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Rant - Traders Using Social Media to Communicate


nheather
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Need a scuff on my car bumper repaired.

 

It really just needs a simple touch up so looking for small local businesses rather than full blown paint shop.

 

Find one that looks interesting, the home page has a plea about Covid, about safe working and supporting local businesses, so I think “sure, let’s give them the opportunity”.  So I look for contact details and find that he only uses WhatsApp.

 

Now I am getting on in my years, but I don’t lack IT skills, it’s just that I don’t really use social media.  I don’t use WhatsApp and I really don’t want to create an account just to get a quote.

 

And this isn’t an isolated case, I’m encountering this sort of thing more and more - can we do zoom, can we do teams, can we do Skype, can we do WhatsApp, can we do FaceBook message - and more and more they don’t want to do eMail.

 

It isn’t even Social Media as such, it’s that there are so many different tools and it feels like every trader wants to use a different one.

 

Cheers,

 

Nigel

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100% agree. If you want to use Social Media, that's fine, but don't force your customers to sign up to a service they may not want (or indeed may be blocked from using). I won't use social media - doesn't matter why, I have my reasons - so companies requiring this lose my business.

 

And while we're at it, don't assume everyone has a smartphone. Many people have trouble using them or can't for a variety of reasons ranging from arthritic fingers or having to choose between paying the phone bill/visiting a food bank.

 

If the world wants to go fully digital that's fine, but then governments/organisations have to ensure everyone has the means of accessing appropriate technology at no or subsidised cost. Otherwise we will end up with yet another social division.

 

Colin

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I will have no truck with anyone or any body that solely uses social media to communicate.

 

I will not use them as a matter of principle. To me they are morally bereft platforms making free capital from peoples interactions.

 

Why on earth people choose to use such corrupt and dubious things is way beyond my understanding.

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Isn't this forum a form of social media?

 

Only frequented by like minded, restrained an sociable people.

6 hours ago, ckw said:

And while we're at it, don't assume everyone has a smartphone

Don't want one - won't have one unless it becomes only choice.

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7 hours ago, ckw said:

100% agree. If you want to use Social Media, that's fine, but don't force your customers to sign up to a service they may not want (or indeed may be blocked from using). I won't use social media - doesn't matter why, I have my reasons - so companies requiring this lose my business.

 

And while we're at it, don't assume everyone has a smartphone. Many people have trouble using them or can't for a variety of reasons ranging from arthritic fingers or having to choose between paying the phone bill/visiting a food bank.

 

If the world wants to go fully digital that's fine, but then governments/organisations have to ensure everyone has the means of accessing appropriate technology at no or subsidised cost. Otherwise we will end up with yet another social division.

 

Colin

 

 

Well said.

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Seems a bit daft to alienate a potential customer stream by restricting a business's communications to one type of media. Surely a smart business would encourage as many varied types of communication as possible to 'cast the net wider'?

Phone me, email me, send me a carrier pigeon so long as I get the sale 😂

 

Duncan B

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14 hours ago, Circloy said:

Isn't this forum a form of social media?

OK it depends how you define social media. For me the key differences are that a web forum is "pull" tech ... I have to go and select the posts I want to read. Facebook. Twitter etc are 'push tech' - once signed up I get a flow of posts, many unsolicited -  and the fact that  the forum is moderated. If you want ne example of why I dislike social media, just watch what happens in an unmoderated forum!

 

There are many other technical and behavioral differences - and I accept that the edges are fuzzy. For instance, some class blogs as social media, but I don't.

 

Edited by ckw
clarity of meaning
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21 hours ago, Circloy said:

Isn't this forum a form of social media?

 

Only frequented by like minded, restrained an sociable people.

Don't want one - won't have one unless it becomes only choice.

Ditto, don't have a smart phone, I get ribbed for it but don't care. I like one for Maps and some other bits but would loose it anyhow.

 

Wife got one a year or so ago, I have lost her to the Rubbish stream of beeps and vibrations (not that kind) that come in on the phone. I do get the odd, did you now that there is a lost cat somewhere or a dog missing.....Lord save me.....

