Yelp Advertising

So I got scammed. (yup you read this correctly).

One second your Writing in your topic header, Yelp advertising, you mean this big website Yelp that you used to use before Google to read reviews on a business.

So let’s take a step back to March of 2023, I got this exciting phone call from a salesperson, that he came across my business on Google Maps, and it has a lot of reviews (only 5 star which I’m very proud of), so that salesperson made his pitch, since I have so many great reviews he as a salesperson would love to see my business advertise on Yelp, (looking back he was looking out for his commission and nothing else) so naturally I asked him for more information, what is the average ROI, in my area how many people click on paid ads vs organic and so on.

This gem artist (scam…) told me that today is my lucky day that if I decide to join Yelp business advertisement, he will give me a code which the first $300 will be covered from Yelp, naturally if someone is offering your free advertisement who wouldn’t take it.

So obviously I took up on the offer, long story short the code that he gave he didn’t enter the right amount so after 3 weeks I got hit with charges, before I knew it my card was charged and I received in return no business leading to the final amount that I was charged due to his error over $800.

That salesperson apologized and after back and forth with the customer relationship Department I got a full refund.

So you’re wondering hay didn’t you write that you got scammed???

Fast forward to where I’m now, some time ago I got this nice email from a new person called Dylan, that basically he knows how to grow my business and I should reach out to him, which obviously I did once I got on the phone he basically explained that my strategy that I used previously was bound to be doomed from the get-go I didn’t set it up properly and he will help me set it up so like that I should get more business.

I told him that I’m not interested since I already had a very similar story back in March, he assured me that with his experience he knows exactly what were wrong, he told me that he he’ll be able to assist me, and and to prove that he means it the first $300 is on him.

Fast forward a week into this ad, I sent him an email that I see that based on Yelp I’m supposed to be getting a lot of leads and as far as I know I did not receive any leads nor phone calls (I asked all of my customers that week how they got my number to see if it’s actually worth it), I did get some leads but they were not in the zone that I selected that I can offer my service or the leads were out of state and they needed in person service.

So you’re still wondering how was I scammed?

A week into advertisement I see that my card was charged over $100 from Yelp, so I emailed this salesperson asking him what’s going on, he ghosted me no response I followed up a few days later no respond, after .

So I called in Yelp business customer service and they informed me that the code that I entered only applies after I have spent with the company over $450 (yup you do you remember that free offer), so I told them please listen to the recording of the phone call and you’ll see that this is not what I agreed on.

So here is were the scam or sleezy business practice happened.

This customer service representative told me, today is your lucky day, since I got assigned to him and he’s my Yelp representative he can offer me a great deal, however if you don’t accept the deal today he’s not sure that I’ll be able to receive this offer again, in order to refund you the full amount you’ll have to purchase a different product and I can apply the remaining onto your account.

So his offer is basically, yeah we know that we are in the wrong for charging your card, Yelp will charge me only $2 a day for this great feature and we will refund you the rest. ($2 x 30 =$60 plus tax).

So yeah here I am warning you, under no circumstances sign up for Yelp business, as far as I understood from this customer service representative is that in order to see good results I’ll have to spend minimum of $450 per month in order to start getting leads. Which in my experience, of having ran 2 Yelp ads on separate occasions, the ROI after spending $450 you will get maybe 8 leads and only 1 or 2 will lead into a paying customer.

Hopefully there is someone from Yelp that sees this post and can help, since I’ve tried to get this resolved for some time now, and I’m not getting anywhere, other than constantly being offered Shady deals, like sign up for this feature create a new low budget at and so on.

Thanks for reading till here and hopefully you won’t get scammed from Yelp.


Uh-oh! You just hit a nerve. I got the same call and signed up for Yelp business a week ago (though I have had a presence on Yelp for four years). I can now see that what Yelp is proposing does not fit with my business plan at all. I informed the sales person that when he calls back in a week, there has to be a proven ROI in order for me to stick with this program. He said he totally understands. I’ve gotten a lot of looky-loos who have sent me requests for information, but not one has turned into a solid, single dollar service. (My suspicion is that these are Yelp employees that are sending bogus requests for information that will never turn into a solid lead or provided service.) I provided a debit card, but that card is linked directly to my business and it is money in, money out. With business being the way it is, and the way that the charges are adding up for these Yelp leads, there will never be enough money to cover their expenses. When he calls back on Wednesday for a check-in on my satisfaction with the service I will see where this goes when I inform him of my dissatisfaction with the promised increase in footprints to my door. I’ll keep you informed.


Wow…glad my practice is to not entertain these calls at all. So sorry for both of you.

Constantly getting calls for Google Business listing, Yelp and pre-approved business loans…BLOCK!!

