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Hellopeter: It's not the complaints platform you think it is

If you're South African, chances are you're familiar with Hellopeter. However, when asked what it is, you might refer to it as a complaints platform. This sentiment did not come out of nowhere. It's true that when Hellopeter was started in 2000, it was labelled a complaints platform - a place for consumers to bring their service-related issues to light. However, although it remains a powerful platform for resolving issues, it has come a long way since then and is widely known as South Africa's number online review platform.
Hellopeter: It's not the complaints platform you think it is

The turning point

Hellopeter has been around for longer than social media has. The founder, Peter Cheales, was a staunch consumer activist that demanded the utmost service excellence from businesses and wanted people to reach out to him with their negative experiences. He created a platform where people could write in to him and voice their frustrations about specific issues experienced with South African businesses.

In 2014, Alon Rom got word that Hellopeter was up for sale. He immediately had a vision for it as something much more than what it was initially intended to be. Armed with his experience with Takealot and Mr Delivery, he understood the weight the brand carried and used his expertise to build on the value of what the founder did with the business.

But wait, what is Hellopeter then?

Today, there are two sides to the company. On the one hand, you have the consumer site, and on the other hand, you have for businesses.

"We want to be known more for being a business that helps both South African consumers and businesses. After all, we are South Africa's number one online review platform, and that's very powerful if used correctly," says Alon Rom, CEO of Hellopeter.

"The negative perception around the brand has definitely changed over the last two to three years. However, it's still very much a work in progress. When businesses chat to our team and find out what we can offer them, they're in shock and very impressed that we offer so much more than they always thought Hellopeter was," Alon adds.

Hellopeter for the consumer

The core of what Hellopeter is to the South African consumer remains the same and will never go away. For consumers, Hellopeter is a place where they can go to resolve their service or product experiences.

However, it has become much bigger than that. Today, consumers can use Hellopeter to research businesses and write their own reviews about both the good and bad real experiences to help guide decisions.

Think about it. When you browse online shopping sites like Takealot, do you spend more time reading the product description or the reviews? Well, Hellopeter is a dedicated site where you can browse reviews written by real people about their experiences with South African businesses, whether good or bad. Moreover, you can read that business's reply to gauge how they handle disputes.

"South African consumers prefer to come to Hellopeter instead of social media because it's a well-known brand for the review space, whereas social media platforms are baked with a lot of noise. You might have adverts, reviews, brand mentions, consumers chatting, etc. It's not one defined place where you can go and understand the credibility of the business, whereas Hellopeter is exactly that," says Rom.

So, just like you would go to TripAdvisor to research accommodation before you book your holiday, you should research South African businesses, whether that's your local hairdresser, coffee shop, or insurance provider on Hellopeter, before spending your hard-earned money.

Hellopeter for business

Hellopeter business has more than 81,000 registered South African businesses with reviews, including some of the country's top brand names across various industries. It's no longer just your big telecommunications companies. It's also your hotels, beauty salons, financial service providers, and so much more.

Online reviews are not new and have always been powerful. However, these days, it carries more weight than ever before. Furthermore, just collecting reviews is not enough anymore, and customers expect businesses to actively reply to reviews. In fact, 56% of customers surveyed said that a company's response to a review changed their perspective on the business.

Hellopeter: It's not the complaints platform you think it is

"The acceleration to moving online, especially after the pandemic, has definitely helped us grow tremendously. Businesses had to find alternative ways to market themselves. And traditional marketing can be expensive for small businesses. We offer an alternative way, from free to paid plans," says Rom.

"It’s important to note that we're not a one-dimensional complaints platform. Instead, we're a proactive platform. We help businesses attract customers more easily by building a positive online reputation, giving them the ability to build social proof, and help them become more discoverable online. We do this by delivering a number of tools to the business to be able to collect, respond to, leverage, and integrate reviews into social media, Google, etc., to harness the power of what reviews can do for your business," he adds.

Reaching for the stars

Today, Hellopeter as a platform is bigger than ever. In 2022, it reached over two million registered users, with over eight million users visiting the site, and a new review is written on the site almost every minute!

Another exciting milestone for Hellopeter in 2022 was when the number of positive reviews on the site overtook the number of complaints, with over 50% being about positive experiences. This was further proof that South Africans were not only aware of but embracing the fact that Hellopeter is now a balanced platform

You can browse their plans here..

Hellopeter: It's not the complaints platform you think it is

Join South Africa’s #1 online review platform

The next time you’re considering choosing a South African business, whether it’s an optometrist or your local flower shop, head over to to see what your fellow South Africans had to say about the experience.

If you’re a business, go to to see what your customers are saying about you. If you haven’t claimed your business page yet, do so now and browse Hellopeter Business's Plans.

5 May 2023 13:05