Facebook's Latest Great Leap Forward Part Of A Proud Corporate Tradition

It seems like Facebook makes changes every few months and doesn't respond to consumer complaints.

By now, many of us have seen Facebook's latest round of changes. My morning commute was compromised on Wednesday because I couldn't access my usual traffic reports on my Facebook page.

After some research, I found some ways to get rid of a few features that were making me crazy like the real-time ticker. Yesterday, my colleague Dana Farrington shared her thoughts about Facebook's changes and some of these helpful hints.

The changes (and my frustration) prompted a discussion around my desk at work about what other companies have forced unwanted changes on the public.

What happens when companies make changes that consumers don't want, didn't ask for and want things changed back?

Click on the slideshow to see who were the biggest offenders and what companies bowed to public pressure.

  • 2011: Facebook Insitutes New Round Of Changes To User Pages. The changes included a real-time ticker and new ways to personalize your page. The Facebook blog says of the changes, the "News feed will act more like your own personal newspaper." The company also announced new partnerships for music, movies and TV. You'll be able to see which movies and TV your friends are watching, what mus...
    Hide caption
    2011: Facebook Insitutes New Round Of Changes To User Pages. The changes included a real-time ticker and new ways to personalize your page. The Facebook blog says of the changes, the "News feed will act more like your own personal newspaper." The company also announced new partnerships for music, movies and TV. You'll be able to see which movies and TV your friends are watching, what music they're listening to and what news items they're reading.
    Paul Sakuma/AP
  • 2011: Netflix Separates Its DVD, Streaming Business. Internet video streaming has become a priority for Netflix. As a result, it has raised prices by as much as 60 percent. Recently, the company announced it will break off its DVD mail service as Qwikster. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings apologized for the way the company communicated earlier price changes but not for the hike itself. I decide...
    Hide caption
    2011: Netflix Separates Its DVD, Streaming Business. Internet video streaming has become a priority for Netflix. As a result, it has raised prices by as much as 60 percent. Recently, the company announced it will break off its DVD mail service as Qwikster. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings apologized for the way the company communicated earlier price changes but not for the hike itself. I decided to simplify to just streaming and walk to Red Box for more recent DVDs. And if Netflix doesn't get more current releases quickly, I won't be streaming anymore either.
  • 1985: The Coca-Cola Co. Replaces The Original Formula For Its Soft Drink. The consumer backlash was so great that Coke was forced to bring back its original recipe and brand it Coca-Cola Classic. Many people believe the change was a marketing ploy because the company made millions off changing back.
    Hide caption
    1985: The Coca-Cola Co. Replaces The Original Formula For Its Soft Drink. The consumer backlash was so great that Coke was forced to bring back its original recipe and brand it Coca-Cola Classic. Many people believe the change was a marketing ploy because the company made millions off changing back.
    Marty Lederhandler/AP
  • 2006: Sesame Street Has Cookie Monster Eat Fruits And Vegetables.  Sesame Street decided to start airing Healthy Habits For Life segments. Cookie Monster explained that his new philosophy was that cookies were "a sometimes food."  PBS Viewer Services responded to viewers' concerns with an email saying the show had no plans get rid of Cookie Monster, and he would continue to obsess over t...
    Hide caption
    2006: Sesame Street Has Cookie Monster Eat Fruits And Vegetables. Sesame Street decided to start airing Healthy Habits For Life segments. Cookie Monster explained that his new philosophy was that cookies were "a sometimes food." PBS Viewer Services responded to viewers' concerns with an email saying the show had no plans get rid of Cookie Monster, and he would continue to obsess over the cookie, but would also eat fruits and vegetables. It's great to promote healthful eating habits, but can't Grover or Ernie do it?
    Sesame Workshop, Richard Termine/AP
