Ah, complaints! Years ago, clients might file complaints with a state or federal regulator. You’d be called to account, but if you weren’t at fault, hopefully the regulator would dismiss it. If you were, you’d either make good or enter mediation (or court).
Now I’m not minimizing the significance of old-fashioned complaints. But boy, today’s complaint landscape is so … Web 2.0! Thanks to the Internet, even minor complaints have the potential to become complaints from you-know-where. That’s because social-media complaint sites are all the rage. Problem is, once your name gets published on such a site, your reputation takes a big hit, permanently. And even if you publish a rebuttal, people will assume you’re just lying to protect yourself.
Think I’m exaggerating? Check out these sites: www.complaints.com, www.planetfeedback.com, www.ripoffreport.com, and www.thesqueakywheel.com. Some of the complainants seem like reasonable people. They state their problems rationally, provide evidence and only want a fair outcome. Others seem a bit unhinged, inflammatory and, well, out for blood (yours!).