I’ve tried so hard to resist, to bite my lip and say nothing – but come on, you’re a middle-aged man who should have better things to do in life. You subscribe to the Facebook page of every national business you’ve taken umbrage to and make it your work every hour of the day or night to post your grammatically inept rants, or ill-conceived political arguments, on their walls.
They say there’s nothing that encourages a hater more than responding to the idiotic shit they spray across the online world. But every one of them leaves me wanting to ask just a single question: Why ‘Like’ a brand that you clearly do not like at all in order to make snide and often baseless remarks about a product or service that you openly admit you don’t purchase?
Domino’s is an example that always springs to mind. I have never ordered from Domino’s without some kind of voucher that usually slashes the price in half whilst cleverly getting me to add more to my order. The Domino’s business-model is based on the premise that customers will always feel they’re buying at an opportune time. You’d be a moron to ever actually pay the full menu price. Yet, the moment Domino’s promote a new offer on Facebook it will, within seconds, be shot-down by dozens of losers posting comments along the lines of ‘Way to expensive your pizzas shit anyways i go to pizza hut where there not wankers’ – the grammar and spelling are also accurately illustrative. Fine, go to Pizza Hut – why would the rest of us care? What really surprises me is that these comments often aren’t coming from stoned-looking kids or idealistic anti-capitalist students. Scanning through the profile images many of these comments are posted by middle-aged men with corporate head-shots. I’d really like to see these chaps go into a Domino’s store and have the same rant in person – because, frankly, I don’t think they’d have the bollocks to make such fools of themselves in public.
Recently Starbucks have taken a lot of stick online because of their accountancy practices. So, what did the trolls have to say about Starbucks? Here’s a small selection of the bizarre drivel people have vented on Starbucks’ wall:
‘I found a local coffee shop where they pay their taxes [I’m sorry, did you request to see their tax return?] and have much friendlier staff, oh and they charge less than you twats too’
‘not our brave troops [getting coffee] out un afgan oh that’s rite u stopped supplying them SCUMBAGS is whay u shud b calld’ [Sir, if you check reliable news sources you’ll find that this inaccurate story began circulating online in 2004 – the original author withdrew it and apologised for his mistake five months after publishing.]
‘I love Starbucks coffee but their accountants and ethics leave a bitter taste… I reserve the right to protest and spread the word about their deceit and fraud’ [Ah – so you’re the person who pens a grumble to the local paper every week! Presumably you’d also be willing to make a placard and actually stand outside your nearest Starbucks with a loud-hailer? No? By the way – fraud is a criminal offense, and with no criminal investigation currently taking place I’d be careful about ‘spreading the word’ without any evidence.]
‘Oi Starbucks your money to the state now’ [this would become a far stronger statement with the addition of punctuation.]
Now, I’m not knocking well-reasoned and politely worded criticism, any business will testify that feedback from customers is essential. I’ve reached out to organisations on Twitter* and Facebook, and they’ve responded swiftly and resolved my issues. Social media is perhaps the ultimate in open democracy, so I have no qualms with anyone posting dissatisfaction online – rather it is the case that I get disheartened when genuine queries and constructive criticism are possibly overlooked amongst the rants of thousands of semi-literate trolls.
*In the interests of impartiality one public transport provider has, on a several occasions, received from me some less-than-polite critique of their services. Having angered myself reading the comments of others I now try to practice what I preach and be more restrained.