Writing here in the past, and in emails to friends, I have often wondered about the new power of the consumer. For the first time ever, a disgruntled customer can get his hands on a ‘printing press’ in the form of a website.
I’m saying this after reading the full text of Lowes-sucks.com! Lowes is not pleased.
In this case, it seems to be Lowes misfortune to have underperformed for someone already inclined to be a gadfly. To say this guy’s prose reads like a rant is an understatement.
On the other hand, based on his side of the story, he was wronged. True or not, and with Lowes not addressing his gripes, his online attitude shows he thinks they have a lot more to lose than he does¹.
There is already a loser here: Lowes. This guy’s beef is $2,500, but it has to have already cost Lowes more than that in bad will and negative publicity.
Forget the always powerful steamroller that is geofffox.com. The story has been posted on Consumerist – a reasonably well traveled site of whiners (that I visit a few times a day). Lowes-sucks.com is undoubtedly getting traffic.
A former friend of mine… an attorney who held another business-sucks website… told me in no uncertain terms: it’s protected speech to mount a ‘sucks’ site.
So, let’s revisit my original thought. Does business disregard this new consumer power at its own peril? Is it fair to give this much power to a consumer… even a wacko consumer?
These are questions that are now being asked on a daily basis by corporate officers not used to worrying about individual consumers. I’m not unhappy about that.
¹ – I’m a firm believer, in a pissing contest everyone gets wet