Twitter Support: Why People Still Matter, Even During the Internet Age

Twitter doesn't have a telephone number, so a computer handles all their customer service.

I have a bone to pick with Twitter. For the past four days, I have unsuccessfully attempted to get in touch with someone–anyone, really–from their “support” team. Why, you might ask, would a journalism student, well-versed in the art of search engine manipulation/optimization, have such a hard time reaching a huge corporation’s help services? Because this corporation doesn’t have a phone number.

While I understand that Twitter is a company founded on the principle that the Internet is far superior to anything else, sometimes conversing with a computer screen doesn’t cut it. Especially when you have a complicated problem.

For my new job, a newspaper called The Chief-Leader, they wanted me to re-vamp and use their Twitter account, @TheChiefLeader, to gain more web visitors. This is completely understandable, as it is the Internet/cyber age and Twitter has become an important part of the news industry, however awkward it might be.

Unfortunately, the account was created over a year ago and hasn’t been used for over a year. So nobody in the office knew the password or the email that was linked to the account. I sent in a request form last Thursday and told my boss if they didn’t get back to us by today I would call them. Because I assumed that an international corporation has to have a telephone number. My bad.

One Twitter's "support" pages (obtained with screenshot).

After discovering that Twitter wouldn’t be any help because they only let you submit forms online (and even then you can tell they don’t like it), we had to try and track down the person who created the account. When that didn’t work, I sent in another request to Twitter and tweeted a direct message to @support explaining the issue.

I know that Twitter must get hundereds if not thousands of support requests a day, but my boss had a point when he expressed his concern over giving up and changing the username to @ChiefLeader or @TheChief_Leader: it’s a copyrighted name and we should be able to use it…it’s our name.

Through this whole process I tried to use those handy websites where they give you corporate numbers, but, alas, Twitter was completely unlisted. It makes me wonder if the employees only contact each other with email, otherwise I’m sure the main number would have been leaked by now.

In a lot of these websites, like contacthelp.com, I saw I wasn’t the only one frustrated with Twitter’s lack of a phone number. One person commented:

I am a small business owner and the people at twitter are incredibly arrogant. The fact that they feel they do not need to have a phone number to reach customer service people is the apex of arrogance. Their online support borders on insanity and just plan stupid.

Hear hear.

I can only hope that Twitter will read this and get back to me. Otherwise, I may be staring at my email, hoping for a response, the rest of my life.

UPDATE:

I really cannot believe how incredibly lazy the Twitter support team (or computer, if a human isn’t even responsible for the @support account) is. I sent them the following message:

I am an intern for @TheChiefLeader and we are unable to access the Twitter account b/c we don’t have the password or email. How to log in?

To which they responded:

Hi. For information on changing or recovering your password, take a look here: http://t.co/HedaSO5

Basically they didn’t read the message. So I said:

Ok. You really didnt read my message. We don’t have the password or email.

Maybe they’ll get it right next time.

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One thought on “Twitter Support: Why People Still Matter, Even During the Internet Age

  1. They will not reply. After they tell you “You must contact us from the email address associated with the account, or we cannot verify you are the account owner,” they will ignore further replies. My assumption is that the ticket is, at that point, closed and closed to replies.

    I have been fighting with them about this for a week now:
    *I haven’t used a Twitter account for over a year and a half
    *I want it deleted so my personal information isn’t sitting there for the world to see
    *I have been ignored at every turn.

    I’m writing a paper letter to corporate this week, making it very clear how arrogant, condescending, and dismissive the support staff has been; as well as expressing the fact that the moment policy overrides common sense, policy has officially failed you and needs to be changed.

    I wish us both luck, “brother-at-arms.” Haha.

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