Empire Avenue Fail 5 post overview: Over 5 posts on my blogs I documented issues with Empire Avenue, from their rogue volunteers, running a “wall of shame” on Brands, attacking Brands reputations online, not answering complaints, having a “goon squad” of endorsed volunteers attacking customers who complained, refusing to discipline internally thereby encouraging more attacks on Brands, etc. What I witnessed was the worst travesty in the annals of customer service I have ever seen. After a month of private discussions with EA to change things, I went public. Only then did they begin to change, but the attacks on me and others grew by their “goon squad.” In the end, I went to EA’s Angel Investor and EA had to shut down its Chat Room and Chat Mod “goons squad.” EA shamelessly has never apologized or produced it damning chat logs as promised by their CEO. This is one of those posts, you can read the rest by Search in the upper right for ‘Empire.’ Don’t play EA or if you do save your REAL money.
UPDATE: After being on EA a month, we’re advising to give some thought to your Brand being on EA. There is an old cliche: Money and friends are like mixing oil and water. It can hurt relationships. I’ve see much ugliness and friendships lost on Empire Avenue and had my Brand tarnished on there. Its not EA, its the way people emotionally react to “money.”
We’ve HIGHLY recommended our clients stay off of it and if they do go on, NOT TO SPEND REAL MONEY ON EA.
You should come up with a strategy prior to joining on how to handle issues. Some folks have not taken well to being sold and are blocking sellers and unfriending people. The blocking is getting over used now, in fact its happening so much people have discovered even the block has a limit. People who are sold seem to not realize people buy and sell over and over. If you are a brand, there is concern about hurting some feelings and Brand tarnish. Its hard to have a winning stock without selling people and that can sometimes go bad. So your stock either looks like a loser if you dont sell or you hurt peoples feelings. XBox stock started as a shiny winner, then became a loser everyone talked about dumping. I’m not sure thats how a brand wants to be remembered. There is a list of the Losers. We’re really concerned about that word of mouth. You want to figure out a way in your strategy to minimize this damage. A promotion might be a good idea of some type.
People have had issues with a price being on their head, you can buy and sell people even if they are not on EA, many people are surprised by this. If you dont want your name being bought and sold on EA contact them, they are very nice to remove you. Stay out of the Chat areas they are troll ridden and caustic, numerous complaints have come to us about it. When the discussion board groups turn against your Brand the result is vitriol to your Brand. For this reason we have NOT recommended EA to our clients.
We think its a fun game but keep it that way. For all these reasons, Caveat Emptor to any REAL money you thing about spending. Early on your stock wins but sometimes frustration sets in with users if they cannot keep it up. I would suggest playing with it for a month before making financial commitments to it, if any. I would also suggest you tell your friends ahead of time that IF you sell them – dont be offended, thats the name of the game. Remember to have fun, its a game.
UPDATE: Someone asked me why play Empire Avenue. While Empire is based around a game, its fun networking and relationship building. What its done for me is amazing in terms of business. Not only has it enabled people to get exposed to my Twitter, Facebook and Blog, many people have come and joined my following. Its been an awesome networking tool and traffic for my other Social Media sites and blog. If people follow you in Twitter you may be like “whatever.” On Empire people are wondering who is investing “money” into them and looking for successful people in Social Media. Its even helped me strengthen some of my current relationships. I dont see it as a game. I see it as a fun way to network and build relationships.
Empire Avenue is a new networking Social Media interactive game that makes it fun and interesting to develop relationships. Its a fun little game and measure of popularity. You can buy and sell stock in other people just like the stock market. You can actually use your own money to buy money if you like. All in all it adds another dimension to a way to build relationships. Check out the video and their site. Meantime buy some of my stock its raging up.