As brands leave Twitter, scammers arrive, posing as the disappearing customer service agents

Originally published at: As brands leave Twitter, scammers arrive, posing as the disappearing customer service agents | Boing Boing


If faux HP printer support shows up, my mother is going to be bankrupted.


It’s always seemed weird to me that customers could have CS related concerns taken care of through social media rather than official mediums


It’s past time for individuals to disappear from twitter. My empathy for anyone who decides to remain is running out.


It’s motivating for corporations to be called out/shamed publicly. “Official channels” are easily squashed/ignored. So I get why people use social media you’re more likely to have traction.


I tried to contact a large UK retailer today. Their website only offers Whatsapp or Messenger. No phones. No emails. No chat window. Just those two.

I will never set foot in their store again.


Asking companies for answers or help on a matter that’s not getting resolved is to be expected, but i also find it to be part of the whole popularity contest of “online visibility”. I’ve had issues and reached out to companies socials and gotten minimal help but i’m sure some influencer or someone with a following can get their issues solved quickly. I find that just as frustrating as calling an unhelpful CS line.


For a good long time, it was much easier to get good customer service help through Twitter or other social media than from official company helplines. “Hey, I can’t get this product to work!” or “Help, my package is lost in the mail!” would get you a member of the social media staff who would move hell to get you answers, where helplines would just put you on hold.

Obviously, not the case anymore. :confused:


Used to be able to tweet at like @comcastcares to get an “executive customer service” person to give you a call and get someone who could cut through all the BS.


Unless Elonzi cancels those in a fit of pique after someone used their Freedom of Speech to say something he disagrees with.

Afterthought: For all we know, he is already intervening to personally Verify and gold-check any account that praises him enough, is right-wing conspiratorial, or otherwise earns his favor. Why not? Elonzi has established that he’s a liar so any claims about Twiddle content are worthless.



Not to Musk. For him it’s just hilarious free speech.


I’m sure that ChatGTP4 will be on hand to answer all customer questions for these companies.


From a certain point of view, what Musk has done to Twitter is impressive. He has exceeded my expectations in how completely and rapidly he is destroying it.


I did not see that one coming.


This is just going to hasten companies’ flight from Twitter, and it’s all down to Elno’s changes in “verification,” and the utter chaos he created there, unnecessarily. It was such an incomprehensible choice by Musk - I mean, I understand, intellectually, why he wanted to do it (essentially giving into right-wing discontent about not being culturally significant), but it was so idiotic and counter-productive wrt his stated goals for the platform. An absolutely fatal unforced error.

I can’t tell if Elno is so desperate to “pwn the libs” that he doesn’t realize how self-destructive these decisions are for Xitter, or he just doesn’t care…

It’s true - and he’s managing to fuck up on so many different levels at the same time, too. It’s like there’s something to the joke/claim about him playing five-dimensional chess, because in some ways, he very much is - only every move he’s making is a losing one.

I assume you forget the “/s”


My grandma was Highly Skilled in the Art of the Nasty Letter to Management, and always got results.

Granted, sometimes those results were rather condescending replies, but then she’d include copies of her orig and their snotty reply in a new letter to an even-higher-up. Oh, boy! Did that ever do the trick! Fireworks at the office, Baby!
“I am a 64 year old woman, a once-happy customer of more than 40 years, and your [forcing the point of a bigwig’s association with the shithead is V effective!] Mr What’s-His-Nose has sent me this dismissive reply when I told him of my problem…”

Whether they’ll make a change or not, it feels really good to articulately direct yr anger and disappointment at the offender, and sometimes the results will pleasantly surprise you.

Here are some tips I picked up when she was in action:

Be direct and professional. Make 'em immediately see you mean ahem business.

Make reasonable and realistic demands. Her letters were the opposite of a Karen’s.

Tell 'em how long you’ve been a customer.

Tell 'em how often you shop at their shop/s, or purchase their goods, or use their services.

Telling them which shop/s or sites you frequent can be helpful, even if the problem isn’t store- or website-related.

Mention articles you’ve purchased from them, the costlier the better. Realizing they’re gonna lose a well-paying customer makes 'em start sweating.

Make it abundantly clear why you are disappointed in them, and its degree. Don’t go overboard, but makin’ 'em think, “Whoa!” increases their persperation.

Contrasting your current disappointment with the company’s/employees’ past good behavior is also useful.

If applicable, tell 'em exactly what changes - and why - you require them to make if you are to be satisfied and/or continue giving them your custom.

Make a few drafts, and don’t you dare feel weird about doing so. This isn’t a playful chatroom communiqué, this is Serious Shit. It is a wordly phisog-directed glove-slap: you are demanding satisfaction from an offender who deserves more than mere handbags at dawn. It’s David and Goliath. You’re about to vent alllll your spleen at a fucked up ass company, and you wanna make it stick. Yuck. Sorry about that image. ick ick ick

YMMV of course, but more often than not grandma got big fat coupons/massive discounts, arse-kissingly apologetic letters/phone calls* and big fat coupons/massive discounts, partial and full refunds, later-actually-fulfilled promises of change/s, etc etc. There was always A Result.

When she got too old to perform the task, I took over, and mom rarely made suggestions.

Hope this is useful, for you or any Mutant.

*Especially satisfying to receive from a big fucking honcho!!!


It’s like a hideous reboot of The Sneeches, but instead of a sharp-eyed greedy capitalist willing to exploit others’ insecurities, Sylvester McMonkey McBean is a thin-skinned narcissistic fool.


All of this, plus a bit of advice my long-worded arse needed: “A tight, punchy complaint letter is four paragraphs max. And each paragraph is no more than four sentences.” I love writing three-page manifestos, but nobody has time to read them and absorb them.

Of course, the advice isn’t absolute, one-size-fits-all stuff. Telling Charles Dickens to keep it down to four paragraphs no more than four sentences each could easily get you a three-page manifesto. But he could also make it fun to read, so there’s that too.


Good strategy. One I deploy when I’m serious about wanting to see change and want to continue being a customer. And sometimes it does work, as you say.

This lot? I rarely ever go there anyway and barely spend any money. If they went out of existence I might not notice. I only wanted to contact them because some other fuckwit had applied for a loyalty card using my email address. I did find an email address on a third party site (where there was also a phone number which when I called basically said “we don’t do phones any more - use chat at our site”).

Miraculously the email was answered, so not giving two fucks, having had an acknowledgement that the card would be cancelled and my data deleted, I gave them both barrels about how this access strategy was the very epitome of anti-customer service.

Fuckwit corporations who make these decisions are never going to reverse them anyway (and I’m not their target market - their target market is probably people who only EVER communicate with anyone via Whatsapp or Messenger, probably never heard of email, and get scared when someone dares to call them on the phone).


Was it really necessary?