Twitter customer service fail


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Over the last week or so, since I realised I wasn’t able to log in to my Twitter account, I’ve tried to contact Twitter to help me resolve my problem. I was surprised the other day when I tried to log in, only to find that I couldn’t. I hadn’t made any changes to my account, so couldn’t figure out why this was happening. Funnily enough the night before I was speaking with someone about password problems on Twitter, and feeling very smug that I had never had any problems with it. So here’s what I did:

I tried getting a new password emailed to me. I have tried at least five or six times. I’m still to receive one email. I guess they are automated, so not sure what’s going on there.

I tried to read their help and support pages, but for some unknown reason you need to log in to read them. So no help there.

I did eventually find a way to email them and was hopeful of getting a resolution on it. I even put in the email where it asked me about what mood I was in: A bit sad, but excited that I might the problem sorted out.I didn’t hear anything for about two days, so decided to send another email. Eventually, I got replies to both emails within a few hours of each other. Hurrah! I read both emails, which were auto-responses, through very carefully. Both were the same, and I thought to myself: if they were auto-responses, why weren’t they sent immediately! I could understand if there was some kind of agent intervention, but no, the emails were exactly the same, apart from the ticket number. The emails included details of a number of possible options. Unfortunately, none of them were relevant to me.

As one final resort I tried tweeting @support. That was a good twelve hours ago, and I’m still waiting.

So I am now stuck firmly in no man’s land. No response from Twitter, no sign of any interest from them in my problem.

The thing is this. I still love Twitter, although I’m checking out Google’s Buzz, but the whole situation got me thinking as follows:

Just because a company produces a product that is evolutionary, perhaps revolutionary, perhaps even cutting edge, doesn’t mean that the company’s service is necessarily evolutionary, perhaps revolutionary, perhaps even cutting edge.

Twitter understands microblogging. Does it understand customer service? What surprises me, is that with so many great examples out there of the provision of customer service via Twitter, and the fact that more and more companies are providing customer service via this channel, Twitter lets itself down. I quote Twitter itself, from its ‘Twitter for Businesses‘ section: Customers can use Twitter to tell a company (or anyone else) that they’ve had a great—or disappointing—experience with your business.

They’ve even got a special guide on it: Twitter 101 for Business. I’m just wondering whether ‘Twitter 404…’ would be a better choice of title.

Perhaps I’ll be struck off as a result of this, black listed even, but then that would be going against the fundamental precepts of Twitter, the very thing that sets it apart: share and share alike. Perhaps at the end of the day, no matter how (r)evolutionary a business you are, you’re still just a business. Unless you’re Zappos, of course.

@Twitter please help me…

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Guy Stephens
Guy is a social customer care trainer/consultant who has been in the social customer care space since 2008. He is also the Co-founder of Snak Academy, which provides online social customer care microlearning for individuals and SMEs.


  1. You are right Guy. And I’d like to extend the question to how social are social media companies. Too many are excited by the number of accounts that get created – too little are excited by advocacy their customers develop.
    I’m a Twitter advocate because it is a great idea. I’m an advocate because I love the people I connect with on that platform. I’m an advocate because I can do things I can’t do otherwise. And I love Twitter because it sets the stage for technology that is so bad that pretty much everybody can do better than that.

    Twitter is like what Churchill said about democracy “Of all the very bad models it’s still the best”. The risk for Twitter of course – if there is something else – people would move on pretty quickly, because there is no social connection between Twitter the company and it’s users.

    (my social presence)

  2. Hi Axel
    Thanks for your comments. You in turn raise an interesting point about the emotional connection between a company and its customers. Take Twitter, we’re advocates of the product, but we have no idea about the company behind it. What does it take though for a company to be more ‘socially connected’? Not sure if I truly know.

  3. I’ve just read your article dated 11 February and I’m left wondering whether you managed to get a response from Twitter? I’m experiencing similar problems at the moment so it would be good to know if a resolution is in sight.


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