The insults aren’t particularly great – with comments calling customers pikeys, ugly, mad and smelly – which could be extremely damaging to the brand and its connotations.
Waitrose response was that it is “completely unacceptable behaviour. It goes against our codes of conduct which make it very clear that partners who post this type of material are in breach of their terms of employment….The nature of the internet makes it difficult to get content removed once posted, however we do have teams that monitor website activity and will be conducting an immediate investigation.”
Personally, I think responding favorably offline in this way is a great way of ensuring something online can be brought under control. Social media is notoriously difficult to reign in if negative views are floating around – and by reassuring customers that they’re taking the matter seriously, as well as giving off signs to staff that it won’t be tolerated, Waitrose seem to be dealing with this quite well.