I debated whether I should make this my 1st post of the new year, but I have to get it out.
Once again I have been utterly disappointed in a major company’s communication failures via social media. I am a huge supporter of social media and how it can be used for communication; platforms like Twitter and Facebook provide instant ways to communicate yet it is so frustrating to see them underutilized.
Since our move in October our primary means of online access has been through Virgin Mobile’s pre-paid broadband access. I was looking for cheaper options for getting online and their $40/month unlimited 3g internet seemed worth trying out. Especially the MiFi device, which allows multiple computers to connect to the same wifi signal. The speeds/quality of the streaming videos we watch are not ideal, but tolerable, so overall it’s been okay.
Yesterday afternoon however, an outage began. After multiple attempts to call customer service I finally reached an agent who was able to confirm the outage. Yet, no idea of when it would be back online. I checked Twitter too and found people reporting outages.
28 hours later as I write this my service is back online, but in this time frame despite the fact that VirginMobile has at least two Twitter accounts (here, and here — one of which explicitly states is the customer service account) and a Facebook page, they were absolutely silent until about 1pm today. The Twitter customer support account did not respond to tweets nor provide any info despite this occurring during their stated support times. Very frustrating.
VirginMobile, you could at least let us know that you were listening. If you couldn’t handle the volume of phone calls, you could have announced that on FB, Twitter, and your website earlier than you did. I hate to even think of customers who may have been purchasing devices during the outage – were they informed? You have so many options and ways to manage the incident via social media.
And to top it all off, I just received a tweet from customer service asking me which outage I was referring to in my tweet to them earlier today, when there is a notice on the Facebook page several hours old about the outage. How unfortunate.