The conventional wisdom for dealing with commenters who post angry, all-caps complaints to an organization’s Facebook page goes like this: Treat them with kid gloves. Apologize. Offer them something. Do anything to calm them down.
Ryan Clark, co-owner of Liberty Bottleworks, a Yakima, Wash., company that makes metal water bottles, didn’t do that. When a customer posted a comment forcefully saying that his company was unresponsive and provided “a phone number that no one ever answers,” he replied with this lengthy answer:
His sentiment can be boiled down to this quote: “I am sorry you are upset and I will gladly give you your money back, but I am not sorry our employees were enjoying the holidays. That right is not exclusive to you.”
For whatever reason, the exchange has been deleted from Liberty’s Facebook page, but the screenshot above has been making the online rounds, first on Reddit, then on sites such as Adweek
In what one might view as a rejection of the trend of retailers’ making employees work on Thanksgiving
and other holidays, the online spread of Clark’s “family first” sentiment has won Liberty considerable business. Late last week, Liberty posted this message
to Facebook stating, “the call volume, and visitation to our website are massive right now - more than we've ever seen obviously.”
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That post has earned nearly 1,700 “likes” and 160 comments, almost all of which are supportive.
“Was so impressed by your response to the customer rant, I immediately placed an order,” one said.