Suze Orman’s Twitter Fight and Other Recent Social Media FAILs

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Recently celebrity financial advisor Suze Orman launched her own prepaid debit card–which is somewhat baffling in and of itself.  After all, it certainly couldn’t be one of “The Nine Steps To Financial Freedom” to tie your money up in a fee-laden piece of plastic, could it?

A number of noted personal finance bloggers called the Oprah Allstar out on the move, resulting in her waging a Twitter war and calling them “idiots.” It should be noted that one of her targets was one of our favorite PF bloggers, PT Money who penned a thoughtful post on Orman’s prepaid credit card entitled “What We Need from Suze Orman Instead of Another Celebrity-Endorsed Useless Prepaid Debit Card.”  It’s too bad Orman didn’t learn any lessons from the fiasco that was the Kardashian prepaid card, but if she was as smart as she appears to be in her televised personal finance advice sessions she’d listen to the voices of reason instead of calling them “idiots.”

Orman has since backtracked and apologized for her Twitter rant–but the damage is done.  A while back Amy posted her top ten social media savvy companies, but Orman–as well as some other brands–exemplify how NOT to handle social media.

For example, recently the restaurant Boners BBQ slammed a dissatisfied customer via their Facebook page.  The issue started when the customer posted a negative review on Yelp, but instead of reaching out to her and attempting to make things right–or even learning a lesson to improve service for future customers–the owner decided to ridicule her on Facebook. 

Another recent case involved a dentist who threatened legal action against a patient who posted negative reviews on Yelp and other sites.  Apparently the dentist required patients to sign “privacy agreements” which prohibited them from posting complaints.  The patient didn’t cave and instead filed a class action suit against the dentist on behalf of all patients who had signed the agreement.  And now the company which created the “privacy agreements” has decided to retire them from use.

This just goes to show that while social media can be a powerful tool in building a brand, it can also be a double-edged sword which can shred a reputation if used the wrong way. 

Have you witnessed any spectacular (or notable) brand social media FAILs lately?  Post them for us in the comments!

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