On Twitter you can admire beautiful photography and art, learn from scientists, receive advice from well-known professionals, gain insight from the Dalai Lama and the Pope or see what inspires artists and musicians. Twitter offers direct access to the most fascinating people in the world. You can get real-time updates from anywhere in the world, 24/7. Twitter is a global community that never sleeps.
I joined Twitter in 2008. Since then, I’ve built great relationships, interacting and supporting people all around the world, unconditionally. And I’ve met wonderful people on Twitter; my favorite actors, musicians, writers, authors, artists, poets, change makers and philanthropists that I would have not met outside Twitter. I hope the love and respect I feel for my Twitter friends, is mutual.
Twitter is a news and social network. However, there is an essential element missing; the traditional interpersonal communication between Twitter’s management and their (automated) support system.
In the past months and long before, Twitter has been flooded with impersonators, horrible trolls and those selling followers. If you’re the target of impersonation, outright personal attacks, or flooded with spam bot followers, and you choose to file a report, you receive an automated response. In my experience, Twitter doesn’t shut down impersonators, trolls or spam bot accounts.
There is a total lack of communication as a result of non-existing customer service.
It is very important in business to be a master of your own products and services. We (the people) invest our time and energy to support Twitter. Without us, Twitter could not exist. Without us, Twitter would collapse. I think this is very important to understand. Twitter’s Customer Support System needs to take action and that action is going to make the difference. Twitter’s Customer Support System needs to listen to their customers’ concerns or they will never understand the issues the loyal Twitter users are facing. The email responses from the Twitter Help Center should not be automated.
This brings me to the incident I experienced on Twitter.
On Friday evening, June 26, 2015, My Twitter screen said:
“Your account appears to have exhibited automatic behavior that violates the Twitter rules. To unlock your account, please click the button below and confirm that you are the valid account owner. Enter your mobile phone number. We will send you a text message with a confirmation code. Once you’ve received it, enter the Verification code to unlock your account.”
Needless to say, I had to enter my mobile phone number in order to unlock my account. It’s noteworthy to mention that I didn’t have any phone number associated with my Twitter account (only my email address).
Which part of my Twitter feed is automated? Absolutely none. Since Twitter’s Help Center is automated, no one checked the facts.
There are also notable discrepancies between the Twitter Help Center’s procedures and what has actually happened.
1) The Twitter Help Center says: “If you have an email address associated with your account, we also sent instructions to that address. If you don’t see an email from us, please check your spam, junk and social folders.”
I didn’t receive any email from Twitter.
2) The Twitter Help Center says: “Enter your phone number. Please note that unless you have otherwise associated a phone number with your account, we will delete it after verification is complete.” This was not my experience as Twitter didn’t delete my mobile phone number. I had to delete my mobile phone number under “settings”. In other words, If I didn’t check my settings, Twitter would have kept my phone number on file (which is fine if it was private for Twitter only. It isn’t which is the problem. I don’t want to share my phone number with the rest of the world).
Now, how about those who don’t have a smart phone? What if their account gets locked? They have no way of unlocking their account without a mobile phone number as Twitter requires to send a verification code to unlock the respective account.
Twitter disappointed me in the following ways:
1) They didn’t send me an email to unlock my account.
2)The accusation was false (as none of my tweets are automated and I am the sole owner of my account).
3) They require access to mobile phone numbers to unlock (unfairly locked) accounts. When has this become mandatory?
I urge Twitter to establish an active customer service center with actual humans behind the screen. A social media business that is almost completely automated will always have issues because the customers are “interacting live” 24/7. Strong customer service support will give Twitter the power to keep growing and growing.