Dear Facebook Ads, Customer Support Sucks

Posted in Paid Marketing

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Dear Facebook Ads,
Thank you for the amazing new Ad Platform. It’s groundbreaking,  heart-pounding, a lot like Google’s Content Network and with even more intriguing targeting options on the grid.  It’s been a love affair for aimClear, starting in the academic lead generation sector years ago when ‘Ads first launched. I’m sorry to say that Facebook’s inability to grow customer service at the same prodigal rate is extremely disappointing.

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I first started evangelizing Facebook PPC at SearchEngineStrategies New York 2008 in a presentation entitled “The Impending Social PPC Revolution,” written about the platform passionately in SearchEngineLand, SearchEngineWatch, aimClear Blog and sold it to some of the coolest brands in the world.

Maybe Facebook should put some of the money being spent on rotating musical UIs (user interface) and put it into a business structure that includes regard for those who will pay their salaries when the VC cash is strategically expended.

For now Facebook’s lack of savvy is making us look stupid with clients…stupid for buying your product and attitude.

Mark Zuckeberg seems like a cool kid. Too bad the FB organization hasn’t a freakin’ CLUE as to how to treat grownup customers who spend tens & hundreds of thousands…and millions. What I have to say to you is that I’m like one of your best salespeople, you’re team is screwing up, appears to not care and your company needs to grow up.

The QOS Difference: “Free” Users Vs. Paid Customers
Sure Facebook has no obligation to provide quality of service or any type of support whatsoever, to the poor sweaty masses who are using free tools. Too bad for users as they get a cool tool in exchange for giving Facebook free content. There’s not even a phone number on the Facebook site.

facebookAds2A search for corporate yields a CA phone number with 3 options: 1) too bad (in a pretty voice), no phone support, use the web forms  2) “if you know your party’s extension please dial it now” 3) offers and  operator number where a message machine (with no outgoing message) lets Facebook users cast a futile message to a company that obviously doesn’t care or is incapable of doing so.  The trouble is that paying customers get the same weak-ass treatment.

Next year in my personal FB account, our clients will spend about a half million bucks. Got that, my PERSONAL account.  It can take 24-36 hours to get a response from the web support form.  But here’s what really pissed me off: We have a new client, one of the best known and respected brands in America.

Trust me you know the name, a perfect match for Facebook Ads. This client hired us to test a grid of Ads, advised by their AdWords conversion history. It makes a lot of sense to figure out where their demo lines up with FB.  Because it’s not reasonable for this client to give us access to the live Facebook account, we created a new FB account to run the ads from, registered in the name of our client’s marketing director.

Stupid Facebook Ads Fact #1 : Best we can figure, the only way run FB ads outside your personal account in this situation, is to violate Facebook’s TOS and open a second account in our Marketing Director’s name: “Advertisers cannot create or manage multiple Facebook accounts for advertising purposes unless given permission by Facebook to do so.”

Umm right. Just try and freakin’ contact Facebook for permission to spend say, 10K in a month. They don’t return your emails and there IS no phone number. Facebook tracks who logs in from what IP address and with which cookies.  There is no client center concept and no support. The TOS is Pollyanna as hell. Please fix it Mark.

So when we created this second account in our brand’s Marketing Director’s account, Facebook imposed a $50.00 a day cap ($1500 per month). Ummm, we have like 5-10K every month to test Facebook Ads segments and FB did not returned multiple email communications from multiple accounts (including my personal where I spend client’s money) for 36 hours!

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What are we supposed to tell our client Facebook? Maybe we should try “gee facebook doesn’t trust us” or perhaps “I know you’re brand is famous but FB doesn’t want your media spend.” One thought would be to say “let’s take the cash to BING instead.”

Look, we are your greatest fans. We’ve supported Facebook Ads even when our SEM friends told us the traffic was empty and didn’t convert. We looked the other way in ’07, when your team rejected our made-millions-in-adwords ads with a stern “stop abusing Facebook users, ” instead of being civilized.  How about if now you assign us a dedicated customer support manager or something. I will say that months ago we were contacted by a FB rep’, who did not return our emails about a month after.  Woot dude.

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Creative Commons License photo credit: Andrew Feinberg

FYI, we don’t ask anyone “permission” to spend money on their product. The appropriate approach is for Facebook to thank us for our business.  I know you’re a rock star Mark and I’m just some schlep-marketer, but I’d be happy to meet with you anywhere in America to discuss this matter.  I’ve got a few suggestions regarding the how to handle customers like aimClear. Say anything you want about Google AdWords, but they are a reliable partner when my company’s reputation is on the line. </rant>

  • Renee Revetta

    Customer support manager + easier way to increase daily limit and I would be happy. Great post.

  • Louis Durocher

    I had a similar experience where our ads got «banned» for «innapropriate use». No clue was ever provided as to what was the problem, the text, the image ? Quite frustrating. You just pour in your money, and get no acknowlegment of any sorts, no service, no explanation. Just pay.

  • Josh Koster

    Yahoo is worse.

  • SarahF

    I had a similar problem at a company I worked for previously. The corporate credit card wasn’t able to be entered (not declined, just not acceptable to Facebook) because the mailing address was a PO Box. Because the actual billing address was a PO Box using the street address caused it to be flagged as well since the mailing address and account number didn’t match. We never got a response back from customer service about how we could set up an account to run ads using our corporate credit card, so we set up this campaign using an employee’s personal credit card and then we never used them again.

