Major iPhone case manufacturer dbrand caught up in social media race row over customer complaint response

Bbrand case
(Image credit: Dbrand)

From the "no such thing as bad press department": dbrand, One of the world’s largest and most popular manufacturers of cases and skins for iPhones and other smartphones, offered a customer a $10,000 "gesture of goodwill" after an offensive comment on X led to a huge social media mess. 

"Well that escalated quickly," dbrand posted on the former Twitter about 3pm ET on Wednesday. The company said it had apologized to the customer directly and offered him the money, though it wasn't immediately clear if the customer had taken dbrand up on its offer. "We've been poking fun at customers on social media for over a decade now. We're not going to stop, but maybe next time you'll be the one who gets $10,000," dbrand added.

dbrand, a company notorious for its cutting approach to social media and its frequently outspoken comments, first landed in the controversy on Tuesday, when it posted a response to a customer query about one of its skins. Bhuwan Chitransh took to X stating “bought this skin a couple months back. Couldn't even remain the same color after just 2 months. What should I do?” dbrand’s customer support account provided a perfectly normal response to the question-- but that’s not the post that has people talking. 

The following day, dbrand’s main account reposted Chitransh’s complaint along with the caption “Your last name is basically shit rash, be serious.”  

Dbrand race row 

In the 21 hours since the post went live, it has garnered 6.8 million views and a swathe of outraged comments, largely demanding an apology for the brand over the post. “Wait really @dbrand? in lieu of any attempt at customer support, you make fun of a customer’s foreign name?” the top comment reads. In response, dbrand doubled down, stating “Correction: we made fun of his name after the customer support.” 

A similarly popular comment reads “Keep the same energy in the apology tweet,” to which the company simply replied “no.” In response to another post stating “In before the delete and apology tweet,” dbrand replied, “inb4 you go through the rest of our feed and have a pearl-clutching heart attack.” 

“Dbrand always thrived on edgy marketing to stand out on X, cultivating a persona that feeds on mockery. While most of its attention is usually focused on other brands, it often ridicules its followers. But there is a line between witticism and outright racism, and it's clear that dbrand doesn't distinguish between the two,” Harish Jonnalagadda, Senior Editor at Android Central based in Hyderabad, India, told iMore. “Does the brand care that it offended a chunk of its user base? Probably not. But that doesn't excuse the brand from being blatantly racist toward paying customers.”

Several high-profile accounts have also objected to the post, including Halide Camera co-founder Sebastiaan de With simply noted “awful tweet.” Commenters also tagged Linus Sebastian of LinusTechTips, and popular YouTuber Marques Brownlee (MKBHD), both of whom dbrand has worked closely with. The latter has his own Icons line available to purchase from the company, and LinusTechTips put out a sponsored post hours before the incident. 

dbrand did not respond to iMore requests for comment. 

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Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9

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