10Apr 13
Facebook AA Meetings ……
Published by bigmac

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‘My name is Leeann and I’m a Facebook Addict’ – there, I’ve said it! Aren’t we all though these days? I’m surprised that there aren’t already people flocking to Facebook Anonymous meetings on a weekly basis to talk to other addicts about how they are trying to wean themselves off it!

 

I think it’s really interesting how each individual Facebook user uses it for different things, many people use it for keeping in touch with family overseas, many to reunite with school friends or old flames, many use it for playing those highly addictive and highly annoying games (that I seem to get a million requests for each day!) and many are just downright nosey and want to catch up on all the latest scandal!

 

I often wonder though how many people use it when they are looking for a business or service. I know I personally would feel dubious about using a business that I know very little about other than the fact they have 300 friends on their business Facebook page. In this day and age anyone can really hide behind a screen and ‘pretend’ to be a professional business and nobody can really stop them from doing that. Do you REALLY know who you are trading with on a social networking site? Unless you know them personally, then my guess is, NO. Anyone can set up a Facebook page; it takes a matter of minutes. If I really wanted to, I could set up a Facebook page selling cheap as chips PlayStations, Xboxes, IPhones, I pads – whatever I fancy selling that day, and prey on vulnerable and gullible members of the general unsuspecting public – Never in a million years would I do it, but unfortunately there are a lot of people who do and who ARE getting away with it!

 

On the flip side of the coin, that also means that there are many people who are being duped by such scams! People can be unbelievably trusting when surfing a social network site and as they are normally in a relaxed frame of mind when online, chances are they let their guard down and perhaps ‘fall’ for these scams and ‘keyboard conmen’ all a little too easily.

 

What prompted me to write about this was a post I witnessed just last week on Facebook (not on our own business page might I add, but a friend of a friends Facebook wall. Well, let’s face it, everyone can see everything these days, whether we like it or not!) The incident that I read about was a public rant on the Facebook page of the business owner who had failed to deliver a kid_screamingservice for, wait for it, a children’s birthday party!!! The business claimed to be an entertainer that specialised in children’s parties, christenings, weddings etc. the mother of the child had booked the entertainer for her little cherub’s birthday party with the promise of the entertainer turning up – low and behold with an army of expectant kids and a birthday kid so excited he was about to burst…..no entertainer arrived! Cue the tirade of abuse and complaints on the ‘business’ Facebook page of said entertainer.

 

Quite rightly so, had I been the mother of the child who was so badly let down and disappointed, I would have done exactly the same. However, my point is – did the mother really have a booking? I have no doubt she may have spoken with the business owner via the odd private and public Facebook message, but is that confirmation enough when booking a service? We know that sometimes posts can suddenly vanish and messages can be deleted, so really it’s her word against the business owner, so she didn’t really have a leg to stand on.

 

What also made me think about this was the fact that the business owner didn’t have a website, preferring to ‘do business’ only via Facebook, you can look at that in a couple of ways. Perhaps they generate enough business through Facebook to keep them ticking over and pay for their bills, or perhaps they don’t want to make themselves known as a legitimate business, and can quite easily fall off the radar should they ever need to. My feeling is that the latter is the truth.

 

When you have a business website, not only does it let your clients see that you are serious about your business and are a professional set-up, but it also gives the client a certain amount of assurance, especially if you are taking payments online through your website or PayPal.

 

We have built many websites for a variety of businesses and we specialise in e-commerce websites also, when there are payments involved security is paramount. Not just to protect both the consumer and seller but to ensure that there is a record of a purchase or service having being bought and paid for.

 

Perhaps had the business owner had a professional website with an online booking facility, all the confusion and the disappointment of 30 children could have been avoided.

 

There are no doubt, many, many reputable business that conduct their business through social media and do a great job of it, but please do bear in mind, that there are some rogues out there too.

 

My advice to you – know who you are dealing with. Ask for references from satisfied customers, ask for proof of payment/purchase (and don’t proceed until you know you will get it), ask for confirmation in writing (a private mail on Facebook isn’t good enough) and more to the point, if something doesn’t seem right listen to your gut, or if it seems too good to be true, it usually is!

 

 

Posted in Blog, Technology

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