We have come across a great example of a social media crisis unfolding in the last few days from budget airline Ryanair.
Suzy McLeod posted on the Ryanair Facebook page on the 16th of August after being charged 60 euros each for several boarding passes. She just asked other Facebook users to ‘like’ her comment if they thought this was unfair.
As you can now see there are over a 3rd of a million ‘likes’ and nearly 20000 comments.
However… noticeably absent is any kind of comment from Ryanair! No comments on Facebook, no announcement on their website and no acknowledgment on their twitter pages either (in which they follow nobody and just broadcast their own marketing)
The only response from Ryanair has been a statement in which it reminds passengers that: “As clearly outlined in the terms and conditions passengers agree to before a Ryanair booking can be completed, and in emails sent to the passenger before travel, passengers must check-in online and print their boarding card before travel as failure to do so will result in a boarding card re-issue penalty.”
To add further insult the airlines Facebook page has its ‘about’ description as ‘Ryanair is an airline with a great sense of humour! If you have none it is your own problem, not ours’
If there is ever a case of bad customer relations then this has to be it. Imagine how many people are also talking about this? It would be a safe assumption to say that there are probably half a million people who have seen the lack of response from Ryanair and the complete lack of care that they portray for their customers concerns…
Ryanair are now finding that failing to take Social Media seriously as a customer service channel, they may be inadvertently ignoring some of their best customers at their own peril with a potential for thousands of customers choosing never to use Ryanair again.
*** Update added 23rd August – The Facebook Page in question is in debate as it looks unofficial , however there should have been keyword brand monitoring tools in place to at least acknowledge the unfolding crisis of what was being said about the brand online ***
5th September Update