The Unrepaired Fridge And The Streisand Effect

The Streisand Effect has whipped an appliance store after it refused to repair a customer’s broken fridge.

In this video, Andrew Radics and Ian Hopkinson discuss yet another Streisand effect case.


Ian: The Streisand Effect of The Unprepared Fridge.

Andrew: Oh here we go. Where’s Babs? We forgot to bring Babs in!

Ian: Uh oh, hang on…

Andrew: I just realised.

Ian: Babs!!

Andrew: Jeez talk about organised… Come on Babs chop chop.

Ian: Is that the sound she makes?

Andrew: No I don’t think that’s the sound Babs makes… It sounds like an owl. Hang on you’ve got to give her profile.

Ian: Oh sorry profiling. There we go. This is very luxurious today! Did I tell you what somebody said to me the other day? They said “I saw you on a hangout video you guys look so relaxed and what kind of tone is that setting” And I said “I don’t know, relaxed, discussion points covering the issues of the day”

Andrew: We’re Aussies! Should be right mate! Anyway to the point, another Barbra Streisand effect story.

Ian: What’s going on? …Sorry.

Andrew: This happened a few weeks again so we’re a bit behind because we’ve been a bit…

Ian: Busy.

Andrew: Anyway the New York Times has a column called the ‘Haggler’. It’s a consumer problem solving column like most newspapers. Hey stop patting Babra! Okay what happened here, it was a dispute between a customer obviously and a department store who shall remain nameless.

Ian: I love how we say that but people can just Google the story or the title and find it.

Andrew: What happened was this lady…

Ian: Cons they were called weren’t they?

Andrew: Yes. This lady couldn’t get satisfaction from this store and the things that she bought were a computer and a fridge. But it says she withheld her payment when  the company wouldn’t help her to get the refrigerator fixed. The company insists its policy is not to talk to the media about customer issues, applies even when that customer has given the company and the media written permission to discuss their problem. So here’s a lady who couldn’t get satisfaction so she went to this certain column at the New York Times, she said it’s fine for them to contact the store to sort things out because she couldn’t get satisfaction really. Of course I can understand where these guys are coming from they don’t want to talk to the media about customer issues even though the customer says it’s fine. So in this case their company’s policy actually resulted in… The Streisand Effect!

Ian: More publicity, more attention on the issue.

Andrew: Not good publicity, bad publicity. Apparently there was a HUGE Twitter storm, Twitter swarm, or storm, using the hashtag “talktothehagler”

Ian: Hang on how does the hagler thing come in again?

Andrew: Well this lady went to the New York Times or this particular column called “Hagler”

Ian: Ohhhhh sorry yes.

Andrew: Yeah it’s a consumer problem solving column. All the newspapers have them and of course the New York Times for goodness sake. Talk about circulation…

Ian:  Yes.

Andrew: I like this comment from the actual company, where is it…. The guys name is Segal, David Segal, remains agnostic in regards to which party is in dispute.

Ian: He’s sitting on the bench is he?

Andrew: Yes not religious agnosticism, it’s just a term. He’s sitting on the fence he’s not saying which is right and which is wrong and basically has no opinion in other words. So there are times when a company has a policy and there’s been so many examples of this whole Streisand Effect thing. If you’re going to try keep things quiet it’s just going to blow up into something bigger than it was supposed to be in the first place.

Ian: Yeah and I find some of these policies are not always… I’m carrying on about this, but I find some of these policies aren’t… they need to be updated. They really need to be updated because it’s one thing to have a media representative contact for you okay that’s been going on for years, when they’ve then got the reach via the internet to make more of a problem for the business…

Andrew: But they’ve then got the reach, you mean they have the reach

Ian: They have the reach.

Andrew: Not got the reach.

Ian: They’ve got the reach, no…

Andrew: Sorry I was just doing Judge Judy she’s always correcting grammar.

Ian: Oh she’s always correctly people it’s good how she does that, she’s good.

