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Management has two priorities: 1) Making sure money is made, hence upgrading and filling up apartments is their goal. "Amenities" are important in selling the place, though few residents use them. 2) If someone needs medical attention, Public Safety will be there, if alerted.

Quality of life issues are not that important, however. They tend to be ignored, despite "the rules." So you will see a lot that isn't taken care of properly, and complaints will be met with a creative excuse and a smile.

"Peace and quiet" must be a cruel joke, though this property is sold that way. There can be no peace and quiet as ALL apartments must be upgraded, which includes the installation of an AC unit below the window. Aside from the continual construction about the neighborhood, there is a new and noisy subway extension being built along East 14 st and the shut down of the L line. "Choosing" to live in NYC, now the newest mantra, is a fabrication when the talk is of ST and PCV, which was traditionally quiet, with no construction noise.

Though money was always important, it is now more important than ever. Money rules many things, as you will find.

At this point, 30 years into living here and seeing many things, I can state that Management and their reps are BS-ing us. I can't say that loudly enough: We are being BS-ed. I don't see any genuine change. Sorry.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Yelp Shenanigans: Is Management, or the Brokers Who Work for It, Paying for Good Reviews?



I know a few things about Yelp, and so I smell a rat. Big time.

For those who don't know, Yelp is a place where members can review restaurants, bookstores, services--and apartment complexes like Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village. The Yelp page for ST/PCV has traditionally shown an overwhelming amount of negative reviews, so much so that it must be an embarrassment for CWCapital and CompassRock. As many people check Yelp, these negative reviews are sure to dampen the interest of prospective renters.

A few months ago, banners around Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper invited residents to go on Yelp, in the hope that the page would get positive reviews. Well, that didn't happen.

So now a different tactic is being used. If you check recent reviews, you will see that a number of them are four or five star reviews, something that's never happened in a brief span of time--like two days (May 16-May 17)! Also check where some of these reviews are coming from: Astoria, Brooklyn!!!

Given my knowledge of the Yelp world, I can figure out what is probably happening.

While it may be that individuals related to management or management itself is posting these, I suspect the use of a special service (several like these exist) that use Yelpers on their payroll to post positive reviews for companies that are struggling with negative ones. I work for a company that was once contacted by one of these companies, and they promise to up your positives without the posts being bounced by Yelp.

Reviews such as:

"Stuy Town is a great place to visit. I have many friends who live there and I have heard nothing but positive reviews. The park is always clean and the apartments are updated and spacious. Definitely a great bang for the buck!!"

Or:

"Absolutely love it here! Spacious renovated apartments. Clean, green and quite oasis in the heart of east village. Great fast maintenances service."

Or:

"Love the community vibe! PCVST is a clean, well kept community where people of all ages can live together peacefully and happily. I'd stay here forever if I could!"

Or:

"It's a great community here. Wish it was a bit cheaper, but I guess you pay for the extras that you get. The grounds are kept very clean and there are a lot of events each month including movies, fitness classes and a farmers market. If I had kids, this would be these place to live- a lot of cute playgrounds and a lot of kids live here."

... are give-aways that the reviewers are not that familiar with the complex or are purposefully misleading. (ALL were posted on the same day, too!)

Again, the source of these outrageously positive reviews does not have to be management itself. It could be the brokers. But I believe that there is a concerted push by someone or some entity to start getting positive reviews onto Yelp to balance out the negative ones and ultimately overwhelm them. (The only way you can comment on these ridiculous reviews is to click on "funny" under the review.)

One more thing about Yelp. As you may notice there is a link to post photos on the upper right side. While the vast majority of photos are from management, several have gotten through from tenants. It's obvious which ones these are. So you are always welcome to post photos there, if your reviews do not make it.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

I know! So obvious. Sigh sigh sigh - the staff is not even very creative with the fake posts.

Anonymous said...

I have friends in Coop City. They've been here many times over the years and see the sham olio state it's in since Campus Crock took over. They are going to strongly oppose getting stuck with them. They don't like their current management much, but sure as hell don't want this one!

