QUESTIONS BY CONSUMERS
There are so many so-called directories of quality vendors in the area, what’s new?
To give a directory-business a couple of hundred Rand a month for a limited-entry listing, makes it a rather subjective entity indeed. However, through your input, we can actually provide a first-hand idea of service levels of many businesses, this is also much fairer to the other businesses in the area. Our motto is: All reliable vendors should be able to participate.
Businesses pay you for their listing, how can that make your directory objective?
Yes they do pay as we would not be able to provide this service free of charge. However the amounts we charge are negligible and only sustainable with a large volume of subscribers. Also, the information displayed we receive directly from consumers; we do not research ourselves as this would make us subjective indeed.
If you claim not to be a consumer body, are you then in the business camp?
No we are neither. We are in the middle, not as a referee, but as an independent provider of a service that should benefit both consumers and reliable business in equal amounts. As difficult as it is for consumers to find “The right company” it is that difficult for “The right company” to get it through to prospective clients that they are the ones you can rely on.
QUESTIONS BY BUSINESSES
Is this not just another gripe-site?
So far all attempts for dialogue have been consumer forums and consumer "empowerment" drives, some in the form of gripe-sites, generally seen by business as attacks. Their obvious reaction has, not surprisingly, been that of defence and entrenchment.
This venture however stands out because it allows the businesses that are interested in supplying a reliable service, to finally receive something in return.
This fair "trade" will be the seed of its success.
I wouldn’t like to have my problems displayed on the Internet
They will not. Firstly most problems will be directed to you. Secondly, the ones that are going via us will not be shown if resolved within 7 days. The small remainder of issues show up with header/title only but with your full response, to put things in perspective, as a lot of issues are guarantee-related. Then depending on the time taken to be resolved the issue will appear in green when less than 2 weeks to resolve, orange 2-4 weeks to resolve or red more than 4 weeks to resolve.
So what if my competitors send in negative comments?
Firstly, nobody can post any content directly to our website, all input arrives at our desk first for scrutiny.
Secondly, only the title will be displayed as reference. If it is clear the client does not exist, we will not display the issue. Anonymous negative comments will not be displayed or followed up, however, they will be forwarded where after it will be the choice of the company in what way to deal with it.
We deal with the few negative comments we receive internally very well, why list?
In your advertising you mention a great service record but it is meaningless to clients who have no proof of this. If you have such a record, you have nothing to loose but all to gain.
We generate all our sales through recommendation, why list?
Most companies do, as many consumers choose between a number of quotes given by companies who were somehow recommended to them. However, a track-record is much more objective and credible, this is the power behind this facility for both business and consumer alike.
My clients are in the lower income bracket or have no Internet connection.
Firstly, we are contactable by telephone, e-mail or Sms so contactable by all.
Secondly, they might not have Internet access at home but very likely at work where most Internet browsing takes place during lunch-hour anyway.
Thirdly, not all consumers will use our website, but they could and this will make the business and their employees alert and supply quality service. Companies would not advertise their membership, if they had an uncompetitive service level.
Are companies being graded?
No, it is not our place to do so. Consumers are not necessarily looking for “the best” company as this is very subjective. They want to choose one of proven reliability.
Why do all our branches have to be listed separately, is it not easier to just list head office?
It would not be fair to a company if a particular branch or franchise or even a single agent is performing below-par. In this way the problem area can be avoided by consumers and addressed by head office. Again a benefit for both.