We’ve all experienced it at one point or another. Talking to the dreaded customer service Twitter accounts of the oh so few telecommunications companies in our country. There’s Smart/Sun/PLDT, Globe, and Sky Broadband. And what these telcos have in common, beside all of them offering unfairly priced and below standard internet services, is that their Twitter accounts sometimes produce some of the best comedy on Twitter. The humorous tweets stem from a combination of clumsiness, crassness, and cluelessness on the part of those managing the accounts.
Like most brands, Telcos use Twitter to promote new plans and products. One time, Smart Communications (@smartcares) tweeted about their Smart Bro 4G Pocket WiFi device. However, another Twitter user (@bamasuero) replied to Smart’s tweet and blasted them, saying that the device was expensive and that the data allocation that comes with the product was insufficient:
For some reason however, Smart retweeted @bamasuero’s tweet, telling their followers that their pocket WiFi gadget was actually less than stellar.
Long time Smart rival Globe Telecom (@talk2globe) meanwhile is very proactive when it comes to assisting subscribers on Twitter, always asking them about how they can help with their Globe-related concerns. Last independence day though, Globe was too proactive, responding to a tweet which clearly was a joke about how the historic Sigaw ng Pugad Lawin event would play out if it took place in the modern day:
Nothing wrong with being proactive when it comes to customer service. There is something terribly wrong however if you blatantly show customers/potential customers that your customer service folks’ mental capacity is laughable (or that you just search for specific keywords such as “Globe” and fire off automated responses).
Speaking of laughable responses, Sky Broadband’s Twitter account (@skyserves) is on another level. In one case, user (@Trader_Gaijin) remarked that Philippine government agencies’ Twitter accounts should have “serves” as part of their username, tagging Sky Broadband/Sky Cable’s account in the process. This relatively simple remark went over @skyserves’ head:
In another case, Sky subscriber @marksloan_ryan notified Sky that he was having problems accessing his bill online. He even included a screenshot to further illustrate his problem. Sky responds and also asks for something that Mark already sent:
Either Sky wasn’t paying enough attention, or even their own internet connection wasn’t working properly so the screenshot didn’t load on their end (a bad look for them either way).
Now, we arrive at PLDT (@PLDT_Cares), the largest and longest-running telco in the Philippines. When it’s not busy telling people how many followers and mentions its account has had for the week:
My week on Twitter: 292 New Followers, 1.5K Mentions, 311K Mention Reach. How’s your audience growing? via https://t.co/wY3YBYGpi2
— PLDT Cares (@PLDT_Cares) February 24, 2016
And when it’s not busy apologizing to customers when they have complaints and are already frustrated:
It tweets itself, asking itself to send a DM to itself, which is both extremely funny and sad (screenshot and burn courtesy of @DaOtherEye):
Come on Telcos. You make billions off of Filipino customers. Why not use some of those billions to serve your customers better?