Businesses should be able to respond to reviewers

There seems to be some bad feeling about local review sites like Yelp that don’t let business owners respond to bad reviews.

Here’s something I saw on techcrunch about this.

I think its bad that businesses can’t respond to reviews, don’t you.  Yelp responded to this with a feature to let businesses respond privately to reviewers, but I wonder if that is not just making the problem worse? doesn’t prevent business owners from joining the discussion about their business and responding to reviews, in fact we let them do it openly.  A business owner is clearly identified as such, so why not just let them speak.

I’d say its a bit like comments on blogs, the comments/discussion adds value to the whole, it would be dull if responses were all private – we’ve had that for years, its called email.