Boycotting businesses – sharing via Twitter @iboycott?

I recently noticed a particular new follower of @valueireland on Twitter – someone called “Craig Fleischmann”. His bio was interesting as it was alluding to something I’ve been thinking about developing in Twitter myself recently, but with an Irish focus obviously.

The username being used is “whotoavoid” and the bio is as follows:

Companies to avoid and why. Information not intended to recommend one company over another. Contact me at CFleischmann@lawyer.com if you have any questions.

One of the initial aims of ValueIreland.com through the original Value Ireland Forum was to allow Irish consumers to promote companies that provided worthwhile value for money, quality and service and to highlight those that didn’t so that others could avoid them.

I think that there is still a need for such recommendations, I believe, but how to best share this information is still a challenge. Since the original Value Ireland Forum was set up, many other alternative review sites have been set up – some worthwhile, and some a waste of time and money.

Much of the time with such review and recommendation sites, the difficulty is that you rarely know who you’re actually dealing with in the background – is it someone completely independent, someone who works for the company, or someone who has a grudge against the company. I’ve written about this before here – a particular problem is review sites such as MenuPages.ie that need to make money, and so bad reviews can mean bad business. Adrian Weckler has written about this recently as well.

As part of my initial thinking, I did set up the Twitter account @iboycott. My original thinking was that people could simply twitter to @iboycott any time they came across a company that they decided they weren’t using any more, while providing a reason as well.

For example:

@iboycott 3 Mobile because of their crap customer service and for leaving me abroad on business with no phone service.

Then for anyone interested, they could follow @iboycott to see what other people are saying about other companies.

I suppose there’s also the potential for businesses to also follow @iboycott to see what is causing their customers, or former customers, problems and potentially even follow up to address those issues.

What do you think? Useful idea? Waste of time?

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2 Responses to Boycotting businesses – sharing via Twitter @iboycott?

  1. A Dines July 31, 2009 at 11:12 #

    We’re not quite as litigious over here in Ireland, but did you see this American lawsuit?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8173731.stm

  2. Michael August 7, 2009 at 00:11 #

    hi there

    customer recommedations are becoming more important now, therefore any idea that promotes customer reviews and recommendations is a good one. Therefore I like your idea.

    I have recently set up a new social review based website called http://www.whoseview.ie, that allows people rant and rave about their local experiences. I agree with your comment on the trust factor. Trust is the backbone and essence of any review site. We have built our site in such so as to promote this trust – who is actually posting the review, hence the name whose view?

    I’m following you on twitter for sometime now, so will keep eye out for above.
    rgs
    michael

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