How to Successfully Deal with Consumer Complaints on Social Media: A Few Examples

More and more often, we turn to social media to voice our complaints about companies and brands.

In the comment section below, describe a time that you complained about a company on social media and received a response from that company.

  • What was the situation and what type of complaint (e.g. directness, badmouthing, etc.) did you make?
  • What was the company’s response? Did they follow Gregoire, Salle, and Tripp’s advice?
  • What did they do well and/or what could they have done better?

If you don’t have any relevant personal experience complaining on social media, please find an example online to discuss.

Andrew

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15 thoughts on “How to Successfully Deal with Consumer Complaints on Social Media: A Few Examples

  1. Teresa Polli October 29, 2015 / 7:24 pm

    I don’t have a personal experience but I was with my roommate when she made a complaint through social media.

    What was the situation and what type of complaint (e.g. directness, badmouthing, etc.) did you make?
    My roommate ordered a mattress from Sears to be delivered on our move in day. She gave Sears a 2 week notice on the date and they said they would be here. As move in day arrived she got a call from Sears last minute saying that the mattress won’t be in until the following Tuesday because they forgot to put it in their truck. Tuesday rolls around and turns out her mattress broke in the delivery. After the second time Sears cancelled on her she tweeted to them saying she was not happy and that she was sleeping on the floor!

    What was the company’s response? Did they follow Gregoire, Salle, and Tripp’s advice?
    The response was an apology and she got a twitter direct message instantly from sears giving her a gift card to Sears for the inconvenience.

    What did they do well and/or what could they have done better?
    I think that Sears had a good response. Instead of just apologizing they send gift cards to show that they truly were sorry. She also got an immediate response which was a huge plus.

    Like

  2. James Wegman November 3, 2015 / 3:30 am

    1. My memory is a little fuzzy but I think my Facebook page kept posting the same pictures twice in a row back in 9th grade. I didn’t know if it was a glitch or what but it kept happening and blowing up my friend’s news feed. So put in a complaint in the complaint box on the website. Didn’t bad mouth or anything, just typed in all caps something like HELP FIX THIS!!!!!

    2. I didn’t get any response, suddenly the next day it just stopped re posting things.

    3. While some would have preferred a direct apology, I’m fine with the fact the website admin responded quickly and fixed the glitch. It saves on the notification and waiting impatiently for the admin to respond. No complaints on my end. It was quick and you can move on.

    Like

  3. Christina Sagarino November 3, 2015 / 8:04 pm

    What was the situation and what type of complaint (e.g. directness, badmouthing, etc.) did you make?

    My cousin works at Victoria’s Secret as a manager and he had told me that if a bra you buy there breaks you can bring it back and switch it out (no matter how long ago it was purchased/if you have the receipt or not). I had brought my roommates 2 bras back to the store and asked if I could switch it out, after previously bringing one of my broken bras back to the store and getting it switched out no problem. The manager told me that I couldn’t switch my roommates bras because they were from 2011. I explained that I had known the policy through my cousin and she tried to tell me it wasn’t true. I ended up leaving and going to a different VS and they took the bras back no problem.

    What was the company’s response? Did they follow Gregoire, Salle, and Tripp’s advice?
    I had emailed VS with the complaint and they had offered to send me a $10 off coupon because this is actually a policy they go by.

    What did they do well and/or what could they have done better?
    They were quick to respond but they could make sure that all of their manager’s are on the right page and understand the policies they obtain and utilize them correctly rather than making their customers feel crazy.

    Like

  4. Zacharoula Kataxinos November 3, 2015 / 8:36 pm

    I haven’t had a situation where I took a complaint to social media, but I have had bad experiences at Mcdonalds in which I took my complaint to the websites complaint box. I had run to McDonalds on my half hour lunch break from work and went through the drive thru- usually the whole process of me ordering and getting my order takes no more than five minutes, this time it took me 15 minutes just to get my food, and it wasn’t even the right order. While I was waiting at the window, with their window open they were all talking in Spanish having fun with each other not even looking over at me. I also saw that inside at the registers there were no other customers waiting so I didn’t know what the hold up was. Finally I saw a bag coming to me, but instead they put it on the counter and went back to the registers because there was a customer there in which they spoke Spanish too again. Literally 15 minutes after waiting I beeped and they came over and just handed the bag to me, I was still waiting for my drink, to get their attention I had to beep again. I was already running late to get back to work I barely had time to actually eat my meal, never mind go back and complain about getting the right order. I wrote a complaint to their website saying how dissatisfied I was, and how I felt discriminated too because of all the Spanish I could hear, and being ignored to go serve another Spanish customer.

    The next day I received a call from corporate office at McDonalds, apologizing and also requesting the information on which store location I was at. They said that they would look further into this. A few days later I also received a $50 dollar gift card in the mail, and a formal apology from the manager of that store. I believe McDonalds handled the situation very well, I was just expecting some coupons in the mail with a generated apology letter. Instead they made it more personal, and showed that they cared.

