We are all here to accomplish one goal - to receive great customer service from companies. As such, please be respectful to other members on Gripevine, as well as the companies and organizations you interact with. Try to bring your best self to the table and you’ll find that everyone you choose to engage with will be much more receptive.

Remember, when seeking resolutions from companies, it’s no longer about who is right or wrong but how best to get the other side to listen and respond;

1. Gripes are specific complaints with specific expectations … Guestbook entries are your impressions about a customer experience - great-or-not-so-great

You plant a Gripe when you are issuing a complaint to a company about a specific issue and with a specific expectation. During the planting of the Gripe you will be asked “what is this about” and “what do expect from the company”. When you make a Guestbook entry, this is a more general impression of your experience, and it can be positive or not so positive.

2. Think through what happened

Step back and analyze your situation as objectively as you can. Make sure that you’ve thought through what the company could have done better. Did the company really create this problem? How can you help them get better?

3. Stay chill when griping

The temptation to react angrily to the indifference of people from whom you need help can be intense, but anger is not going to help your cause. It doesn’t mean you should accept poor service but be aware that you are connecting to another human being, and none of us react well to being attacked.

The fact that you’re publishing your detailed experience online and sharing it with friends and followers is a statement that you have something serious to say. So try to keep the tone of your gripe polite and objective. Many times, conflicts between consumers and companies are the result of simple misunderstandings or crossed wires. Being abrasive and sarcastic will not help you achieve your goals.

4. Give it up for the good ones

A nice Guestbook entry, especially for a small business, can mean the world to their growth and success. Take the time to heap praise when it is deserved. Why not a little more loving in this world of ours?

5. Stick to the facts

Gripes and Guestbook entries need to be about a specific experience that is yours. What companies really want to know is:
i) What happened?
ii) When did it happen?
iii) Where did it happen?

6. Provide documentation

If you have photos, video, or PDFs that provide background for your post, include them, but make sure to edit or black-out personal information before publishing to the general public. You are able to upload private documentation directly to the company.

7. Privacy

Keep your personal information private. Do not place person-identifying information in your public commentary. When posting, there is a private section that only you, the business, and designated Gripevine personnel have access to. In the Contact Information part of your Settings, there is a place for your name, phone number, email address, city and state. These are only shared with companies about which you Post. There is also a place to enter account numbers, and transaction reference numbers; and, these are shared only with the company as well.

8. 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 postings on the same experience.

9. Be clear (and realistic) about what you want if you have a Gripe

Gripevine isn’t a place to just mindlessly bash companies; it’s a place to seek resolution. One of the most important factors in creating successful resolutions is for you to know what you expect. Maybe it’s 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. If you were briefly inconvenienced at an airport, for example, it’s probably not a good idea to demand a return trip overseas. 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

10. No need for threats

Threatening a company with a lawsuit or legal action will rarely solicit a response from a company. In many circumstances, once you have initiated such a threat, a company can no longer easily engage through the customer relations channel as it has become a legal issue. So, if you are on the phone to your lawyer, you have gone beyond getting resolution through Gripevine.

11. Treat others with respect, praise has power

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. Use Gripevine to shout out some praise with a nice Guestbook entry or, even if planting a Gripe, there is often a part of the story where something was done well!

12. 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 the website.