Some consumers who have bad experiences with corporations feel inspired to warn other consumers via the Better Business Bureau that something’s amiss. However, dealing with the bureaucratic speed of an organization like the BBB isn’t necessarily the most efficient way to handle a problem, particularly in this age of online social media. That’s when Gri.pe, the new company that bills itself as “a better Better Business Bureau for the Twitter age,” becomes handy.
‘Word of mouth is powerful’
Consumers looking to lodge meaningful complaints against a company at the speed of Twitter need look no further than the free Gri.pe iPhone or Android app, reports the New York Times. The company’s byline – “word of mouth is powerful” – reminds consumers they have the power to fight back against bad businesses. With a simple user interface, Gri.pe enables consumers to simultaneously post their complaints to Facebook and Twitter and directly to the company’s customer service department. In the process, Gri.pe invites the company in question to respond to the charge and potentially remedy the problem, similar to the way Yelp works for service industry businesses.
On the flip side, consumers can send out positive notices, called “cheers.” Then they can talk about it with friends on the Gri.pe network.
Posting to Facebook weeds out the fakers
While having Gri.pe post to sites like Facebook might seem like an expected add-on, Gri.pe CEO Farhad Mohit argues that there’s a good reason for doing so. As it would be very easy for consumers searching for a free payday to loan their voice to a chorus of boos, Gri.pe uses Facebook and Twitter as security devices to help discourage users from making frivolous posts (“social bullying”). Nobody wants to sound like a jerk in front of friends and family. However, if a user doesn’t possess reasonable internal filters, Gri.pe does reserve the right to remove comments deemed too offensive or outlandish.
Gri.pe: It was a very good year
Despite having been founded little more than a year ago, the six-person company has nothing to Gri.pe about when it comes to its user base. According to Mohit’s estimation, nearly 1.7 million people already use the service. “Online word-of-mouth power,” which Mohit refers to with the fun-sounding acronym “womp,” is simply that powerful. Gri.pe has more than 100 million-plus local businesses and service providers taking notice, so it must be.