    Like

  5. Manikol Ouk November 3, 2015 / 11:53 pm

    I took to social media many of time when it come to bad review and service. Yelp is my go to for every restaurant rating to places to hangout. I would too post bad review on a place where I was given bad service.

    Like

  6. Maheshwari Zala November 6, 2015 / 1:31 am

    I ordered a book from Chegg and I did not receive it on time. So I tried to contact them via phone and email but did not get any reply. However after waiting for 24 hours, I tweeted Chegg and immediately received a tweet back. They apologized for the inconvenience caused to me and also gave free online access to the book I ordered until it arrived. They also gave free shipping to me for my next order.

    I believe they could have replied my email on time.. They responded very quickly to the tweet that is a positive thing.

    Like

  7. Geoffrey Dion November 6, 2015 / 3:20 pm

    I had a friend that had a flight cancelled by Jetblue 4 times in a row. Then the fights kept getting delayed after that. In response my friend complained to Jetblue over Twitter, directly tweeting at them to express her frustration.

    In response to the tweet, Jetblue tweeted back at my friend and gave her a number to call. My friend viewed this as just handing off the complaint to another person and just sat it out until the flight was actually going to be scheduled. I can’t really say that they used Gregoire, Salle, and Tripp’s advice, since outside of a tweet with the number, no one else from Jetblue reached out to help resolve the complaints.

    In the end Jetblue could have at the very least offered a better explanation for why the flights were cancelled. The weather was fine between the terminals so there was no visible reason for the flights to be cancelled. If they wanted to redo this situation it would probably be better for Jetblue to actually call next time and ask the customer to voice their concerns. This gives the customer a direct line and allows Jetblue to give a personal touch to the situation to at least make it seem like they are trying to fix the situation. A tweet is nice, but when your flight is cancelled 4 times you should be getting a little bit more of a response.

    Like

  8. Nicole Viselli November 10, 2015 / 7:49 pm

    What was the situation and what type of complaint (e.g. directness, badmouthing, etc.) did you make?
    – A woman that I know was at McDonald’s and she was trying to leave work because her shift was ending but my friend was trying to place an order in the drive through. Instead of the woman in the drive through try to explain the situation she told her to pull up even though she was not done ordering. They gave her all the wrong food and had rushed her. She had asked to talk to the manager, the manager took care of this. As my friend drove away, she saw the girl from the drive through walking on the curb, the worker flipped her off and screamed a swear word at her.

    What was the company’s response? Did they follow Gregoire, Salle, and Tripp’s advice?
    – My friend called the manager of McDonald’s because she does not think that is proper for workers to be doing to the customers. She brought it to the next level and called corporate. The girl ended up getting fired because that is not the way the want their workers to be treating their customers. They also gave her free food coupons that lasted their family about 3 months.

    What did they do well and/or what could they have done better?
    – I think they did everything right in this situation. In customer service you want to help the customers at all time and give them the best experiences. I think because she had such a bad experience, they made it up to her.

    Like

  9. Hardeep Marwah November 21, 2015 / 6:39 pm

    An example would be when I ordered 4 LED bulbs from amazon. It was made by TCP but was fulfilled by Amazon. After week of installation one of the bulbs stopped working. So I left a review on the website stating that the bulb lasted 1 week against stated life of 18 years. The very next day I got an email asking if I would like to get a refund for that bulb or would like to have them send a new one. I chose to get the refund. To sum it up the company was actively following the social media and did the right thing. I was very pleased by the customer service and ended up ordering some more lamps few days later.

    Like

  10. Kimberly Martin November 23, 2015 / 3:28 pm

    I have an example from a little bit different perspective. I do eBay for my Dads business. He is an antique dealer so everything we sell on eBay is old and generally in “used” condition. We had this one sale that this guy negotiated with us for a week on combining two items for a deal. He finally got what he wanted and received his items. When he received the items he was not happy with something and threatened to leave us a negative review unless we gave him the money to fix the part of the item that was chipped. Now mind you he buys items to restore them. This man was not going to be happy with anything no matter what, we could see that just from his correspondence from negotiations. He had all of the images of the item to look at on eBay before he made the purchase and he failed to look at them in enough detail. Everything was disclosed about the item as far as the condition it was in. His agreement was if we gave him a refund he would leave a “neutral” review but if we did not do anything he threatened to leave a “negative” review. We ended up sending him some money back and he then left us a neutral comment which stayed on the eBay account for 12 months. We did not want the negative review to affect us so we did not really have a choice but to give him a refund. Some people will only buy from a seller on eBay after reading reviews and experiences so if we have negative comments people might be hesitant to purchase from us.

