When your customers turn against you – A cautionary tale.


We have all heard accounts of customers who take to social media to express their unhappiness in a product or a company. Sometimes the companies respond in ways that make us want to give them a standing ovation, while other responses leave us groaning with embarrassment at the sheer inaptitude it.

But I recently saw a customer response that went way beyond a social media post, although the action itself generated a fair amount of social media interest.

CellC is a mobile phone service provider in South Africa. When George Prokas decided he was not getting a response to the billing problems he presented to the company, he took to the streets.

6ea1029ce4a640c690b80e12af534cb2 And instead of making lemonade, CellC took to the courts.

Instead of addressing the customer’s concern, they just wanted the banner removed.

I know. Face-palm.

Of course CellC lost their case. With cost. The matter has since been settled out of court. And the loss in reputation to CellC? Much, much more than the disputed amount.

What is your best and worst examples of how companies have dealt with negative public opinion?


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