Sunday, February 28, 2016

Delegate Digitally

There is an app for just about anything our human brains can think up.  Among the gazillion and one apps, there are now some available for the sole purpose of  complaining for you.  Sure why not allocate your gripes to your smartphone?

While I am a bit intrigued at the idea of an electronic way to send my assorted grievances to a company and thereby have it become my "bitch" representative, I am somewhat conflicted about why I would want to relegate my capacity to complain to someone else. I am after all, a gifted griper.   Given my gift for it, perhaps, I would find a small measure of satisfaction by communicating in print or talking to someone associated with a company that has wronged me.  Or...maybe not.  Perhaps, being on hold for the better part of the day while scratchy Muzak blares in the background might not do anything to pacify my aggravation with their company.

Turns out that if I don't want to deal with a company that has ticked me off, I can sign onto a service app, aptly called Service, so that they can complain on my behalf.

According to an article on Mashable:

"We're a neutral, third party solution," Michael Schneider, Service's founder and CEO, "We don't believe that the customer is always right. If the business acted appropriately, we'll still listen to the customer and express empathy — we're more like therapy at that point. But when the customer is right, we'll fight like hell to get them something fair."

According to Schneider, there are only two options when dealing with a customer service issue: "You can do nothing or you can waste time, spending 45 minutes on hold."
Filing a complaint with Service takes less than a minute, Schneider said, and once the app has all the information about a case, the customer can simply wait for a solution.

So not only do they become your gripe representative but they become your therapist...all for free. Sounds nearly perfect except for the word "neutral". That tends to bother me a bit.  I want them to truly feel my rage and express that to whatever company has wronged me. Again as a gifted griper, I would expect that they attach their fury on the company that wronged me with the same fury as I would. You Katrina on New Orleans...that sort of aggression.  If they are going to represent me at the same level as I would,   they need to pull out the stops.  Truly, I am not hiring  them (ok so it's free but still) to be all mamby-pamby.

While I was researching these types of apps, I see that there is another side to this  genre of bitch-out service that is referred to as "Complaint Management".  I didn't realize that a singular person would have so many instances of "griping about something" that a 3rd party was necessary to manage it all.  It would seem to me if you have so many complaints that you need an organizational system to keep them straight, you might need to recognize the fact that you are probably a major PITA.

An example of such a company that not only complains for you but will offer complaint management is an app named  GripeO .  The thing that I find  interesting about GripeO is that they offer a paid service for businesses to hunt through social media sites and remove negative information such as complaints.  I might be missing something here but isn't that a conflict of interest?  If I complain about ABC Company to GripeO as an individual,  they in turn start bombing social media sites complaining about ABC on my behalf, then aren't I less than pleased if GripeO  turns around and removes it?  Who should I complain to?

I guess if Service or GripeO aren't doing your bidding you could complain to

They work pretty much like Service, I guess.  They submit your complaint to the company in question through the offending company's  social media pages and keeps at it until they get a response and, hopefully, a resolution.

All the companies that offer this service (or at least the ones I researched)
said that they keep sending multiple complaints via Twitter and Facebook until the company caves and makes some restitution.  So really it's like robo-calls at dinner time but on steroids. We are talking multiple hits.   If the companies want some peace they have to throw out a peace offering.

I, also found it interesting that there isn't a clear consensus (online, anyway) at which industry sucks the most.   I noticed on the  websites for these "complain-for-you"  companies they talk a lot about airline complaints. But..if you do a search on general customer dissatisfaction, these types of businesses seem to be the most discussed.

  • Airlines 
  • Cellular phone companies
  • Cable Companies 
  • Automobile Manufacturers
  • Collection Agencies
  • Retailers

Sounds like a good list of businesses that could offer you up a bad day given
the right circumstances.  While I actually haven't had any experience with collection agencies, I can't imagine they EVER make their customers happy. for the rest of those, each of those have, at some point, received a "less than cordial" communique from me.   Those of you that have been reading this blog for awhile, might remember my standoffs with my ex-cellular company/cable company during the period that the neighbor's dog chewed through their cable leaving me without phone, TV and Internet for portions of 6 weeks running.  You might, also remember various blogs containing woes of lost luggage and canceled flights.

Still, I am not sure that any of my consumer gripes rose to the level that I needed to hand it over to a professional that would drop Tweet and Facebook bombs on them. 

So, readers, is crabbing to a company about bad service so objectionable that you would want to delegate it out to a "neutral" third party company that will evaluate your complaint, determine if it is worthy and if not will offer you empathy free of charge?

OR...are you wanting, willing and waiting to get someone on the phone to give them the 411 why their company sucks? Do you love to write well thought out letters that would self-combust if your thoughts were fuel?
Does friending their FaceBook page so you can prove how unfriendly you feel about them, give you a measure of satisfaction.  

If you are super creative you can create a video as this guy did and attach it to their FB page...this got some recognition when it went viral.

If you are unable to see the video, click here

No comments: