Webcare at its worst

Webcare at its worst

Webcare at its worst 


There’s a lot to be learned from the good example set by others, but other people’s mistakes can be just as educational. That’s why we’ve collected 11 examples of customer service gone horribly wrong. Enjoy!

1. Sanoma

Oops. One of Sanoma’s employees lost patience with a customer who took to Twitter to complain about the company’s service. For Sanoma, this meant hell to pay: a great many customers deemed the response unacceptable, with the tone of the employee being thought particularly inappropriate. Not a very smooth move, because apart from losing one complaining customer, other (potential) customers also get scared away.

 Sanoma nieuw

2. Domino’s

A very happy customer posted a compliment on Domino’s Facebook page. Funnily enough, this led to a rather unexpected reply by the popular pizza franchise: ‘Sorry about that, could you send us a little more information?’. An inappropriate autoreply, perhaps? Luckily Domino’s catches on quickly and straightens things out with a disarming response.

 Domino's nieuw

Domino's nieuw 2

3. Jetset Sushi Utrecht

A webcare employee at a sushi restaurant in Utrecht is up in arms after a customer complains about feeling unwell from eating their food, and even goes as far as to suggest she is pregnant.

 jetset sushi nieuw

4. Plant & Warmth BVBA

Through the rather liberal use of CAPS LOCK the Belgian company Plant & Warmth BVBA lets a customer named Fientje know that they feel her criticism to be unwarranted. The childish response ultimately backfires, because the message ends up going viral on social media.

 Plant nieuw

5. Vodafone

When using copy paste, never forget to check whether you’ve put the correct name!



Two years ago in The Hague a diabetic girl shopping at a local branch of HEMA was mistaken for a junkie when she was found administering a shot of insulin in the fitting room. She was detained by security staff and later handed over to the police. Hundreds of people expressed their outrage through HEMA’s social media, but the department store remained silent. Not until a few days later do they post a statement on Facebook, still without offering an apology. Needless to say this response does not go down well with their online public, with a large number of people deciding to boycott the store.

Hema nieuw 

7. T-Mobile

Popular singer Frans Bauer sticks up for one of T-Mobile’s customers. Everything seems to go fine until out of the blue, the webcare employee responds with a completely unjustified insult to Bauer! (Who lives in the village of Fijnaart) Whoops…



Schermafbeelding 2017-03-06 om 12.45.11


8. Staatsloterij

Okay, this one is not so much rude, as a bit silly: the Dutch National Lottery asking customers to post photographs below their Instagram messages. Which just so happens to be something Instagram doesn’t let you do!


9. Tonika

Tonika, a music shop in Groningen, posted this rather vague, racist and generally crudely worded job ad. When the online news platform GeenStijl picked it up, the shop faced a barrage of criticism. Tonika then only made things worse by sticking to its guns on social media and by personally attacking anyone who had anything bad to say about them. Really, Tonika?

 Tonika nieuw

10. KPN

Oh dear… This KPN employee obviously can’t take any more of their customer’s complaining and can’t stop themselves from snapping at them. Not very professional!


11. Heineken

Heineken tried to cash in on the cycling fever, but when Netherlands’ Annemiek van Vleuten was involved in a horrible crash during her race, what could have been clever advertising turned into an unfortunate comment…

Heineken 1


Looking at all these examples, webcare definitely has its share of pitfalls. Whatever the problem is, we recommend the following: always take the complaint seriously, always offer an apology, and make sure you fix the problem. Keeping up a lengthy discussion and refusing to see you customer’s point of view are sure ways to make things worse. Add to that the fact that on social media, everyone can follow your responses. Before you know it, a single unprofessional reply gets shared thousands of times and could cost you a lot of business. So to wrap up: be polite, helpful, and always use a personal approach. This will help you turn any situation around!

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