Worst Idea Ever: Fortune 500 Cable Company Turning Off ALL Twitter And Social Media Support

Wow. There’s no intro to sum up what a bad business decision this is, but I’ll try.

Charter, the “4th largest cable operator in the U.S.” announced it is turning off all social media support for clients on Friday, December 14.

Sure, customer service is a lot of work, particularly online – but just because they turn off their accounts and stop responding, do the folks at @Charter really think customers won’t publicly mention them?

Do they not understand that the net of value of this move will be this: When Googled (on Binged), the results that come up forever after will scream the exact opposite of their “you matter to Charter” message?

How very, very misguided of them. And how eye-opening this should be for its customers.

The Consumerist reported on this and it caught our attention.

People who are unable to get help from Charter’s regular customer service have always had another, social media-riffic option: contacting the dedicated Facebook and Twitter representatives. We’ve heard pretty good things about Team Twitter over at Charter, which is why we’re very sad to hear that they’re killing off the helpful accounts and re-assigning all of the team members.

I thought it couldn’t be true. With pretty active Twitter and Facebook presences (extensive online identities, really) and healthy engagement, it didn’t seem possible.

I mean, this company Charter Communications, Inc., is a Fortune 500 company and the fourth-largest cable operator in the United States providing advanced video, high-speed Internet, and telephone services to approximately 5.5 million residential and business customers in 27 states, according to its soon to be shut down Facebook page (that currently has more than 87k followers).

Maybe it’s a sign of things to come: Where businesses become too big to care about their customers?

But don’t worry, you can still call. Ignore the fact that we all know how THAT goes lately: After a ridiculously long wait, you get connected to someone who is either unpleasant (because they’re underpaid and poorly trained), trying to overcome a language barrier or not empowered to do ANYTHING beyond waste your time (usually all of the above).

You end up completely frustrated and threaten to cancel your service, but they know you won’t. And even if you do, they’re too big to care.

But online is a different story. Those folks are ON IT. They pay attention and they get stuff done. They care! And . . . they’re probably paid a buck or two more per hour for their online expertise and customer service savvy. And maybe actually resolving your requests cuts into the bottom line as well?

Customers already aren’t happy about this. Here are a few tweets.


Anyway, check out the announcement below if you’re still in disbelief. I’m just glad I have Comcast (Charter users may want to check them out, by the way – they have excellent online support):

What do you think of this? And would the affect whether or not you would do business with them?

(Woman with phone image from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong maryclong@digitalmediaghost.com 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.