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Bloggers do not trash your company, either you already are trash or you are doing it yourself!

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I read this really disturbing news. Companies are employing agencies to clean-up negative feedback online. Their target is “crazy blogs”. The definition of crazy is at best undefined. Who will be defining crazy? If I narrate my experiences about some product or service which I bought or experienced and if that helps someone to make a better decision, what’s wrong with that.

This is a direct stab at our democracy and freedom of speech. India is more becoming like China. A police state. Through official and sometimes not so official channels, India slowly but surely is becoming a police state. Yesterday was the ban on smoking in public places where the definition of public place is debatable.

Now this is underground Internet Mafia Style Company !

Companies who are offering these services are eBrandz, Communicate2, Value Pitch, and Id8lab.

Their main targets are the websites like mouthshut, complaintboard and customercomplaint.

Other blogs and bloggers are next in line. Their strategy is to either pull the ‘problem’ site down or produce more content to confuse the search engines and the pull the problem site’s ranking down. Wow. I think these companies should be commended for creating a disruptive business model. This they would be doing for a charge. Imagine if this strategy should be employed by the angry bloggers whose site would otherwise enjoy a good Google page rank. That would just be the start of a vicious circle.

Companies are spending crores to clean up the ‘negativity’ on the web. It is already a 200 crore industry. This really amazes me. Why not spend the same amount in taking the feedback seriously and work on it. Why not invest in training your personnel and ask them to smile at the customer.

This tirade is not because I am a blogger. But because the premise of the argument that bloggers are trashing a company’s reputation is just stupid. Funny thing is based on the feedback (or negative feedback), the companies are not considering about improving their products. Instead they chose to play cops online.

Now, let me narrate a personal experience. I have subscribed to Reliance Broadband back in 2006 and paid 500/- via cheque in favour of Reliance. The cheque was duly submitted and the amount was deducted. It’s almost 2 years and I am still waiting for Reliance Broadband connection. Should this experience help you or should I just keep my fingers shut? Would this qualify as negative feedback and am I a crazy blogger? This is at best Indian consumer sharing his/her experience so that other Indians can benefit from it before putting their hard earned money on any particular service and only to find that its crap. Have a look at some of the comments that have come on one of our posts earlier by fed-up Reliance Big TV customers.

I can understand this if the reason was genuine. If someone was purposefully vilifying your company’s reputation, please go ahead and do this. If you were targeting the whole web to resurrect your image then it would be like downloading the Internet. Only difference is Google became a company by starting with a crazy idea of downloading the Internet and your company will become just another company hidden deep inside the google’s page ranks.

I wish I were living in China. At least I don’t have to worry about blogging and expressing my opinion and just enjoy the excellent progress and keep my mouth shut.

Is expressing honest opinions about bad services crime or what? What do you think?

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  2. Vipsy says

    After a bad experience with Reliance, I have decided not to buy any Reliance ADAG services in future. And I will stick to it.

  3. Randy says

    In my opinion, the bloggers should share their honest opinions and experiences with each other. I think that is what blogging is supposed to be all about! It is sad that there are countries that do not allow Internet access – these are countries that must be afraid of some bad secrets becoming known world wide. Very sad indeed.

  4. Rohan Deshmukh says

    Grow up buddy….and get over yourself..

  5. Rahi says

    The companies that are training their guns against the ‘Crazy Bloggers’ want that more innocent customers fall for their defective products and services; thats why they don’t want the bloggers to review products and give negative feedback on the internet.

    Blogging is a free media. Any attempts to cut the freedom should be thwarted.

    With the popularity of blogs, talks are also ripe about a code of ethics that bloggers should comply with. I think this too will cut the freedom of the blog writers to write about their experiences.

    Very truly said, if the companies can spend the crores of rupees on improving their products and services, there will be no negative feedback at all. Seldom do bloggers engage in vilifying products and companies purposefully; and when they do it shows.

    Therefore, I think we bloggers should collectively come forward to oppose this.

  6. Robin Jacob Abraham says

    Despicable to say the least. While they(the companies) can spend crores trying to get rid of the negative opinion, why cant they solve the basic problem itself. If someone is writing a review on a certain product, it is because he/she has faced an issue that has compelled him/her to choose a venue which will make the issue visible to the company.
    We also do monitor certain brands in the online space and our major activity starts based on the opinions being garnered. If there is negativity around a brand, it is more important to understand why and what is causing the negativity rather than trying to manipulate the web!!!

  7. Sukhminder Sukhi says

    A bad fish spoils the whole pool.

    If beloggers are honest in their opinions like Arun then definitly ‘downloading’ a trak.in is a crime. But if someone is saying disgraceful about my product for no cause then this cleaning action is also required. Point is honesty – is RIL serving you honestly and a bloggers is honest in posting about it? Actually selecting a company and a product has million factors and it is not just what you see about it on TV or Internet. End line is you carry on your honest posts, a company can supress your voice and sell ‘bad’ service for a while but not always.

    But there is another truth: Might is right and it can happen anywhere and it mostly happens in states like India and China.

  8. akshat says

    arun

    u went in for reliance broadband as well?

    bad boy

  9. Priyanka says

    Your article has come as a surprise, I was not aware of these services. Thinking about it I guess we should expect these things cause blogging is being called the 5th estate because it is gaining power. Definitely industries, governments etc… are going to try and control it!

    Your reliance issue reminded me of Hathway Cable services, after good service for a few months I paid them an advance for a better internet plan and then the connection died out. I called customer service umpteen number of times and the response was bad, the reps actually hung up on me! Finally they showed their face after 6 months when it was time for them to collect another installment of cash, the accounts dept didn’t even know that my connection was down! Finally I hung up on them when they asked for cash :p and switched to MTNL Triband.

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