customer service response

Customer Service Showdown: @MicrosoftHelps vs. Twitter @Support

I’m an idiot, and here’s the story of why and how two related organizations were involved. Once upon a time… When you set up your Twitter account, you have to link it to an email address. It doesn’t really matter which one, but I would recommend linking it to one you actually use so you can remember certain facts. Like your password. Unfortunately, the Twitter account I’ve put all my efforts into is associated with an ancient account – I was locked out of my email (forgot password and tried to access too many times) and my Twitter (accidently asked for a reset of password…which send an email to my account…which I don’t have access to). See my dilemma? If I was hacked, which happens a lot on Twitter, or something happened of any kind, I wasn’t able to do anything about it. Nada. Nothing. So, I had a choice. Get in touch with Twitter to access my account or talk to Microsoft to access my old Hotmail address. I tried both. Microsoft Helps, Really

When I approached the @MicrosoftHelps Twitter account, I was nothing but impressed. They responded quickly, trying to assist me in tweets but moving the conversation to direct messaging and then email to better address the problem. They were upfront about what they could do and what they couldn’t, but it was understandable from a privacy standpoint. I was trying to access an email after all and I could have been anyone. Once I was able to amass privacy details that I couldn’t believe I still remembered, they quickly validated me and I was able to make the corrections I needed.

If I had one complaint, it’s that their email correspondence didn’t have the same human element that their Twitter did. It was a little jarring to go from talking to a person to a form letter email. But, when it’s all said and done, they came through for me even when I knew I was the one responsible for my dumb situation (did I mention not to link your Twitter to a dead email?) Hello, Twitter? Hello? You’d think the best way to contact twitter would be…well…Twitter? They have a @Support account that is used for their customer service. Well actually, it’s a little confusing as to what it’s for. The bio reads: “Updates from Twitter User Support. We’re unable to assist with account suspension/verification” So according to this, I’m told two things and see two problems:

  1.  they are a one way broadcast system giving “updates” on what their user support is up to. (not very Twitter-like of them)
  2. They’re telling you how they won’t help you.  (not very positive)

Now, if you go to their “Help Centre” on the website, it’s a different matter. First, there’s the “More Help?” section on the bottom right, under which is the Twitter account as an option…which I’ll get to again in a moment. Second, there’s a “Contact” button at the bottom that goes to a website that reads: “For ongoing information about Twitter, please read our company blog. Also, feel free to contact us with service questions, partnership proposals, or media inquiries.” The problem is there’s no way to ask them these “service questions”. None. Oh wait, there’s that Twitter account.  Nine days ago I tweeted this: This next tweet is seven days later, still without a response. Now some of you may say, “but in their Twitter bio, it says they don’t help account issues.” Yep, you’re right. But nothing? No acknowledgement? And from looking at their tweets from @Support, they don’t talk to anyone. So basically, what I’ve learned is that Twitter really isn’t interested in providing any customer service or engagement. If you don’t get your answer from their blog or FAQs or service updates…well, sorry but please move along. But thanks for using our product. Conclusion So in the customer service race between Twitter and Microsoft, the winner was obviously the one that “helps”. I’m worried if I ever have problems with Twitter, after all the effort and investment in their product, I won’t be valued as a customer…only as one of those numbers when they brag about how many people use their service. Have a similar or vastly different experience? Share.

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