How is Social Networking Affecting Your Brand?

There is a magnification affect in social networking, be it as simple as a forum or through more advanced services like Facebook and MySpace. The word of mouth that might ten years ago have reached 5 or so people about a particular customer experience now can reach hundreds and thousands in the course of a day or so.

Witness this post by one of the respected members of the Reel-Time community yesterday at 6pm. In the ensuing twelve hours, it’s been read 250 times. By Monday that number will be in the thousands.

Four years ago I purchased a pair of Maui Jim prescription sunglasses from a Pearle Vision
center chain store in Portsmouth, NH. They cost me well more than $300.

Earlier this year the frames finally gave out and needed replacement. I took them to Pearle but they said they would have to send them off to Maui Jim and it would cost me about $250.

I was sure the frames were not worth that kind of money so, I contacted Maui Jim. They quoted me $69.00 + $8 S&H and I mailed them my glasses.

Last week they called and advised me that the frames were not theirs and that that was a clear violation and infringement of Maui Jim’s patent by the Pearle dealer who used bogus frames.

They were upset that a dealer had used bogus frames with their name. However, they put my prescription lenses in one of their frames and they refunded my $77.00 check and returned it with the leneses in new frames.

Be sure you get what you pay for. I could have been up the creek without a paddle on this one but; I purchased a well-known quality product and the manufacturer covered my loss. I’m sure many would not have.

I’ll buy Maui Jim’s again but never through a Pearle Dealer.

For Maui Jim, a big score. One of their core potential user groups now are well aware of their incredible customer service, and the excellence of their products. For Pearle, they’ve utterly alienated everyone in this group that reads the post.

Think about how one customer with a bad experience in the old days would have told a few people. Now this user has told over a thousand people, and there’s a good chance they’ll tell others as well. Overall, the affect could be huge, and I’m betting Pearle will never even notice…

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