Social media complaining – How much is too much?

(Picture: Getty)

The temptation to have a good moan on social media is always there; on a delayed train, after buying something faulty; having received bad service in a restaurant.

Some people think it’s the best way to get a response, as companies feel more obligated to act properly in a public space.

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But, if you’re a Twitter user, you may have seen the big fight that came about last week over Holly Brockwell’s towel. Yes, you read right – a towel.

Brockwell, who has over 36k followers, ‘@’ed cleaning company Handy, after one of their employees bleached one of her towels and hid the evidence.

Social media complaining - How much is too much?
(Picture: Twitter)

The backlash was swift, with people accusing Holly of ‘snitching’ on a low-paid worker, who would likely be fired.

People were on both sides of the fence, some saying she had every right to complain, and others arguing that there were better ways of going about it.

So, what’s the protocol for social media complaining? We take a look at the times to do so, and times to definitely do not.

Social media complaining - How much is too much?
(Picture: Ella Byworth for

The case for

Obviously, you might be a bit pissed if your items have been damaged like Holly’s. That’s completely understandable.

If that’s what’s happened, no one would argue against you making a quick call to the company or send a direct email.

Similarly, if you’re tagging a large company in a tweet or Facebook post, and whatever happened (like a plane delay) was not the fault of one single person, go ahead.

The case against

Online shaming is very real, and in Holly Brockwell’s situation, although she tagged Handy, it wasn’t a corporate mistake but a personal one.

Not only did that put the cleaner at the wrath of the internet, but the company would have been likely to take more severe action after the mistake was called into question publicly.

No-one is suggesting you have no rights as a consumer to complain, but pick your battles. Is the person you’re mouthing off at in low-paid, precarious work (like Handy cleaners or Uber drivers)? Is it really that big a deal that you were charged an extra £1 for an item on sale?

Also, if you have a lot of followers, it won’t be just the company or employee that see it – you’re publicly shaming someone and inviting criticism from all corners of the internet.

Basically, same rules apply as in life: Don’t be a dick.

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