Indiana / Elsewhere

Mum's the word at Modcloth

StyleIndiana AdamsComment

Before we begin, I want to say that I really like ModCloth. My blog will attest to that fact. For my last two big events, I've purchased ModCloth dresses, even as recently as last weekend! You should also know that I have also received some courtesy items from ModCloth. For years, I have been and still am, for all intents and purposes, a ModCloth fangirl:

modcloth
I Spy prize | Delightful Dozen dress | last weekend | D12 tunic | Fashion Week
If you read Suze's blog Miss Vinyl Ahoy, you may be following the dialog she started regarding ModCloth's price points. In a nutshell, she wondered how Forever 21 and ModCloth can offer some of the same products at drastically different prices. She inquired if ModCloth was being screwed over by their distributors. Some of her readers wondered if F21 was copying ModCloth's inventory. All in all, it was a healthy discussion, and she tweeted the link to F21 and ModCloth, but got no response. She then posted the link on the ModCloth Facebook page, and another healthy, insightful discussion started to happen between the ModCloth "fans".

An hour later, Suze's FB post as well as another post by a different fan regarding the same subject was deleted without nary a word. It would seem that ModCloth had the opportunity to add to the conversation or to address Suze's post by at least emailing her. Instead, they chose the ultimate write-off: they censored her. It could have been the hasty mistake of a novice social media director, but it could have been the resolute decision of their public relations department. Who knows.

Hubs points out that ModCloth is a business and they have every right to delete any posts made on the Facebook page. I agree. But do I think that was the best practice? No, I don't.

ModCloth has an excellent relationship with many, many, many style bloggers. They, more than most companies, should know that fashion bloggers are a very well connected, very well read group of women. Choosing to censor one without explanation is not the way to gain more fans.

I know that I personally prefer shopping at ModCloth over Forever 21 due to their excellent customer service department. Plus I hate the mall. However, the issue is no longer the price point difference. The issue is now censorship: their unwillingness to allow their Facebook fans to have these sort of dialogs and their lack of response to a customer.

frompam
penguin necklace: a mom gift from my blog friend Pam

I agree that anonymous hate-filled comments should be deleted and ignored, but I do not agree that healthy discussions that may offer differing view points should be ignored. A great move on their part would have been to address the issue, immediately.

Sadly, because ModCloth is a sponsor of most of the big name blogs, you can bet that this issue will remain largely ignored by that group of people, and with good reason. What kind of blogger would want to burn bridges with their established sponsors? No one. But then again, you have to ask yourself, what kind of business would want to burn bridges with their established fans?

I still love ModCloth, but seriously. What is up with this?
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Update [8:40 p.m.]:
ModCloth has responded to Suze. Here are the highlights:

"We’re sorry we removed your post on our Facebook wall; it violated our comments policy, which does not allow posts that link to competitors’ sites… We realize, however, that there are grey areas and we don’t want to discourage healthy conversation in our communities, and we certainly aren’t trying to hide anything. We’re excited for the chance to join the conversation here."

"If you like the items we offer and you want to continue shopping with us, let us know when you see ModCloth items carried on a competitor’s site at another price by emailing us at support@modcloth.com. This will help us be more informed and work more closely with our designers in offering the best prices and the most unique items".

Please visit Miss Vinyl Ahoy for their full reply. Thank you to everyone who weighed in on this. Thanks to Suze for bringing this up and thank you to ModCloth for taking the time to send such a gracious reply.



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