 

Edited by George Norman
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1 hour ago, George Norman said:

Ditto, don't have one, I get ribbed for it but don't care.

Unfortunately I fear you may have to in the not too distant future now that 2 factor identification is starting to be rolled out everywhere - already I have to use it for my workplace Gmail account, and I think there are plans for all email systems to require this in future, not to mention any sort of online purchasing. Personally I'd like to go 'off grid' when I retire, but that just makes life too difficult with so many bricks and mortar based services shutting down (I live in a town and my nearest bank branch is a 20min drive).

 

Funny thing - for my work account, Google said I need an authentication app on my phone. So what, I thought, if I don't want the app? Google has that covered - I can choose to receive a text or phone call instead. No phone is not an option. Actually that's not quite true ... I can print(!) a list of one time codes to carry around on my person. Well that's secure!

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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5 hours ago, ckw said:

Unfortunately I fear you may have to in the not too distant future now that 2 factor identification is starting to be rolled out everywhere - already I have to use it for my workplace Gmail account, and I think there are plans for all email systems to require this in future, not to mention any sort of online purchasing. Personally I'd like to go 'off grid' when I retire, but that just makes life too difficult with so many bricks and mortar based services shutting down (I live in a town and my nearest bank branch is a 20min drive).

 

Funny thing - for my work account, Google said I need an authentication app on my phone. So what, I thought, if I don't want the app? Google has that covered - I can choose to receive a text or phone call instead. No phone is not an option. Actually that's not quite true ... I can print(!) a list of one time codes to carry around on my person. Well that's secure!

 

Cheers

 

Colin

I have a phone, Nokia 3310, Battery lasts a month, I take the text option for the Security checks, until the rascals figure how to get past that and then it will be retina scans or summit I wont have a choice.

 

these Smart phones are flipping driving everything now.

 

 

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I suffer this at my sports club. Every team captain wants you to have some app or chat program, msg thingy to communicate. I don't and refuse to have a mobile phone hooked up to the internet. Can't you just text me where the game is saturday rather than me having to have some othe program to log into and find out the details. 

 

Then of course my mobile phone provider rings me every few months with this special deal that I can get so much downloads each month for just 50 dollars more. I always ask why I should pay them more money for a service that I don't need.  I have yet to get a good answer from anyone.

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What infuriates me about outfits who have their business presence only through social media is the lack of professionalism it imparts.

 

I don't mind buying something from someone online, but I want to deal with them through a proper business website, not some social media network page! A purpose made website should always be a firm's primary online presence, social media should be secondary.

 

As for smartphones, I fear I will have to capitulate to them one day soon. The problem is that touch screens and I don't get on well. I don't know what it is, but I havea devil of a time getting touch screens to even register that I'm there. I can swipe and poke at one and it's really hit or miss getting them to react to me

 

I can just imagine some authentication procedure timing out on me because the touch screen wouldn't acknowledge me.

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On 6/24/2021 at 12:34 PM, ckw said:

And while we're at it, don't assume everyone has a smartphone. Many people have trouble using them or can't for a variety of reasons ranging from arthritic fingers or having to choose between paying the phone bill/visiting a food bank.

 

Had this problem with my late mother and one of the newer savings banks.  They weren't accepting cheques (her preferred solution) owing to COVID, it couldn't be done on line because she had no mobile phone to send an authentication code to and it couldn't be done over the phone because she couldn't hear what they were saying (and I wasn't allowed to relay what they were saying because then I was "prompting the customer").  Result: they never got the money - and my mother missed out on one of the best savings rates on offer at the time.

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2 hours ago, upnorth said:

 

 

As for smartphones, I fear I will have to capitulate to them one day soon. The problem is that touch screens and I don't get on well. I don't know what it is, but I havea devil of a time getting touch screens to even register that I'm there. I can swipe and poke at one and it's really hit or miss getting them to react to me

 

I can just imagine some authentication procedure timing out on me because the touch screen wouldn't acknowledge me.

Poor circulation will do that. Sometimes my phone will not respond to my finger. You can get smartphones with a keyboard. My son has one.

