In today’s technology driven world consumers have more access than ever to air grievances and take companies to task for failing to live up to expectations. Some of the griping is unfair, but many efforts to reach corporations via social media are warranted.
Case in point: Australian Teg Sethi hated his 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee so much that he spent $8,000 using Redfoo’s “New Thang” song as a parody platform attacking Jeep for the poor quality of the car. Sethi spent $60,000 on his Jeep Grand Cherokee that turned out to be a dud.
He understandably felt angry and let down that the car did not perform to standards, andturned to the web, Facebook and to YouTube with some of his talented friends to create an entertaining video that shares his anger in the hopes of educating fellow consumers and alerting Jeep they may want to address these design and engine flaws immediately.
Hi there, my name is Teg, I live in Australia and in October 2013 I bought a new Jeep Grand Cherokee for $60,000. This was a BIG mistake as it has been a lemon Jeep from the day I got it. It’s had numerous issues and has been towed a number of times. I no longer trust it to transport my family safely I recorded this song and made this music clip out of frustration, as the dealer and Fiat Chrysler Australia have basically told me to bugger off. I’m not the only person who has experienced major issues with Fiat Chrysler Australia… in fact, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had so many people complain to them, that they took action in September 2015 and announced sanctions against Fiat Chrysler Australia.
Teg goes on: “One guy even tore his new Jeep apart using excavators and then set it on fire in frustration of the way he was treated by the dealer and Fiat Chrysler Australia. He also setup a facebook page to keep the pressure on the government to introduce stricter laws to hold companies like this responsible for the supply of safe and reliable vehicles in Australia.”
The issue is so bad that two lobby groups in Australia are pushing for the introduction of lemon laws to protect the consumer.
Monsters and Critics consulted with marketing expert Rebecca Brooks, founder of Alter Agents, a market research firm in Los Angeles, who previously gave us great insight on the fallout of REI’s decision to close for Thanksgiving. Her firm studies these trends that directly affect corporations.
Brooks tells us: “Social media marketers are anxiously awaiting Jeep’s response, if any, to the viral video blowing up out of Australia lambasting the company for failing to respond to a “lemon.” With nearly 900,000 views on YouTube at publication, Jeep must be hearing about this.”
“Sethi takes consumer feedback to a whole new level,” explains Brooks. “It’s a Yelp review on steroids. By leveraging a fun song, clever wordplay, and a very funny video, Sethi is doing much more harm to Jeep than they would have felt if they’d replaced his $60,000 Cherokee in the first place. Sethi’s rant isn’t contained to Australia either as US media outlets started picking up the story less than 24 hours after the video hit the news in his home country.”
So now the looming question is, what will Jeep do, if anything?
Brooks says, “If they let the opportunity to comment pass them by, Jeep is silently affirming Sethi’s claims that they don’t care about their customers. They must do something or risk an exponentially greater negative as this earworm parody stays with consumers who might be intending Jeep purchases in the future.”
Will Teg get some parlay with Jeep and some consumer satisfaction? It remains to be seen.
“While it is hard to pinpoint how much this video could negatively impact sales, it is certainly going to do some harm. Maybe Sethi is banking on the hope that the harm done will make Jeep reconsider returning his hard earned money,” adds Brooks.
We’ll be watching the story unfold:
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