Tobold's Blog
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Facebook customer support

If you have hundreds of millions of customers, any small percentage of them requiring customer support is immediately a huge and costly problem. Thus Facebook decided some time ago to not do any customer support by e-mail any more. If you send a mail to some old support e-mail address from Facebook, you'll get an automated reply telling you to use the Facebook Help Center. Unfortunately the Help Center only helps with problems that occur frequently enough to justify their own web form. If you have a problem that isn't common, like wanting your Facebook Connect app deleted on a disabled Facebook account, you're out of luck. I found a blog with info on how to contact Facebook, but that only gives you a list of the various web forms available on the Help Center.

Fortunately Ubisoft / Blue Byte has better customer support and is working on a solution to recover my Die Siedler Online account that had been locked down through Facebook Connect. Otherwise I would have been totally stuck, because Facebook simply refuses to talk to me, whatever web form I use to get this resolved.

In the end I think the most useful Facebook web form on their Help Center is the one that enables you to delete your account completely (and even that takes two weeks). In case you are interested, here is the link:

I clicked that link once, but I don't believe at all that my account really got physically deleted...

That being said, here is a guide for another even more hidden and interessting web form:
How to get your data from facebook. On a CD, because obviously they are saving [b]hundreds[/b] of MB about you.

Btw, funny fact: a "user" is called "Target" in their Database, which is pretty telling.
This is, sadly, the nature of the larger online-only concerns. A certain payment system being frustratingly similar.

It's one of the reasons I have a preference to buy stuff online from shops that have a high street presence most of the time.

I'm still somewhat surprised that Facebook haven't had a change of heart - surely there must be a point where even a little negative publicity can goad them into action...
Great post Tobold. I think you are spot on for your analysis of the reasons for Facebook's dismal customer support. Of course the fact that we are not really "the customers" but "the product" doesn't help.

I wonder will our governments ever get their act together to try an enforce some basic standards on these new global mega companies? I am not normally a huge fan of clumsy government intervention but I can't see any other way that the behaviour of these companies can be reigned in.
Do you think Facebook has any value to gamers now? Would you get another account if privacy were not an issue?
> delete your account completely

Dacebook does NOT delete your account "completely". It just hides it. Photos and data keep being stored on FB servers.
Well of course they don't really delete your account Loque. If they did, then they would have to have a process to restore accounts for bubble heads who rage-deleted and then felt remorse.

And restoring your account would require some sort of actual interaction, and Facebook doesn't want to do that. So if you want to delete your account, tough luck.
It reminds me of trying to cancel a gym membership when I was moving town a couple years ago. They insisted that I would not be able to cancel my membership if I didn't book a time to attend an interview, prior to cancelling.

Being the cynical bastard I am, I assumed it was so they could prevent unmotivated quitters from cancelling the guilt-tax they pay to gyms they don't go to, by using the kind of neuro-linguistic programming that only works face-to-face.

Companies who refuse to let go are more annoying than a dog who won't let go of your sock, and have less dignity. It's also INCREDIBLY counter-productive if all it does is inspire resentment.

Turning a departing customer who is possible return business into negative word-of-mouth... always smart.
Facebook is like a business partner that says you might get hurt all by yourself if you try to get out of the joint venture. With a Brooklin accent
Try this page which has many forms to contact Facebook.I have tried the forms and Facebook responded immediately so I am waiting for them to solve my problems.
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