Andrew: The classic one that I love the best is when people say “he took ‘em from me” and she says “it’s not took ‘em it’s took!” and they keep on saying it.

Ian: I love how infuriated she gets with that, yeah that’s actually one of my things too – saying things correctly, so thanks for picking up on that Andrew.

Andrew: That’s alright maybe we should do a Judge Judy effect video or something

Ian: Judge Judy effect?

Andrew: Anyway continue what were you saying?

Ian: I have no clue, no what I was saying was these policies are a little bit outdated, they’re not taking into account the fact that there’s a community of people online that are going to discuss these issues and they can be very quickly out of hand, I mean word of mouth and discussion online. It has to be treated a little differently I think you have to be a little more upfront with the way you approach some of these situations. In this case as I understand from the article, the lady had actually given them permission to say something. They probably should’ve just made a statement but they ended up doing that anyway, they should’ve just said hey look it’s an unfortunate situation but we’re handling it, we’ve spoken to the lady. We’re upfront about it! Where as them being closed down created some sort of a mystery around the whole thing.

Andrew: Yeah they only respond because of the s*** … because of the big storm that brewed.

Ian: Judge Judy “wash out your mouth with soap.”

Andrew: Oh I would’ve been beeped out then but yeah it’s the old saying that any publicity is good publicity, well for a department store no it’s not true.

Ian: For any business I mean it is absolutely gold and we’re in this age where people could review your business and it doesn’t always necessarily matter whether it’s true or not, which is a bit of a worry but if you’re seen to be trying to do the right thing by people then you’re not going to have a mob backlashing you know.

Andrew: Well you know it’s what we always say if you need a negative review on whatever review site it is, Google or Google + or Yelp or Tripadvisor or whatever it is, always respond! Always respond to the customer complaint or whatever it is…

Ian: Either publicly or privately. Always respond.

Andrew: Always respond yeah. Cause then it won’t turn into something like this and then your business won’t suffer the Streisand Effect.

Ian: Yeah that’s it you know, gosh you know. I don’t blame the women holding back the payment for waiting for the fridge to be fixed. It doesn’t sound like it was very old and it was probably under warranty as well maybe we could get her on the line and speak to her about the mechanics of the fridge and really get into this issue.

Andrew: There’s a thought, that’s another hangout for another day.

Ian: There’s like twenty hangouts that we’re never going to do we’re just going to talk about it’s awesome.

Andrew: It’s an easy way to just deflect so we don’t get onto another issue.

Ian: We can actually just make up a hangout that we actually don’t do and keep referring to this hangout and create a lot of confusion but we’re not going to go there…

Andrew: No we won’t!

Ian: Thanks for watching. The streisand effect continues, there’s many many examples!

Andrew: There is.

Ian: So I want to get some more involvement from Barbra though that’s where I’m going with this… Babs.

Andrew: Babs.

Ian: You’re speechless.

Andrew: Speechless, I don’t know what to say.

Ian: What’re we going to do?

Andrew: It’s late, it’s late, it’s time to go home!

Ian: We’re going to get Babs on the program I don’t know how we’re going to do it but we’re going to get her on the program somehow. Not just a mascot, we’re going to get an interview with Babs.

Andrew: Not just Babs the flamingo but real Babs.

Ian: Unfortunately she’s not all that happy with Australians because she was interviewed a few weeks ago by one of our prominent TV hosts and he was a little bit risque and offensive and normally he’s a bit more professional and you know edgy and humorous but he went a little bit too far didn’t he?

Andrew: Well the TV station was so embarrassed by the actual video that they took it off their website.

Ian: Yeah it’s not online you can’t find it anywhere.

Andrew: Yeah they were so embarrassed by it and it was live TV so…

Ian: I wonder if it’ll get reposted now that  it’s been taken down… The streisand effect again!!

Andrew: We’ll have to find it.

Ian: Find it, repost it.

Andrew: Yep do our own streisand effect.

Ian: That’s it. Alright we’re out of here.

Andrew: I think we’re really going to get Barbra.



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