When people lived in small villages, and merchant A said something rude to consumer B, the gossip mill carried that information to the edge of town, and sometimes beyond. Then cities grew, mail order houses proliferated, and you could have customers angry with you and no one knew.
Now, if you have a problem with a customer, it’s back to the gossip mill, but this time the gossip mill is electronic, immediate and potentially permanent. Irate customers can open a website just to complain about you or your business; post a bad review on any number of “post your review” websites such as Amazon, TripAdvisor, AngiesList or many others; or post their rant on their weblog. And it’s very scary when you see that happen.