Why not to complain through social media


Once upon a time, I used social media to vent my frustration.

Let me begin with the cause for the frustration. My pre-paid mobile carrier provides an iOS app to recharge phone credit. On a particular holiday, I tried recharging a few times along the day. All tries resulted in failure. Imagine my surprise then when, at the end of the day, all my tries were processed. It looks as if their backend system was caching all my requests in some kind of queue, and when they solved whatever problem was preventing the queue from being processed, all my requests got processed. I tried calling the carrier to get reimbursed. They told me that there was nothing they could do, that I should try calling my credit card company.

I called my credit card company and they were only willing to reimburse if the carrier stated in writing that they hadn’t charged me in the first place. Now imagine this, my carrier has no e-mail address I can write to. I did in fact find an ombudsman e-mail address, but the message I sent got bounced back.

That brings me to venting my frustration over social media. I described my problem on the social media page of the carrier, so that they would fix it. They heard, but they didn’t. Instead, they took away my ability to pay using credit card in all the channels I previously could. I cannot pay using that lovely iOS app, SMS, or by calling an automated voice response system.

From that experience, I have learned that social media is highly monitored, insults are deeply felt, and result in further frustrations down the line. I have stopped using social media to complain about a problem with a company. I prefer to stop dealing with that company altogether.

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