Virgin Media issued a broadband bill to a deceased man, including a fine for late payment. An image of this has been shared on Facebook more than 90,000 times, telling a cautionary to other companies about the power of social media.
Appearing on the £63.89 bill was the statement "D.D Denied-Payer deceased" and an additional charge of £10 for the billpayer's insubordinate lack of living.
Son-in-law Jim Boyden posted a photograph of the bill to Facebook, and in a matter of hours tens of thousands of fellow users shared the picture, with customer rage snowballing as Jim heard neither hide nor hair from Virgin Media for several days, despite him leaving a message on their official facebook page.
Virgin Media has since apologised for the incident and successfully closed the deceased's account, though this incident serves as a warning to companies everywhere to get better involved with the social media aspect of their customer service.
More and more, companies are ingraining themselves in social media - virtually everything from the biggest MegaCorp to your quaint corner bakery has a Facebook and Twitter these days, but until they interact with this section of their userbase in a more timely and public manner then slower, archaic methods of customer service will simply leave them looking like bumbling fools in the eyes of the consumer.
"Corporations are very good at promoting themselves, they recognise that everyone needs a Twitter and a Facebook account, they are aware the networks exist but they don't have the strategies in place to deal with the issues that can arise from those networks," said Dr Lisa Harris, head of the digital marketing masters programme at the University of Southampton.
It's quite simple really: if you're going to be on social media, use the platform to its fullest potential and don't stick your head in the sand whenever somebody says bad things about you.