When I’m not writing, taking a break from writing or procrastinating on writing, I work for a company that, among other things, manages social media for a wide range of organisations. Which means I spend copious amounts of time on Facebook. And as cruisy as that sounds, it can be incredibly frustrating too. Such as last week, when a new client of ours wanted us to assume control of their Facebook.
The client had set up a personal profile under their company’s name instead of a business page. So in order to manage their brand effectively, as well as comply with Facebook’s terms, we had to log into this personal account and convert it to a Facebook page. Easy enough? Well, not quite. When I went to migrate the profile, I slammed into this roadblock:
Please switch to a computer that you’ve previously used to browse Facebook.
To ensure your account security, please complete this process on a computer you’ve used in the past. If this isn’t possible, please contact customer support from the Help Center.
Obviously using our client’s computer wasn’t a practical option. Besides, organisations that outsource their social media management to us do so because they lack either the knowledge or time to deal with it themselves. It’s something they don’t want to have to worry about at all, so calling them up to talk them through the process wasn’t a practical option either.
And there are other reasons why innocent people may not be able to use an old computer. Computers stop working. Computers get stolen. Computers get upgraded. Lots of things can happen to computers.
Now, my gripe with Facebook is not the security measure; in today’s internet-dependent world, we could use all the help with security we can get.
My gripe is that you are told to contact customer support when it is virtually impossible to do so. You could easily spend hours trying to find what you need from the Help Center to no avail; at the time of writing it doesn’t seem to provide any answers on what to do if you can’t access an old computer. (Or if it does, the information isn’t very easy to find.)
Luckily for me, I’ve hit this particular rut during the course of my job before and there is a quasi-solution. If you browse Facebook using your new computer for a while, Facebook eventually lets you complete the page migration.
Spending half a day logging in and out and aimlessly “browsing” with my client’s Facebook account was also far from practical (especially when you’ve got other clients to take care of) but at least it worked — we were able to migrate the profile to a page and it was business as usual once more.
Has anyone else had trouble with Facebook’s customer support?