I can’t deny the power of Facebook to our business. This is a platform, like Google and others, where information is king. Facebook has a lot of information, kindly supplied by its users, which its powerful technology gathers and sells to businesses as highly targeted advertising space.

From our company’s perspective, Facebook enables us to keep in contact with our customers as well as find new custom.  We can do this slowly for free but have the option to turbo charge it via advertising.  It is a brilliant technology.  For us, because we reside on a dead end road in a tiny village in the midst of the most rural part of the country, Facebook is our voice and our pub and campsite community’s voice.  Important for many businesses and for a pub with a location like ours, vital.

The beauty of it is that the core service is free.   We connect with Facebook and search with Google all the time.  What better way to advertise than to target a person who has shown an interest in say Glamping in Lincolnshire, lives not too far away and is currently looking for a holiday and is probably going to book something in the next week or so.  Targeted advertising is very powerful.

SO WHAT’S MY PROBLEM?

Since so many of us use Google, Facebook and other enormous corporations we end giving them our habits / behaviour / interests / all things otherwise known as data.  We have caused a problem in that if they can store this (which they can) and use it (which they do) they have the power to control and serve information, especially if it’s the information that you actually want and we keep coming back to our computers for it.  It is actually great that I get adverts about temping tech that I was looking at last week rather than tampons.  The issue is, they are just too big and being too big means they really don’t have to give a monkeys.  With Facebook, this became my problem just over a year ago.

Without being overly boring about the technical aspects our Pub’s Facebook page, Facebook’s technology lost me as the administrator – a technological glitch, the computer said no issue – meaning that our Facebook page was now rudderless albeit still at sea in cyberspace.  Fortunately my wife is an editor, meaning she can access some things and write some posts but there are no other administrators apart from a social marketing company that we have ceased services with.  So Denise is carrying the bat on the old Facebook page. 

All I needed to do was to contact Facebook and get them to sort out my technical glitch.  This started over a year ago….

Over a year on and I have given up.  I have concluded that they are uncontactable and we need to move on.

In the past year I have spent many, many hours trying in vain to contact Facebook and what I have learnt is the following:

  • There is no phone number
  • There is no address
  • There is no email
  • There are hundreds of contact forms on their website but they don’t answer anything with a human, just an auto response.
  • There is a help centre that doesn’t help with technical glitches although it does offer up irony if you click on the angry face to communicate to them on how helpful an article is.  Clearly it doesn’t matter to them.
  • As an advertiser on Facebook (or to use another word, a customer) this seems rather strange that you cannot contact the company you are advertising with or hosting your information.  It simply can't be true and so, with the knowledge from the endless accounts of “how to contact Facebook” (and who knows what’s right and current on the internet) the ONLY WAY to get through is via Facebook’s Ad Centre. Unfortunately, they don’t listen to me or, according the knowledge base online, advertisers that are just too small.
  • My last hope was through the larger spending social media marketing company responsible for those erroneous photos of Salisbury and trying to pass it off as being Horncastle. They eventually got some response, at least for a couple of weeks.  They end up talking via email with a third party contractor of Facebook’s called Global Marketing Solutions who in turn talk to Facebook.  By the time Facebook have replied to Global Marketing Solutions and they have replied to you it takes a while.  With hopes raised, I excitedly marched down the garden path and on to a solicitor for notary ID proof.  Back it went only to be told it was all good from their end and then effectively cut me off by email.  I wasn’t even given the opportunity to be rude!
  • The conclusion is is that they are uncontactable.

WHAT NOW?

For our business, this results in a difficult situation.  We have a page representing our business that we cannot control and probably can’t delete.  This page has a lot of useful juice on it:  years of feedback, reviews, comments, internet gravitas that all helps us be found online.  However, to move forwards it appears we must go back to the beginning and start over.

Our new page will no doubt cause confusion to those searching for us but our task is to navigate old fans to the new page and build this so that one day we can afford to delete the old page (if we can) or maybe let Facebook delete it as an embarassment to them if we can’t (I need to get Denise to post something informative about Facebook and the situation on there for us).   At the time of writing, the old Facebook page has all our customers who follow it and without it we cannot communicate with them until they like the New Page (facebook.com/theglampingpub).  There are over 2500 people following our old business page.  The new page starts with no one and nothing.  The link to the old page “facebook.com/threehorseshoesgoulceby” is plastered all over the internet, over our business cards, brochures and posters.  It resides on other peoples phones.  The new page is unknown.  Work to be done.  Thanks Facebook.

A monumental hassle and cost implication awaits.

SHOULD FACEBOOK GET AWAY WITH THIS?

My thoughts are that having googled this for a year they appear to always get away with awful customer service.  Its not just me. The worst situations seems to be those that get logged out and blocked out of their system altogether and even if they had hoped to contact some customer services department their only route is via the facebook platform for which they will need to be logged in!

So a multi-billion pound empire has effectively no customer service.  Its free to use but it contains our information.  The ombudsman says its not breaching data protection rules.  All I know is that for my business there has to be a point of contact since I have paid them money for a service (advertising).  What if they robbed my account for £1000s?

My next step is to chart my Facebook re-launch.  Unfortunately we have to do it, it pains me, but it is a very effective tool even though I have to suck up the zero service level offered.  I am energised though and I will campaign to my MP to address this issue on how corporate power can take your money, control your information and avoid the customer service.  Only the giants can do this, and size and lack of competition and governance is the problem.  They are just too big to care about the individual but I would imagine they would be much better if they had to abide by the same customer service rules that the vast bulk of businesses abide by. 

To help: Please like our new page at facebook.com/theglampingpub

Pub

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Dining

Home cooked Lincolnshire food.

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Glamping accommodation and ensuite pods

Weddings

Stunning marquee wedding venue.

Events

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Winter Opening Times

Our opening times vary as the clocks change.  They are extended during BST.

Over winter we now only open for a limited period over the weekends but your custom is most welcome.  We will be running a fishy Friday with happy hour from 5-7pm and new pizza deals on Saturdays alongside a delicious winter menu.  Sunday lunch will continue as normal from Noon to 2.00pm.

For more information click here.

DayLunchEvening
Monday Pub Closed Pub Closed
Tuesday Pub Closed Pub Closed
Wednesday Pub Closed Pub Closed
Thursday Pub Closed Pub Closed
Friday

12-2pm

Food 12-2pm and 5-8.30pm
Deal: FISHY FRIDAY DEAL, 2 Fish & Chips £15

5-11pm

Food 5-8.30pm
Deal: FISHY FRIDAY DEAL, 2 Fish & Chips £15

Saturday

Bar - Opens all day from Noon

Food - Noon-2pm
Deal: Pizza and Pint £10
Deal: Free tea/coffee with every dessert

Bar - Open all day

Food - Noon-2pm
Deal: Pizza and Pint £10
Deal: Free tea/coffee with every dessert

Sunday

Bar - Noon-4.00pm

 

Food - Noon-2pm (CARVERY)
Deal: Free tea/coffee with every dessert

Pub Closed

Finding Us...

Postcode for your SATNAV:  LN11 9WA

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