My experience with FaceBook seems to mean “business” as usual for FaceBook. A recent report on ABC 7 News shows FaceBook to be one of worst companies for customer service ranking them at the bottom along with MySpace. Consumer websites like Customer Service Scoreboard rank them as terrible.
Personal vs. Professional
Facebook tries to distinguish between personal and business use, but for many small business owners the distinction between our personal and professional lives are very blurry. We lean on personal friends and friends-of-friends for networking opportunities.
Once Facebook determined my activities to be too business-oriented, my account was personally disabled. I had 5000 friends and professional contacts, some of which are no longer accessible. I also was also no longer able to administer the “Fan Page” for my business once my personal page was disabled. I can’t help but notice that Facebook inextricably ties our “Fan Page” promotional pages to a personal account, seemingly validating the argument that a person’s personal and professional lives are often indistinguishable. Word of advice make sure you have administrators on your fan page or you’ll find yourself SOL…
POOR REFERRAL INTERFACE
The process of converting personal friends to fans is sometimes difficult as there is no specific tool for referring people to the fan page. Once a person’s personal profile has filled its maximum (5000) allotted friends, there is no mechanism to refer people requesting to be a friend to your fan page. I had maxed out my ability to add friends, yet there remained nearly 1800 people requesting to be my friend.
Therefore, in an effort to refer these people (who had solicited a friendship from me) to my fan page, I began writing them brief personal messages, explaining that my friendship “quota” was full and they should follow the company’s fan page. It appears now that this activated some arbitrary algorithm in Facebook’s code which irreversibly disabled my account. I still have not received a response from anyone at Facebook about how someone is supposed to “properly” notify friend-requesters about an alternate page.
Man vs. Machine
Perhaps the most aggravating reality in attempting to resolve this issue is that Facebook has made any human customer service interaction impossible. Phone number? Official Email address? Live Chat? Not available. Not available. And ironically not available.
In fact, there is no opportunity to receive a real human response to account issues. Facebook’s official position appears to be that it is a “platform” and is a service that can be used according to its ever evolving and often arbitrary rules. I suppose they have determined that their computers can distinguish between proper human friendship and that blurry line between friendly and business interaction.
The reality though is probably more closely related to the significant cost of employing a legitimate customer service labor force to confront and resolve real human issues taking place on its platform. Is it unreasonable to expect a company valued at nearly US$15 billion (and growing) not to accept some responsibility to its nearly 500 million worldwide customers/users? Is the internet’s position as a nearly free distribution a valid excuse for neglecting customers and users? Or is silicon valley’s antisocial nerd ethos winning a decades long battle against real human interaction?
Until the holy grail of nerd computing matures (artificial intelligence) to the point that computers can truly consider circumstance and human reason, I suggest we hold multi-billion dollar internet companies such as Facebook responsible for serving their customers/users.
Written By: Ann Lauren
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8 thoughts on “Facebook Ranks At The Bottom For Customer Service”
Well then, why did you post this?
Facebook deserves a D in my book !
I read an article about that too. I fully agree as well. IDK what their prob. is but it needs to be directed asap.
THE WORST!!!!! This is my 2nd FB account because I got sick of FB ignoring my emails when I was locked out of my account!!!! After all that I asked them to simply deactivate since I made a new one..and guess what…. still no word from good ol FB…
In their defense, with 500,000,000 customers and only 1,400 employees it's an unsolvable problem. They don't have enough people to provide the customer service most people expect without opening call centers with tens of thousands of folks, which only would lead to them having to sell more advertising or charge for service.
That said, they have to realize that it's most annoying if you end up on the wrong end of the stick. If they don't find an innovative solution to fix it, it may prevent businesses from being willing to setup serious pages for social engagement, and that would limit their future profits. I don't think they're at risk of loosing regular users over it. Even the privacy setting issues, which gets a lot more press only did a minor dent into their sign-up rates, and sign-ups exceeded deactivations.
It's bad all around, but don't expect it to get better soon.
This story was posted in an effort to alert small business owners about what can happen to them by using FB and how to prevent it. Plus, we need to bring attention to Facebook's inadequacies, so they fix the problem. To this day we've never spoken to a live person.
Bella Petite pays to advertise on Facebook and if there's a problem we should be able to communicate with an actual company representative. The thought of spending tens of thousands of dollars to advertise electronically and then have a gliche occur and not be able to address it with a LIVE representative is ridiculous and extremely damaging to a company!
The point being their is no excuse for Facebook to have customer service that is so rotten, when they have hundreds of millions of dollars in profit to utilize. Obviously they can afford to spend money in an effort to provide proper customer service.
Mark Zuckerburg and his shareholders are simply being greedy and they should be held accountable for their service or lack thereof. Companies such as Paypal and Ebay have awesome customer service and they are huge, and a great example for Facebook to follow…
I share the author’s frustration at the lack of customer service. Myself, I would describe Facebook’s customer service not as terrible, but completely non-existent. Providing boxes to post comments in on help pages and never receiving a reply from a person is not customer service. The irony is that this giant of all social networks is itself inherently anti-social in the way it treats its users. I don’t agree with Jan Klier that it’s an ‘unsolvable problem’. I’m sure I remember a few years ago being able to ask a question by email and getting a reply, so there must have been a change of policy. A company innovative enough to create the platform in the first place is capable of providing customer service. Other platforms do. It could recruit a global army of freelance agents from its own user base to provide customer service. You don’t need expensive call centres or full-time staff. They can work at home. Users want to feel there’s someone out there that cares about their problem and will help them solve it, even if it can’t be done instantly – a service that will help you connect and share your problem with someone. Where have you heard a phrase like that before?