Yelp is the new groupon; effective at spreading hatred and misinformation.

Posted Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Yelp is becoming the new groupon.

Let’s take a look at the below review. This is a review of a very reputable and successful company. Some of it I get – dissatisfaction with the aura of a place, the experience with people. Some of it seems to hint that this person would be impossible to satisfy. Some of it is completely ¬†asinine on a purely factual level.

$275 was the price given for a hard drive replacement, and a fan replacement, including data backup. So they’re willing to fully disassemble your laptop, replace a component, do DATA RECOVERY, and replace the drive for $275. A licensed company with expert staff, doing all of the above, for $275. Not bad. Especially since from other reviews, it appears the company usually uses high capacity drives, not 120-320 for hard drive replacement.
What disturbs me here is the third to last lines. “$50 to back up my data? RIDICULOUS! I could do that at home for free. It would take me all of ten minutes.”

Let’s go back over that statement and analyze it. The reason this is disturbing isn’t because it’s factually untrue, or portrays a complete misunderstanding of the task at hand, or what is involved in performing the task at hand. What makes it offensive is that, as a Yelp! elite, this person’s voice actually stands out and counts more than other Yelpers. People who may not know better may come off actually believing that $50 is a ripoff for data recovery.

90% of the laptop internal drives I encounter are 5400 RPM. Since they come from the laptop manufacturer who looks to keep costs down, they are typically the lowest performing. Let’s make a second assumption that is fairly common – this backup will occur over USB 2.0, or firewire. On average, I’d say the BEST transfer rate you will get from an aging, low performance laptop drive to an external USB disk over a laptop’s USB 2 controller is about 40 MB/sec sustained. At that speed, that’s a little over 20 gigabytes in ten minutes time- which is less space than the laptop I had in 2002. I’m going to make the third assumption that the used space on this drive, should she have clicked on its information stats, would show more than 20 GB used. I’d almost bet my store on it.

If you can transfer from a modern sized drive – fuck, if you can even transfer 20 GB from ANY dying drive and perform a full backup in ten minutes, I’ll hire you TODAY! At TWICE the salary of my highest paying technician! You’ll be worth every penny and then some because if you can recover the entire contents from a fried drive in ten minutes, you will make me rich in data recovery jobs. But I probably won’t be hiring you, because you don’t have the capability to do this. You’re likely exaggerating to make a legitimate business seem worse to pad your review’s credibility.

Like many Yelp! elites, I don’t think she’s qualified to make the comments she did. Again – comments on how people treated you? Go for it. Comments on decor? Sure. Comments on perception of service time and quality? Say whatever you wish and I won’t care. Even the line about data recovery at $50 being a ripoff – this is SUBJECTIVE, so while I find it to be asinine, it’s still nothing to pitch a fit over. Data recovery of a dead drive in ten minutes, at home? Yeah right. I’m not even getting to the part about someone being “nice but not overly friendly” being a problem, or how a jab is taken at having customers walk by working technicians. Isn’t transparency in business a GOOD thing?

Yelp is quickly becoming the new groupon. Yeah, I know this service is heavily discounted and everything seems perfect, but you didn’t smile AND kiss my ass as I walked in the door. 1 star for you! Sprinkle on top of that some misinformation disguised as a helpful tip, and you have a long winded Yelp review. If you’d like to find people who like you for who you are – reasonable individuals, advertise in your community of peers. If you want to attract people who will find anything to complain about within the confines of your business, you will find sanctuary within the angry red painted abyss of