The modern day consumer’s life abounds in products and services. If one stops for a moment to take stock of the different products and services available, one would realise that a moment is not enough to take a count. We are availing of services from government as well as private agencies, and using a zillion products manufactured by a multitude of companies.
However, there is no unified feedback mechanism except for the formal and legal routes offered by the Consumer Forum.
There are hundred different services offering hundred different websites and contact information–and to find each one and follow up on them is no cakewalk.
Swapnil Aggarwal, a development consultant from Gujarat, has come up with a one-stop solution, an app named SpeakUp that promises to tackle the lack of communication channels.
The platform helps users to directly share their grievance/feedback to government or private organisations with a single click. Once posted through the app, the user’s message is automatically communicated to the relevant authority via digital mediums.
Swapnil says, “These problems are common to all of us. We use so many products and services that when we need to give feedback to the manufacturer or provider, it becomes a hassle. The process of visiting each provider’s website, find the grievance email id and filing the feedback is a rather long process and many users let it go many times. What we wanted to build was a one-stop solution.”
“We don’t have an agent-based system, thus we don’t get into each individual grievance. What we do is simple; we connect the user to the relevant authority’s official handle and follow up the response,” he explains further.
In the three months since it went live, the app has been downloaded more than 4500 times, and received well over 100 complaints on an everyday basis. The complaints tend to vary in nature and extent. Take for instance, Bharat Gamit who found his loan from a certain bank show up in his account details as outstanding, thought he had finished repaying it entirely.
“I wasn’t able to get any response from the bank employees,” he says. “I came to know about an app, which connected user’s feedback to the official social media platforms and email ids directly. After posting my grievance on the app, I received a call from the Branch Manager within 6 hrs offering to sort out the confusion.”
Swapnil highlights that the app has not been built just for filing complaints, but also as a feedback platform.
While most of the posts tend to be complaints, around 20 per cent messages are also appreciative and positive.
The app posts feedback directly to the concerned organisation’s official? email and Twitter handle. In some cases, it also tags relevant officials to expedite the process, for example, Manoj Sinha, minister of state for railways, is a likely to be tagged in case of telecom complaints. With Twitter gradually becoming a platform for grievance resolution for many government departments and private organisations (#Twitterseva), the users receive prompt resolution via the handle. The entire mechanism is private and concerns only the user and the concerned vendor.
“If our user has a Twitter handle, the complaint is sent to the authority via the handle directly. In case the user doesn’t have an active Twitter account, the notification goes from SpeakUp’s handle. However, the message on public wall only mentions that a complaint has been shared via email,” he says.
SpeakUp also refrains from disclosing details of the complaint publicly. Swapnil explains, “It is basically, because we have not crosschecked the authenticity of the complaint—we are the postman who drops the letter at the right address.”
Featured image source: Pixabay