Good luck resolving this mess.


@MobileRonNotary & @Tisino Ohhhh Noooo! Unbelievable . . .

Sorry to read about the dreaded experience you both endured. :scream:


Grateful to you for sharing this about Yelp as it will be of great assistance to all the other Notary Cafe members.


I also regularly receive calls (multiple per day) for “Google Business listing,” “Yelp” “pre-approved business loans,” COVID-19 business rebates," etc. of which I then identify as SPAM, report, & then block the number.

Hope you both are able to reach a prompt resolution! :tada::beach_umbrella:


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what is ROI? Just saw that in another thread, I am new in this business and am not familiar with all the terms.

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Return on investment.

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I’ve had a free Yelp listing for a couple years now and have received maybe 1/2 dozen leads, about half turned into paying GNW–which usually isn’t very lucrative as it’s only 1 or 2 notarizations + travel fee. Not complaining–just saying.
I also want to say that I’ve NEVER received a phone call from Yelp asking me to pay for advertising. Infrequently, I do get an e-mail pitch to pay for I dunno what as I delete.
Yelp is 1 of the few (only?) free sites that allows/encourages lookers to contact me via e-mail for a quote. This works–just not very well as potential customer never gives enough info (because the ‘contact form’ doesn’t ask & is too generic). I can ‘reply’, but it still goes ‘thru’ Yelp–which is just ‘clunky’. My reply simply says need more info–contact me directly via (phone) or (e-mail addy). Original inquirer responds about half the time.

IMHO, paying for internet advertising for GNW–a basically low-cost/volume service-- just doesn’t have the ROI that might be achieved by a company who has a high priced product (roofers or window replacement…big ticket items).


You are co right! I don’t know what came over me. I had gone onto the site several times and saw the self-directed instructions for advertising and swatted it away as I usually do. But, this day the guy caught me in a moment when I was distracted by several projects and I just rolled with it. The next day when I thought about it I realized what I had done and said I would give it a week and when he calls back we will begin the arm wrestling to cancel my order. I already know the scenario. But, I have had experience with taking such “business” disputes to the WA Attorney Genera’s office in the past. Have no problem with taking this down that path, if need be. I’ll report back.

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There is a documentary called Billion Dollar Bully about Yelp and their scams.


Check out Billion Dollar Bully on You Tube!

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Well, that’s ugly! Wonder how they are going to treat me? We’ll see. Thank you for the heads up.

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To add even more, the representative will tell you sorry that we messed up but you should’ve read the terms and condition right before signing up…

So nicely you gave us your money now go F yourself.


I also signed up with Yelp and received a call to sign up for additional services. Well, there was a $68 hold initially placed on my account. After 2 weeks with a few leads and no customer fall through, I cancelled services. I ended up with a bill of almost $200. I called customer service to get my bill decreased. I was only able to get it decreased by $60. I had no return on investment.

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This exact thing happen to me last week, you’re not alone!

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Google Billion Dollar Bully or watch on You Tube. Yelp is a Mafia scam that ruin a lot of people’s business


I sent an email this morning to the person who enrolled me into the program last week, fully outlining all the reasons their program is not for my business volume and type. Received an email back informing me how to cancel my YELP Ad program/package. Following is the information I received:
• Log into your account and click on the billing tab
• scroll down and click on “products” and click manage
• cancel out your ads and page upgrades
By the time I clicked on the final CANCEL button, I had received an email notification from the company that my YELP Plan and YELP Ads had been canceled as of the close of business today.
I would suggest that you NOT call the help line to get someone who will only spend time trying to modify or talk you out of your decision. This was painless and immediate and I only had to pay for the days that the “ads” actually ran. It was an expensive lesson, but ultimately it was painless.


So sorry for your loss. I was forewarned about Yelp a while ago. I still keep getting calls from their representatives trying to get me to sign up with them. I block these calls or hang up immediately when I find out who it is.

I tried Yelp and paid over $500. For clicks and was scam by there so called clients. For example I call the potential client right back right after I receive the notice from Yelp and they say oh I have someone but you just put it on Yelp. I would suggest as a notary not to use Yelp for advertisement. Unless you have money to burn

Whew… despite my not-so-bad experience, it seems they are real weasels. But, I’ll still keep my ‘free’ and just never, ever, not for a minute, get involved with them on a pay basis. For FWIW, don’t get involved with Thumbtack either. I don’t think any pay-to-play ads work for our business. Exception being this & 2 other directories, of course.

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I got one word: Sucker. Rule #1 Never pay for advertising. Your perfect work and signing up new account is all that’s needed. This is not a Get Rich Quick business, or a side hustle. And Yes I do this full time. What’s funny you signed up with them twice…Which is telling me, this will happen again, but with another company.