This post in the New York Times calls attention to a new application called "Gripe." Gripe is a service that allows users to automatically send customer service complaints both to a company and to their facebook and twitter followers.
The makers of Gripe claim that sending the complaints automatically to all Facebook friends will lessen the likelihood of frivolous claims, and features a "word of mouth power" rating to business owners to clarify how many potential viewers a gripe will have.
Given that many consumers are already turning to social media as a channel to vent their frustrations, it seems it was only a matter of time before an app like this was invented. It does provide an important service to businesses, as it alerts them to the problems immediately where regular complaining on a personal Facebook page could be heard by friends, but not by the offending company.
Still, is Gripe really a necessary service? Will having such a "frictionless" way to complain prevent consumers from following proper channels to settle their complaints first? What do you think?