February 23, 2012

By: 
Rachel Strella

Thanks for nothing, Facebook!

I find it ironic that – Facebook - the most popular social platform for building relationships - has the absolute worst customer service. Their service is even worse than Comcast and I didn’t think that was possible.

Over the past few months, I’ve received notifications that I’ve been banned from sending friend requests for a seven, 14, or 30 days. According to Facebook, I violated their “Community Standards.”

I went back to my timeline and found that I friended a grand total of three people in a period of 60 days. And I knew these people.

I’m not concerned about the inability to friend people. If someone wants to be my friend on Facebook, they can still send me a request.

What does concern me is that I’m a social media manager with 20 Facebook ‘like’ pages connected to my account. Each time I receive this violation warning, Facebook logs me out of the account and disconnects all the apps connected to the account. This includes my mobile app and my software for monitoring and timing content on all of these sites. Each time, I have to re-set all of these accounts in my software.  When I contact the software company, they say, “Sorry, it’s a Facebook problem.”

Well, if you ever need help from Facebook, let me save you the time. Don’t even bother.

When I received the most recent violation, I tried to find a solution by visiting the “Help Center.”

I searched for the topic that was relevant to my inquiry “Adding/Removing Friends” and found an area called, “I received a warning about adding friends.”  Here’s what it read:

Sending repeated friend requests to people you don’t know personally is considered harassment, and it is against Facebook’s Community Standards.

Facebook also has limits in place to prevent behavior that others may find annoying or abusive. These limits restrict the rate at which you can use certain features on the site. If you received a warning for going too fast when adding friends, you will need to temporarily stop this activity to avoid hitting a block on your account.

To learn more about our policies please review the Facebook Community Standards.

Was this answer helpful? Yes or No.

I clicked “No” and was presented with a drop-down menu of hyperlinked items under “Why Not?” They included:

It doesn’t answer my question

It contains info that’s incorrect

It’s too much to read

It’s confusing

I don’t like the answer

Other

I tried clicking the first option on the menu, “It doesn’t answer my question” and was presented with a message that read, “Thanks for your feedback! Over time we use  feedback to improve the quality of our content and how we deliver it to you.”

I tried clicking all of the options and was presented with the same response.

Now what?

I scoured the “Help Center” trying to find a way to actually contact Facebook.  I knew I would never get a real person but, at least I could email someone and explain the situation.

Nope!  No way to do that.

The only thing I found was a “Community Forum” related to my topic.  I clicked on it and discovered 144 comments – all with people who have the same exact problem.  And, all of them, with no solution.

Thanks a lot, Facebook. I know you have a gazillion dollars and nearly 900 million users so you think you are invincible.  But, if Google+ proved anything this past year, it’s that there will be a medium out there that will pick up the ball that you dropped.

I retract what I said earlier about not being concerned about friending people – now that I’ve been chatting in the community forum, I’ve met some great people.  I could see some of them potentially becoming a Facebook friend.  But, they’ve got the same problem I do – they can’t friend anyone! So much for that idea!

Have you ever tried to contact Facebook customer service?  How did that work out for you? Do you know of a solution?

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8 comments on “Thanks for nothing, Facebook!”

  1. You too huh?
    Midge has had that same message for about three weeks now and guess what? There is nothing it seems we can do about it.
    Also posts keep disappearing from one of our pages and the friendly email said "We may or may not look into your problem, but hey, thanks for letting us know! We might use it to improve our service!" (Yeah Right!)
    Facebook customer service has to be even worse than Google's.
    To be redirected to forums populated by frustrated users and bored trolls shooting people down does not equate to giving value.
    Unfortunately we have to put up with these frustrations when we are guests on their platforms.

    1. Mike,

      Oh that's the best -when they say "we might use it to improve our customer service." Really? Are they so invincible that they can't respond to customer service requests like the rest of us?

      My husband said last night, "Honey, be careful with this post. You don't want to bite the hand that feeds you." I know he's right because, as you said, "we are guests."

      I do believe if they continue to frustrate people, at some point, it will cut into the ad dollars. And that's what will wake them up.

      Thanks for chiming in, Mike. Sorry to hear of your experience, but I'm glad I'm not alone.

      Rachel

  2. Rachele,

    Boy have you hit my hot button! I HAVE tried contacting Facebook some time ago about an issue I was having (I don't even remember what it was about). I found there was no way to contact them. I'm a people person AND a business person. It makes logical sense that ANYONE in business would have a way to be contacted, yes? Like you said, apparently, for Facebook, that is a resounding, "NO".

    Arrogance doesn't sit well with most people. Sure, as long as they get people "addicted" to their platform, which they've done a nice job of, thus giving social media managers, such as ourselves, a way to earn revenue, Facebook has little, to nothing, to worry about. But, cross enough people enough times and you are exactly right, people will start dropping like flies, ad revenue drops and damage control is so much more intrusive to business growth than not having the damage, to control, in the first place!

    I have a blog I write about customer service called, Mastering Customer Service, and I have cited Comcast before. It's amazing to me they're still in business with all the bad publicity they get regarding their customer service, or lack thereof. There are companies that thrive in giving great customer service as opposed to "lip service" and they pay a lot of money for those employees in hours and training. As you mentioned, Facebook is rolling in money. Wouldn't it make sense to earmark some of it for a customer service department that would just accept e-mails or answer questions? The contact information could be revealed AFTER one has run the cycle of "Help Centers" and "Forums" and still not found their answer.

    Anyway, nice article. It just confirms to me that the more social media platforms out there, the better, so we don't put all of our proverbial eggs in one basket.

    Phil Anderson
    Anderson Social Media Solutions

    1. Phil,

      I think I've hit a hot button for a lot of people. Seems Facebook does whatever they feel like doing because they can. It's funny (in an ironic not knee-slapping way) that Facebook and Comcast have topped the list of crappy service for many people, yet they keep on doing business in the same way. Again, I guess because they can.

      Not to self: No matter how big I get (if I ever get 'big'), I will never have crappy customer service. And I mean that!

  3. I thank you for writing about this. People need to realize just because businesses are a big corporation it doesn't always mean they treat customers right. Hopefully they will read this and maybe adopt a new customer service policy!

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