next chapter in his life.”

What Kwon doesn’t make clear are his exact reasons for leaving.

He mentions that Samsung is in an “unprecedented crisis inside and out,” without sharing any specifics. Via his own words, Samsung needs to reshape their company to keep up with the ever-changing IT industry.

Kwon believes that young, fresh leadership could be the answer that Samsung needs.

Though Kwon’s departure may seem like another hit for the company, it could be a new chapter for Samsung as well.

And it is a change they desperately need. Recently, Samsung has made the headlines with scandal after scandal.

Earlier this year, Jay Y. Lee, former Vice chairman, was found guilty on multiple charges of bribery. The charge, which Lee is now serving five years in prison for, also resulted in the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Samsung also lived through two major recalls this year. They officially took the Galaxy Note 7 off of the market after various accusations of batteries overheating led to fires.

Samsung also recalled 2.8 million washing machines because their “violent vibrations” caused some users to be injured.

Major scandals like these are enough for any company to flop. However, Samsung is still in the game. Kwon’s letter calls for the company to start anew, which is exactly what they need to do to stay afloat.

Of course, creating devices that do not cause injuries and fires will be a start. In addition, new leadership will keep the company relevant and hopefully, revive their reputation.

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Business News

Identity-protecting roller stamps are a must for any office

(BUSINESS NEWS) Your identity is one of the most valuable things, that’s why Guard Your ID has created a stamp for when shredders won’t work.

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The massive Equifax hack made nearly everyone feel vulnerable, but the truth is that every day we knowingly engage in activity that puts our privacy at risk.

Just think of how many times you give up your telephone number when signing up for a new magazine subscription. Or the numerous times you thoughtlessly threw away mail containing confidential information.

There are so many opportunities to accidentally reveal private information but luckily, there are an equal number of ways to prevent it. Though you may think that identity theft could never happen to you, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Of the various tools invented to help you protect your identity, one of the newest is actually very simple. The company Guard Your ID has recently introduced privacy protection rollers and stamps. These gadgets are simple, quick and effective to help shield your identity on virtually anything.

The oil-based ink works on both glossy and non-glossy surfaces without smearing or rubbing off. These stamps work by creating an encrypted pattern which makes text unreadable.

Though shredding is another effective way to protect your identity, the rollers and stamps are more environmentally friendly. At some centers, shredded paper cannot be accepted as recyclable material. In addition, you can stamp more things that you can shred.

For example, you may want to cover up a label on a prescription bottle. The protection stamps are more versatile than shredding, and also more cost effective.

An Identity Protection Stamp can be purchased for under $20 and has a shelf life of 2-3 years. A wide format roller is also available for larger surfaces. In addition, refillable ink can be bought for the wide rollers.

It may seem like a nuisance to start stamping every label, bank statement and mail that contains any piece of private information on it, but in the end, it may be worth it. Just think of how much time you will spend freezing your accounts and recovering your identity if it is stolen.

It may seem silly, but today even a simple stamp goes a long way in protecting your identity.

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Business News

Zuckerberg used VR to highlight hurricane Maria destruction

(BUSINESS NEWS) Mark Zuckerberg tapped into his Occulus VR conference abilities to highlight the damage Hurricane Maria did to Puerto Rico.

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We know at this point that Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, but it can be difficult to understand the true extent of the damage without being there. We’ve seen some images and some video but Mark Zuckerberg is taking it to another level.

In a new partnership with the Red Cross, Zuck is taking to virtual reality to assist relief efforts.

In a presentation from Facebook’s Silicon Valley headquarters, Zuckerberg took Facebook users on a 360-degree tour of the hurricane destroyed island, using a combination of artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to determine areas with the most significant need.

Explaining his use of technology and its purpose, Zuckerberg said, “We use artificial intelligence to build what we call ‘population maps’ so you can look at satellite imagery of an area and get a sense of where it is that people actually live and the density of different places and where there’s infrastructure going to in those places. That’s going to help the Red Cross figure out where people are who need help.”

He also went through Facebook’s plans to restore internet connectivity on the island, which has been struggling to get power and resources back after the category 3 hurricane slammed the island with 125 mile per hour winds last month.

Zuckerberg said his company has already sent employees to the island to investigate damage and get networks working properly.

Speaking on the importance of internet and its integral role in the island’s ability to communicate domestically and abroad, he said, “When you are in the middle of a disaster like this, it’s really important that people have access to the internet. But it’s also important so that when relief workers go down there, they can coordinate with each other and know where people need help.”

There has been a bit of blowback from the VR tour though. A few of Zuck’s critics are calling him “tone deaf” saying that having the avatar chit-chat in front of flooded and destroyed home made it seem like he was cashing in on a natural disaster to plug his Occulus brand.

While his intentions were probably in the right spot, no matter how it came off, this is the first time that VR has been used for disaster coverage and we’re sure it won’t be the last.

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