Complaint Boards Put Scammers on High Alert
No business on the Web can afford to be on the receiving end of too many poor reviews or, worse yet, called out for unsavory tactics on an online complaint board. But these increasingly popular platforms provide an invaluable service for consumers, as well as for the millions of legitimate Web businesses that stand behind their practices, products and services.
ScamHunter is the newest entry into the online complaint board space, and the company claims to give more power to victimized consumers than other services of its kind. In addition to providing a platform for consumers to report suspected scammers and/or fraudulent behavior, ScamHunter actually provides information on how to get back at a company, individual or service that has allegedly done them wrong.
ScamHunter allows for the submission of complaints in the same manner that most other sites do, and also provides a section where consumers can peruse the latest reviews of companies, products and opinions of individuals who might be involved in scam-like behavior, a directory of businesses by industry and a breaking news feature that showcases recent arrests or other causal behavior of possible scam artists. The site also allows for users to search for specific scams before they enter into any agreement with a company, and even goes so far as to provide resources such as Eight Do-it-Yourself Steps to Consumer Revenge.
“Many companies have found it is so easy to take advantage of the consumer-base because people don’t know where they can go or where to turn to for help or to make a complaint,” says Michael Murray, director of public relations for ScamHunter. “There are other complaint boards online, but few have any pull as it relates to getting the attention of the guilty businesses. ScamHunter.com changes all that. There has never been a platform like this before, one that truly makes a jilted consumer’s voice heard, and gets the company in question to make amends.”
It’s definitely not the kind of site where you would want your Web company attracting a lot of attention, but chances are unlikely that it will if your business operates above-board and provides satisfactory service. Below are some other resources that consumers have at their disposal to help keep the Web free of scammers and frauds. In other words, more sites like ScamHunter on which you don’t want your business to appear.
One of the first and likely most well-known sites of its kind, the Ripoff Report has been around since the early days of the Internet – almost as long as online scammers themselves.
Like the others, a trusted database of personal, first-hand consumer experiences with products and services to help visitors make better-informed purchase decisions. The site does, however, lack some of the additional resources provided by ScamHunter and the Ripoff Report.
The Squeaky Wheel
Every time a complaint page is viewed, it triggers an automatic e-mail notification letting the target company know that another potential customer has just viewed the complaint. Everybody knows what is at stake and how important it is to settle the complaint.
A running list of consumer complaints that can be reviewed chronologically or divided into dozens of business categories ranging from airline travel to wedding services. Also includes resources such as Consumer Tips and Tricks, Suspicious Companies and the latest news stories.
Another leading source for consumer advice, complaints and reviews, with an interesting feature that lists the top 15 most talked about companies in 10 different categories.
For more on a related topic, please read 20 User Review Websites Critical to Small Business.