  • 2010: The Gap Decides To Change Its Logo.  According to company spokesperson Louise Calagy, the new logo would be "classic, American design to modern, sexy, cool." A week later, The Associated Press reported that the casual wear chain was reverting to its original logo. The new logo irritated consumers, who complained about it online. Gap North Amercam President Marka Hansen said Gap did...
    Hide caption
    2010: The Gap Decides To Change Its Logo. According to company spokesperson Louise Calagy, the new logo would be "classic, American design to modern, sexy, cool." A week later, The Associated Press reported that the casual wear chain was reverting to its original logo. The new logo irritated consumers, who complained about it online. Gap North Amercam President Marka Hansen said Gap didn't handle the change correctly and missed an opportunity to have shoppers offer input.
  • 2009: Tropicana Debuts New Packaging.  Owing to a huge customer backlash, the company was forced to return to its original packaging. According to Neil Campbell, the president of Tropicana North America: "We underestimated the deep emotional bond [of the brand's original logo]." Unfortunately, this lack of understanding led to my father-in-law's breaking up with his girlfriend over the c...
    Hide caption
    2009: Tropicana Debuts New Packaging. Owing to a huge customer backlash, the company was forced to return to its original packaging. According to Neil Campbell, the president of Tropicana North America: "We underestimated the deep emotional bond [of the brand's original logo]." Unfortunately, this lack of understanding led to my father-in-law's breaking up with his girlfriend over the changes to the orange juice container. Seriously, it was the straw that broke the camel's back.
  • 1999: Actress Kerri Russell Cuts Her Trademark Long, Curly Hair.  Russell starred in the series Felicity. She went along with show producers' idea to cut her hair after her character had a rough breakup. The show's ratings declined and never recovered, and whether the show's moving to Sundays or the haircut was to blame was never determined. TV Guide ranked the haircut as N...
    Hide caption
    1999: Actress Kerri Russell Cuts Her Trademark Long, Curly Hair. Russell starred in the series Felicity. She went along with show producers' idea to cut her hair after her character had a rough breakup. The show's ratings declined and never recovered, and whether the show's moving to Sundays or the haircut was to blame was never determined. TV Guide ranked the haircut as No. 19 on its "25 Biggest TV Blunders" list.
  • 2011: George Lucas Releases A Blu-ray Box Set Of The Six Star Wars Films.  Many fans are urging a boycott of the set because Lucas made unwanted changes, including having Darth Vader scream "Noooo!" when he kills Emperor Palpatine. One review on Amazon.com says: "Adding Vader's 'Nooo!' is just going too far." As someone who missed the key scene in the movie theater when Darth Vader told ...
    Hide caption
    2011: George Lucas Releases A Blu-ray Box Set Of The Six Star Wars Films. Many fans are urging a boycott of the set because Lucas made unwanted changes, including having Darth Vader scream "Noooo!" when he kills Emperor Palpatine. One review on Amazon.com says: "Adding Vader's 'Nooo!' is just going too far." As someone who missed the key scene in the movie theater when Darth Vader told Luke Skywalker he was his father because I was 7 and had to go to the bathroom, I can relate ... a little.
    Kent Phillips/AP
  • 2011: University Of Maryland Debuts Its New Football Uniforms. According to the Two-Way's Eyder Peralta, the unveiling was met with a lot of disappointment. Some of the Twitter reviews from sports celebrities: "OH GOSH! Maryland uniforms #Ewwwwww!" (NBA star LeBron James) and "Man university of Marylands football team have some ugly jerseys lol" (soccer star Freddy Adu). If you want a cl...
    Hide caption
    2011: University Of Maryland Debuts Its New Football Uniforms. According to the Two-Way's Eyder Peralta, the unveiling was met with a lot of disappointment. Some of the Twitter reviews from sports celebrities: "OH GOSH! Maryland uniforms #Ewwwwww!" (NBA star LeBron James) and "Man university of Marylands football team have some ugly jerseys lol" (soccer star Freddy Adu). If you want a closer look, the university is still auctioining off the matching gloves and cleats from this ensemble.
    Rob Carr/Getty Images

1 of 9

View slideshow i

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.