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How to File a Complaint Online

A lot of readers might be upset that we chose to publicize the information below. But, it’s only fair to empower hard-working consumers against unethical business practices.

Before continuing, we recommend you take up your complaint with the company first. Seek to find a reasonable solution to your issue. If, however, your pleas fall on deaf ears, there are a few powerful ways to share your bad experience with the public. <u>Complaints should be based on fact. Do not use malicious or offensive language. Do not use generalizations in your statements.</u> The most effective complaints are those that spread the word, but also motivate the company to do better. In the end, that’s what will help the community the most.

Review Sites

Google (Maps.Google.com -or- Plus.Google.com/Local)

The easiest thing to do is leave a review on Google maps or places. The review you leave will appear in both areas which are just two different ways of looking at the same business listing. If you go to Maps.Google.com and search for the business, you can click on its map listing and then click on the link to “write a review”. Make sure your Google review is descriptive enough and includes the correct business spelling. Google reviews rank exceptionally high on Google search results and have the double impact of appearing on Google maps frequently used by millions of people on a daily basis to locate businesses.

Yelp.com

Yelp is probably the most famous review website online. Yelp reviews get significant attention by users online because of Yelp’s large user base and its high-ranking pages with start ratings appearing on Google search results. Make sure not to spam your review multiple times because they will get flagged.

CitySearch.com

CitySearch.com is another well-known review website that covers almost any type of business. It has a large user base and its pages get picked up by Google quickly. CitySearch reviews have similar effectiveness to Yelp and Google in that users search for businesses within the site and also get the sites listings on Google search results.

Complaint Sites

There are over a dozen well-known complaint websites in operation today, and many more obscure sites you can use. But, only three have the authority, trust, and page rank to create very high-ranking pages soon after you post your complaint. The top three complaint websites are:

RipoffReport.com

Ripoff Report is by far the most effective complaint website in existence today. With upwards of one million juicy complaints, its pages get clicked very often on search results. Ripoff Report is a major precursor to the prevalence of today’s reputation management services. It’s free to create a report, and it usually appears on the offending company’s Google search results within hours.

PissedConsumer.com

This is another highly popular online complaint website, though not as old as Ripoff Report. A Pissed Consumer complaint report will rank relatively highly for the subject of the report. It also doesn’t take very long to see this report on search results for the offending company.

ComplaintsBoard.com

This complaint website is among the top three because of its popularity and strength in Google search results. Publishing a complaint is free here, as with all other complaint websites.

Free Blogs

Blogs are one of the best ways to share information online in a permanent way. This form of complaint publication, if done right, can be highly effective. Blogs are easy to set up, completely free, and hosted by major companies. Also, Google loves to index blogging websites, and this is what’s going to get your blog pages showing to hundreds of people over time.

For your blog to be effective and rank high on that company’s search results, you will have to use the company’s correct spelling in the blog name, blog title, blog page headings, and also in the content. Instead of using “they” or “it” or “them”, always refer to the subject by the full qualified name. This is important for Google to know what you’re talking about when it indexes your blog pages for later display on search results.

Blogspot.com

This is one of the first and most used blogging platforms online today. Blogspot is now a Google service, which is all the more reason to trust it’s going to get indexed quickly by Google’s search engine. Many companies and even personalities have had the unfortunate experience of dealing with complaints about them on a BlogSpot website. They are increasingly difficult to push down below the first page of Google search results.

For example, if “ABCDE Painting Service” incorrectly painted your house pink and laughed at you, you can create a BlogSpot website in minutes detailing your negative experience with them. Your Blogspot site will have a URL like ABCPaint.blogspot.com.

WordPress.com

WordPress is used by millions of people to create blogging websites in minutes. You can even skip creating pages, and only create a few posts which should appear on the front of your WordPress site. Your web address for a free WordPress site is going to look like ABCPaint.wordpress.com.

Blogger.com

Blogger rounds out our list of highly influential and free blogging sites that can spread your message effectively on Google search results. Your free website on Blogger is going to look like ABCPaint.blogger.com.

Social Media

Get on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook and share your bad experience about the company. The only challenge is getting your voice heard. A status update or tweet these days is like a drop in the bucket. What you’ll have to do is mention hash groups and others in your tweets to get them maximum exposure. For Twitter, it’s best to have a WordPress website with a Twitter plugin showing your most recent tweets. That way, your tweets will also get indexed by Google and shown in search results for that company.

For LinkedIn, try to share your negative experience with LinkedIn Groups. That will ensure maximum exposure and a long-lasting message that is posted on group pages.

In order for Facebook to be useful, the complaint has to be linked to an image or video and it should have some interesting qualities to go viral. Otherwise, you’re going to be limited to those directly connected to you. You might try creating a public Facebook account with a publicly visible profile that includes your complaint and links for more information.

About Henry Jawhary

Henry Jawhary is a Reputation Management and SEO consultant based in Southern California. Before becoming an expert ORM consultant, he spent 14 years providing Web Development and IT Project Management services to various corporations and government organizations in the US. Henry is available to discuss your company's reputation management needs or speak at your next corporate event. For more information, email henry@searchrespect.com.

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