Taking to Twitter

Have you noticed that people who are upset with a company or a product often take to Twitter? That’s what I did recently at the suggestion of friend Joy Meredith. My new Lenovo tablet has been “in the shop” for more than 40 days. The impact on my business, like the length of time it’s been missing, is of Biblical proportions. After repeated attempts to get answers via the customer service hotline (and I use that term loosely), I was out of ideas.

Instead of waving the white flag, I took Joy up on her recommendation. Indeed, I got a response. The first few DMs (direct messages) were inadequate volleys of how they would “try” to get the issue resolved. The folks at Lenovo apparently never saw Yoda in Star Wars (“Do or do not. There is no try.”) As I dragged Lenovo’s DMs back into my Twitter feed, their tone became more and more responsive. Now I finally have a RLP (real live person), Marlan, with whom I can talk. Nice chap. He said I can expect a replacement within two to four days. If not, look for me back on Twitter.

Not Originally a Fan

When Twitter first came out with its original 140-character limit, I was derisive. How could I, a former reporter and free-lance writer who used to get paid by the word, ever adapt to a social media platform known for its brevity? But once introduced to Twitter, I became a fan. Much like writing a haiku, it forces the writer to condense his or her thoughts into a concentrated jolt. I also enjoy the links to other stories that widen my views and often make me laugh.

How it came to be my favorite, besting Facebook and even LinkedIn, I’m not quite sure. Perhaps it’s because FB triggers FoMO (Fear of Missing Out) and LinkedIn requires more decorum. Twitter, even in its new 280-character incarnation, requires a clarity and conciseness that challenges the imagination (that is, unless we’re talking about #45). Some people use Twitter as a pipeline as well as a platform for thought leadership. My Twitter feed serves as a news source, a great resource for story ideas and links to memes and videos that help me keep my finger on the pulse of contemporary life.

Caution: Use Twitter Respectfully

Like all media, though, it’s important to use Twitter respectfully. [Listen up, #45.] I thought long and hard before taking on a behemoth computer company in a “Twitter war.” For those who know me, it takes a lot to push me to this point. I’m a lover, not a fighter. Too bad it came to this. But it’s nice to know there’s a place for customers to vent, fume and make a complaint public in order to receive an actual response. Once my new tablet is in hand, I’ll make the proper acknowledgements. Until then, I’m reminded that the pen—or, in this case, the tweets—are mightier than the sword.

P.S.

Just when I thought Lenovo was rock bottom for customer service, I called IKEA to order a gift certificate. Their “customer service line” was busy so they invited me to call again. Click. No optional extension. No “Please leave your number and we’ll call you back.” Just “click.” Needless to say, I went somewhere else.

What’s your best (worst) customer service horror story and how did you solve it?