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Yelp Makes You Look Good.

by J. Money on Tuesday, December 7, 2010

cat in moving box!You know the times when your boss makes you do something you REALLY don’t want to do? But you do it anyways because a) he’s the boss, and b)  it gets you to want to quit our job that much more? ;)

Well, I’ve been living through this over the past few days and the task I was handed was to “Move our offices ASAP.”  Because, apparently, that’s what graphic designers are good at!

(Oh yeah, I probably haven’t filled you all in on this lately — I’m no longer a customer service manager.  Our business models have changed, and there’s no need for a direct-to-consumer line much anymore…. which kinda sucks cuz you  know I LOVED doing customer service, but on the other hand I really enjoy Design as well… which makes Mom & Dad happy considering it’s what I went to college for ;) Well, ended up with I should say – I started in International Business! Hah!)

But back to the moving situation. When I say he wanted us gone ASAP, he meant in 10 days – of which 6 were already eaten up by weekends & Thanksgiving break.  So really, I had 4 days to figure out a way to move allllll our stuff, and to make sure we had some movers that were GOOD.  And to my boss, good = fast, efficient, FRIENDLY (that was my addition) and most importantly – cheap.  Of course, because we’re living in perfect land!!!  Haha…

So in 4 days we had to be packed, moved, and then re-setup again with totally working internet & phones & everything else that comes into play with changing locations.  I won’t get into all the utility problems, but I will say I absolutely HATE Verizon with a passion. Even more so than Bank of America if you can imagine that! :)  I honestly think Verizon pushes away business on purpose – I have never seen so many LARGE mistakes pulled by a company like that in quite some time.  They should seriously win an award! Luckily my co-worker was in charge of most of this stuff, which left me focused on the physical move.  And finding a (good) company that can do it on such fast notice!

This is where Yelp comes in. I hadn’t the slightest clue as to how to find decent movers, and every time I googled it there was Yelp right at the top!  I honestly couldn’t search around w/out it creeping up on me ;)  But for once that’s exactly what I needed.   I wanted the top 10 movers people recommended in the area so I could literally call them, one by one, until we totally exhausted the list & I found our winner.  And that alone took 3 of my 4 days :)

But what was incredible about this whole thing, was how RIGHT Yelp was.  As someone who’s NEVER used them before ever (I know, what century am I living in??) I was sooooo freakin’ happy I came across them.  And no – this is not an ad.  They rocked this $hit out! Seriously, I wasn’t expecting it at all. I always thought fakers were rating things high in order to push their own companies up there to the top.  And maybe there’s some truth to that, I really don’t know, BUT what I can say is that I was simply amazed at what people were saying about all these moving companies.

  • FIRST – Who says great stuff about movers?? It’s not supposed to be “easy!” haha..
  • SECOND – How did all the mom & pop shops fill the majority of the top-rated spots?! That’s incredible.  I honestly didn’t recognize one name in the top 6 or 7 spots on this thing – they were all smaller outfits who just really KILL at customer service and promptness.  I probably called 7 small guys and 3 big guys, and every single one of the smaller shops either answered right away or called me back within the hour.  THE HOUR!  The larger ones?  1 called back within 24 hours (and then failed to follow up with me AT ALL), and the other 2 were so incredibly expensive that I couldn’t even believe anyone would use them.  Their customers must not use Yelp :)

But you want to know what I loved the best about this whole learning experience? That all these smaller companies watched each others’ backs.  Every single one of them recommended that I talk with 1 or 2 of the others I had found on that list – no lie.  Some even flat out said they weren’t the best fit for us!  Imagine that?  Now I’m sure there’s some sort of referral system they’ve all put in place and what not, but still – that’s a total win-win for both customer AND company.  And the group we ended up going with was nothing short of exceptional.

In the end, everything worked out great. So thank you, Yelp!  You saved me stress, you saved me money (to the tune of $2,000), and more importantly – you saved my ass.  I will never doubt you again, new friends, and I look forward to our next adventure :)

(Boxes by karensmonsters)


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Doctor S December 7, 2010 at 8:48 am

You may have a future career working for UPS in their Logistics department, I can see doing the whiteboard logistical drawing commercials with a mohawk!

All this goes back to the pure essence of how small businesses get the job done, they act human and are always looking to help others selflessly, hoping that, in the end, others will return the favor.

