Gripe Etiquette

Keeping these simple common-sense guidelines in mind when planting your gripe will help you to create a more positive outcome.

1. Make sure you’re in the right

Step back and analyze your situation as objectively as you can. Make sure that you’re in the right and that the company in question really did create a problem that they need to fix.

2. Stay chill

The temptation to react angrily to the indifference of people in a position to help you, can be intense, but if you’re in the right, anger is not going to help your cause. Instead, ask yourself some questions. Who are these people? Maybe they just had the worst day of their lives or have personal problems that make your issue pale in comparison. Take a second and try to see yourself in them. It doesn’t mean you should accept poor service, but this awareness that you are connecting to another human being, not unlike yourself in many ways, will help you to not react in a negative way.

The fact that you’re publishing your detailed gripe online and sharing it with friends and followers is more than enough aggro to bring to the table. So try to keep the tone of your gripe friendly and polite, as much as you’re able. Remember, many times conflicts between consumers and companies are the result of simple misunderstandings or crossed wires.

3. Stick to the facts

What companies need most in order to resolve your gripe is the facts.
i) What happened?
ii) When did it happen?
iii) Where did it happen?
iv) What were the names of the people you interacted with?
v) What specifically did they say or do?

4. Provide documentation

If you have photos, video, or PDFs that can support your gripe, include them, but make sure to edit or black-out personal information before publishing to the general public. You may include private documentation directly to the company being griped about.

5. Privacy

Keep your personal information private. When planting a gripe there is a private section only you and the business being griped about will have access to. Refrain from using your real full name, along with phone numbers, mailing address, email addresses, account numbers, claim or ticket numbers etc...

6. No need to repeat yourself

Your gripevine voice can and will be heard loud and clear. There is no need to repeat, duplicate or rewrite the same gripe. In fact it may lessen your chances of getting your gripe resolved, not to mention lower your credibility score.

7. Be clear (and realistic) about what you want

Gripevine isn’t a place to just mindlessly bash companies; it’s a place to seek resolutions. One of the most important factors in creating successful resolutions is for you to know what you’re looking for from the company. Do you want a simple apology? Do you need a refund? Are you looking for a replacement product? Make sure that you clearly indicate what you feel it’s going to take to set things right.

Remember to be realistic about what you’re asking. If you were briefly inconvenienced at an airport, for example, it’s probably not a good idea to demand ten million dollars for emotional distress. If your new blender stopped working a week after you bought it, asking for a replacement would make sense; asking to be crowned Emperor of Australia, not so much.

8. No need for threats

Threatening a company with a lawsuit or legal action will rarely solicit a response from a company. In most circumstances once you have initiated such a threat, a company can no longer engage as it becomes a legal issue. They will wait until you come good with such a threat, and then refer it to their legal department. So, unless you are prepared to follow through with such a threat then we suggest one should always avoid such comments as threatening to commence legal action. Once a situation gets this far and you have the financial resources to do so, do not threaten a company, just follow through. If however, your motives are to simply find a resolution, there are better approaches to take.

9. Treat Others with Respect

Whether you are griping about a company or giving your opinion on another person's customer service issue, it is important to refrain from obscene, condescending, disparaging or threatening remarks towards other Gripevine members and/or companies. This type of behavior will not assist one in getting their voice heard. The validity of a person's gripe is between the user and the company they have a gripe with, belittling others about the content of their gripe, is not acceptable and could result in getting banned from Gripevine. We are all here to help one another accomplish one goal - to receive great customer service from companies.

10. Sham-ful Plugs - No spam please

Unauthorized advertisements and/or links will be instantly removed. In most cases the gripe, comment and user will be removed and blocked from using the Gripevine website.