How – NOT – To Run A Business

There are many businesses across Ireland that provide decent service to a nation of citizens. To all of them, "Thank you". Sadly, there are some that, to put it bluntly, are consistently failing. Those that are seen to be failing - experienced in failing - letting many down, are those that go out of their way to actually avoid human interaction with their very users and customers. Yes, we're taking about the likes of Facebook, Google and other companies.

Speaking of Facebook, they make it EXTREAMLY HARD to speak to an actual live person when there are some very serious issues that do arise on a daily basis. From wrong placed restrictions to accounts being hacked and original owners cannot get them back, to many other issues that needs human interaction to better resolve. Try looking for a help phone number? Try looking for a help email address? Try looking for even an online help chat function? You have more chance of winning a national lottery. Facebook leaves many millions of people frustrated and abandoned daily. However, they are far from being on their own. here is just one interaction with The Bank Of Ireland (BOI):

BACKGROUND: Seeking to open up a Sole Trader Business account.

1. Jeff sets up "Clear And Graphic, a marketing business. He wishes to have a business account in order manage things. Goes to Drogheda branch, Bank of Ireland. Told there he would have to go online to open a Sole Trader account. Declines to help him further in the bank.

2. Goes online and finds the proper section. Starts the process. Get to the stage where the use of a connected web camera is needed to confirm ID. The BOI website won't recognise the camera even though every other website will and it works with every other piece of installed PC software. Jeff needs to speak to someone in the BOI because this is the only at the BOI will apparently accept Sole Trade new account applications (as stated by a Drogheda BOI staff member).

3. Seeks help online - only to be old no immediate help is available in any way but if you try a number supplied, you shall get help there.

3. Rings the bank. Goes through three levels of press certain "buttons to get help" - after listening to long adverts and waiting times - before on a later level, then being automatic voice told "For further assistance, please go to the BOI website" - where there's no help and old to call the useless number.

4. Frustrated at calling a few times and getting nowhere in seeking any human interaction, Jeff goes on Twitter to contact the bank. The following conversation is another hour of seeking help human interaction of days, failing to gain it:


Bank chat2

BELOW - The phone call that keeps you on the phone for a minute and a half,
makes you go through various button levels - then rings - then cuts you off completely!

Bank chat

At least the Bank of Ireland had phone numbers you could actually try - even if they went dead or had you going around in circles for days! Facebook and others? They are quick to take your money in an instant. Want just as quick help when a crises happens? You are 'up the creek without a paddle' as the saying goes. This is NOT good enough any more.

  1. 1. It's a disgraceful way to treat people, including customers and wanna-be ones.
  2. 2. It's no way to run a professional business, especially if you want to come across as professional!

It's clear that companies that seek out public money and gain it through many ways, should be far better talking to those it's taking money away from. It's clear that setups that provide a setup service, which in turn uses its users to increase profits through their interactions and personal data, should be far better talking to those it's using to further profit from!

A company that is deliberately going out of it's way, to ensure users/customers are not able to speak to someone by no ability provided - or deliberately as little ability as possible - is a setup that should be treated with suspicion. Such setups are certainly not making life any easier but still willing to take money or use people for their own advantage. There has to be balance if that's the case - and they being able to be better contacted should be part of that re-balance.

UnitedPeople would look to create legislation that would make such setups more accountable to the public and especially users of their services. They should not be allowed to hide their contact email and/or phone details away. They should have a system in place where they can be spoke to by phone call. This would be an aim of UnitedPeople through further legislation creation.

Those that have nothing to fear, should not be hiding away from the public they wish to use for their own ends. The bigger the setup, the more responsibility they have to the people they serve - and that includes better ways of oral communication. If that has to be enshrined within new legislation, so be it. UnitedPeople are willing to do it.

The people of Ireland daily (rightly) complain that increasing businesses and other setups make it as hard as possible to directly speak to them, face to face or across a phone line. This once sided communication, leaving many in trouble, frustrated and feeling exploited, is not good enough any more. Other parties are not willing to step up where it's more needed. UnitedPeople is!