Social Media Fail: Homesense Facebook Fans Referred to 800 Number
When Canadian home apparel retailer HomeSense decided to sell posters depicting images of old Gold Dust ads in which two black children are seen cleaning, a fan posted pictures of them on the Homesense Facebook page. Along with the image, the fan wrote, "I realize that recreating old advertising and media is an art form but this goes far beyond that, in my opinion."
Quite humorously...and idiotically, HomeSense responded with the comment, "Please contact Customer Service at 1-800-646-9466 for more information."
Quite predictably, commenters lambasted the brand for its complete mis-understanding of social media communication. Commenter Elizabeth Laurin Kells wrote, "If you are going to use this site to represent your company you need to do something about issues and not just pass out a standard customer service number."
Passing a Facebook fan off to an old school customer service line is, of course, a complete fail. Apart from the fact that this shows HomeSense's complete misunderstanding of the medium, it also goes against what should be common knowledge in any form of communication: respond to a person using the same method through which they contacted you. Don't switch channels.
For our purposes here, what HomeSense chooses to sell isn't our concern. We are, however, very concerned with what appears to be a blatant disregard for the very reason the brand launched a Facebook fan page in the first place: to interact with consumers and fans directly withing the medium.
Informing a person who has made a comment on a Facebook page to so bluntly and impersonally "call customer service" is a sad illustration to too many brands' misunderstanding and misuse of new communication channels.
We assume this is just a simple mistake and HomeSense will very quickly get their social media shit together, Because if not, we al know these things have a way of very quickly getting much worse.