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I have a smart phone. I use it to phone people. Really ticks a lot of them off- not sure they realise that it has a speech option?

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, John Tapsell said:

They are not even called phones anymore - they are 'smart devices'.

I must have a 'dumb device' then a 15 year old Noikia that still works well and phones and texts people....

Edited by Vince1159
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42 minutes ago, Vince1159 said:

I must have a 'dumb device' then a 15 year old Noikia that still works well and phones and texts people....

I have the same,it works well for me.🙂

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On 6/24/2021 at 12:12 PM, nheather said:

And this isn’t an isolated case, I’m encountering this sort of thing more and more - can we do zoom, can we do teams, can we do Skype, can we do WhatsApp, can we do FaceBook message - and more and more they don’t want to do eMail.

 

 

From a business perspective, I can see why email is being moved away from.

 

- So many message disappear under spam filters. I have had innumerable conversations affected when one message simply disappears into the ether. 

 

- Too easily used by scammers. A whatsapp shows you a person's real phone number. A Facebook message lets you view their account.

 

- instant replies and updates on whether a message has been seen and read.

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Tim R-T-C said:

From a business perspective, I can see why email is being moved away from.

 

- So many message disappear under spam filters. I have had innumerable conversations affected when one message simply disappears into the ether. 

 

- Too easily used by scammers. A whatsapp shows you a person's real phone number. A Facebook message lets you view their account.

 

- instant replies and updates on whether a message has been seen and read.

These are real issues, but one advantage email has over social media is stability and the fact that you can retain a virtual paper trail. Yes, spam is a problem, but people can at least check their spam folders. A problem with social media is that accounts can disappear without a trace in an instant (unless you've taken measures to record everything).

 

Not everyone uses a particular flavour of social media ... I can recall when "everyone" was on MySpace :)  People are leaving Facebook in droves, Instagram is on the up. WhatsApp recently lost thousands, if not tens of thousands due to changes to T&C. And none of the systems are scam proof. Facebook themselves think 16% of accounts are fake or duplicate - and that's after removing 5.4 BILIION fake accounts in 2019 and a further 4.5 billion in the first 9 months of 2020. Phone numbers in WhatsApp or indeed VOIP calls have no more authority than email addresses - they can easily be faked.

 

One of the big issues I have with all social media is that it is owned by individuals, with little accountability or oversight - from a business point of view I would find that very concerning - Zuckerberg or whoever could remove my account on a whim. Email and web on the other hand are not platforms, simply protocols and in this sense they are more like the phone network.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

 

 

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5 hours ago, ckw said:

One of the big issues I have with all social media is that it is owned by individuals, with little accountability or oversight - from a business point of view I would find that very concerning - Zuckerberg or whoever could remove my account on a whim. Email and web on the other hand are not platforms, simply protocols and in this sense they are more like the phone network.

 

Cheers

 

Colin

 

 

 

True. Unless of course you use Hotmail, Gmail or any ISP email address...

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18 minutes ago, Tim R-T-C said:

True. Unless of course you use Hotmail, Gmail or any ISP email address...

But these are just hosts - you can move hosts if you don't like the one you have and redirect email. If you know how, you can write your own independent email server, and it will work with every other email server. In theory I guess you could write your own social media platform - that's what Zuckerberg did -, but it won't be part of Facebook, Twitter or whatever. 

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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I'm sure the pitchforks and torches were out for William Caxton.    S.M. and modern phones are simply a form of communication, and are not compulsory. The same as electric motors will take over from I.C. engines in the near future for transportation. But it is good to see this amazing forum exist alongside people's pressing need for immediacy and convenience. Good luck with your e-mails, tho!!   🙂 Oh. my first model was a Frog Typhoon, in about 1958, it wouldn't stand up to much scrutiny today, tho!

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36 minutes ago, RODH2 said:

I'm sure the pitchforks and torches were out for William Caxton.

Yes - but the context of this thread is whether social media is appropriate for business, not social media in general. Some traders  want to make it compulsory in order to do business with them.

 

 

Cheers

 

Colin

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