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Exclusive Interview with Man Who Is Suing Facebook over Customer Support

"Spammer" David Fagin hopes to raise awareness about Facebook's problems

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In terms of the Internet, calling someone a spammer is about the lowest jab a person can give, especially if the accused denies the claims. David Fagin, an AOL News writer and musician, recently became very familiar with this type of scenario after Facebook accused him of being a spammer.

Have you ever been falsely accused of spamming others? Please share your story.

In our exclusive interview with Fagin, he explained that Facebook called him a spammer and blocked him from sending friend requests after he frequently used its friend suggestions feature. This happened not once, but twice. The second time Facebook told him that his account would be deleted if it happened again.

The social network also had Fagin go through a checklist of boxes to, essentially, admit his guilt, a process he likens to the treatment of a registered sex offender. In an opinion piece on AOL, he wrote, “So tell me, what is the point of a feature that hits you with dozens of friend suggestions every hour, then clamps down on you and treats you like a registered sex offender when you take them up on it?”

Speaking of the irony in the situation, Fagin called Facebook “hypocritical” and told us, “On one hand, their policy says that everyone should be friends… on the other side, they’re saying nobody should be friends with you if you don’t know them.”

In an effort to voice his frustration, Fagin attempted to contact Facebook to only learn that the social networking giant doesn’t have any customer support, which is a tad bit surprising.

“Why are they so afraid, or just completely not interested, in setting up any kind of user feedback or support line?” he asked.

Although companies like PayPal are known for their support staff, other companies such as Google have been criticized for not having customer support. Google has especially been faulted for its lack of support in its Local area.

Although Facebook connected with a lawyer that is advising Fagin and said that it wanted to resolve the matter, nothing has happened. After a month of silence, Fagin decided to get Facebook’s attention and sued it for $1. He believes this is a problem that has been ignored for too long.

“While our policy makers are out there falling all over themselves for photo ops for Mark Zuckerberg and company, they’re not doing anything about the fact that this is a 700 million user community and counting,” he said.

He went on to say, “They have all our information, they have all our data – they’re using it to make themselves richer than God, and that’s okay with me, as long as you give me some kind of legitimate accountability where I can actually defend myself if you’re accusing me of violating a policy.”

Fagin hopes that his lawsuit will spark Facebook to take action in its customer service department. He also told us that anyone with an experience similar to his own could email him.

Do you agree with Fagin and believe Facebook needs to provide a team for customer support?

Update: Over the weekend, David Fagin also created a Facebook group to further spread the word about Facebook’s need for customer support.

Exclusive Interview with Man Who Is Suing Facebook over Customer Support
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  • http://www.buildersbroker.co.uk/ Builders Broker

    Mr Fagin does have a point about the complete lack of customer service from certain large organisations – and especially when they are making so much money.

    Maybe the problem is that they are too big now – a company with so many users that a country the size of the UK could stop using Facebook and it would be a dip to them.

    However whilst the majority are happy to go along with whatever Facebook does, the minority like Mr Fagin will likely still be ignored. Unless Mr Zuckerberg gets his picture taken of course :0)

  • http://www.shapirit.biz טכנאי מחשבים, תחזוקת מחשבים שוטפת ותחזוקה מונעת

    It is not new to me that social networks are not really “social”, I have a problem with “sitetalk” wrote 3 emails to them and still no response, FB I left long ago when I wanted to play one of their aps and their policy demand that I should let them use any online and offline private info.
    I’am a computer savvy for about 28 years and I know that there are things that it would be better to be left alone, one of them is social networks.

    We need to show that WE have power over them and make the “no social network” day once a month, the 15th, just one NSN day a month for yourself

  • PGS

    Truly: Give up FB & have a life. It’s much better for you. Real people, Real relationships.

  • Steve G

    I actually tried to place a FB advertisement. When the page kept telling me I needed to upload a photo but there was no photo upload box anywhere in site, I tried to contact them for help. There’s a phone number but it states they do not offer customer support. How do we as users allow companies like this to function with out a customer support mechanism in place is baffling to me. I can understand a tiny one man show company that runs while the site owner is actually at a full time paying job and can’t answer support calls, but a company of this much revenue should spend some of it on ACTUAL support of their community. After all we ARE the community. Without us, Facebook is worth….nothing.

  • http://www.millsway.com MillsWay.com

    They do need Customer Service for it’s members. They also need to loosen up on who you can invite. Facebook can help other people network together and become friends that have the same passions. For instance I am a Life Coach and Motivational Speaker and would like others with the some of the same passions be friends but Facebook won’t let you if you don’t know them personally. Have a great day.

