What nasty things are people saying about you online, even if they haven’t done business with you?
Has somebody tried to buy a product at your website, but a glitch in your shopping cart wouldn’t put through the order?
Have they called you, left a message, but no one has returned the call?
Have they filled out one of those annoying customer service tickets at your website, but never received a reply?
Unless you’re regularly searching for “(Your brand) sucks,” as in “Publicity Hound sucks,” via the search engines, or on a site like Twitter, how would you ever know?
I seldom use Twitter to gripe about my consumer problems, but during my nightmare with AT&T last week, I couldn’t help myself.
I switched Internet and telephone service from AT&T to Time Warner Cable, and cable service from Direct TV to Time Warner. When I called AT&T to ask a simple but important question about ending my service, I was transferred to the wrong department four times.
The fifth agent, who promised to stay with me on the call until I got through to the right person, said she, too, was frustrated because no one would answer. But by then, I’d been tweeting about the experience, using the hashtag “#attsucks”.
Six of my Twitter followers started replying, either complaining about their own experiences with AT&T, or simply commiserating:
Finally, @ATTJessica, responded:
But that time, the fifth agent was so frustrated, she called up the notes in my account and answered my question for me. (Why didn’t she just do that as soon as I was transferred to her?)
Companies ought to be monitoring Twitter, Facebook, discussion boards and consumer websites and trying to help. But more importantly, they can save a lot of wear and tear on their brand if they provide excellent customer service from the outset.
I’ve been a new Time Warner customer for less than a week and already love their service.
- I dealt with the same salesperson when I ordered Internet, phone and cable service, and she gave me her direct phone number if I needed to call her back. AT&T won’t assign you one agent. In fact, I called AT&T three times about the same problem and got three different answers.
- I can call Time Warner tech support 24/7. AT&T isn’t available on weekends. This was particularly annoying when, over the weekend, I could make calls but couldn’t recevie them. Time Warner tried to solve the problem, but couldn’t, because AT&T agents weren’t available.
- Time Warner’s friendly agents don’t put me on hold while trying to get answers to my questions. They always ask if they can call me back. And they do. Promptly.
What companies have you dealt with that have provided such horrendous customer service that you’ve shared your bad experiences online? Did they find your complaints and respond? Did you stop doing business with them and switch to a competitor?