Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Companies Beware of Positive Customer Feedback

Strange times indeed when we have to worry about the good things customers say about our products.

The use of social media is here to stay with many companies having Facebook and Twitter accounts where they post information on their products. This media allows our customers to comment and to give positive feedback about their experience with the products. In response to a customer comment, we politely and naturally respond by “liking” the comment they left for us. According to the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH), the FDA now considers “liking” a customer’s testimonial, a claim. By “liking” what your customer said, it transforms your product into a drug or medical device. I kid you not. As well, if you link to a site that makes a claim or link to a scientific article, those are still considered making claims about your products. These links or “likes” turn your product into a drug or a medical device.

This is a head’s up folks. We simply must curb the natural tendency to be enthusiastic and truthful about products that work and that help people. These are politically dangerous times when practitioners and company owners are going to jail over these issues. I know that our first response is to feel righteous, to stand on the moral and ethical high ground and snub our noses at authorities. However, in the short term, we need to educate ourselves about the regulations that do exist, whether for good or for evil, and abide by them to the greatest extent we can, even if this means it keeps your business smaller. The goal is to be around for the long term and changes will be coming. The near future is fraught with danger because there is tremendous push and pressure from multinational corporations to control everything natural, to block out any upstart innovation, and to fully control or crush any existing technology or ingestibles that may interfere with their current or future profits. Of course, it is no secret that these multinational corporations provide big campaign dollars and continuously lobby politicians. There is also a revolving door with executives of multinational corporations moving to executive positions in government to ensure that regulations supporting those multinational corporations are put in place, and then they use the revolving door to return to their corporate positions.

Let’s stick together and be supportive of each other. In so many cases where a company has had their knuckles rapped or worse by regulators, the company points the finger at another company saying, “they are doing it too.” Please let’s work together for the good of all natural health companies. Be mindful, responsible, support each other and stay safe.

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