Complaints, I’ve had a few, but then again, not enough to mention…



With the current debate surrounding Whaleoil being part of the Media (or not), one of the concerns that have been expressed across the debate is the apparent absence of a formalised complaints procedure.

Complaints are actually received regularly via email and are  taken seriously.  Other complaints may be left as comments and simply not noticed by blog staff.  

While we are in an extreme growth phase, we are discovering the need to evolve the way we do things.  The new complaints procedure is part of this.  It is public facing – you can see the complaint, and what was done about it.

You can lay a complaint about Whaleoil content via the Contact option present on every web page.  On that page are many ways of contacting Whaleoil – we have never shied away from being available.  But, now a dedicated procedure for laying a complaint has been added.

Please note this is to complain about blog content.  Complaints about other readers or blog staff should in the first instance be made by using the other contact options on the Contact page.

Like anything in life, we won’t be able to please everyone all of the time.  But this will at least improve our systems and make what we already do more visible.  Let’s see how this evolves.


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  • blokeintakapuna

    Can we complain that there’s a “complaints” button before a “donation” button?

    • Yea, at least someone paying would have grounds to complain!

      • Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    • Lux

      I agree with the bloke ..

    • Muffin

      make it a ‘offended’ button rather than complaint, as that all it really is…. then tell the offended party to FO.

      • BJ

        I originally started typing an agreement with you but then went back to check Pete’s post.

        If used with integrity a ‘complaint’ button is the correct title – as in the case of pointing out a factual error. A complaint implies someone holds another responsible for making something right. An offence button should not be necessary because ‘taking offence’ implies the responsibility should rest on the shoulders of the offended – and they should get over it. Offended individuals can verbalise on the blog – if they’re brave. :)

  • Jimmie

    Perhaps you should have a two complaint buttons.

    Button for socialists: = Automatic outcome of every complaint = declined.

    Button for normal people: = have a read, if it makes sense we’ll fix it. If not = declined.

    By having this two button step it should eliminate around 98% of all complaints received.

    • I think the process of having the complaints in public, ready to be debated on by the audience is somewhat of a restraining factor.

      If that doesn’t keep a serial complainer or a malicious complainer in check, we will simply close the door on that individual. We can’t let the genuine process of trying to fix mistakes get derailed by people looking for attention.

      • Jimmie

        Fair enough Pete. I do agree with the donation button request. I’ve been a WO follower for around 8 years or so and would be keen to flick a few $$$ through from time to time to keep the lights on.

        • We’re struggling with a philosophical problem in the background here. It’s all about being self-sufficient, not beholden to anyone, and not expecting hand-outs.

          The problems with donations is that they come in waves and you need to go on begging drives. I can’t make commitments to people or purchase infrastructure or services based on having to be dependent on the goodwill of readers.

          There is a way – we’re just a little preoccupied right now with other matters that means it continues to be on the back burner.

          • williamabong

            It’s not about handouts, but more about people that believe in what this site has achieved and still attempts to achieve contributing to keep the lights on.
            Without the site a number of people in this country would be getting away with an awfull lot of shit that no one would know about, from all political parties

      • disqus_Aa7kWsb7Fp

        One of the best I ever saw had a special page dedicated to the crazies.
        Just filter them so their posts end up on that or in that part of the media.

      • Dave

        Any complaints button needs to be accompanied with another button. Is your name McCready, Hatefield, Presland etc etc. if so …. please forward your complaint to our complaints manager, mark it attention to Hell en Wait!!

      • James Howlett

        Agree with this strategy Pete. Hijacking the systems or procedures put in place to provide genuine feedback is the standard MO of too many people out there in internet land. A decent dose of common sense in there will result in better outcomes and I think fits with the general philosophy of WO.

  • Dave

    Complaints – hmmmm where do we send the compliments for actual factual journalism, care of Lens Lawyer mate Judge Blackie ??

  • Dan

    Are complaints confidential?

    • You can send any information to any of us at any time using any means at your disposal. You can have it hand delivered even. It doesn’t matter. Anything that is sent to us in private remains confidential unless we have your permission to do otherwise.

      However, be believe in having the complaints process out in the open. We hope it will form a track record of how we deal with them, and will eliminate the suspicion that we don’t act honourably or professionally.

      • LabTested

        I’d like to complain that there is a very loud Russian shouting at reception at my hostel in Malaysia. Some young people next to Me would like to complain that as I am clearly over 50 I should not be in their youth hostel & my gf would like to complain that I am spending too much of my holiday on WO rather than buying fake Gucci bags.

        • She has a point. Always keep your partner watered and fed first. Basic rule dude.

  • Steve (North Shore)

    Simple, complaints out in the open, then we know who the ‘wreckers and haters’ are

  • Wahbonnah

    Can I complain that LBIAFC!!!!!