A couple of years ago, my husband and I were planning a trip to New York City so he could run the NYC marathon. Thanks to his coaching job requiring him to be at a meet the day before the race, we didn’t get to make our normal trek 2 days early. We were going to be right up to the wire.
Then, early in the week of the race, Hurricane Sandy hit. Lots of back and forths between the mayor and New York Roadrunners Association, but the race was finally cancelled late Friday night, the day before we were supposed to leave.
“But, there was a hurricane in New York, maybe you heard about it,” my husband protested to the airlines as we asked for a refund.
I took to Twitter, complaining and hastagging the appropriate companies. Eventually, they did the right thing and refunded the cost of our flights. I’d like to say my complaints on Twitter did something to help that, but let’s be real. I was just one person complaining on Twitter that night.
New complaint platform GripeO is looking to change that.
Launched out of beta last week, GripeO lets customers post their customer service complaints on the platform, then notifies the companies that a customer has an issue. Businesses can verify with GripeO and take care of the problem right there.
Why not just continue to complain on Twitter?
“The effectiveness of complaint management on Twitter is vastly over rated for both consumer and business,” GripeO CEO Mike Klanac told me.
So, the make it better, GripeO allows customer to post their complaints on the site, but then share them socially so their friends see them, too. Customers can create a “meme” of the complaint, and the platform suggests hashtags and structure to help the complaint go viral.
No company wants that, y’all. Companies that choose to verify on the platform can avoid that awkwardness and potential PR issue by mediating with the customer right on the site.
While the company is not yet generating revenue, they plan to make money by selling leads, premium tools, and intelligent advertising. In their beta, they tested with 200 users and 4 companies, and they’ve currently signed up a few more big companies since launch.
GripeO is live now, so if you have a complaint you can check it out on their website.