Social media, you either get it, or you’re a politician (more on that later.) It’s no surprise that in this age of Twitter, Facebook, LinkdIn and like the forgotten bastard child, Google+. With our lives becoming even more linked to these sites there is little surprise companies want to be involved more. For example a personal Favourite Airfix on Facebook uses theirs to broadcast news such as new releases and it’s also a good place to show off your creations.
Other companies use them more as an extension to their customer helplines, for example the local bus company flash important updates and field a rather basic helpline service, to everyone it’s a very vital service and generally a good thing.
The same cannot be said for the other local company. Yes the company Arriva also runs services, and on one occasion the bus was on time, sadly this was before the invention of camera’s so cannot be confirmed. Arriva’s Facebook page resembles the buses, they’re rude, loud and are quite crap. A simple question about a timetable change results in staff members shouting at the public to “learn to drive then, Simples.” In any other company that would result in a stern talking to. Added to this is the fact the company hiked the fares up 5% and withdrew a lot of services. Now I could understand the fare increase if I saw where it was going. The buses are past it, the drivers clearly aren’t getting new uniforms and the fee’s to charm school were obviously a waste.
Arriva’s defence on this is “they were mentioned on the website and on facebook” failing to acknowledge that the increases weren’t advertised on the buses themselves, and from what I see the main users of the bus service are- how to put this nicely- of a certain age where gizmos and doodads are beyond them.
Arriva really screwed the end game on this. Bringing in sweeping changes without proper notice and relying solely on Facebook to advertise these changes that effect every user of the service. Couple that with the rather cowboy attitude of the “Arriva Bod” (A person more concerned with 3 points won by Newcastle United than the questions from a mother who’s child was stranded) means that Arriva are at least remaining consistent with their level of service. Which is next to 0.