  • mike

    I too have used the feature you’re being labelled as a spammer for and even with people I do know, that were friends of mine at one time and somehow deleted from my friends list and now are not. When I try to re-add people I’m told I don’t know them. I think Zuckerberg and his facebook cronies are a bunch of nazi’s!

  • Compulisive Thinker

    This just happened to me two days ago actually,

    I was only using there feature like he did….

    Kinda weird how there is an article about it,….

    Awesome, i hope they fix this……

    They banned me for two days as well.

  • Pigsrule

    This occurs all the time. It happened to me a couple times. You are given suggested friend requests by others but when you send them out, you’re then notified you are a spammer and they block your friending ability for a couple days. I tried to complain but there’s no one to complain to.

  • Nirav Barot

    I am agree with David Fagin ! that if they want to band us then why the hell there is a such future called “Friend Suggestions”…. We use FB to know the ppl whom we don’t know and they are smiler to us… and we think that we get some good knowledge some good ideas and also get some good ppl then why FB is not allow us to do so??? I don’t think so that there is something like “customer support” in FB’s office.. ;)

  • http://ProblemSolverXYZ.Com Mike

    I watched this video. I watched it from the beginning to the end. How did I know the video was even out? How did I learn about Mr. Fagin? It was from an e-mail I got from WebProNews.com. Did I receive spam to be notified of this news item? Did I have the option to “op-out” or to contact WebProNews.com about getting the e-mail that told me about this news item? Yes I did. I had the choice to opt-out or to contact them if needed. If I didn’t have the choice or a way to tell them to stop, then it might have been considered spam (unsolicited communication). For the record, it’s not spam, and a perfect example of effective targeting marketing with equal value for both parties. I call it a “Symbiotic Online Relationship”.
    Spam has many names and similar genetics as other means to pass-the-word. Junk mail (the old way of getting information), commercials on television, people calling you during dinner, and unsolicited e-mail from the abyss of cyberspace are good examples. Spam IS NOT an interactive tool that a site uses to “communicate” with their users. The experience Mr. Fagin is going through is an example of, “Non-Human Interactive Communication” gone wrong. When a “Non-Human Interactive Communication” is made and there is a problem, then the human should have the option to have a “Human-Human Interactive Support” experience. Only flesh and blood can debate, litigate, or explain in plain language what needs to be said for the benefit of a final resolution. The Non-Human solution or computerized interaction is very limited and should only be used as a means to resolve simple limited variable issues.
    In the old days, support was initiated by, talking on the phone, writing a letter, or meeting in person. It migrated to e-mail, online chat, and other electronic means to accomplish the same goal of resolving an issue. But, in every case, there was a human person involved. Not a lock-door approach to solving a problem or clearly showing your lack of respect, and admiration, for people that pay your bills.
    To me it’s simple. I own one of many websites and companies that all offer a means to resolve issues or just ask a question when the question can’t be found online. We have many tools and means to get the information someone needs or provide a solution for a problem. We are not perfect and there are times when we need to talk to the people that visit our site(s). To me it’s simple! Do what has to be done FB, and do it with a smile, or someone like me is going to come along and offer support for the same thing. Or, we will be talking about how FB fell apart like “other” websites on the World Wide Web. That’s my 10 cents (only worth a penny or two!) – Webmaster of ProblemSolverXYZ

  • Clive

    I think everybody who use Facebody should read this and add themselves to the page so Facebody take some notice.

    PLEASE HELP US MAKE FACEBOOK STOP FALSELY ACCUSING people of adding friends they don’t know? A group of us met in the Facebook Help Center at:
    http://www.facebook.com/help/commun…
    since there is NO PLACE to complain. One of us then created a new group. You should join at
    http://www.facebook.com/pages/False…
    if you have had the same thing happen or if you have an opinion on this.
    PLEASE HELP. The SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS THE GREASE! ! !

  • http://pinatumagarefaceboo.com pinatumagare

    We don’t want you to be permanently blocked from adding friends. Giving us feedback on who you send friend requests to and why can help us make your experience better.
    1: Do you understand why you have been blocked from sending friend requests?

    Yes

    No
    2: How well do you know the people you’ve sent friend requests to?

    Very well (ex: they’re my close friends).

    Kind of well (ex: we met a long time ago or have only had brief encounters).

    Not well (ex: we have not met in person yet).
    3: What is the primary reason you want to connect with these people?

    I want to meet new people.

    I want to be friends with people I know well.

    I want to have a lot of Facebook friends.

    I am interested in building business connections.

    I want to meet people to play games with.

    Other