Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Twitter is a bag of w**k!

I've just been at an establishment trying to buy something, doesn't matter which one, and had dreadful service. My immediate thought:

I'll tweet about this, that'll show them

What a load of passive-aggressive nonsense.

Tweeting, blogging and the rest allow us to whinge about bad service without having to face up to the people we're whinging about. In fact they encourage it.

I find myself standing there, working myself up into a disgruntled fury, safe in the knowledge that I can explode onto twitter and receive reassuring affirmation that I'm justified in feeling so insulted.

If I'm having bad service I should challenge the person there and then. Politely, calmly, assertively but then, when it's happening to the person who is exacting this distress upon me.

A friend recently tweeted about losing a bit of his soul in Carphone Warehouse, within seconds someone had @ replied to him asking him what was wrong.

Excellent, my friend thought, he asked them for an email address he could send a more detailed description of his issue to, it would have stretched way past 140 characters, and...nothing.

He asked again...nothing.

So Carphone Warehouse engagement 10/10, follow though 0/10.

Actually, while I'm having a twitter rant, auto follow and tracking really annoy me as well. I actually find it quite intimidating. I'm find myself getting nervous about mentioning any company in case they start following (stalking) me.

I mentioned about taking my iPhone unto CPW for a repair, seconds later 'Hi I'm Justin and i work for CPW....blah, blah'.

I mentioned the Beastie Boys this morning in a tweet. Next thing I know the Beastie Boys are following me. Their account following 8,000, 1 update, a link to their web site. Nonsense.

Leave me alone!

I like a lot about twitter but a lot of the content is starting to devalue the core proposition for me.

It's crossroads time for twitter. It's in danger of becoming the domain of celebrities and 'engaging' companies and not a place I want to inhabit.


The Red Rocket said...

Interesting post Adam and, as a PR bod, makes me think about engagement a little differently.

Normally, I'd subscribe to the idea that it's a good thing that companies engage with their customers online - in fact it's something I actively encourage.

I guess if someone was complaining about Esendex online you'd probably step in and try and help them - but you're right, maybe many are taking it too far. There's a thin line between engagement and stalking.

Twitter does seem to be used much more as a rant engine these days. In fact I wonder if people are using forums, traditionally the most common place for a rant, less and opting for a quick and dirty tweet..?

Guy Stephens said...

I'm faced with a dilemma - to leave a comment or not. Perhaps vanity has got the better of me. I'm Guy Stephens and I work for Carphone Warehouse... hopefully these will not come to be associated with the words of a dreaded company stalker.

It is likely that I tweeted your friend, and if I didn't follow up on their complaint - please pass my apologies on to them. If their complaint is still outstanding and they feel that I can help, please let them know to contact me via @guy1067.

Just to let you know I tend not to follow someone if they've complained about Carphone until they want to actually get me to help them look into their problem. Because of the nature of communication via Twitter, someone will have to follow me in order for me to DM them. It's not a perfect way, but it's the only way open to me.

I think the great thing about twitter is that people have the option to follow and unfollow, and hopefully this helps ensure they only keep up with those conversations they feel are important or of value to them. In general, the conversations I have with people who are having problems are fairly short-lived, and at the end of it they have the option to unfollow me should they wish.

Joanna Butler said...

I love this post! Yes, people who complain on Twitter alone (and wonder why they don't get a response) should really consider confronting companies directly. Can't count the number of times I've seen people complain on Twitter about something - even day to day events - that they should have actually spoken up about!

But then again at least Twitter helps companies find those complaints that otherwise wouldn't have shown up on the radar? Great for companies, but not helping customers help themselves!

On a side note - I've noticed some strange people following me too. I tweeted about my brother's painful broken leg and I got someone following me who sells pain killers... bad taste IMHO.