Twitter: Customer Service Accountability

Have you ever heard that rumor about the girl who was sad that she didn’t win a  free iPhone from Amazon and tweeted about it, only to be subsequently approached by Amazon and offered a phone? Yeah. Right. Like that would happen. It’s just a rumor. But how realistic of a rumor is it?

As it turns out, Twitter goes beyond is micro-diary function to serve as a tool for the consumer to ensure good service. Many companies are present and very active on Twitter, offering deals, advertising sales, and directly thanking clients to retweet their content or offer their complements to their products. It works the same way for consumption mishaps.

Lots of cities have been hosting “restaurant week”, Washington included. Here, many of the finest, most policy-wonk-cluttered and ritzy-administration-official-frequented restaurants join in this prix-fixe fest for both lunch and dinner reservations. For the recent college graduate, however, $30 per meal is a good discount from $60 but still not enough to get you through two restaurants in one week without threatening to garrote your budget into asphyxiation.

H Street NE, an up-and-coming, trendy neighborhood, was able to recognize this predicament of the young professional and offered its own “restaurant week” special at $20 a pop of prix-fixe. So, my friends and I ventured down to the Biergarten Haus for a Maß and a Wurstplatte for two Hamiltons and some change. Unfortunately, the Biergarten Haus was unaware that they were involved in this “restaurant week” special and refused to give us the discounted price, slapped us with a few extra dollars on the bill, and called it “false advertising”. Say what?

So my friend said to me the next day, “You should tweet this.” So I figured, why not give it a try, right? Biergarten Haus responded to my tweet in a few hours, apologized, and told me to come by and ask for someone and said that they would “take care of me”.  Nice right?

Unfortunately, I was too busy at work to get myself down to H & 13 NE during the week. I also felt this slight pang of embarrassment that my complaint had actually obtain special treatment. So, in the end, I wallowed in my success at obtaining an apology and a carrot through social media while trying my best to save face.

In conclusion, next time you encounter some sort of consumer injustice, tweet about it. Since the internet is such a public space, the company will be eager to appease you for the sake of publicity.

(FYI, I still love Biergarten Haus and will still continue to happily frequent their venue despite this mishap. They are very kind have delicious food with a super awesome atmosphere. Ganz authentisch. No hard feelings here.)

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