Anonymous said...

Those reviews reek of phoney as much as my building reeks of skunk pot! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Why do they care?

Tommyboyardee said...

So are we reduced to reviewing the reviews.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

If they are phoney, absolutely.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Why do they care?<<

Not sure I understand the question. If "they" are the management and/or brokers, they would care because potential renters can check Yelp to read what it's like living here. The negative reviews are pretty devastating. That's why "they" would want to push positive ones, for more interest from these potential renters. "They" can also pump up the rent if they get a large volume of people wishing to rent apartments here based on such highly positive reviews.

Anonymous said...

"So are we reduced to reviewing the reviews."

Yes, it is very important to counter their PR SM BS with the truth. Click “Funny” over and over, again and again. SM is very important to these sum bags, that’s the audience they market to. Come on, we need to flood this crap with “Funnies”.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

I've added a link to the main page's right side bar, "The Other Yelp Reviews." These are reviews that are removed from Yelp's main review pages, usually because the review is just the sole one from a reviewer. I never paid much attention to these reviews (which are clearly from residents), but WOW.... Absolutely devastating.

Anonymous said...

What's SM?

Anonymous said...

Compass Rock and CW don't seem to care about anyone or anything and they have politicians covering up all the bad things they do. Does a Yelp review really have that great of an impact that CW or CR, people who don't seem to care what people think about them, would post these fake reviews? I fully believe CW and CR are posting the fake reviews or having them posted. It is just a strange thing for them to care about when they care about nothing and think of themselves as teflon.

The attorney general stop 20 companies from being massively dishonest recently on Yelp.

http://www.businessinsider.com/new-york-cracks-down-on-fake-yelp-reviews-2013-9

I am glad Yelp is there for tenants to get the truth out. Not sure why Yelp hides the real reviews under the Date tab and not on the front page.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Does a Yelp review really have that great of an impact that CW or CR, people who don't seem to care what people think about them, would post these fake reviews?<<

They want people signing up. After they get them, that's when they don't care.

Anonymous said...

5 stars 11
4 stars 21
3 stars 13
2 stars 24
1 star 101

the breakout of the total reviews.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to the brave people who posted the truth on Yelp, sharing their personal stories.

Anonymous said...

Blows my mind all the politicians are in on it. Nobody is helping any of us because they all had a hand in ruining Peter Cooper Village and Stuyvesant Town.

Anonymous said...

STR, you're right. This sounds like stiff, phony copy. But real estate guys aren't known for subtlety. They're known for just bludgeoning ahead no matter what and not giving a damn about anything except making money.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Thank you to the brave people who posted the truth on Yelp, sharing their personal stories.<<

Yes, thank you! Yelp is the one place where tenants can state the truth of the experience of living here. That's why those recent reviews stand out so much: they read like mini adverts for the complex, and nothing more.

Anonymous said...

Getting ready to go to the office I realize I still miss the nature that used to be outside my door in our residential park. Now I look out my window to see if its raining and where there once was nature, trees, wildlife there is industrial commercial generic glass concrete. Gone is the park. Now I read they are hiring people to say good things about the "amenities" because nobody is truthfully saying or feeling that way. Dan ruined the park and the residential community.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>...the breakout of the total reviews.<<

Thanks for doing the math!

Anonymous said...

Was Donalda let go? Heard a rumor.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Dan ruined the park and the residential community.<<

To be fair, it was CW/CompassRock (and before that, TS), but I heard no protest from Dan, and he surrendered quickly on the placement of the Farmers Market, which took out a section of the Oval park at the southern end.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

Do people remember the mini, and useless, putting green put in by Robbie Speyer as part of his "best practices" for Stuy Town? What an idiot!

Anonymous said...

