Junk Explained: Why Are People Boycotting Harvey Norman And Their Cursed Twitter Account?

Whoever is manning their Twitter needs a serious intervention.

Harvey Norman Twitter

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Customers are boycotting Harvey Norman for their bonkers Twitter presence, and pushback on wage increases over the weekend.

Content Warning: This article contains mention of suicide.

Co-founder Gerry Harvey’s web of businesses have previously come under fire for asking for free labour at The School Locker, falsifying information to sign Indigenous customers up for credit limits, and most recently, Harvey Norman thriving during the pandemic at the expense of their employees.

This is where the ball starts rolling. The company’s profits skyrocketed by 160% and they even announced plans to expand overseas by the end of this year. But despite their record earnings, Harvey Norman used millions of dollars worth of federal wage subsidy funds to pay their employees.

Gerry Harvey has said in February that he won’t repay the JobKeeper money bankrolled by taxpayer dollars, even though Harvey Norman made $462 million in the second half of last year.

This is despite two-thirds of businesses across all sectors in Australia having taken a financial dive last year, and Victorian workers going through yet another lockdown without the aid of JobKeeper which ended on March 28. The reported $22 million that Harvey Norman took from JobKeeper would go quite far if returned.

Why were people protesting outside Harvey Norman stores?

So, knowing that Gerry Harvey is worth $2.2 billion, made a shit tonne of extra cash last year, and didn’t pay staff wages from said earnings, Harvey Norman employees have been understandably pissed. It’s believed Harvey Norman is pushing for a minimum wage freeze instead.

Last Friday, staff and unionists stood outside franchises across the country to demand an increase to their minimum wage.

Protestors were calling for an increase of 3.5% for employees. It comes as the Fair Work Commission begins consultations for the 2020-21 annual wage review, and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hinting earlier this month that the economy might be strong enough for low income pay rises.

An interesting side note, reports of the protests by The Australian and the Daily Telegraph three days ago appear to have been taken down. Both publications had written that the retailer was “purportedly opposing minimum wage increases”. But hey, Harvey Norman spends a lot of money on ads and partnerships with NewsCorp so go figure I guess.

And why are they blocking every man and his dog?

It feels like #BoycottHarveyNorman trends every couple of months or so, but in a fun twist this time around, Harvey Norman is boycotting their customers.

The very mature thing to do online when people are calling out the squashing of staff pay rises, is to simply block them. Which Harvey Norman’s Twitter account has been doing.

You should probably take it as a personal attack if Harvey Norman hasn’t blocked you yet.

The most cursed Harvey Norman tweet you’ll ever see

We’ve all seen big companies try to be sassy on social media but whoever is monitoring Harvey Norman’s Twitter account at the moment needs an intervention.

On the same day as the protests, someone opened up about their experience working for Harvey Norman in response to their blocking spree.

“Working for your god forsaken company drove me to suicide in 6 months,” they tweeted. Harvey Norman’s official Twitter account replied with a very appropriate facepalm and waving hand emoji.

The rogue communication from Harvey Norman that HQ continually detaches itself from extends beyond the internet. In February last year, an Albury franchise put out a racist A-frame sign at the start of the pandemic.

“No coronavirus in our mattresses as ours are Australian made,” it read. Harvey Norman responded by saying the Albury store “acted in isolation without any consultation or communication beyond [them]”.

Harvey Norman’s bio currently reads that “Twitter is no longer a customer service channel and is unmanned.” I don’t know whose twelve-year-old cyberbully is behind this all, but come get your kid.

As Gizmodo pointed out, there hasn’t been an official statement from Harvey Norman about their Twitter page at the moment, which they probably would do if this was a hack, no?

Anyway, in before the official Harvey Norman Twitter account blocks us too.