A little while ago I discovered that my Facebook account had been disabled. Logging in with my email address revealed the stark message:
Your account has been disabled by an administrator. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
So far, so unfriendly. I don’t use Facebook much, so it didn’t really bother me much. But this week someone invited me to see their photos, so I decided to email the team, figuring it was because I no longer worked at the university I was at when I joined, but that this wouldn’t matter now they’d enabled registration for everyone.
This is not the case.
The email I got back was vague:
Facebook has limits in place to prevent behavior that other users may find annoying or abusive. These limits restrict the rate at which you can use certain features on the site. Unfortunately, we cannot provide you with the specific rates that have been deemed abusive.
Your account has been disabled because you exceeded Facebook’s limits on multiple occasions, despite having been warned to slow down.
Translation: we banned your account because we think you did something bad. We’re not going to tell you what that thing is. I was never warned to slow down, so either my account was compromised or they have me confused with someone else. In either case, more information would be useful in order to defend myself and regain access.
This approach to customer service is in itself abusive: they decide to cancel my account and then don’t say why. Presumably with their level of usage they have thousands of abuse complaints a day, but it still pays to treat your users like they’re wanted, as opposed to acting like it’s a special privilege to be a Facebook member.