Should consumers share their bad experiences on social media?

Author : teriann

Recently  consumers have been using a new avenue to complain about poor service.  They are now utilizing social media. This platform allows consumers to detail their encounters and give specific details to a wider audience.

They are able to provide information that people in their social media circle can read and comment as they give their own opinion about what took place.

Is this a good move?

Often the customer only  presents one side of the story and there no foolproof way of determining what really happened. Emotions run high and perceived  insults could have stemmed from a misunderstanding because of poor communication skills.

Some consumers do not properly outline the situation and omit crucial details which would have explained the actions of the other persons involved. Some posts can be the result of a disgruntled customer who might not even have a legitimate reason to complain.

There are however genuine cases where customers are treated unfairly and they need to highlight this poor treatment so they can get redress. When customers go in person to management to complain about a situation, they are often treated as with disrespect or  indifference.  This only adds fuel to the customer’s anger and venting on social media becomes a more attractive option.

The dangers of social media

It is very important for businesses to have a social media presence, this will allow them to give their customers another opportunity to air their grouses but in a space that they can offer a response.

If the information about poor service is circulating among the consumer’s inner social circle then it unlikely to make a big impact. However the reason posts go viral is that if they are popular they are spread quickly so the circle of people who know of the incident widens and that spells trouble for the company.

Should you post it?

So what if after trying traditional means of getting redress you still feel unsatisfied should you vent on social media? Well that would certainly damage the company’s reputation and perhaps cause them to lose potential new customers.

However you have the right to express yourself using social media so here are a few suggestions: ensure that you first reach out to the company in the traditional way such as calling or visiting them, use the company’s  social media pages if they have one so that they can read about your experience, provide evidence to support whatever claims you make and be honest about the situation.

Both consumers and companies have to play their role in order to ensure that complaints are dealt with in a timely manner.

So what’s your take on the issue? Do you think consumers should share their complaints on social media? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner Online Writer

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7 Responses to “Should consumers share their bad experiences on social media?”

  1. ripuree says:

    Reviews (or bad experiences as this article calls it) is a very valuable and useful way of helping potential customers get another opinion. Everyone has the ability to experience the same thing in a different way. Therefore we can all benefit from the different perspective that someone else adds. And sure, like everything else in life, one person’s opinion (depending on what was happening in his life at a particular time) may be mostly unreasonable and biased, but that is usually in the minority of situations. Further, that is also true of what an unscrupulous owner of a product or service could tell customers about what he/she sells.

    Most people who take the time to write a review (I believe) do so because they think that their personal experience was so impressive (in a good or bad way) that they feel strongly that others should know about it, when making up their mind.

    I think that most consumers today are enlightened enough to read enough between the lines to see when someone is being excessively and unnecessarily unfair in their review. So worrying about people’s unfair review should never be the reason that one does not recommend or encourage reviews.

  2. Oswald says:

    Sure consumers should share their bad experiences. Ripuree said it all above. Suffice to say it should not have even been a question. Sharing of bad experiences where warranted and giving good reviews where decent service is provide can only make for a better society. A better Jamaica.

    One wonders though, the timing of this question. Calls to mind the recent case where a prominent eatery was accused of providing some customers with a very bad experience.

    As Ms. Lou would say, Jackmandora!!!


  3. teriann says:

    Hey Ripuree,
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Certainly social media provides an opportunity for both consumers and business operators to open the lines of communication. The bottom line is that customers must get better service! Keep visiting and sharing your thoughts!

    Teri Ann

  4. teriann says:

    Hey Oswald,
    Thanks for giving your opinion on the issue. There have been numerous incidents on social media both nationally and internationally that sparked my interest and it certainly makes everyone realize the power of social media. There needs to be a consensus that the customer will always be treated with respect! Keep visiting the site!

    Teri Ann

  5. cdub says:

    Social media is the cheapest, fastest and most convenient way to review a business’s service. Who has the time “to reach out to the company in the traditional way such as calling or visiting them” Those days are over…companies that receive negative reviews need to handle the situation well…offer to contact the individual using private message or promise them a free service and make sure they enjoy it. When others read the response of the company, they will form a better opinion.

  6. Las Latty says:

    It’s the only recourse the paying customer seems to have these days. Companies “farm” out their customer care activities to private companies. …hence they really have no idea how good or how bad their customer care is. The classic case in hand is the current on going problems being experienced with the major (and only island wide Telecoms service) in the island. There is a total breakdown between the customer and the company..and it’s not being mended by out of premises customer care attendants who are either not trained adequately or do not buy into the mission statements of the companies they are representing.

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