Empire Avenue: A PostMortem (#SocialMedia And #CustServ Fail For The Ages

When Duleepa “Dups” Wijayawardhana founded Empire Avenue with friends I do not know if he intended for it to be best remembered as a business that attacked its own customers and had a “goon squad.”

Even as Empire Avenue slid towards financial ruin in the summer of 2014, they continued to attack customers across social media channels, driving many customers away.

During the struggle to remain viable, Keith Gill (@digitalkeith) ran demonstrably false content promoting himself, his employer and Sales4Life through Empire Avenue  missions systems.

Despite reporting that content to Admin Robby Ball directly, the content was still promoted.

Capture Capture

 

Source:  https://www.facebook.com/messages/archived/robbyba

 

Not surprisingly the Alexa traffic number capture this precipitous drop in traffic to Empire Avenue.

Capture

 

The biggest drop seems to have been after Michael Q. Todd blogged (blog since taken down) about the abuse he had sustained at their hands, primarily I believe by Gareth Davies (@me_gareth.)

Gareth, at the time he began attacking me, was a leader at Empire Avenue.

Other customers told me privately that Gareth’s attacks had reduced their playtime or that they had stopped using the site totally.

When Empire Avenue launched they had some press and big brand interest.

That soon dried up, and Empire Avenue struggled after 5 years to even have 1,000 regular customers.

With people like social media leader Chris Voss of The Chris Voss Show writing the following, it’s not hard to see why,

Over 5 posts on my blogs I documented issues with Empire Avenue, from their rogue volunteers, running a “wall of shame” on Brands, attacking Brands reputations online, not answering complaints, having a “goon squad” of endorsed volunteers attacking customers who complained, refusing to discipline internally thereby encouraging more attacks on Brands, etc. What I witnessed was the worst travesty in the annals of customer service I have ever seen. After a month of private discussions with EA to change things, I went public. Only then did they begin to change, but the attacks on me and others grew by their “goon squad.” In the end, I went to EA’s Angel Investor and EA had to shut down its Chat Room and Chat Mod “goons squad.” EA shamelessly has never apologized or produced it damning chat logs as promised by their CEO. This is one of those posts, you can read the rest by Search in the upper right for ‘Empire.’ Don’t play EA or if you do save your REAL money.

And

I can honestly tell you I WISH I’D NEVER STARTED THE GAME and I would warn anyone NOT to start it or spend their REAL money there. The fact that I’m in the top is the only reason I keep playing otherwise I’d quit.

 

Although Jodee Rich and Kred have purchased Empire Avenue and renamed it Empire.Kred customers continue to report seeing cyberbullying and a customer reports being punished for asking for bug fixes.

It seems like a new name, but the same old customer service is in play.

And writing about it?

Well that brings the “goon squad” out.  Like Keith Gill (AKA DigitalKeith).

One positive change from Empire Avenue’s existence is that Ethel Newlin of the San Francisco DA’s office credits my blogging with helping changed Twitter’s abuse policy.

And for that, I have to thank Keith personally.  The DA’s office reopened their file after whatever it was he did on or about 1/8/2015.   Yep, 2 openings of a file.

That’s in addition to the CA DoJ opening an inquiry (x-ref 615640).

Thanks, Keith!  Way to attack customers of Empire Avenue even though you are a leader in that company.

empire-avenue-leadership

/salute.

Gareth Davies remains a leader at Empire Avenue.

Related Content:

http://thechrisvossshow.com/empire-avenue-social-media-fail-lesson-example-for-the-books-and-manuals/
http://venturebeat.com/2015/09/10/peoplebrowsr-buys-empire-avenue-to-build-a-better-social-influence-analytics-tool/
http://www.businessesgrow.com/2014/01/08/how-empire-avenue-crushed-my-soul/

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