You know that annoying guy at work who is always posting on Facebook about what a jerk his boss is? Well, we know a lot of companies have strict policies against it and some are known for firing those employees. However, most companies do not have such policies against their customers speaking ill of them. I will emphasize most because this week brings us an example of a company who apparently does have a policy against customer badmouthing.
The company is Vodafone and the story goes like this - customer gets mad at Vodafone's handling of a legitimate complaint and does what all people do when they have no other options, he posts online.
Finally got Vodafone to admit that across Mumbai they have only 50% cell sites on 3G. Spoke to CEO (chief executive officer) and CMO (chief marketing officer). Told them that this is blatant cheating.
CMO in typical babu style told me if you aren't happy with service, you have choice to move to another operator. I told I choose to stay with Vodafone and give them grief if I don't get promised SLAs. Grudgingly he made 2 months 3G plan free worth 2500.
What was their response? Hit the break to find out.
Did they close his account? No, instead they responded by sending a legal notice asking him to refrain from speaking ill of the corporation. He was also given 48 hours to remove the post. Yes, that's right - a multi-national telecommunications company who owns wireless carriers in most major countries, including the USA (45% of Verizon Wireless), was apparently so afraid of a little comment on Facebook that they threatened legal action against a single user.
Can you imagine how full the courts would be if AT&T filed suit against every angsty iPhone owner who posted about dropped calls, or if Verizon filed suit against every angsty iPhone owner that complained about not being able to use voice and data together.
It seems to me that Vodafone is a little frustrated and doesn't understand that Facebook is a completely useless venue for complaints. No one will remember it tomorrow, unless the company makes a big deal about it and threatens to sue. Now we will all remember. Good job, guys.