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Doughnut Co. Buys Site for Gripes

August 27, 1999

HAMDEN, Conn. (AP) _ Dunkin’ Donuts has purchased a Web site created to give customers a place to complain about everything from poor service to stale crullers.

David Felton, 25, ran the gripe site called dunkindonuts.org for two years until the company decided to purchase it. Felton said he cannot disclose the price as part of the June 30 agreement, but added that negotiations started at $1,070 and went up from there.

The company said in a statement Thursday that it ``encourages its customers to continue to send their feedback to www.dunkindonuts.org.″

It all started when Felton couldn’t get skim milk for his coffee at a Dunkin’ Donuts’ store in West Hartford. He posted the complaint on his personal Web site and began getting e-mail messages from other customers.

``Visitors to my personal Web site began e-mailing me with their thoughts about Dunkin’ Donuts, hoping I could work some sort of magic and force Dunkin’ Donuts Inc. to listen to them,″ he said Wednesday.

The forum eventually attracted the attention of the doughnut company, which didn’t have a similar feature on its own site, dunkindonuts.com. The company told Felton to stop using its name in his Web address.

``Dunkin’ Donuts did not want anything except for me to go away,″ Felton said. ``So I said, `OK, purchase my Web site.‴

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