BREAKING: Harvey Norman Flees Twitter After Torrent Of Complaints
He loves dishing it out, but it appears that Gerry Harvey and his management team at Harvey Norman are struggling to cop abuse at the hands of their customers.
Gerry Harvey infamously told the shareholders’ association at one of his AGMs to “piss off” when they questioned his lack of independent directors.
He now appears to be backing a total shutdown of the Harvey Norman Australia Twitter account, which yesterday was trending online as hundreds of consumers complained bitterly about the billionaire-owned business failing to hand back millions in JobKeeper payments.
The official Harvey Norman Australia Facebook and Instagram accounts remain standing, as do the Twitter feeds of Harvey Norman Singapore, Ireland, and New Zealand; only the Irish account, however, has seen any tweets this year.
The @HarveyNormanAU account came under heavy fire over the past several days as it went on a blocking spree of Twitter users who complained about not only JobKeeper but staff wages, as well as a flippant reply to someone claiming to be an ex-employee driven suicidal working at the retailer. The backlash has sparked the trending #BoycottHarveyNorman hashtag.
In an opinion piece in Mumbrella, Phoebe Netto, founder of Pure Public Relations, warns that Harvey Norman is “setting itself up for failure” in this “PR Disaster”, and says that the negative press is unlikely to dissipate any time soon.
“The bad taste left in customer’s mouths will only get sourer as more and more government representatives and stakeholders feel compelled to condemn Harvey Norman’s actions. As with any PR firestorm, once the blaze gets out of control, it’s almost impossible to extinguish,” she says.
Netto suggests that Harvey Norman apologise and “show some empathy”.
“The moves it makes over the next couple of days could spell a lot of disruption for the brand, the teams it sponsors, and brands it associates with,” she says.
Jake Nelson also contributed to this report.