Called Out: Confessions of a Yelp B*tch

That will be the name of my autobiography. I was a relatively early adopter of Yelp.com. I used it a lot in the earlier days, but not as much now. I did however recently write a scathing review of my physician’s office after spending at least four phone calls and countless minutes pulling out my hair in the process of trying to book an appointment. There were other problems I mentioned in my write up – namely an unfriendly staff, long wait times, and the fact that they call your first and last name when it’s time for your appointment.

When I went in yesterday, the first words out my doctor’s mouth were, “We were surprised to see you in the appointment books.” Why? “You wrote that you’d rather [hyperbolic reference to inflicting bodily harm on myself] than book another appointment here.” She was quoting from a print out of my Yelp review, which was clipped to my MEDICAL FILE.

Ah yes, it’s true. I DID write that. I stumbled over my words, explaining that I’d found it insanely difficult to communicate with her staff, and simple things like booking an appointment and requesting a copy of my prescription had become major ordeals. My review was honest, I explained, if a bit dramatic. I insisted that I liked her so much as a doctor that I was willing to put up with inefficient and rude staff in order to keep seeing her.

While I sat there (in a gown, no less), embarrassed and slightly scared that she’d exact her revenge via some kind of unnecessary medical procedure that would leave me blind and diseased, she explained that the staff I’d complained about had been replaced. A new phone system had been installed. Apparently others had complained. I *had* noticed that the medical staff was much friendlier this time around, and I commented on that. They had called me by my first name only, and my appointment started right on time. Is it possible that they’d listened… to me?

My doctor explained that they’d received similar complaints and decided to make changes. I told her I was thrilled, and that I’d change my review ASAP.

After I changed my review from two to five stars, I did a search for my doctor’s name. Her Yelp listing was the number one search result from Google, and an excerpt from *my* review was displayed in the summary below the link. AHA, so that’s why doctors trouble themselves with these silly review sites. While I don’t take anything back that I wrote in my original review, I certainly will be more cautious when I write the scathing reviews in the first place, and *extra* super cautious when I return to the offending businesses.

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