Saturday, September 25, 2010

Price Chopper - Fail

File this story under Customer Outreach - FAIL

It seems a Syracuse area critic posted negative comments about an unnamed area Price Chopper.

What might have wound up being a begnign post to a limited number of twitter followers went viral.

The tweet read in part, “Every time I go into a @PriceChopperNY I realize why they are not @Wegmans. Tonight — bare produce areas” and a picture of a sign that the customer thought showed poor store organization

Now the Twitter chatter is going viral.

The dispute erupted after the customer posted a tweet on Price Chopper’s Twitter page that criticized the supermarket chain. A Price Chopper employee reacted by contacting the customer’s employer and requesting he be disciplined.

This dispute reached blogospheric heights in part because the customer is a friend of Anthony J. Rotolo, assistant professor of practice and social media strategist at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies.

Rotolo said he was approached by his friend last week after a representative of Price Chopper contacted that person’s employer about the tweet.

Rotolo put the whole affair in a blog, with a photo of a Price Chopper supermarket with “fail” stamped on it.

What happened next is almost unbelieveable. Someone from Price Chopper’s public relations team contacted the customer’s employer (which was mentioned in the individual’s Twitter bio) and requested disciplinary action be taken against the individual for their negative post.

Uh who died and left you boss? This guy needs to lose his job. Contacting the guy's employer and asking he be disciplined crosses the line

Heidi Reale, director of consumer insights at Price Chopper, posted on Rotolo’s blog, “This associate (the Price Chopper employee) had no responsibility for, or permission from, Price Chopper to address customer complaints or the customer’s employer. This is why we knew nothing about it when it was tweeted at us today. We are sorry for this unfortunate incident, and we are working to take the appropriate actions to repair the trust that has been compromised by this associate.”

Price Chopper did man up to its mishandling of the whole cyber mis-step. It's troubling that these stories are becoming more common (e.g. the guy that was sued for libel because he gave negative feedback on ebay)

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