I recently stumbled across a tweet that mentioned the failure of a top brand to call someone back after 6 days. This tweet was then retweeted by 3 other individuals, totaling a reach of 6660 Twitter users. The tweet read as follows “Been waiting for 6 days for FNB to get back to me to open my account. I think I’ll rather speak to Steve.” Although everyone is entitled to their opinion, I found it odd that this person felt the need to have a go at the brand as it appears that this individual was willing to wait 6 days for action and only then decided that enough was enough. At any time, this individual could have called FNB in order to open her account, but instead decided it was a great idea to let the “whole world” know her story.
What happened next can be described as a petty argument, but one I’m willing to stand by as a responsible online consumer. Although Walter Pike had some pretty good suggestions and comments regarding the situation, I still believe it’s our duty not to fly off the handle, throwing wild punches at Brands for small matters, especially if we land up retweeting sentiments that we have nothing to do with. Walter had absolutely nothing to do with this situation yet he thought it was necessary to spread the negative sentiment around for the reason, as he put it, to inform FNB that they need to pay attention to the individual who originally created the rant. Why didn’t Walter just tweet something along the lines of “Hey @rbjacobs, @thisperson needs your help”.
Walter mentioned that brands are not tarnished by what people say but rather by what they do. I disagree. Brands are tarnished by both what people say and what the brands do. Yes, it’s great to see a brand embrace negative comments and overcome them and that does have a ripple effect to those that witness the act, but what about those that just see the negative comments and land up not seeing how the brand reacted, for whatever reason. There’s nothing wrong with brands being held accountable in a public forum but we as consumers need to be aware that there’s a difference between small grievances over what could be genuine mistakes, versus more serious client service issues.