Q1. Gripe [grīp] -noun

A. In the Cambridge English Dictionary a "GRIPE" is defined as a "strong complaint" or something that you feel strongly about.

B. GRIPEVINE's definition of the word "GRIPE": A customer service complaint or unresolved issue that one has with a business or organization; a bad experience with a company that hasn't been made right.

The term "Gripe" may be perceived as having a negative connotation. We have combined it with the word "vine" in order to convey a feeling of providing positive outcomes. Yes, gripes are somewhat negative, but Gripevine hopes to provide consumers with a platform to turn their negative experiences into positive ones. Just like a vine can grow in new and positive directions, we hope that our platform will do the same for your customer service experiences with a company.

Q2. What is the Guestbook?

Just like when you write in that big book by the entrance to a hotel, when you want to connect with the owners and share your experiences, Gripevine also wants you to have a place to connect with all companies and tell them what is going well and what could be improved. Your feedback helps other consumers and the companies as well.

Q3. What is the difference between a Gripe and a Guestbook entry?

When you plant a Gripe, you are posting a specific customer service problem on which you are expecting a resolution. When you plant the Gripe you will declare your expectation, helping the company to address your needs. The system allows the company make you an offer through their Resolution Response and then gives you the opportunity to score that offer. In the other part of our system, when you plant an entry in the Guestbook, you are telling a story and providing a rating on your own experience with the company and providing helpful feedback, positive or a critique, but you are not filing a complaint to which you expect a resolution.

Q4. Can I plant without being registered?

If you're new to the site you can plant a Gripe or Guestbook entry before you register an account. Once you've planted your Gripe you'll be taken to a screen where you can register (or login if you already have an account). You have 12 hours to register or login after planting your form. After you've registered by activating the email link or once logged in to the site, your post will be published … as long as it passes the spam and profanity filters!

Q5. Can I edit a Gripe or Guestbook entry?

You have 15 minutes to edit what you plant. This is time to give it a proofread and make sure it expresses what you feel in a way that will provide the best chance for resolution or thoughtful reflection by others. To edit, go to “My Page”, which is your user public profile and you will see the ‘edit pencil’ icon near to the text of your entry.

Q6. How do I get resolution on a Gripe?

The steps in the life of a Gripe look like this:
1. When you complete your Gripe form and it is published, your Gripe is ‘Awaiting Response’.
2. When the company makes any contact with you through a public comment or private message, your Gripe is ‘In Progress’.
3. The company has access to your email address and may ask for further contact information and further details on your issue. Providing your information and good faith communication is an important part of the resolution process at Gripevine.
4. When the company relays a ‘Resolution Response’, it will pop-up automatically in front of you on the site. There is a simple one-question survey about how the resolution offer meets your expectations. Once you answer this question, the pop-up will close and you will have had your say and it will reflect in the company’s Customer Resolution Index (CRI) score.
5. In the ‘Resolution Response’ pop-up, you can also provide a public or private follow-up message on your feelings about the company’s handling of your issue. You can also do either of these at a later time from your ‘My Page’.
6. It is possible that the company will resend a new Resolution Response, depending on the quality of your feedback to them. And you will get a chance to re-score the new offer. points.

Q7. What are Creds?

Creds (short for credibility points) are awarded to you for performing various actions on the site. Cred is automatically assigned by the site for certain actions, planting and commenting on Gripes or Guestbook entries, creating and answering Polls, or adding images to your postings … among others. Creds provide an index of your influence and credibility in the site and, one day soon, will be useable in our prize draws.

Q8. Do I have to use my real name on the site?

Not in public, no. As a matter of fact, your username should not reveal your real identity. Regarding the non-public part of the site, the email address provided during your registration will be made available to the companies on which you post Gripes or Guestbooks entries. On your Settings page, there is a place to enter further Contact Information including your name, city, and phone number. If this is filled in, companies on which you post will have access to this information. If this is not filled in, a company may request this Contact Information to communicate with you about your posting. Whether you choose to complete the name, city and phone number in your Settings is entirely up to you but without this information the company may elect to request your posting be designated as fake.

Q9. Will my email address be public?

Your email address will not be viewed by the public on Gripevine. It will be available to Gripevine

Q10. Will Gripevine ever be available in other languages?

Si. Multi-lingualism is absolutely on our roadmap. We will eventually make Gripevine available in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, and many other languages.

Q11. How do I delete my account?

A member's account or Gripe cannot be deleted, including comments that may be associated with it, as stated in our Terms of Use. You are able to edit the content of your entries within certain time windows after posting; however, please be aware that information that you include in your Gripe and your public username (not private identity) will appear in Google Search results.

Q12. How is the company’s Customer Contact Rate (CCR) and Customer Resolution Index (CRI) calculated?

The CCR shows what percentage of the time a company makes contact with customers who planted a Gripe on the system. It indicates whether the company is listening and being responsive. The CRI shows the average scoring of Resolution Responses by members who posted Gripes. This score is obtained from a single question on how the company’s resolution response met the expectation of

Q13. Why didn’t the company respond to my Gripe?

Not all companies choose to respond to complaints on the internet but your voice is still heard. Your post remains up for all to see, the Customer Contact Rate and Customer Resolution Index scores a zero for your Gripe and this reflects on the company’s public page, and your Gripe will clearly show as ‘Unresolved’. Your compliant combined with others will build and eventually the number of complaints on Gripevine will open the eyes of company decision makers that there are problems that they need to address and they will have no choice but to eventually respond … to make things better for you and themselves.

Sometimes companies don’t answer because the tone of the Gripe makes the whole exercise seem like a no-win situation or your expectations may be too high. We encourage respectful communications and realistic expectations. We know these are the ingredients to resolution.

If you were sarcastic or belligerent, it shows a lack of respect and companies may perceive you as difficult to deal with and they may give up trying to reach a resolution with you before they even start. We understand you may be very frustrated, but it isn’t helpful to be rude or crude, so lose the 'tude.

Did you threaten legal action? Once you threaten legal action against a company, they often disengage at the customer relations level and refer the issue to their legal department. At this point, your customer service issue becomes a legal issue and it rarely solicits a response from the company; they’ll wait for your lawyer’s letter.

Not enough information is provided. It is really important for you to include enough information to back up a credible Gripe. A one sentence line "Company X sucks," isn’t really going to resolve your issue. If you have photos or PDFs that can support your Gripe, include them. You have the choice to make them public or private; while, the default for photos is public and PDFs is private.