Yes but let's remember Dan personally said he would closely watch the construction on the Office Bunker. He did more than nothing. He openly said he worked with the dob to help the bunker get built albeit phrasing it as I will make sure they do it "legally". He did the same thing here in the Oval. Dan basically did Frad Knapp's job - to make sure Compass Rock does things by the law. We spoke against the construction in the Oval and Dan was not on our side, he was against us. He did the same thing to the people on the First Avenue Loop. He did not help them. He did help Compass Rock by quelling the residents there with his "personally overseeing". We do not need a council person who personally oversees what Compass Rock does. We need a council person who protects the residents and property from what Compass rock does to us. But after seeing Compass Rock get away with that paltry settlement with no admission of guilt required - a get out of jail free cards and a license to do it again - it is clearer REBNY holds the power over the city and state government. The people be damned.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but TS and CW and Compass Rock are all the same employees. Brookfield is an investor in TS purchase. All the same players on all the same team playing against PCVST residents.

Anonymous said...

"no protest from Dan"

I hear what you are saying but there is also this:

A person not doing their job has real and serious consequences when their job is to serve "the people" -- the safety and quality of life of the people.

A politician making "no protest" idly standing by (if it is never proven he did more) and not doing his job is no different than an NYPD officer idling or a firefighter idling. Or worse, the firefighter or NYPD idling then surrendering.

It is no different. Damage is done.

Anonymous said...

Another way Ratner, de Blasio buddy, is taking away our beloved Brooklyn

NAMING RIGHTS: The developer has translated Brooklyn streets running though its project into Chinese. Dean Street? "Di An Jie."

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20141112/REAL_ESTATE/141119948/chinese-development-firm-plants-roots-in-bklyn

and who cares about human rights violations and pollution. This "business" trip is a seed being planted for bad things to come to Brooklyn or I should say

布鲁克林

Bùlǔkè lín



http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20150430/BLOGS04/150429814/brooklyn-businesses-head-for-the-sixth-borough-china

NYC is being sold and sold out to the world's wealthiest money launderers. We need watchdogs to investigate the new developments in Brooklyn and all over NYC.

Anonymous said...

No counting was necessary. My business relies on Yelp and makes sure they accurately reflect us. click on the "Details" button near the review count where it says 170. Yelp claims they showcase the reviews that best reflect the Yelp community. On our business they do a good job at that. On the Peter Cooper Village page they are misleading and showcase the positive reviews more then the negative ones when the negative ones out number the positive ones. It would seem Yelp is doing favors for Compass Rock.

Anonymous said...

Wow, there's a lot of hate happening here.
Listen, the management is not perfect, but that is no reason to throw false accusations around. Do you have a proof they are buying reviews?

Anonymous said...

It's funny they feel the need to fake post compliments.

Anonymous said...

These low life's really are pathetic! Used to be a waiting list to get in here; now there's one yo get out! The only people they can con at this point are the parents of the students. I suspect that the way they do that is in violation of the rent stabilization laws. Probably in violation of a lot of laws. Does Dirty Dan care? Not one iota.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Wow, there's a lot of hate happening here.
Listen, the management is not perfect, but that is no reason to throw false accusations around. Do you have a proof they are buying reviews?<<

I didn't say they definitely were. It could be one or two brokers. Or someone in management or related to management. But someone is clearly pushing the positives on Yelp. These positives are just adverts with zero content that shows the person is familiar with ST/PCV or is being truthful. And all, except one, come on the SAME DAY?! Dead give-away.

Anonymous said...

Agree with STR the content and the rush to post positive reviews is a dead giveaway.

Anonymous said...

Off topic.

Why would they install new dryers without front windows?

I guess stupid is as stupid does.

Anonymous said...

Yelp watches shit like this like a hawk. If they catch on to Compost Crotch they'll be screwed.

Anonymous said...

Are the 'new' positive reviews new members of yelp?

What are we doing with the overcharges on MR? Can we gather up collectively and file complaints - why isn't Dan and posse working on this? Bad, very bad.

Anonymous said...

