Dislike: A Case Study of Horrible Customer Service


Dear Facebook,

It’s been 3 weeks. 21 whole days. Over 500 hours. Yet the technical issue I inquired about (and have been checking in on) has received minimal attention with no resolution in sight. It has caused me to realize the importance of good customer service and technical support, which I have not even come close to receiving from you. Also, it has shown how bad experiences are the quickest way to lose the trust of your customers.

And with this saga dragging on for three weeks now, I have developed a theory:

You [Facebook] noticed that I was removing a large number of users from my page, and flagged my page so I couldn’t do any more cleanup of suspicious users.

Allow me to explain…

Some Background Context

In my article How Not to do Social Marketing from a few weeks back, I describe how I recently wasted money in an effort to advertise and promote my Facebook page, Typographic Expressions. What initially seemed like a good idea to increase my audience turned into hundreds of highly questionable users who “liked” my page. My inclinations were only solidified after watching the video “Facebook Fraud” by Veritasium, which just so happened to come out the day after I had analyzed the numbers of my advertising “results”.

My Issue

Suspicious of the results from my advertising campaign, I went to my Admin panel and started to weed out suspicious-looking users that had “liked” my page. After getting through nearly 200 users, I was suddenly unable to see the full list of users who “liked” my page (even though the count of “likes” was still over 170). Rather, I was presented with a “No results found” message:

Facebook Likes - No Results Found

Like any good developer, I went through the initial list of common culprits. I cleared my cache. I deleted all of my browser cookies. I disabled third-party add-ons. I tried to use every other browser on my computer. I rebooted my computer. All to no avail.

Unable to figure out why I was getting this error, I contacted your “Technical Support” team. Here’s a quick rundown of my communication with the team:

Feb 13: Initial contact.
After my initial contact request, the first responder offered the usual troubleshooting suggestions (which I had already done), and requested screenshots of what I was experiencing. I replied with the requested screenshots, at which point I was told that the issue was escalated to the technical team for further investigation. I was hopeful…

Feb 17: Bueller? Bueller?
Hadn’t heard anything yet, so I checked back in.

Feb 19: Progress? Doesn’t feel like it.
Received a response saying that the team was still investigating the issue, and didn’t have any additional information. I was also asked to provide screenshots of the issue I was experiencing.

Huh. Thought I already did that. Oh well.

I complied and sent more screenshots, along with a much more detailed explanation of the events leading up to my issue (what I did, what I had clicked on, etc).

Included in my explanation was the fact that I had added a friend as a page administrator, who tested the same thing and had received the same “No results found” error. Interestingly, this friend also has another Facebook page that they administer. And wouldn’t you know it, when they tested the same thing on their other page, they did NOT encounter this issue.

Intriguing. It’s almost as if my page had been flagged or something, causing me to be unable to fully administer the page…

Feb 21: Still nothing.
Received a reply saying that the information had been passed on to the technical team but there was still no progress to report.

Feb 25: Seriously…Is anyone there?
No progress updates. So I checked back in. Again.

Feb 26: Still nothing.
Received another “we don’t have any progress to report at this time” reply.

Mar 4: Fed up.
Nothing but crickets. So I replied back requesting that I be put in contact with a manager. I also cited that it’s unacceptable for ANY sort of technical support department to let an issue drag on for 3 weeks without any semblance of a resolution.

I actually received a reply to my email the same day, though without any hint at being able to have the issue escalated or me being able to talk to a manager. I did receive a $25 ad coupon as a thank you for reporting the issue and putting up with the inordinate amount of time it has taken thus far. For that, I do actually give you some credit. However, I doubt I’ll be advertising my page any time soon (even with free money), since I don’t want any more suspicious “likes”. After all, suspicious “likes” were the original cause of my problem.

Putting the Pieces Together

With this saga still dragging on with nothing to show for a resolution, I will reiterate my theory:

You [Facebook] noticed that I was removing a large number of users from my page, and flagged my page so I couldn’t do any more cleanup of suspicious users.

Sound far-fetched? Perhaps. But I’ll tell you this: Until you prove otherwise, it’s the most logical conclusion I can come to.

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