Rogers Social Media Campaign Backfires, Consumers Take to Twitter to Diss Telco [Updated]

by Knowlton Thomas | Culture

UPDATE: Rogers has changed its promoted tweet in response to the negative backlash from consumers:

We’re on Twitter to listen & help. We’re hearing you loud & clear today. You can reach us @RogersHelps #Rogers1Number

ORIGINAL: Rogers Communications is experiencing what McDonalds did in January - a major social media backlash.

The Toronto telecommunications company attempted to promote its new Rogers One Number service through a promoted tweet: "With #Rogers1Number, 1 is the only number you’ll need! Register for this new free service." But consumers took the hashtag in another direction.

This morning, unhappy customers used the hashtag to voice their complaints. With one person calling it the "worst use of a promoted tweet I've seen," angry tweeters said such unkind things as, "what an epic fail in social media" and "Rogers doesn't bill their customers properly."

Unfortunately for social media marketers, it's difficult to anticipate how the Twittersphere will react to a campaign. However, a man named Aaron tweeted that "you shouldn't rely on social media marketing if everybody and their mother hates you," suggesting that Rogers - and McDonalds, for that matter - may not have the right brand perception to give a public voice to their customers (and ex-customers).

Also today, Rogers has announced a "fantastic" promotion for those buying LTE-enabled iPads. Users can apparently get unlimited data for two months for $5 per month with their Tablet Flex Rate Plan and then four months of double data, up to 10GB, afterward. Rogers says this deal is no strings attached - no activation fee and no term commitment. The promotion is always backward-compatible with 3G iPad 2s.

UPDATE 2: More fun tweets from users.

@SajidaKajada: Lmao i love all the #Rogers1Number hate tweets! It's about time everyone stuck up for the crappy billing issues we all get hit with!

@Bryck123@RogersKeith watching this epic fail is almost worth all that I've overpaid you guys over the years #rogers1Number

@psluthra#Rogers1Number did you not learn from mcdonald's social media mistakes?

UPDATE 3: We have been informed that Rogers issued a response to the Globe and Mail, who first reported on the social media campaign flop. 

Keith McArthur, vice-president of social media at Rogers, said this was the first time Rogers had used a promoted tweet and expected that not all comments would be positive.

"We're seeing the reaction today and we're listening to it and responding to it," Mr. McArthur said, adding Rogers would be responding individually to customers who have complained over Twitter.

Rogers Communications
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

We are a diversified Canadian communications and media company. We are engaged in wireless voice and data communications services through Wireless, Canada's largest wireless provider and the operator of the country's only national Global System for Mobile Communications ("GSM") based network. Through Cable we are one of Canada's largest providers of cable television services as well as... more

San Francisco, California, United States

Twitter is a privately funded startup with offices in the SoMA neighborhood of San Francisco, CA. Started as a side project in March of 2006, Twitter has grown into a real-time short messaging service that works over multiple networks and devices. In countries all around the world, people follow the sources most relevant to them and access information via Twitter as it happens—from breaking... more

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Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton Thomas

Knowlton is the managing editor of Techvibes and author of Tempest Bound. Based in Vancouver, Knowlton has been published in national publications and has also appeared on television and radio. Previously he was an editor for New Westminster weekly The Other Press and served on its board of directors. When not working, Knowlton enjoys hiking, tennis, and martial arts. more

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