Those reviews are SO fake. They hit the same tired talking points the brokers do when selling this titanic piece of shit to the 14 Meghans they cram into a one bedroom apartment.

Anonymous said...

A new Yelp post details the lies told when we lease, the bait and switch on the lease forms, the no-fee that has a $500 application fee, the false advertising, etc.

Micheal F if you are reading this - suggest you call your bank to change your credit card number and your checking account number and tell the bank you had to give that personal financial information to an untrustworthy party in a business matter and feel more secure if they didn't have access to your account numbers.

Anonymous said...

REBNY tweets skyrocketing profit growth. No doubt they will at the same time cry fake tears in Albany in June.

Their tweet


Real Estate Board NY
‏@REBNY

Rent skyrockets in Manhattan retail zones http://ow.ly/N5IQ2


The article link (Macklowe is one of the grossest -- anyone know and have links to which pols he is connected to and donates to?)

http://nypost.com/2015/05/18/rent-skyrockets-in-manhattan-retail-zones/?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=


Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Are the 'new' positive reviews new members of yelp?<<

No, they are not. When you use a service that posts positive reviews, the Yelpers who get paid for that have to have been around for a while. In checking these positive posts, I noted that a number of these Yelpers haven't given a review in months, however, which is another give-away to a phoney review.

Anonymous said...

New Yorkers would be safer if we had a stronger Mayor to put their foot down and stop the loss of NYC to the Chinese / Russian alliance. we need a NY Times mapping of NYC real estate owned and operated by Chinese and by Russians. We need to get a better class of developers in NYC because the present lowlifes are financed by dirty money.

http://nypost.com/2015/05/14/china-russia-celebrate-the-dawn-of-the-un-american-century/

Anonymous said...

ATTENTION TO ALL FUTURE TENANTS: someone needs to get the word out``

this is VERY SERIOUS if you see or find a place you like to rent in stuy or pcv get the lease made up right away, weeks or more before your potential move in date ---- see the real rent and the other rent. tenants will know then if they want to rent from a landlord who may increase their rent after one or two years to the higher number. Not knowing this is the scam that they are pulling. Don't take the lease at tehlast minute. demand it asap.````

Anonymous said...

Is it possible the happy Yelpers live in buildings where CWC upgraded laundry machines?

After all, the TA keeps telling anyone listening that functional laundry rooms will transform this place back into Shangri-La.

Maybe CWC is listening and responding to TA advice. Pretty soon we'll get back to an 8-year waiting list.

Anonymous said...

I recall reading a while back thatThe Department of Consumer Affairs was going after retailers (mostly jewelry and electronics stores) who were pulling the bait and switch scam. I wonder if they would go after landlords who do the same thing?

Anonymous said...

Our laundry room is nice I am happy to report. Clothes laundered nicely too. Price was right and all is good.

Anonymous said...

6:29 that all depends on which politicians and law enforcers are covering up for CompassRock and which would investigate and prosecute CompassRock. When it comes to Peter Cooper Village Stuyvesant Town most politicians have shown they are involved in the cover ups.

Stuy Town Reporter said...

>>Our laundry room is nice I am happy to report. Clothes laundered nicely too. Price was right and all is good.<<

Perhaps it's just my building, but the machines stick out toward the middle of the floor, with all the wires and hoses/tubes visible in the back. It looks damn ugly. And let's give it time to see if these machines won't start falling apart like the previous ones.

Anonymous said...

Our laundry room is clogged with dust, dust mites, hanging from the ceiling, the walls, the pipes, overhead eye level and underfoot. Sticky surfaces on the machines and the tables. Machines with small basins requiring purchases. No sink to wring out soaked clothes that do not spin properly but a soda machine as that is much more important to the functionality of a laundry room that is plagued with stickiness already. Poor design, poor maintenance, poor functionality. PCVST laundry rooms are not luxury.

Anonymous said...

Our dryer caught fire and has been out of commission for a month. Fuck Campus Crotch, Andrew MacArthur and his evil employees.