April 18, 2014

When Your Customers Blog…

The Web and the blogosphere can be incredible tools to connect with customers and prospects. Unfortunately, if you’re not doing a good job your customers can use these same tools to let the world know.

AOL found this out recently when one of their customers tried to cancel his account. Vincent Ferrari had heard horrible stories about AOL’s “customer support” so he decided to record his conversation.

After 15 minutes he finally got through to a human being. The call resulted in something that’s a cross between Dante’s 9th ring of hell and Orwell’s 1984. The king from Monty Python’s Holy Grail had an easier time explaining to the palace guards to keep his son locked in his room than Ferrari had explaining that he just wanted to cancel the account. “I don’t know how I can make this any clearer, just cancel my account,” he says time and again.

Ferrari put the recording on his blog, but was overwhelmed by the social bookmarking traffic. You can now listen to the whole painful affair at Putfile.com. When something’s this painful or funny, it’s very likely to go viral.

That virus got Ferrari on a number of talk shows and got him an official apology from AOL.

The lesson here: treat your customers with respect, because they just might be blogging.

By the way, if you think Ferrari is just a crank about customer service, read this recent post on his experience with Audible.

4 comments for When Your Customers Blog… »

  1. Another important note is that if you run any sort of company, with any sort of product or service, it would be wise to keep tabs on what’s being said about you online.

    Comment by Aaron B. Hockley — June 27, 2006 @ 10:02 am


  2. It is very true. I explain issues facing Americans on my site, and sometimes I will write about personal issues I have dealt with. As an example, I had a cop pull me over without probable cause. I gave him my site address, and told him that he will be the star of it the next day. Sure enough, I saw that he read all about himself. I have sitemeter, so I knew he was there on my site reading. His name and the situation, for the World to see. http://anthonylemons.blogspot.com

    Comment by Anthony Lemons — June 27, 2006 @ 4:24 pm


  3. The sad truth is that AOL’s “customer service” (wait, does AOL have such a thing. It’s a theory, we know that much)

    Comment by Kyle Korleski — July 21, 2006 @ 5:56 am


  4. [...] About Ferrari’s experience, blogger Rich Brooks says: “After 15 minutes he finally got through to a human being. The call resulted in something that’s a cross between Dante’s 9th ring of hell and Orwell’s 1984. The king from Monty Python’s Holy Grail had an easier time explaining to the palace guards to keep his son locked in his room than Ferrari had explaining that he just wanted to cancel the account.� [...]

    Pingback by Scotty DOES Know » The 10 Best (and 10 Worst) Companies for Customer Service — November 14, 2006 @ 10:28 am


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