Saturday, January 8, 2011

Contacting companies through social media

Social media (facebook, twitter, blogs) is a HUGE part of the Internet.

How many of you last summer saw the mold that someone found in their Capri-Sun?   Do you realize the power of social media when you're not getting something solved otherwise?  Not all companies monitor their Facebook and Twitter accounts regularly, but for the ones who do, it's a huge boost to the consumer who isn't getting treated fairly and has exhausted all other forms of communication.

However, last summer I had an employee get upset with me for posting about a problem on Facebook.  I won a trip to Vegas from HSN.  They told me all the fun events I was going to get to attend, until they realized that Pittsburgh is a more expensive airport than, say flying from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.  They started hemming and hawing, and eventually told me that I couldn't go to half the events and that I would be spending 27 hours in travel to be in Vegas 23 because of the flights they wanted to put me on.

I said that was unacceptable, that I wanted to go to all the events as promised to winners.  I made multiple phone calls, e-mails, etc.

Finally, I posted on the HSN facebook page and said I was a winner wasnt' getting my full prize and had they come up with a solution yet.  Within an hour acceptable flights were booked.  (However, an employee, and posibly she was a contractor started yelling at me in Vegas for "not being patient".   I expect she is the one who should have done something to solve this weeks prior, but didn't.  I think two weeks of phone calls and e-mails was very patient before pulling the Facebook trump card.)

Again, before I went to Vegas I "fanned" the hotel on Facebook.  We had a broken window blind in our room, and I called the front desk.  They told me I needed another department.  I called them.  They said I needed another department.  (By this time I needed to be leaving to go somewhere.)  So I just posted on their Facebook page that "The blind in Room ---  needs fixed."

When I returned to the room, it was fixed.

That said, I would only use Social Media for big complaints I've tried to solve other ways, but when you can't get any satisfaction any other way, this does sometimes work.  Remember the whole Capri-Sun incident last summer?  That was a mommy blogger who garnered so much attention
by posting about the problem on her blog and it gained national attention.

Consumerist Article about the Capri Sun

And, yes, I must say, in the end my flight problems to Vegas were solved and I had a fantastic trip thanks to HSN!


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  2. Gee, and I thought you had a fantastic time in Vegas since you got to meet the queen! way to burst my bubble - haha.