CONSUMER POWER IN SOUTH AFRICA.

Position:Floodgate introduces new system for consumer complaints - Brief Article

A company called Floodgate is offering South African consumers an innovative way to complain to retailers or services suppliers with their cell phones. The system called 34007 uses a cellphone's Short Message Service (SMS) to send a brief text message to a business to compliment or complain.

A typical SMS can be only 160 characters. Here's the way the system works: Suppliers are assigned a code word which they then display. Obviously, it could also be used in advertising and various kinds of promotions to build consumer loyalty and trust. A consumer with a complaint starts the SMS with the supplier's code word. And then has the option to rate (1-10) a product or service. Membership costs US$1.71.

The SMS is transmitted to Floodgate, which does a lookup in its database and routes the message to the supplier's "personalized and secure Web page".

According to the Cape Argus (Cape Town), a typical complaint to a coffee shop whose code word is 'coffee' might read, "coffee 4 service too slow".

One of the ways Floodgate is selling the idea to retailers is by highlighting the benefit to the retailer of receiving a wealth...

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