The Unfortunate Truth

3 Jul, 2014

Australia was recently shocked, dismayed and saddened by the death of Charlotte Dawson. Death by her own hand – suicide.

She was by all accounts an effervescent, bubbly, intelligent, friendly woman – loved by all her knew her and respected widely in her professional field.

Unfortunately, it appears she was haunted by demons – demons that now appear and inhabit our social media sites. Charlotte was subjected to an unwarranted and unacceptable hate campaign via social media to the extent that even after a breakdown and hospitalization, the vendetta against her became so great that she ultimately decided to escape the only way she then thought possible – death.

This form of behavior is not exclusive to the rich and famous. It happens to everyday human beings.

And the worst of it is that it is invariably anonymous. People who do not have the fortitude to stand up and say who they are – merely hide behind the anonymity of the internet.

It has become more and more common for corporate entities and businesses to be subject to the same derogatory behavior.

We totally agree with most of the commentators on this issue. When you become subject to a campaign such as this do not respond. Do not give those who are insane enough to engage in this behavior fuel for their fodder. Block them – but do not respond.

This however leads on to an entirely different area. While many are subject to personal abuse and slander on social media sites, it has become more and more common for corporate entities and businesses to be subject to the same derogatory behavior.

Many be would be aware of the abhorrent behavior in the food and hospitality industry of competitors within selected areas posting adverse comments about their competitors, often with dire consequences. We are of one restaurant in the Southbank precinct in Brisbane which some years ago had to shut their doors because of a scurrilous and, untrue, campaign by a competitor via social media.

Our company was recently subjected to a spiteful blog campaign by a landlord. The situation was that he had self-managed his property. He put tenants in (no tenancy application, no database searches, no references taken and obviously no reference checks, no bond taken (disputed by tenant), no ingoing condition report). Things got out of hand and when the tenant was 20 weeks in arrears the landlord decided to hand the management over to a professional real estate agent. The agent acted swiftly and had the tenants evicted within 8 weeks.

Within a matter of weeks, the landlord began posting comments on social media sites about how hopeless we were, that we had the debt recovery for four weeks and had not collected his money, that we were useless and the like.

We were then given the debt collection. Essentially, we were provided with nothing other than two names and nothing else.

Within a matter of weeks, the landlord began posting comments on social media sites about how hopeless we were, that we had the debt recovery for four weeks and had not collected his money, that we were useless and the like.

And yes, we received adverse feedback because of these posts.

The reality of this situation was that we are not magicians – we can only work with the information we are given.

In this case we were given nothing – two names and that is all – no dates of birth, mobile numbers, email addresses, places of work, next of kin, referees – in fact a big fact zero.

As debt collectors we rely on the information that is given to the agent/landlord as a starting point in locating the errant tenant in the debt collection process.

Who was at fault in the above scenario? The landlord. But rather than accept responsibility for his own negligence he has decided to attack us on social media sites.

We take the same attitude as the advice given to individuals – we will not fuel a debate by responding to anonymous postings and potentially initiate a posting ‘war’.

Our advice to all, whether it applies to our company or any other, if you see a posting on social media which you regard as adverse to that company, simply do not take it for granted that it is true. Anything can be said on social media these days which has no element of truth about it.

The recommendation is that if you have any doubt at all – contact the company, organisation or individual. Ask the question.  If that company, organisation or individual has nothing to hide the then they will not have a problem answering your query.

At Barclay MIS Protect & Collect we have nothing to hide. Short advice – ignore any tripe you see on social media and ring us direct – 1300 883 916.

 

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T: 1300 883 916
F: 1300 883 917

For over 35 years, Barclay MIS has been innovative in the field of debt recovery. We offer a range of products and services that utilises cutting edge technology that securely recover debt in accordance with legislation.

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