Frexper (foreign experience) was conceptualized to offer a free businesses resource and directory to consumers, primarily in less developed places on the globe with significant expat populations. In order to maximize its usefulness to consumers, this resource should have locations and specialties of local businesses as well as reports on their professional conduct. With this rich information, consumers can easily find businesses that they would like to patronize and professionals they would like to hire. The site is supported by businesses who would like to manage their own frexper presence. But it is entirely free for anyone to add listings and review them.
One key feature of frexper is its confidentiality. This is the piece that separates frexper from other review-based directories such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. Confidentiality is extremely important to the success of this site. We would like to hear horror stories as well as success stories in dealing with local businesses, and confidentiality is an important piece of this willingness to divulge harsh experiences. For frexper to be the rich resource on local businesses that its creators intend, confidentiality is key. We’ve added layers of internet security to help keep frexper secure.
In addition to providing a rich, detailed directory and resource for consumers, frexper aims to accomplish another, second-level, indirect goal: instill a level of professional accountability where currently none exists. Vendors mistreating their consumers is commonplace in many areas that remain without consumer recourse–when you get ripped off, there’s simply nothing you can do about it. In the absence of laws or organizations that protect consumers from shady business dealings, there is frexper and its freely accessible social space. With its confidential reporting, frexper aims to fill this void in the social fabric where consumers had no recourse when badly mistreated. Now, you have a space where you can tell your terrible story and warn others about certain vendors you had a real problem with. When consumers honestly report their experiences with vendors, for the worse and for the better, the rest of us consumers are better informed and therefore more likely to choose wisely. Of course, this will have a ripple effect. Quality vendors will succeed and grow while the sheisters can choose to either fade away and vanish or change their ways. It may not be legal repercussions we can instill to help balance the scales of justice, but social repercussions, indeed!
These are the visions and intentions for frexper. We want to provide a free, extremely useful resource for consumers, help better businesses get recognized and grow, and help instill some level of social justice on the sheister vendors among us. But none of this works without your contributions. So please, review your favorite and least favorite vendors and professionals today! If they’re not in the system yet feel free to add them as best you can, then review. The more information we can gather, the more useful this resource will be for all.
So far, public response to frexper has been very positive. People love the idea of a free directory to help with a community’s organization. People also want to know why I put this together. In short, I developed this for two reasons: 1) I’m tired of not knowing where to find what I need; and 2) I’m tired of being ripped off by local vendors. Mostly, I had a really really bad mechanic experience, at the level of corruption and do-what-he-will that would never happen in any industrialized nation in the world. It was straight-out extortion, plus a timetable that was far beyond anything resembling reasonable. Any semblance of business ethics was entirely missing from this man’s behavior. I was busting at the seams, yet had no where to turn. I couldn’t report him to anyone, as there was no one to report him to. I couldn’t threaten him with legal action, as there is no law that he was violating. I wanted to give him “1 star” on some rating system and to publicly voice my experience so I could warn others, but there was no such system in existence. Yet ;). This is the space for frexper.
I have a PhD in Communication and have done a share of academic research in communication. And while building a website doesn’t really tap into any of my communication training, ideas about confidentiality and the bases of my overall visions for and design of frexper come from my communication research and academic training. I want this to be a valuable tool for public expression. It has multi-level goals to help it be a resource that matters in the bigger societal picture, which also offers a glimpse of both academic and quiet social activist influences in its foundation. These are the deeper intentions of frexper. But really, I just want people to use it and find it very valuable.
We sure meant to cover every angle in the development of frexper but inevitably, there is always room for improvement. We welcome your suggestions and feedback. Feel free to drop us a line anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the frexper community! We are so glad you’re here!