One week, two social media blunders in the United Arab Emirates. First we had Subaru Emirates and now we have Du, the UAE’s second largest telecommunications company, getting everyone into a tizzy.
The background to the story, which has been covered by the UAE-based magazine Computer News Middle East, is an increase in charges for the company’s home user pricing plans. The price increases, which have risen by up to 37 percent, seem to have been posted on the company’s website rather than having being formally announced by the company.
Unsurprisingly, consumers haven’t taken to Du’s price increases (note – for data services the UAE operates a monopolistic system whereby you have to purchase from the sole telco who is licensed to operate in your area, which is either Du or Etisalat). Du’s twitter account, @Dutweets, has been inundated with tweets from aggrieved consumers who understandably don’t want to pay more for their existing service and don’t want Du’s offer of additional phone minutes in compensation for the higher prices. Have a look below:
Unfortunately, for the people in the company running the Du account (Du handles social media internally I believe) things have gone from bad to worse. One reply has gone viral and is receiving a swathe of negative feedback on Du and its social media efforts.
@WildeTrude Hey! if you don't want to continue with the services, you can cancel your account at one of our stores.
— du (@dutweets) August 6, 2013
I do feel for @Dutweets as they’re having to face the fallout from a pricing decision which has been poorly executed and hasn’t been communicated in the right manner – from a customer perspective there’s no justification for a price rise for the same service, especially when Du’s customers have no other provider and when their existing contracts should be honored for the contracts’ duration. However, if a company isn’t willing to resolve issues through social media then what’s the point of entering into a dialogue with the community? And no matter the frustration levels you can’t respond to customers in a manner that seems unsympathetic. So please, no more Hey! messages @dutweets. Understand the concerns, pass on the message to the executives and wait for a positive message from upstairs. Don’t do a Subaru, because you’re only going to make things much, much worse for yourselves.
@RaychMOfficial another classic example of anti-social media marketing. @dutweets ridiculous!
— Ajith Henry (@henry_aj) August 6, 2013