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A consumer issues a threat: “I’ll post the photos online!”

What do you do when a consumer complaint turns into a case of blackmail? It happened to one of our members ...

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A consumer reported a banal deviation on a still closed product (world brand). The company in question immediately contacted the consumer. On the one hand, to gather extra information. On the other hand, they asked whether they could collect the product to investigate it. However, the consumer refused to cooperate. On top of that, he demanded one million euros or else he would be forced to post the photos online.

Tips

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First Line - accessibility

Facilitate a continuous follow-up of any product complaints. Know when these messages may come in (at home and abroad) and rapidly spread any such information internally.

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First Line – guidelines

First line employees need to know what to do in such cases. They must be able to fall back on clear guidelines for this, predictable, scenario. This way, they know exactly what to do, who to notify (escalate) and above all what NOT to do.

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CMT - actions

Even though a threat has the potential to make the situation far more sensitive, the CMT must keep its cool while determining strategic actions. At all times, food safety, quality and consumer confidence take priority.

Food Security helps its members by:

  • Providing crisis management training, including for the most important First Line positions.
  • Mapping the sensitive locations/positions in concert with the company and drawing up guidelines for the first line employees.
  • Giving advice and offering contacts when determining strategic actions. All of this happens in close concert with the CMT.