Excerpt from the CitySquares Blog.
So now, if you’re a small business owner you can opt-out of consumer reviews on your CitySquares business profile.
Here’s how it works:
If you are a paying customer, you can choose between having reviews, or not having reviews. Period. End of story. There is no gray area – reviews are either enabled, or disabled, for paying customers only.
If you are not a paying customer, we cannot disable reviews. You must be a customer. And all it takes is $5.99/month to become a customer, and that is all it costs to have reviews disabled on your profile. Not a penny more.
What it means: I think the time might be right to offer such a product on local search sites offering user reviews. Why? Because I think the majority of merchants now understand they need to participate in the conversation. As for those who feel reviews “threaten” them, they have an easy way out (and it’s revenue for Citysquares). Let it be known that those businesses will look suspicious to the average user if they don’t allow user reviews but it’s their choice. In addition, it’s a nice way for CitySquares to build a lead list for potential “upsell”. Ben Saren, CitySquares’ founder, feels the need to defend the move by saying that the feature “is not some crafty bait-and-switch” but I don’t think that was necessary. I think the merchant reviews space is mature enough to allow for this exception product. I hope it proves very succesful as I think Ben has stumbled upon an interesting concept.