A Lesson in Transparency and Accountability from Buffer

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Buffer got hacked this weekend.

Unfortunately, this happens all too often. What’s even more unfortunate is that most companies passively react to these situations and deflect blame elsewhere.

Not Buffer.

I had an email in my inbox from Joel Gascoigne, Buffer’s Founder & CEO, within the hour of them being hacked. It was the first I had heard of it. Now, this is actually pretty normal. All emails I receive from Buffer are from Joel, and he does a great job of making them feel as personable as possible.

The email was honest and straight forward: Buffer has been hacked – here is what’s going on. No bullshit, just straight to the point. Right off the bat he apologized and took full blame for the situation. He empathized with me, letting me know that he understands how frustrating and awful this experience was, and that he “can only understand how angry and disappointed (I) must be right now.”

He then went on to explain what happened, who was affected, how to stay in the loop and what I should do next.  He assured me that no billing or payment information was affected or exposed, nor was my password. The blog was updated 7 times between Saturday at 1pm and Sunday at 3pm, keeping users up to date about the measures that had been taken to restore their security.

After apologizing and taking all of the blame once again, Joel invited me to send him a personal email, comment on his blog post or reach out via Facebook or Twitter if I had any questions or comments. He then followed up with another email at 3AM this morning, letting me know that Buffer was back up and running.

How about that? Accountability, transparency and honesty. Have a look at the user comments on the blog post and you’ll see that real people appreciate this kind of stuff.

Why can’t more companies be like Buffer? Thanks guys.

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