  • Mike Bunnell

    So Marty, Facebook rules state that “managing multiple accounts is a serious violation of Facebook’s Terms of Use” and that they will terminate all accounts of offenders…

    So if someone logs into multiple FB accounts on the same machine on a regular basis, isn’t it reasonable to guess that those accounts could be terminated?

  • Eric

    The comment “Yahoo” is worse made me chuckle, all self serve plateforms have horrible service.

    1. Facebook: No service, no replies to email. When you do get in touch with someone you go from thinking you are a good client for ad Networks (I manage over 2 million $ of ad spend a year for multiple clients) to feeling like you are a nobody. It is a very humiliating experience. At least if you live in French Canada.

    2. Adwords: They try, they now offer chat and some kind of phone assistance. But really, I rarelly got a good answer from them. Phone, email, chat support, you could get 3 different answers to an urgent issue. Sometimes they end up saying they are having a bug, when in fact there was a solution. You just need to figure it out yourself. At least there is a certification program which gives an edge to those who want to manage their accounts and clients accounts better. So overall, Adwords is the best out of the lot.

    3. MSN and what used to be Yahoo: Their mistake is that they try to offer support, maybe they shouldn’t. I had what seemed to be a simple question in which by the end of the week over 12 people were copied on the email thread, some with the domain in their email being Accenture.ca or .com ??? Each time I replied to these persons I would get a bunch of vacation notice from individuals I didn’t even understand why they were copied in the first place. The issue was never resolved. I never recommended these networks to my clients ever again.

    What should we learn from that? Is the era of the middleman gone? Advertising professionals (me, you) are seen as a nuisance to all these powerful self serve plateforms ?

  • Riyah Mahbubani

    Dear Facebook.com ads support
    I have tried to follow your instructions regarding setting up an account and find that when I go to the video sessions section there are no videos to be seen. I have also tried to allow pop ups but it does not seem to be working at all. Please inform me how I can do this. I downloaded firefox but to no avail. Kindly reply urgently to know what to do in the next step.
    Thanks so much in advance
    Riyah

  • Tom Jones The 9th

    Original Post: November 2009. My rant: March 2012. What has changed? Nothing.

    No support, no communication, “no-reply” E-mail addresses, absolute lack of response.
    Setting up a test campaign was a nightmare, making changes was a nightmare, ending the test was a nightmare.
    To add insult to injury, they continued billing us until we had to have PayPal intervene.
    What an AMATEUR, third-rate system! Everything is a mess, nothing works right, and there’s no support or communication at all.
    Sure, Google AdWords is not a cakewalk either – but since we spend over $ 15 K / month, when we send them an E-mail, they will actually RESPOND, and have 3 people aware of your case who can help (1 strategist, 1 technician, 1 business-oriented).
    Facebook… I’m not asking for a dedicated account management team – but FFS, answer an E-mail once in a while!

    tl;dr version: 3 years, 0 lessons learned. Still a mess.

  • Shaun

    5 years after this blog and facebook still has not resolved their customer service issues, if the people investing money into facebook were aware of how absolutely horrific this company is toward those that are trying to spend money on their platforms, I guarantee you they would cash their stocks in and go elsewhere.

    I’ve been corresponding everyday for a week with a representative of their Ads Team with no resolve of my issue and the issue was so STUPID it shouldn’t have ever been a problem in the first place!

    They categorized a chat room community site I am working on as a “dating site” Apparently to facebook, this throws you into a customer category that you will never get out of.

    Let me explain: The website has 55 chat rooms. Half of the rooms are Local Chats, the other half are things like “Travel Chat” and “Music Chat”
    One chat room is called Singles Chat. For that reason, the Facebook Ads Team insist that the chat room community website is a Dating Website. They insist that I must apply for a special Ads Representative to work with me in setting up a DATING AD.

    First of all, none of my Ads on facebook mentioned anything about dating whatsoever..and the website doesn’t reflect a dating website at all. I dont want or need a DATING AD!

    The whole thing is laughable. I’ve established Ad campaigns on Bing and Google and they didn’t mark it as dating website, so why does facebook insist that it is? lol

    Anyway, I tried explaining the nature of the website to the representative and she was completely unreceptive. Sorry but I don’t need to spend money in a company like that and I expressed that I was no longer interested in doing business with them and I deleted the ad campaigns.

    She continues to email me arguing their rules, displaying the same lack of respect for paying customers while ignoring the facts.

    Facebook Ads Team is the worst customer service I have ever experienced in my career as a developer and I wouldn’t recommend it to anybody.

    Spend your money at Bing or Google.. beware of facebook.

  • NoelaniR

    I felt overcharged by Facebook ads. They charged me $500+ for just a few minutes between changes. (Changing CPM to CPC) They had changed the default to CPM (by impression ads) by the way, so they can call it “user error” but it was not that default for years. I felt like this was deceptive, and COLD. I want my money back. Google refunded things like this before.

    I’ve advertised for years and it was quite a shock. The support in the email is also cold and impersonal, no help really, my sense.

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