Groubal, a recent start up , has created a new term: a Groubal: a complaint submitted by a consumer, turned into a Petition. If there are enough signatures, Groubal takes the popular complaints forward to the company demanding answers. At the time of writing this article, the most popular Groubal had 829 Signatures. Looking around the site the most current groubals had only a few signatures. Groubal has created a game on Facebook to try to get the word out.

Yelp, a location sharing service has announced changes to its practices due to customer complaints! This is ironic because Yelp is supposed to gather complaints and compliments from users about local small businesses. Yelp sold advertising on its site to small business owners but some small businesses called the advertising offering extortion. Several class action suits have force Yelp to make some changes to it policies. The article covers the existing ‘user review’ filtering process and the changes in policies caused by local business outrage.

Yelp, a web site, where consumers post positive or negative reviews of local businesses can be a boon to customer satisfaction, sales and new customer acquisition or it can be a real headache for a local business. The power of consumers is very evident in this new review site which boasts 30 Million users a month, and 10 Million reviews, mostly in the US, but also in Canada, UK and Ireland. This article describes Why Yelp is important, what Yelp is, how local business owners can use Yelp and what do to next if you are just getting started.

The bad news continues for Toyota’s brands. Prius, Lexus, Sai, Camry and Tacoma recalls have been issued in the past week. And there is investigation going on about possible problems with the steering on newer Toyota Corollas. Customer Satisfaction with Toyota has certainly been impacted with this widespread quality problems. Some Toyota units in the US were named in a Racketeering lawsuit. Toyota shareholders have also seen a big drop (about 20%) in their share value since mid January when the most recent recalls started.

Toyota is working hard to on reputation management, trying to appease customers and restore customer satisfaction and loyalty. Despite this effort multiple law suits and class action suits have been launched against Toyota. There is a perception that the current fix being implemented is not the real solution, that there are lingering problem with the acceleration system (computer, electronic and mechanical), and the lack of a brake-to-idle failsafe, which brings the engine to idle when both the throttle is in the open position and the break pedal is depressed. There is also concern that Toyota failed to exercise its duty of warn’ customers of a defect in a timely manner. Toyota is the middle of a major reputation management nightmare.

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