While review site Yelp has made a reasonable dent in the Australian market, the power and influence it wields in the US is on another level.
Most Americans won’t even try a place before checking Yelp, which brings us to the reviews for a New York City spin-studio called Rhythm Ryde.
If you’ve ever taken a spin class, you’re probably used to being yelled at by the instructor, encouraging you to pedal just that bit harder.
What “spinners” aren’t accustomed to however, is being yelled at online — purely because of their Yelp reviews.
As a tipster pointed out to The Cut, anyone leaving a bad review on the Brooklyn studio can expect an equally critical response back.
The bad reviews all stemmed from Rhythm Ryde’s teething problems after it decided to offer free classes to establish itself.
As with most brand new businesses, there were a few organisational problems and the class, as described by Yelp user Christina L, was “a waste of time and so disorganised”.
After Christina, a self-described “frequent spinner” gave the studio a one-star review, the owner hit back, sending her a ruthless private message about her review.
The next day, Rhythm Ryde responded publicly to Christina, telling her she should “Maybe be a bit less disparaging to someone that offers you a free class”.
Another reviewer named Rachel P., who also gave the gym one star, had a similar experience after she called out the owner for his responses.
“In the class the instructor seemed really arrogant — something I would normally not comment on in a review. But, I’m shocked reading these responses. It’s appalling that a health and wellness professional who preaches love, acceptance and community would respond in such a juvenile, disrespectful and frankly embarrassing way,” she wrote.
Rhythm Ryde responded, asking Rachel “why can’t we review you back?” after thanking her for her review even though “it doesn’t mean you are correct or accurate. It is an opinion”.
Yelp user Charisma D., also giving Rhythm Ryde a one-star rating, called it “a massive joke” and, unsurprisingly received a snarky comment back.
The studio, which describes itself as “an all-encompassing community”, is one of thousands of spin cycling gyms in NYC.
“Our studio is an oasis and a sanctuary of sorts, offering refuge from our wonderfully busy city,” their website reads.
Judging by the studio’s early reviews and the way they ruthlessly take down anyone offering anything other than a five star review, New York City could be well on its way to boasting one less spin studio in the not too distant future....Read more