How best to complain to a company on social media and get results

Public shaming not as effective as private messaging and common courtesy, CR says

How best to complain to a company on social media and get results

SAN ANTONIO – When you’ve got a beef with a business, it’s easy enough to post and rant on their social media. But to get the best results, Consumer Reports says common courtesy and private messaging to customer service beats so-called Twitter-shaming.

“Whatever platform you’re using, try a direct message instead,” said Consumer Reports’ Octavio Blanco. “Companies know you can put them on blast where everybody can see your message, so they may appreciate it when you don’t.”

That can often get you a faster and more helpful response, he said.

There are other benefits by going the private message route. It can help you avoid scams because no one can see your complaint except the company representative. That’s especially important when dealing with banks or financial services.

Before you post or message, be sure you’re reaching the official company account. On Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, an authentic account should have a checkmark in a blue circle.

“It’s important to be nice and not threaten the company in your DMs,” Blanco said. “Remember, there’s a person on the other side of that message.”

And you want that person on your side.

About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.