Tuesday 6 January 2015

Should we apologise?

A few days ago a member of our Facebook group criticised a company called Stafix about an item they supplied for his electric fence. The suggestion was that a fuse in a device had been "bridged" or bypassed. A photograph seemed to confirm this.

The subsequent conversation between the customer and a former employee of Stafix then became a little heated and eventually I was forced to remove some of the comments that I felt were too argumentative and weren't productive.

However I thought we had a good end result because Stafix agreed to fix whatever the problem was and the customer agreed to pay for certain parts. I thought that was a good ending.

It was not to be so.

Apparently lawyers were then involved. Apparently one person on Facebook commented that they had gone to Stafix for a quotation but would not now be using their services and that seems to have angered Stafix. Understandably I suppose if they can prove that this really was a genuine loss of business. However you have to ask whether the original comment about bridging a fuse was a fair comment done in good faith.

So now an email comes in from Stafix. In the interests of openness here is the entire text of the email. The only thing I've removed is the name of the customer who originally complained.
Good Afternoon

I emailed both parties some requests yesterday regarding the posting on the Facebook Consumer Watchdog Page by [name removed] in my last emails that both [name removed] and Mr. Harriman (Yourselves) are aware of. I have categorically stated issues below of concern:

1) An inaccurate and malicious post was made by [name removed] aimed at our company and has defamed and caused loss of business for us.
2) The Consumer Watchdog Facebook Page provided a platform for the malicious posting of the inaccurate information which we deem defamatory and also responsible for the loss of business to ourselves.
3) Stafix has proven that there has been inaccuracy in the contents and the assumptions posted by [name removed] yet in good faith has still rectified [name removed]’s problem.

The management of Stafix including Mr. Humie Marapo and myself therefore expect the following:

1) A public apology on the same medium by both [name removed] and Consumer Watchdog. (The same medium being the Facebook Consumer Watchdog Page)
2) For the apology to state the inaccuracy of the accusation made by [name removed]. (based on information both parties have received about the actual damage)
3) For the apology to state by Consumer Watchdog whether their findings based on all details they are in possession of clear our name with them (The Consumer Watchdog as a consumer advocacy and support service in Botswana) and if they would advocate for Stafix by informing the viewers of the posted information to also be aware of the inaccuracy of the posts.

This we think will further remedy the removal of the post from the Consumer Watchdog Facebook page and reduce some of the damage that has been done to our reputation. I do however still want a meeting with you [name removed] so kindly advise when this will be possible.

Kind regards
So, should we apologise?

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