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2 Wade December 7, 2010 at 9:48 am

I personally love using Yelp! The sight is well set up and has helped me find good restaurants that I may not have tried otherwise and helped me find an affordable and efficient contractor to install my storm door CHEAP! One of the best places that I found on Yelp was a cafe just outside of Nashvill that had the absolute best BBQ beef sandwich that I have had in my entire life. What I do not like about Yelp…not all categories and businesses are reviewed.

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3 Halahblue December 7, 2010 at 10:12 am

The customer service from the small businesses is not unusual. I grew up in a small town and all the local business owners were that way. As a salesperson, I used that same approach. The thing is, you might not become a millionaire by sending customers to your “competition,” but they will come back to you or send friends your way when they want honest help with whatever they’re seeking.
I made more sales from personal referals than anything. Mostly the adult children of older people I helped out (worked for a cell phone place) who were grateful I didn’t screw over their parents. Why sell someone a service or item they don’t need? Especially when they don’t necessarily know any better? It’s pretty much evil and it seems to be the standard for big businesses.
Yay for Yelp!

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4 Burnette December 7, 2010 at 10:43 am

Welcome to the 21st century ;) Yelp is awesome – we use it from restaurants, auto shops, shopping, and more. It’s a money saver and a saver when you’re limited on time.

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5 Kevin I December 7, 2010 at 12:08 pm

It saved us once when passing through a town on a road trip we wanted to hit a notable local food spot, thinking we found it, we checked it with the Yelp Monocle and found out it was a dubiously named spot made specifically to fool tourists like myself! Drove a few more miles and found the actual spot we intended to hit.

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6 MoneyCone December 7, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Actually Yelp has been called out on some not-so-honest practices – removal of negative reviews for payment. A class action lawsuit was filed along with several other lawsuits.

Personally I have no idea who is right. But Yelp was in the news recently, though not for the right reasons.

http://www.eastbayexpress.com/eastbay/yelp-and-the-business-of-extortion-20/Content?oid=1176635 and many more

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7 Desi Guy December 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Yelp has surely helped me find the right restaurants when i am in a different city, and have no clue where to go eat :) I found one of the best mexican food restaurant i have been to, using their iphone app.
It saves time and money, and you also know what to expect before hand. The key is to read reviews from registered and trusted users.

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8 J. Money December 8, 2010 at 1:00 am

@Doctor S – haha, wouldn’t THAT be something? i’ll have to make a parody for you one day – from my new blogging office! :)
@Wade – yeah, i hear they’re great for restaurants all the time just always like experiencing them for myself and hoping for the best! haha…. i usually get let down when someone tells me how awesome a place is cuz then i expect incredible-ness ;) plus, i like the adventure.
@Halahblue – that makes me happy :) i really feel like if everyone did GOOD, and not always what’s in the best interest for themselves, we could function pretty damn well as a universe. we’ll never find out, of course, but it’s nice to dream. haha…
@Burnette – hmmm.. auto shops! that would be PERFECT for yelp! good one… those are hard to come by.
@Kevin I – WOW. that is awesome! i would have totally fallen for it!
@MoneyCone – Oh man, that doesn’t sound good. At the end of the day they’re in business to make money, but def. gotta watch how that money comes in! Thx for the other side of things, pretty interesting.
@Desi Guy – I guess i just don’t like expecting stuff beforehand when it comes to food. other things, most def! but food? i like to be surprised :) unless i’m like starving, cuz then it’s horrible if you guess wrong.

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9 Wade December 8, 2010 at 12:29 pm

JMoney, I know what you mean about adventure when it comes to finding places to eat. In fact, if it weren’t for a sense of adventure I would not have found the best burger in town (except what I make, of couse) and for the lowest price at a local tavern. Apparently, checking out bar food is worth it once in a while.

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10 Briana @ GBR December 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm

I love Yelp. It’s the best place to go when you want REAL recommendations, especially for food places. I don’t go to a new place for anything without checking it out first

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11 J. Money December 8, 2010 at 8:04 pm

@Wade Bar food is especially good after a few drinks ;)
@Briana @ GBR – I kinda feel like it takes up a lot of time for smaller things…. but i’m def. gonna start trying it out more.

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12 Josh December 9, 2010 at 1:24 pm
13 J. Money December 9, 2010 at 7:54 pm

That’s unfortunate. Would be interesting to actually *know* the founders and hear their side of things.. if they even own it still. If they sold/merged it wouldn’t surprise me then. The people who build it usually care the most and can go 100% pure business ;)

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