Originally complaints board sites were conceived to provide a free medium to consumers who were dissatisfied with a company’s services. However, due to complaints board sites’ weak policies, they have become a medium through which competitors, ex-employees, and unrealistic former customers can voice their grievances as well. Tax Defense Network investigates how complaints board sites work and how that affects their credibility and usefulness with consumers.
Tax Defense Network: Policy Flaws in Complaints Board Websites
Leaning heavily on the side of consumers, complaints boards provide no voice for companies that have resolved or want to resolve the complaints of their customers. This works against the consumers because the primary purpose of making a complaint is to get it resolved. Without providing a voice for companies, complaints board sites ultimately do not help a consumer other than giving them a place to vent.
Any rule that is one-sided is vulnerable to abuse. Furthermore, complaints board sites have no authentication system in place. This has led to many false complaints appearing on these boards by competitors and dissatisfied ex-employees, which distort the boards, and their purpose.
Tax Defense Network: How Complaints Board Sites Operate
Starting a complaints board site does not require any license or permission from a regulative authority. The owner(s) of the complaints board sites have the complete power to add, remove, or edit any content posted on the website. Along with enjoying complete power over the content on their sites, the owner(s) of complaints board sites are free from any responsibility that fake or inaccurate complaints may cause.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 states that providers of interactive computer services have no liability for information published by others. Therefore, in case a complainant is found guilty of defamation or libel, the complaints board site owner(s) are not held responsible for the damages.
Tax Defense Network: Complaints Board Sites Alternatives
Authentic complainants can use complaints board sites, Tax Defense Network believes, but apart from them, consumers may also use reputable organizations for placing their complaints. These outlets give a better chance of getting their complaints resolved successfully. The platforms where consumers can place their complaints against businesses include:
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
- The Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- The Office of Consumer Affairs
- The State Licensed Tax Professional General
- The National Consumer Organizations
- The Internet Crime Complaint Center
Consumers posting complaints on online complaints boards should be careful of the frauds who may try to discredit an honest complaint because anyone can place a complaint or comment without the danger of being exposed or punished. This results in many complaints ending up a battle of allegations and counter-allegations, which confuses consumers trying to get information on a company.
With the absolute power that complaints board site owners have over the policies of their site, they may rectify the existing weakness that is allowing some to exploit the complaint board platform. If their function of voicing and resolving consumer complaints is to be realized, they need to address the concerns of honest complaints. Along with helping consumers voice legitimate grievances against businesses, they also need to provide a voice for those businesses that wish to resolve these complaints. In this way, Tax Defense Network believes complaints boards can provide a true service to consumers.