Nowadays, consumers vent frustrations about companies using methods ranging from deviously clever to appalling. They post negative videos on YouTube, make critical comments on Twitter, or launch websites with domain names that leave no doubt what kinds of opinions will be found there. Gripe sites like starbucked.com and boycottwalmart.org see lots of volume, for example.
Companies targeted in this way can’t pull a video off YouTube or delete a Twitter post, but they can proactively purchase domain names that angry consumers might otherwise commandeer for the purposes of launching unseemly attacks.
FairWinds Partners, an Internet domain strategy firm recently studied the matter. They found that 20,000 sites ending with “…sucks.com” had been registered (that’s ten times more than the cohort ending in “…stinks.com” by the way).
And sure enough, among the Fortune 500 companies studied by FairWinds, 35% own their very own “…sucks.com” domain name. These include Wal-Mart, Target, Coca Cola, AMC Theaters and Southwest Airlines.
Surprisingly, Fairwinds recommends that companies choosing to scoop up their “…sucks.com” moniker should resist the temptation to bury it. Instead, Fairwinds implores companies to use these sites to elicit customer feedback.
Most of the above mentioned companies have not heeded FairWinds’ advice, although we’ve heard that AMC posts a satisfaction survey and Southwest directs visitors to its customer service page.