Dealing with problems caused by online businesses is often tricky. Because of the anonymity of the Internet and the ease of setting up an online business, there is, sadly, a lot of fraud online. If you run into trouble with an online business, you might want to let your dissatisfaction be a warning to other potential customers. The wide range of the Internet allows you to do this in several ways.
- Skill level:
Contact the company directly. Most online businesses have a "Contact" section on their website for you to call or e-mail them. Tell the company what your problem is and suggest a way to fix it. Most companies will offer to fix whatever has gone wrong.
Post to an online review site. Sites such as GetSatisfaction, Epinions and Yelp allow you to post your own reviews about products and businesses (see Resources). These reviews serve as warnings to other potential customers about problems with the business.
Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center, an organisation cosponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center. This should only be done if the business has done something you consider illegal, such as not delivering promised products or services or charging your credit card an incorrect amount. If there is enough evidence to prove this company is engaging in illegal activities, the Internet Crime Complaint Center can take appropriate action.
Speak your mind on social networking sites. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Myspace allow you to reach a more focused group of people. This is a good way to warn family and friends about scheming companies. If the business you're unhappy with has a social networking presence, you can post your dissatisfaction directly to the business by replying to it on Twitter or posting on its Facebook fan page.
Tips and warnings
- Never be rude or threatening when addressing these companies. While you might be angry, you'll get a better response if your communication with the company is calm and direct.
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