Complaining Via Twitter

Washington Got a complaint? When you call a company's customer service line, you often hear something like this:

"Your call is important to us. Please stay on the line, you will be answered in the order you called."

And sometimes you never get an answer.

Fed up with poor customer service, some consumers are finding another way.

Twitter, the social networking site. It's also a place where consumers can tweet their complaints, and many major companies are paying attention.

"So if I post on my account that I had a bad experience with Comcast, and I get a message back from Comcast the person who is likely to write you back is probably better positioned to fix my problem faster than somebody at the general customer service line," said John Breyault with the National Consumer League.

Breyault said using twitter amounts to shouting your complaint through a megaphone. Companies don't want one customer's bad experience to influence others. "On Twitter I have a short little message I can do in seconds. That puts the onus then on someone from the company to get back to me. So it changes the dynamic instead of me being at the whim of the company they are now having to respond to my now more powerful voice."

But using twitter also has its risks. Breyault said responses may come from scammers, too. "Just because you are using Twitter doesn't mean the responses you get back are from the company."

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