Stephen Murphy, a reporter I worked with many years ago, just announced on Facebook that he got banned from a corporation’s Facebook fan page.
I swear I’m not making this up. He said he got banned from Chipotle Mexican Grill’s page for sticking up for his friend Ryan Madrid, who got banned for making a FB comment the company’s social media moderator apparently found unpleasant.
There was a discussion on the Chipotle fan page about how great it would be if the Mexican chain would cater weddings (they don’t). Well, Stephen’s friend commented that serving Chipotle at a wedding would be less than classy. So, Chipotle’s FB moderator “Joe” banned him for saying that.
Stephen, in turn, commented that a company shouldn’t ban customers who make slightly negative comments. Suddenly, he too, was banned, something he said he totally didn’t see coming.
The thread has since been deleted by Chipotle and reduced to this (as stated by the original poster): “I wish you guys catered. I’d love to serve Chipotle at my wedding!”
The odd thing is, in Stephen’s comment on the original wedding thread, he said in response to his friend Ryan’s comment that he thought having Chipotle at a wedding would be “amazing.” He also told me said he loves Chipotle and eats there several times a week.
The chain has a loyal following with over 1.6 million Facebook “Likes” and Joe the moderator is right in there interacting with the continuous stream of commenters. That’s a smart move on Chipotle’s part; that’s the way to build a fan base. I’m actually surprised by how few companies actually engage users.
But boy did “Joe” blow this one. Short of obscenities, threats or in-fighting, what corporation would ban a customer from a page? Is it because they have so many “Likes” Chipotle feels a few banned users won’t be missed?
The whole point of social media – especially for a corporation -- is to get the conversation going. Granted, some of that conversation might not be positive. But even the negative is useful for a company to know.
Companies usually bend over backwards to get an angry customer to return. In this case, the company is booting the customer out simply for having an opinion. It doesn’t make any sense.
It’s time to find a new place to buy a burrito.