Yahoo! Local Can't Find the Real Local Florist in Butler, PA
Sorry for the distraction, but one more from the consumer protection files. It seems that Yahoo! Local has some issues identifying real physical locations from fake ones.
Recently, fake florist listings have begun to show up in the Yahoo! Local listings, something we discussed in our Fake Florists in Yahoo! Local Search posting, and is covered in more detail in Yahoo Local Mapspam now appearing near you.
All this talk reminded us we might want to update our current hours on our Yahoo! Local listing, seen below (click for larger version).
After editing the hours, and adding categories for wedding invitations (we now have the largest selection in town), and wedding accessories, an updated listing was created and sent for review. A few days later, we received a response from Yahoo! Local stating that we did not have a local presence (seen below, click for larger version).
Huh? We've been in business since 1998, and at our current location since 2000. Nearly 1000 brides can attest to our local storefront, as can our landlord, thousands of our local customers and some of the largest corporations in the region. We've appeared on magazine covers, spoken at industry conferences, and hosted prestigious designers for design programs. One of the owners grew up in this town, and her parents also own a flower shop in a nearby town. We live 0.6 miles from the shop. It doesn't get more local than that.
You can see photos of the inside of our shop and or van below (click for larger version):
We reviewed the listing, and the address in the updated listing is exactly the same as the current listing (seen below, click for larger version). With fake florists receiving prominant listings, and real florists being denied a simple update to our business hours, we're curious as to how Yahoo! Local verifies the information in its directory.
The Saga of Pepper's Flowers
Also listed in Yahoo!'s local listings for a florist in Butler, PA are three locations for Pepper's Flowers. Steve (the owner) is a great guy--we loan each other hardgoods and flowers all the time; it's a very friendly competiion between us. There is only one location for Pepper's--the other two are old listings which haven't been cleaned up from the directory. Their original location was 212 W. Cunningham St., just off Main St. They lost that location when the adjacent building was condemned and demolished. They moved to a small building in Lyndora, but this took them off Main St and hurt their sales with the large walk-in clientele they had built up over the years. Finally, Steve was able to buy a great location right on Main St., and purchase a local chocolate company as well. The listed Main St. location is their actual location today. Although they've been back on Main St. for a couple of years, the older listings still exist (but were recently marked as "this location may have closed"). Steve may still own the properties, but they are empty storefronts.
The bottom line is, unfortunately, Yahoo!'s local listings are filled with unreliable information, and until they undertake an effort to clean them up properly, let the buyer beware. You need to double and triple check to make sure you're using a real local florist.
For more information on deceptive florist listings, check out http://www.floristdetective.com/. And, in the meantime, if you want to send flowers to Butler, PA, or are having a wedding in the Pittsburgh area, give us a call. We really exist, and will b ehappy to work with you.