I wish I could say it’s with great difficulty I write this letter, but it’s not. As a matter of fact, what follows is purely stream-of-consciousness frustration that’s putting on a blog suit and gloves. Complete with two middle fingers.
I love my Redhead Writing Facebook Comunity Page. My fans do, too. My fans and readers can always get ahold of me: Twitter, contact form on my website, Facebook message, carrier pigeon…But what I simply can’t fathom is how you have 400 million users to-date and lack a CONTACT US tab on your site. How is it that you’ve grown into the social networking behemoth you have without one iota of consideration for those who actively use your site and need help doing so?
Your customer service is apathetic if not entirely absent, yet you profess to know what your users want every goddamn time you change your UI. But I understand – you’re BIG. B-I-G. Being BIG apparently grants you a level of untouchability accompanied by a lack of accountability to your users. If we don’t like it, we can go to MySpace, right? Or Google Buzz. Let’s sit down and dish in this pretend letter of mine that I doubt anyone from your business team will ever read. After all, you’re too busy to respond to user-generated questions on:
How to transfer ownership of a Facebook Fan Page (because businesses NEVER change ownership in Facebookland)
How to remove a permanent “admin” on a Facebook Fan Page (another 8 pages of unanswered user questions)
Changing the name of your Facebook Fan Page (whoa – 163 unanswered posts)
I’m going to give you a lesson in Customer Service, Redhead-Style. Sit down, stop changing your UI for a minute and listen to what we have to say (since you don’t even do that on your own site in the forums).
Your User Interface Sucks, the Concept of Service and Budgets
Frankly, as someone who deals with UIs as a large component of her day-to-day, you suck. Suck, suck, suck. If you sucked any more, you’d be on the street corner in the shady part of town, doling out hummers for $10. In the past year, I’ve logged in no fewer than three times and found all my schizzle in a hizzle. There is not other successful business that keeps dicking with its UI to the extent that you do and no one’s amused. We have no choice but to accept what you lay down (especially since you don’t listen to any of your users or have a Customer Service department to take complaints or help resolve important issues. Here’s a quote I find amusing:
“Thanks again for making Facebook a part of your life. Happy sixth birthday to Facebook and our whole community. We look forward to building more things and continuing to serve you for many more years to come.” – Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook to the UK Telegraph
Really, Mark? How is it possible for you to “continue to serve” when you haven’t even begun? Your users speak on your very own Facebook Forums and you don’t reply. There’s no Contact Us page (like any other website on the planet…even plumbers have a Contact Us page with a phone number…so do Adult Novelty Stores – OMG they have a PHONE NUMBER, TOO…so does Twitter). And here’s the mind-boggling spaghetti that is your “Help Center.” It’s like one of those outsourced-to India automated phone systems where I’m always told “0” is an invalid entry.
Speaking to a human, being serviced by a human…it would be a novel concept on this site designed to connect human beings. How you’re above it all is beyond me. I’m wondering if somewhere you’ve teamed up with AT&T on masterminding the Shitty Customer Service Model – I own an iPhone and would throw it out the window if I weren’t so in love with the damned thing. AT&T’s customer service is maddening and I’ve never paid so dearly for such a high level of frustration. While I get the frustration for free with Facebook, I’d think that you could find $1.25 million in your estimated $550 million in revenue to hire 50 customer service reps at a whopping $25k per year to handle some customer service emails and calls. Customer service has been called an unaffordable budget cut in today’s economy, yet somehow Facebook lacks it entirely. Kudos for being ahead of the curve on saving money, but you’re saving it in the wrong place.
Maybe stop fucking around with your UI and save the money on design and coding. Just an idea. Reallocate those funds to serving those who promote you, use you and need help in maximizing their use of the services you provide.
Stop Acting Like Frat Boys
We get it – you started Facebook as a roommate thing and are oh-so-proud of where it’s gone and excited about where it can go. We are, too. But you need to stop acting like frat boys looking to nail the Google sorority girl. Your users and their content are what make you so attractive for partnerships. If you keep pissing us off, we’re going to gradually go away. We left MySpace, we shirked Plurk. We’ll do an about-face on Facebook as well. Start remembering who brought the beer and hot wings to your kegger and quit looking at Google’s tits long enough to communicate with those who got you where you are. We’re telling you what we need and what we want. All you have to do it engage. It IS “social” networking, right?
Enough With the Ad Whoring
It’s great that your ad network is a cost-effective means for businesses and individuals to promote services, causes and brand awareness. But I don’t want to see Jennifer Aniston’s unauthorized picture whoring some weight loss program or scam ads for “debt relief” services. I’m in Facebook to connect with people. People do business with people. How about some QA for these crap ads we’ve seen as of late and screw the user rating feature for ads. YOU are the network. Start taking control of your content. I could always hook you up with Focus on the Family and Tim Tebow if you want to learn more about bait-and-switch marketing tactics, y’know.
…and that’s all I’ve got for now, dear Facebook, but I’m sure my readers have more. We’ll see what they have to say about your shenanigans as I know the problems and views expressed above aren’t exclusively mine. I may be an outspoken redhead ranting out of Denver, Colorado, but I have clients who rely on me for answers about Facebook and you…make it difficult to say anything other than, “Well, that’s just the way it is. Facebook said so.”
And THAT is a crappy answer to have to give with the obligatory shrug.