Skip Navigation
Search Youth.SG

Where do we draw the line and declare the customer wrong?

OpinionsSocial Media

I love the Internet. Google is my best friend, Facebook keeps me connected to loved ones tens of thousands of miles away from me, Twitter lets me rant to my heart’s desire. 

I also hate the Internet. Or more specifically, some netizens really, really get on my nerves. I usually look for online reviews before patronising a restaurant or buying a product, because they are undeniably useful. But I realised after a while that online reviews are typically overwhelmingly negative (especially those on the official Facebook pages), written in a scathing fashion typical of very, very bitter individuals. I need evidence to substantiate my point, right? Here we go:

I love travelling, and I am always on the look-out for cheap deals. That means budget airlines... Let's look at Scoot.

I love junk food… I love McDonalds.

I don’t know if these individuals are plain unlucky, because frankly I’ve not had any problems with these airline carriers before, and my fast-food meals have always been fairly decent. By all means, individuals should share their experiences with potential customers, and it is well within their rights to demand a certain standard in customer service, food quality, etc. Social media offers customers a voice, and this is a good thing… in theory.

But in practice, how many of these are real complaints, and how many of them are but miserable attempts to seek compensation - whether or not they are deserved - in hope that the companies would acquiesce to their demands in the name of damage control? Why else would you post something on Facebook, instead of going through proper customer service channels? 

I am not suggesting that all online reviews are illegitimate or not credible. Many are. But has the Internet - has social media - promoted a ridiculous sense of entitlement in many, many people? Didn’t have a nice meal? Broadcast it to the world. Couldn’t get into the school of your choice? HOW DARE YOU. Booked your flights wrongly? Hey, where’s my loudspeaker?

Bonus screenshot, of netizens who have no idea what they are talking about:

Okay. Blame Google for everything. 

There comes a point in time when corporations are really not the evil do-ers, but self-entitled customers. Fact check: (1) there are customer-service officers - fellow countrymen - on the other side of the line, and (2) no, it really doesn’t matter that you are rich, or paid for the product/service. There is nothing wrong in demanding for higher standards, but there is something wrong in nitpicking, or deliberately creating falsehoods for your one minute of fame on the Internet. It’s despicable.

Is there a moral of the story here? I’m not sure, and this is probably as much of a rant as are the posts on those pages, so. But maybe, just maybe, the next time you’re unhappy with a meal, let the servers know directly. When your phone needs fixing, don’t broadcast it on Facebook, contact their service representatives. They do reply. Also: stop blaming others for your own mistakes, because let’s face it: the customer is not always right.