The faceless Facebook money-making empire

Need technical support with your Facebook page? Well, you might as well talk to the cat for all the help the social network giant will give you.

Welcome to the faceless Facebook empire – the message you won’t get from the eponymous social network.

But Facebook’s support ‘service’ is a pile of cack – as I’ve discovered in trying to obtain admin rights to my own business page, which I imaginatively called “Peter Batt, freelance journalist”.

Okay, I’ll admit that I ballsed up when I created it back in March of this year. But it’s obviously my site and I had thought it would be a synch getting my tiny little technical issue resolved. Doing so would, of course, allow me to post my journalistic words of wisdom directly to my discerning worldwide audience, thus freeing up my personal Facebook page for the usual inane chatter that entertains so many of us so much of the time.

Instead, my countless attempts at claiming my page have been met with stony silence from the world’s favourite social networking monolith. That’s not very sociable, is it?


Offending page

Facebook’s tech support advice starts by advising people in my position to report the offending page. I’ve now done that around 50 times over the last three months, and I’ve not received a single response from the social network monolith.

Then, I called their support line in Palo Alto, California, only to be met by a recorded message that informed me that Facebook isn’t taking support calls at this time. Which, I assume, means any more. Ever.

Then, I used the ‘give us feedback’ option which appears on many Facebook pages. The reply was impressively swift:

“Thanks for your feedback. We’re constantly trying to improve Facebook, and your input is important to us.”

Excellent! Does that mean you might actually do something?

“Unfortunately, we can’t respond to individual feedback emails, but we are reading them.” Yeah, I bet you are…

“If you are having any problems with your account, please find information about Facebook as well as the answers to many of your questions in our Help Center.”


Facebook support community

Oh, okay. So I’ve got to go back to the page that hasn’t answered any of my questions so far or given me any means of contacting a real person anywhere on the face of the planet.

In a final attempt to get an answer, I posted an appeal for help on the Facebook support forum. I posted my query on Sunday August 4 but, as yet, I’ve received no reply from the ‘Facebook support community’.

As a customer experience – and, particularly, a business customer – this is simply terrible. I know we pay nothing to use Facebook, but it’s not as if it isn’t earning from us.

In May, Facebook announced profits of $219m in the first three months of the year, compared with $205m for the same period in 2012. Revenues in the first quarter of this year reached $1.46bn, up from $1.06bn in the same period last year.


Anti-social social network admin

So, why don’t they answer ANY support calls? Or emails? Or, in fact, do anything at all? It’s not like they don’t have the resources.

Facebook may be the world’s social networking leader. But, despite its leading market position and the wealth of customer data it holds (but does not share), taking customers for granted in this way is a very dangerous strategy, indeed. No company, however dominant, will survive indefinitely if their business model threatens to piss their customers off.



Peter a journalist with 30 years experience of freelance writing, UK national newspaper and magazine production roles, and business development. In 2007, he developed and launched a mainstream-style green consumer magazine in the UK, called GreenerLiving, as a means of promoting sustainable change ‘within the system’. GreenerLiving closed during the post-crash recession, but Peter went on to become managing editor of the international ethical business title, Ethical Performance. However, Peter felt that the CSR sector has not succeeded in changing corporate priorities anywhere near fast enough, and so I decided to leave the treadmill of corporate employment and debt accumulation to focus on my own projects. Now poorer but a billion million times happier, he writes on political, economic and social issues – usually seriously, but sometimes as satire. He's currently writing Psychopath Economics, a book about the logic of social and economic power, belief systems, and the rise and fall of societies. Peter is convinced that ordinary people must educate themselves and exercise their economic leverage if we are to avoid social and environmental destruction.

peterbatt has 165 posts and counting.See all posts by peterbatt

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