Company Emails Customer’s Boss After He Complains About Them On Twitter

Have you ever contacted a business on Twitter to complain about their product or service?

Many of us have because of the public nature of the tweet. The potential for a tweet to “go viral” and spread like wildfire around the Web and be seen by countless other potential customers encourages the business to not only respond positively, but to use the opportunity to go above and beyond.

Smart companies use these opportunities to create positive buzz. Not so smart companies contact your JOB and try to get you in trouble.

Dan Grech was ticked that he hadn’t received a subscription his coworker gifted him and tried to resolve it via email. When that didn’t work, he tweeted:

“Don’t buy a magazine subscription through @iSubscribeUK. You won’t receive it!”

And then this exchange happened:


And THEN, Grech shares (in an open letter to iSubscribe) this happened:

Later that afternoon, I was horrified to discover that you deemed my grievance worthy of reporting to the Managing Director of my workplace.

Holy . . . what?

So Grech now wants to know, “What were you trying to achieve by doing this? Were you hoping that my employer would punish me? Is this your protocol in dealing with customer complaints?”

We wanted to know as well, so we asked. And iSubscribe’s Head of Operations, Don Brown replied:


His response is excerpted below (read the entire post here):

And the first response was to find out what the problem was and to resolve. Which we did; tweets, emails and phone calls went back and forth, and the problem was sorted out.

The second response was a great deal of irritation. Why should someone make what (I felt) was an unwarranted condemnation of our entire business? So I sent an email to the MD of the company that appeared in the tweeter’s bio:

We’re trying to sort out [name] problem, but I do feel it is rather bad form for someone who is identifying themselves as being from your company to be posting such a sweeping generalisation about our company on a public forum like Twitter:

Was it the right thing to do? Almost certainly not. Should I have done it? Of course not. Would I do it again? I doubt it, but in nearly 30 years of working I’ve done some pretty dumb things and will almost certainly do some equally dumb things in the future. Mea culpa, most definitely. (“My bad” for you youngsters.)

Smart move, sir. But you probably could have left your explanation at that . . . (he didn’t):

But there is also, I would contend, responsibility on those of us who tweet. One can’t just say whatever one wants without being aware that this can have consequences; one’s quick jibe can have real impact on real people. And if you say you’re from a particular company, then your actions reflect on that company; if someone in my team abused someone else in public I would call them out about it.

In just the same way, of course, as my actions detailed above reflect on the business. I’ve always been a fan of irony.

So again, mea culpa.

Mea culpa, indeed.

I’ll leave you all to debate the many things wrong with that last part. An attempt to have someone penalized at their workplace because they called  out your company publicly sounds a bit David vs Goliath’ish to me, but I’ll readily admit bias toward the little guy.

What do you think?

(Man getting hit with hammer image from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.