With the advent of social media, washing your dirty linen in public has taken on a whole new meaning. Battles are being fought on social media, in full public view using weapons like blogs, Twitter and Facebook. Everybody has a say and it does count on social media even if it is within 140 characters, to often go viral and create a dent on your online reputation. Here is another social media disaster on our hands that is brewing right away as I write this.
Shocking customer service captured in a blogpost
A visit to a restaurant for a ‘Hawaiian Sunday Brunch’ turned out to be too gruesome for a group of youngsters this Sunday, after they had checked out Sunday brunch events listed in the review site, Zomato. Apart from not being served any Hawaiian food, they were overcharged when they wished to leave and threatened with police arrest when they complained about the bill. Besides, the Gurgaon police instead of coming to their rescue, chose to side with the owner and manager of the restaurant. The youngsters were just short of being arrested for not paying the ‘overcharged’ bill!
After a lot of speculation, the youngsters decided to blog about the horrific experience in a detailed post yesterday (UPDATE: This post has been removed as of 12th June, but there is an exact copy here on Scribd). The shocking series of incidents experienced at the Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen in Gurgaon has offended most Twitter users, who have been sharing the post while tagging the Twitter handle of the restaurant. This has even got ‘Lemp’ trending in the Top 10 Twitter India trends today. Savour a few tweets that reflect the floating sentiments on Twitter:
— Chintan Vora (@theunsocialguy) June 11, 2013
— Shivya Nath (@shivya) June 11, 2013
The blog aftereffects
Consequently, the user rating for Lemp Brewpub & Kitchen on Zomato has had a massive southward fall to 1.3 from its earlier 3 point something, after the blog post went viral on Twitter.
Lemp Brewpub’s Twitter page has not uttered a single tweet in its defence or in apology. The last tweet is dated 7th June. Also, the Facebook page – created as a personal page and not as a brand page – is also strangely silent. However, after a cursory glance through the tweets in the trending topic ‘Lemp’, I’ve come across this blog post ‘People for Lemp’ by a certain Shruti who claims to be a regular customer at the restaurant. Apparently, the newly brewed post is a lame attempt at explaining the incident from Lemp’s point of view and even accuses the youngsters of ‘ardent campaigning to malign Lemp’s name’.
In all this, Zomato has shown exemplary social media action right away. Deepinder, founder of the restaurant review site has blogged about the company’s take on the Lemp incident, where he addresses concerns regarding displaying wrong information on Lemp and deleting/allowing restaurant owners to delete negative user reviews on Zomato.
Social media cannot save Lemp Brewpub even if it did issue an apology, as it comes in much later in the picture. The incident that happened on Sunday needed to be sorted amicably, instead of roughening things up for valuable customers. With the fast soaring negative reviews on Zomato and the trend on Twitter, it would be interesting to see how Lemp Brewpub plays on.
Update: Lemp’s subsequent response and social media lessons thereby, can be seen here.
Image Courtesy: Lemp Brewpub Facebook Page