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The pot and the kettle

I'm sure most people know the old saying, "The pot's calling the kettle black!" and what it means. Recently, search giant Google has been drawing a lot of attention in Europe for "antitrust" matters and is poised to come to a settlement with the EU. However, there has been some very vocal outrage at this settlement from the likes of Microsoft (read Bing). Just recently, Yelp, who has been critical of Google and its practices in the past, has added its voice to the verbal barrage.

Yelp's CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, wrote to European Commission chief José Manuel Barroso recently to add its disapproval. Part of his letter says...

Upon reflecting on our discussion about the European Digital Agenda, and my company’s historic role as a concerned observer of Google’s anticompetitive actions, I realized Yelp’s current status as a mere witness within the DG-COMP deliberations was inadequate; in order to truly advocate on behalf of European digital startups, our voice needed to be granted some form of official standing. As such, I have directed our government affairs team to convert Yelp into an official complainant in DG-COMP’s Google proceedings.

I find this very interesting. Firstly, his whole letter assumes that anyone gives a rip about what Yelp thinks. Secondly, he seems to have overlooked the many complaints against his own company by angry subscribers/advertisers. Yelp itself has been the subject of lawsuits alleging dubious business practices, so I have to question the feigned concern, not to mention the hypocrisy, at someone else doing the same!

It's a sad fact that most American businesses have lost the will to do honest business anymore, and seem to be run by a bunch of bean-counters only interested in the bottom line. What ever happened to good, old-fashioned customer service? What about going the extra mile? Sure, you just need to realise that we charge mileage!

When we set up CitrusKiwi, we wanted to be unique. So we developed our monthly subscriptions. But we also try to be unique in our response to, and interaction with, customers. Our bottom line is, we don't have time to be running down the competition, we're busy ensuring our customers get looked after. Maybe Yelp would do good to start working that way too....

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