The YELP Experience

(NOTE: I recently received a letter (an email) from YELP informing me they had removed the photo I had posted of the smoking area at this dealership because it did not comply with YELP standards – or something like that. Didn’t reflect the actual dealership. However, since it was taken at the dealership, it did. But trying explaining that to YELP. Especially when there is no opportunity to challenge the decision – no return email. This reflects the illusion that we have control over what we publish on the Internet. But it is a perfect example that we do not. Ever tried contacting Facebook or Google directly? Well you can add YELP to that list. They can contact you. They even want your telephone number! But you cannot contact them. That’s more like Corporate Dictatorship. And I imagine now that I am on their radar, this piece will also be removed, because it does not comply with their “standards.” And that’s exactly why I have my own blog. No one can tell me what to write, or what subject I can choose to write about. The one thing I am adamant about is Freedom of Speech. This is censorship, disguised as “standards.” Not acceptable. And I also find it a bit odd that since this review was published many months ago that it would only now come across YELPS radar. Why now? I can only speculate. Perhaps because I wrote a review – the first – on YELP? About the YELP Experience? Or, perhaps the dealership complained? Only YELP can answer that question. But they won’t. So if this is a place only for ribbons and bows – well, I’m not interested in doing PR. I leave that to others. However, what is even more disturbing is that I cannot locate the photo in my library. Know how you let apps access your photo stream?  Well, maybe they can do more than just access it?  Like erase it. But that’s another piece altogether.)

MERCEDES DEALERSHIP

Catonsville, MD

I have always taken my Smart to the dealer for service where I got it – EUROMOTORS in Germantown. But since I moved to Baltimore, I looked for something closer, even though I’m in Montgomery County once a week, and could have taken it to my dealer.   

I bring it in for an oil change and they want to charge me $130. I have always paid $80 for an oil change. When I told them I hadn’t realized there was such disparity in services fees from dealer to dealer, I was told, “Yeah.”

I thought about it and decided I would rather take it to my dealer whom I trust than have it serviced here. They then said they would match the price, which makes business sense, but they lost me as a customer, the minute I felt I was being ripped off. Never coming back here again. 

And to say the dealership is IN Baltimore, although accurate, is a bit of a stretch, since they are at the County Line.

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