We are receiving multiple reports from florists regarding unauthorized manipulation of their Yelp listings by a an uncontracted third party.
Update: Both Yelp and BloomNation have provided some clarification.
We are advising all florists to immediately check their Yelp listings for the presence of the BloomNation shopping integration. Click To Tweet
The listings in question feature the “This florist does delivery” highlight, along with a button marked “Start Order”. Clicking the order button takes the customer into a checkout system hosted on Yelp, but powered by BloomNation.
The customer is then asked to choose from a small selection of “best sellers” – though as far as we can tell the product images are not from active products on the florist’s website.
Upon reaching the payment page the customer is advised the order will be fulfilled by BloomNation. However, the florists claim to not be a part of the BloomNation network, nor to have any agreement in place with the online service.
I have never personally signed up or given Bloomnation the rights to use my shop name or my pictures… I did not give them the right to use my Yelp listing to boost their sales… And if you want to question me my phone number is listed right there on the page… I don’t have time to defend my shop today… But trust me my attorney has been made aware of this and will be sending a letter to Yelp and bloomnation
We requested a comment from BloomNation, but at this time they have not replied. This post will be updated with their response if we receive one.
Yelp has promised to provide more insight into how the 3rd party shopping integrations function. There is no reason to believe that Yelp is complicit in any unsavoury activity at this time.
Another florist expressed their frustration this way:
I just checked my yelp listing, and have the same thing. and I have NEVER done any sort of business with bloomnation. this is so wrong!
Other shops are reporting an increase in cold-calling activity from BloomNation in recent days, though there is no clear correlation between the activity on the Yelp listings and the BloomNation sales calls right now.
This post will be updated as the situation develops.
Have you checked your listing? Please let us know in the comments.
Update 2:30 pm: Sources at Yelp confirm this is a feature that can be disabled within the business page settings.
Update 9:57 pm: Reports from other florists continue to come in. One interesting case was this:
I only just now realized that I never claimed my Yelp listing. So I claimed it just now. Immediately did a search for Flowers Carver MN. My newly claimed site comes up … with the Start Order button from Bloomnation.
Interesting that just the act of claiming and verifying a listing, as a non-BloomNation member, seems to have triggered the integration.
Update: Dec 22 2:25 pm: BloomNation has clarified the situation and taken action to prevent further surprise listings. The affected listings have the following characteristics:
- Signed up for a free BloomNation account at some point in the past (probably prior to 2015). In some cases, it was an employee, not the business owner, who signed up out of curiosity.
- After signing up, the florist must have provided the link to their Yelp profile page.
- The florist must have also uploaded some products to the BloomNation platform.
- The Yelp listing must be verified.
For accounts created in 2015 and prior the activation of the Yelp feature was automatic. From 2016 onwards the activation has required a final manual step.
BloomNation has gone through their accounts and deactivated the Yelp integration for all inactive files. At this point if a florist with an old BloomNation account verifies their Yelp page they will still need to request manual activation.
Florists with further questions should contact [email protected]