Business

Don’t let Facebook’s hazy customer service bring you down

Dear John: We are small business owners (through sweat and tears) and are being bullied by Facebook’s dictatorship!

To quote “Star Wars,” Help me, John. You are my only hope.

We run an education publishing company in Queens, mostly focused on materials for kids ages 3 to 6 years old. As of March, we went through a brand name change from Smartie Books to Mind Inventions.

We spent over $6,000 on advertising on Facebook, building out a customer following under our original Smartie Books page. Now all we want to do is update our Facebook page to reflect the brand name change.

From the beginning, Facebook was not very clear on what the requirements were. I’m not bothering you with everything, but we filed an official request [for the name change] with New York state. Then Facebook denied my request and further refused to accept the official legal document!

When asked for escalation, the Facebook representative told me she was the escalation and there is nothing further it can do. I am totally disgusted by this.

I feel I am being treated like garbage. Not only did Facebook refuse to provide me clear requirements about what was needed, but now it just ignores me. I don’t know what else to do — I’m very frustrated and wondering if suing Facebook is an option. Please help! D.Z.

Dear D.Z.: As you know, I contacted Facebook on your behalf and the problem has been solved.

Just a day after Facebook got back to me to say it would look into the matter, you sent me an e-mail that said:

“I just wanted to let you know that it looks like my Facebook page has been updated!!!

“I have not received any notifications from Facebook, but it looks like the correct changes have now been made.

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this!!!

“I am so grateful for your help!”

As for hiring a lawyer: If you notice that your business was substantially harmed by the Facebook problem, hire an attorney. But lawyers cost a lot of money, and Facebook has the resources to defend itself. So you
might want to think about that twice — or even three times — before taking action.

The fact is that Facebook is a sloppy company that’s gotten too big, too fast. It can’t deal with all the issues that come up — pedophiles, data breaches, etc. Your problem just wasn’t big enough for it to worry about until it thought your complaint might get into the paper.

Dear John: A relative of mine is a widow approaching 80 years old. She owns her own apartment and has stocks and bonds, but nobody knows exactly what the estate is worth.

Whom do I hire to get her estate in order? J.C.

Dear J.C.: I’d suggest you hire an estate attorney.

You can get the name of lawyers to choose from at Lawyers.com. Or you can ask whatever firm your relative bought those stocks and bonds through to make a recommendation.

But, of course, your relative should be doing all this and not you.

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