We got our first one star review on Yelp at URL: https://www.yelp.com/biz/towpath-trail-snack-shack-bolivar on Feb 26th 2017. I saw the review March 12th and it immediately occurred to me that we were closed Feb 26th for the Winter season due to weather and the risk of our mobile trailer holding tanks freezing. In fact, I closed for the Winter the third week of December 2017 due to below freezing weather.
The reviewer left the comment:
"do not eat here !!!!! It's not a good "snack shack" got a hot dog and it was not all beef like described !!!!! Ahhhh!!!!" by kinz h. canton, oh Yelp profile: https://www.yelp.com/user_details?userid=vhRASExSI7CYanT4n-zyTg
So, I responded to the review:
3/12/2018 I'm sorry you didn't feel that you got a Walnut Creek Brand all beef hot dog! We offer a 100% satisfaction policy because we feel the quality of our food service warrants it!
Only in October 2017 did I start offering Sugardale pork/chicken/turkey traditional hot dogs for a few days before we closed for the Winter until reopening March 3rd 2018 to feed 1600 hungry kids event at the Canton Cultural Arts Center.
I also noticed that you have a history of negative reviews and frankly, I was closed for the Winter on Feb 26th. I'm curious as to if, when, and where that you purchased your hot dog from us, or if you've got us confused with another place.
In any regard, I'd be pleased to make it right, by standing behind our 100% satisfaction guaranteed policy! In fact, I'll either refund your $ or offer you another ALL BEEF hot dog cooked fresh out of the package, after I show you the package label, of course! ;)
Oh yeah, I'm not sure what you consider a good "Snack Shack", but we do also offer all kinds of prepackaged trail snacks like Planters peanuts, beef jerky, assorted chips, Indian Valley Meats exotic meat sticks and jerky.
Our schedule of events where we'll be serving is published on-line, if you'd like to take advantage of our satisfaction policy which was designed to promote the integrity of our mobile food service licensed operation!
Being a little perturbed, I posted my frustration over the poor review on our Facebook Profile at URL:
Here's a copy of my post:
"Well, we got our first negative Yelp review! The thing is, I was closed for the Winter when it was written Feb 26th
Yelp doesn't approve of soliciting reviews which sucks when our first review is likely bogus by someone with a history of negative reviews. So all I can do is respond to the review in such a manner that hopefully points out why I think it's bogus having been closed for the Winter when it was left and that we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee
I'm perturbed that the reviewer accused us of "not selling all beef hot dogs, as advertised" and why if someone thought that, wouldn't they have said something to us first!
Just in case anyone cares to read it on Yelp, visit URL:
It wasn't long before some positive feedback came into the Facebook post and one person who attended the 2017 Bolivar Strawberry Festival left a glowing review on the Yelp which notified me and I left a compliment and thank you! Here's a screen capture of that review:
A day later, the 5 star review was missing! Say what? Holy Jeepers Batman, something isn't smelling right about Yelp leaving a one star likely bogus review, yet removing a 5 star glowing review from an account I can trust....
Today, I Googled "kinz h. canton, oh" and learn that there is nothing and in fact that Kinz is a rare last name with only two listed people in the Canton, Ohio, neither which had a first name of H. just in case it was either last name first or first name last ;)
So, I start Goggling Yelp reviews and how to remove a bogus yelp review, yelp review integrity, and similar search strings. It was then that I discovered hundreds of lawsuits against Yelp have been filed according to https://www.huffingtonpost.com/foodbeast/sf-restaurant-sign-calls_b_3140276.html and I pause to think, could it actually be Yelp playing games? They were recently trying to contact me about advertising since I did start to take advantage of a couple coupons until I realized that I'd have to spend about $500 during my off season to reap any reward. I was actually planning to restart advertising in the Spring, but frankly, after this experience, it's highly doubtful!
The interesting thing is that while, I can't see the glowing 5 star review anymore, the Author could so I was able to ask for a screen shot which she promptly took and sent to me for this article.
Now that I believe I've experienced and found evidence of Yelp manipulating reviews and ad placement to extort advertising revenue, I can't trust them! I'll be removing any link to Yelp, excepting from this article, of course.