    Like

  11. zhengyang zhu November 23, 2015 / 8:47 pm

    I have some experience about complaint a company through social media. I think many people have same situation with me . I used to use my email to register an account in a Chinese online sales website. After that, this website send me some junk mails for every day and I did not how to cancel it. Can you image that you received a junk email while you are waiting an important email? I felt very annoyed and I went to their website to complain that .However, I found many people who have same situation with me. But we did not get any response and this website continued to send me some mail bout their new products to me. Finally, I had to register a new private email .
    What a want to say is if a company want to attract their customers, keeping send email is not a good idea, because I never want to buy anything in that website again and I asked all my friends and kinsfolk not to buy anything in that website.
    I really dislike this advertisement model. I think many people feel annoyed and angry. In USA, Amazon and Ebay did same things. If they want to sell their products and increase profit. Just improve their quality of products and reduce the price !

    Like

  12. Michelle McNall December 7, 2015 / 3:05 pm

    While I do not have a personal experience that I can speak to just now, I know that one of the most recognized platforms for commendations and complaints is Tripadvisor.com. I remember staying at the Fairfield Inn in Scarborough, Maine one time as I was there for my little sister’s basketball tournament and while I didn’t anticipate to have an incredible stay, I wound up being so pleased with the service and accommodations that I turned to Tripadvisor to address my commendations so that this hotel could be positively recognized on a public platform. Similarly, while I have never done it, there are people who turn to Tripadvisor to report awful and unsatisfactory stays which proves to be helpful to many people who use the site to read reviews to get an idea of where to and where not to stay. A recent example of this is a review I read on the Mondrian South Beach Hotel in Miami, Florida (where I have stayed once and had no issues aside from the fact that the hotel was a little too artsy-contemporary for my usual taste but certainly wasn’t a bad thing). On December 5th, someone who had recently stayed at the hotel gave it a 1-rating and said their stay was “awful.” They complained of not getting a turn-down service, only getting 1 towel every 24 hours, plumbing and electrical issues, and no response from hotel staff when they made requests. Since I have stayed there before, I know that this is not an accurate description of the hotel. This is simply a matter of someone not having a good experience but to someone looking at reviews who has never stayed at the hotel, this review could definitely deter them from considering this hotel as an option.

    A few days later, Ellis V who is the Guest Relations Manager of the hotel, responded to this negative review and was very polite- thanking the guest for staying at the Mondrian and apologizing for failing to meet the guest’s expectations. He went on to say that records indicate that the person did get a turn-down service in a timely manner and that he wishes the guest returned his phone calls when he called directly to offer assistance.

    I think that the manager of the hotel did a good job of responding to the firey review in a calm and polite way that helps to improve the hotel’s image (basically by saying records show that the guest received the services requested) and it leaves the public with the information they need to form their own assumptions. However, some may look at this and automatically assume that the hotel manager is just saying that services were rendered and done so on time as part of damage control. This just goes to show that this is truly something that is objective and dependent on the people reading the reviews, their attitudes, etc.

    For more information, here is the link to the site where I found this information:
    http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g34439-d1163622-Reviews-Mondrian_South_Beach_Hotel-Miami_Beach_Florida.html#Hotel_Review-g34439-d1163622-Reviews-Mondrian_South_Beach_Hotel-Miami_Beach_Florida.html/BackUrl?&_suid=144949935921406659188618516513

    Like

  13. Emily Koba December 8, 2015 / 9:03 pm

    This happened to a friend and not personally. My friend tweeted once how their shake at Friendly’s was gross and “not thick enough”. Obviously this was not mean to be taken seriously but Friendly’s ended up responding and exhibiting excellent attention to their customer’s complaint. They tweeted back at my friend to send them a direct message on twitter with details about his complaint. They ended up sending him a sincere letter in the mail with a gift card attached thanking him for the time he took to inform Friendly’s of the complaint. Just shows that it never hurts to voice your opinion to a company with a complaint.

    Like

  14. Andrew Lak December 8, 2015 / 9:38 pm

    I actually had one complaint posted to social media. I was eating pistachios from the company Wonderful. It is the brand that is always on commercials of silly ways to crack open a pistachio or the way people do it differently. Anyways I was eating them and cracked one open and it was full of worms. It was pretty gross. I went to their company Facebook page and noticed there were a lot of other people complaining on the same issue. So I posted my complaint and the company responded pretty quickly. Acknowledging the issue and apologizing and explaining the reason for the worms. I do not recall what type of worm it was but it was non toxic and not harmful if I did eat them on accident. Anyways they took my personal information and cut me a check for the purchase of the pistachios. But for me I have yet to crack open a pistachio since, I rather spend the extra money and buy the already opened ones. I feel like they did respond appropriately maybe going a bit farther in how they plan on correcting the problem going forward.

    Like

  15. Joe Pantalone December 10, 2015 / 4:11 am

    I was once upset about the service I was receiving from Chipotle. The line was out the door and they did not seem to have enough people on staff. I tweeted to @chipotletweeets about what had happened and they responded. Also I have seen people tweet about their shopping experiences at Lululemon and they replied back to them.

    Like

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