Customer service via Twitter

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Here is something you may not be aware of.  Large corporations regularly monitor the prominent social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.) as part of their effort to maintain a positive image.  When someone posts a message that includes the company name, someone at the corporate office is notified virtually immediately.

I have read about this before, but never had a chance to actually experience it until this past week.

I shipped a laptop to a customer in Georgia.  If you have purchased a laptop from me and you are out of state, you know that I take great care in packaging.  I use a new box.  I wrap the laptop itself in bubble wrap, then place it on a layer of styrofoam peanuts in the large box.  Then I fill the rest of the space with peanuts so everything is packed tightly, and seal up the box with packaging tape.  I shipped it through UPS and insured it for $300.

A few days later, I get a call from my customer – the packaged was damaged in transit, and the laptop screen does not work.  What a pain! Well, these things happen and that’s why I got the insurance.

So, I put in a claim with UPS that day.  Someone from UPS picked up the laptop and the damaged box from my customer as part of their investigation.

A few days later, I got a call from the UPS person in charge of the claim.  He said that the claim was being denied.  I was obviously surprised at this.  When I inquired why, he said that the reason given was “insufficient packaging”.  We went back and forth a bit, but there is no arguing with a large, bureaucratic organization.  There’s just nothing you can do.

Or is there?

After that phone conversation, I logged on to my Twitter account (if you use Twitter, you can follow me here).  This is what I posted:

Twitter post

Here is the fun part: within 10 minutes of my posting that, I got a call from one of the “senior” claim investigators at UPS.  She was calling to advise me that they had looked more closely at the claim, and determined that it was a valid claim after all.  So the denial was overturned and the insurance claim was approved.

Something handy to remember when you are hitting a brick wall with a large organization.  Can’t guarantee it will work every time, but it’s worth a try.

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