Tourism Operator caught in Facebook Shambles, Accused of showing private email details on Business Page.
Huon Bush Retreats, a small eco-tourism resort in Tasmania, has been swamped by the fallout from a new Facebook feature. A few days ago, Facebook activated a trial of a new “Make an Offer” feature by allowing a small trial number of businesses to make an offer through the Facebook network.
“On one side, we are being accused of being scammers and hackers, “says Paul Dimmick, owner/operator. “But at the same time, there are lots of people saying it is a great offer and that they intend to come and stay.”
In 2 days, people who “Like” Huon Bush Retreats has gone up 414% and the total “People talking about this” has gone up 533,136% (That is not a typo, yes over half million percent !!!) This offer has “Reached” 1,679,872 Facebook users in under 2 days.
Google Analytics shows that normally the Huon Bush Retreats Website receives about 100 visitors per day. Yesterday it received 6485.
As expected Facebook has created a marketing tool that uses the viral nature of Facebook. What is not expected is that when someone opens the offer to simply read it, it seems to be distributed to their friend’s timelines, even if the reader does not ask it to be networked. It then sticks on their timelines, their friends pages and the business’ page.
“The most disturbing messages that we are receiving are the ones saying that we are displaying peoples email details on our public page, “ says Paul. “We have certainly not hacked into people’s accounts or done anything to cause private details to be displayed. We simply clicked a link and posted a genuine offer. Facebook has done the rest. Hopefully as this product develops, Facebook will adjust it to be less disturbing to viewers.”
“It is a huge exposure for us. Our email and phone have been ringing hot but on the downside, we are disappointed that many people feel they have been targeted for a scam and had their private information displayed on a public page”
Paul emphasises, “The offer is genuine. $99 per night for 3 night stays. Valid now till 1 September 2012 but only the first 50 bookings will be accepted.”