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January 14, 2010

How not to have a corporate Twitter presence (, )

by fluffy at 9:55 AM
  • fluffy: Yay, my Nexus One is out for delivery! Only a few hours before the crushing disappointment of not having an immediate state of bliss.
  • fluffy: My Nexus One has been out for delivery for THREE HOURS where IS it COME ON FEDEX
  • FedexAl: @fluffy This is FedexAl. Would you like for me to track your package.
  • FedexDolores: @fluffy Hello this is FedexDolores would you like for me to check on your Nexus One for you?
  • fluffy: .@FedexDolores Yes, I totally need a spammy bot to walk me through continuing to reload the tracking page on a package that I already got.
  • FedexDolores: @fluffy Please call 1-877-339-2774 this is our technical assistance number. Our representatives will be glad to assist you.
  • fluffy: @FedexDolores I don't think you understand a single thing I said. I have no problems with FedEx, but fuck off if you're going to spam me.
Anyway, yeah, it looks like FedEx is trying their hand at Twitter by having a number of customer service representative idiots who do nothing but search for FedEx and try to improve customer satisfaction by responding to every single message they see about FedEx in a way that only comes across as disingenuous at best and spam at worst. My first assumption was that it was a couple of bots that were trying to get my package tracking numbers so they could divert the delivery. That could still be the case; I would certainly hope they're not legitimate FedEx representatives because if they are, it's pretty damn damaging to them in my mind.

Sure, out of context I guess my second tweet could have been seen as a complaint about FedEx, but why would two separate CSRs decide that they need to immediately make sure that I'm happy with FedEx service when clearly I know how to track a package and am just being impatient? Maybe they have real customers who demand to know where their package is down to the street level, or don't understand that delivery takes several hours. But I was just joking at my own expense, which anyone who knows me (from actually being a legitimate follower on Twitter — meaning, someone who saw something I had to say and decided I was worth reading for some strange reason) would have understood.

Twitter is a communication tool, which I happen to use to keep in touch with friends and random Internet acquaintances. To me, it is not a B2B marketing tool or a customer service tool or a way to generate revenue or eyeballs or whatever, and every time some business decides they need to monetize the community assets in order to generate customer-facing goodwill or whatever other bullshit leads to these ridiculous decisions, they only serve to ruin yet another thing that people just do for fun.

Bill Hicks had the right idea.

Comments

#12764 Neillparatzo 01/14/2010 03:02 pm
Just be glad FedEx offered to help you rather than sue you for libel.

Things posted on the Internet have consequences...
#12765 fluffy 01/14/2010 03:13 pm
Yes, I know that from experience.
#12774 kwsNI 01/17/2010 06:08 pm
What's ironic is that they've got "instant" unsolicited "customer service" yet can't get instant tracking status from a database onto the internet.

It seems like there's a lot more expense in hiring people to track down Twitter posts than it would be to get real-time database results. This isn't the 1980s, it's really not acceptable to not have real-time data like that.