Pissed Consumer – Reputation Repair
Pissedconsumer.com is the latest in a growing trend of websites devoted to the more negative aspects of shopping both in store and online. Based in New York City, the site popped up as a means to provide consumers with a location where they can share their frustrations about various companies without fear of it being removed immediately. Unfortunately, users are not protected from court orders or notarized letters. Interestingly enough, there is also a section for businesses where they can pay to get access to monitoring the comments being posted and, if enough is paid monthly, access to the contact information of the consumer posting the complaint.
Hurting the Individual
For complainers, you can either use a regular account or a premium account at $5.99 per month. Either way, you have to have a login so pissedconsumer.com can track your information. The form is very simple. Fill out the title of your complaint, explain what happened and then add the company name and give it a category. You are even given the chance to post media to provide evidence for the wrong you are claiming. They have also employed an upvote and downvote system akin to the one popularized by Reddit. If popular, the complaint will shoot to the top of the list and grab more people’s attention. Likewise, downvotes will shoot it to the bottom where no one will see it. This, of course, is just asking to be abused by companies with dummy accounts not wanting their reputation tarnished.
Unfortunately, this makes you a target for big corporations. We’ve already seen the unholy power they wield in the court system, and since they can buy your information, there is no guarantee your post will remain anonymous. While this may be skirted by smaller companies that can’t afford the privilege, corporations are more than happy to shell out extra money to silence those that try to call them out.
Hurting the Company
For companies, there are three types of memberships to choose from. They are known as Social Monitor, Customer Service Program and Enterprise Business Solution. All three grant access to profile customization and e-mail notifications when reviews and comments are made about their brand. Customer Service Program adds on verification badges, the ability to reply in comments directly to the complainers and a means to contact the poster. The Enterprise Business Solution does not come with a listed price but guarantees the company access to the complainer’s personal contact information prior to the complaint being posted, hinting that complaints undergo a wait time before reaching the public’s eye.
This is clearly a scam to scare companies into buying a way to fend off people that can’t complain to them directly or are complaining without any reason to. Much like the tactics of the Better Business Bureau, smaller companies will not be able to afford the power to stave off trolls. This is extremely detrimental to those just starting out. In addition, anyone can post anything about any company, meaning many of the posts could very well be lies.