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What do you do when it's your company that has gotten slimed and maligned unfairly in the press or on one of the prevalent consumer feedback sites such as PissedConsumer.com? Do you fix it? Can you fix it? Do you need to hire a pro? It's interesting that "Reputation management" has evolved from a catchphrase to a science to an actual industry. Has anybody run a search on reputation management agencies lately? Prepare to be buried—you'll get at least 25 pages of Google results.

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - From restaurants to retailers, digging up details about a company isn't very difficult these days. "More than 60% of us go online before we buy or hire," says Angie's List Director of Communications Cheryl Reed.

(MONEY Magazine) -- Press 1 if you're delusional enough to think that the customer service rep you just spoke with actually gives a damn about your $5,000 cellphone bill, your exploded microwave or cancelled-without-notice flight.

"Unethical behavior by Beachbody...watch out!" wrote one customer on PissedConsumer.com, an online forum, in June. The customer railed against the Santa Monica, California -- based maker of fitness videos, claiming that it charged for something the customer didn't intend to order online. In the comment box, Tiana, a customer service representative from Beachbody, wrote, "I'm so sorry to hear that you had a bad experience." She left her contact information and added, "I would be glad to assist you and help to restore your faith in our company."

After hearing stories about complaints at the state's second largest dental HMO, Western Dental, people have asked what can a consumer do? Of course, knowledge is power. If you have questions about any dentist, check out their license and if they have been disciplined at the California Dental Board website

Does web whining work? Private websites with names like ComplaintsBoard.com and PissedConsumer.com have developed an enormous following among consumers who feel cheated by companies. But are these complaint magnets filling an important role in protecting consumer rights or do they merely serve as online bitch sessions?

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