Startup Watch: Publik Demand

Giving Angry Consumers a Better Platform for Complaints

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Social media has bred customer complainers, yet venting rarely results in switching -- or better service. PublikDemand aims to give unhappy customers a bigger voice, help fix their problems with current providers or broker deals with new ones.

Users create complaints, which are categorized by company. Other users who've had similar problems, along with friends of the complainer, can rally behind a filed complaint. Once a complaint gains enough social traction, PublikDemand reaches out to the offending business in an attempt to find a fix. The twist is that If the company doesn't play ball, PublikDemand reaches out to competitors and offers them a group of unhappy consumers ripe for conversion and seeks to broker a special or deal offer to do so.

Co-founder CEO Courtney Powell runs the 500 Startups venture; it recently closed a seed round.

If Publik's platform makes it easy for brands to track and respond to customer complaints and ties into existing customer-relationship-management systems, it could be a real player in the space.

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