Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Social Media in Action

As a PR girl and the writer of this blog, I use social media in my personal and professional life. I really can't escape it on any given day, even if I wanted to, without going to a remote island, or at the very least, back to London where my mobile didn't work and my internet access was tethered to my proximity to my laptop and Tom's secure WiFi connection. I found social media joining my home life when I realized that I was having a problem with watching my New York Yankees in the comfort of my living room.

The season has just started and I've seen about half of the Yankees game (since tonight is game five, that would be two and a half games). I watched the game on Friday with two colleagues at Old Town Bar (when you go, sit at the bar by the sole TV, ask for Patrick to pour you pitchers and shots, but don't bother with the trip to view the city's oldest urinals in the back).

I should be watching my fifth full game right now as the Yankees are in extra innings against the Orioles and it is the fifth game of the season, but, on Saturday, my cable box decided it didn't like delivering its service and the signal began to come in choppy, with extended periods of freezing, no sound and total black-out. This meant that I saw part of the game that afternoon and then, to my further chagrin, even less of the game on Sunday.

While on hold with a Time Warner Cable phone rep on Sunday (when my TWC landline was also going in and out and hissing crackling noises in my ear while the helpful Spencer patiently tried to work through my electronic issues), I tweeted that my cable was preventing me from watching the Yankees play, but that they were playing so poorly that the sting wasn't as bad. I didn't tweet @TWCableHelp, but did use the company name in full. Within minutes, I had a response:

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The tweet came in while I wrapped up my call with the TWC rep, who got me an appointment for seven days later (!!!). I continued to try to watch the game, engaged in other light game-related banter on Twitter and then, I responded to the tweet from the cable company:

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Well, other things did arise. First, later that evening, Mad Men was rendered unwatchable by a screen that flashed fragments of AMC's broadcast image followed by an all-out freeze at the 20 minute mark (still haven't watched it). Mad Men wasn't enough to make me tweet at that very moment, but the next evening, when I returned from work, I found the YES Network showing a black screen, not the Yankees at Orioles.


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We exchanged back and forth and William, after deeming the situation unacceptable, asked why the previous day's exchange with TWC's social media team hadn't garnered results:

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(We all knew Mad Men would come up eventually)

Time Warner's team did step up within minutes, but not until after I could mention my phone issues, which meant that two out of my three "Triple Play" items were malfunctioning (Don't judge me for having a landline! A girl needs a regular old phone to talk to her sister while tweeting and texting from her Droid in between sending emails from her laptop!).

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@TWCableHelp did make good by following me and I followed back earlier this evening. Even though it will ultimately come down to the technician who comes on Saturday to figure out what the heck is going on around here, it was helpful to know that Time Warner Cable has a dedicated social media coordinator (or team of coordinators) to reply to customer's 140 character complaints as a gesture of concern and empathy. I will update how they are able to further assist me once I get in touch via DM.

Frankly, I cannot imagine my tweets were anywhere near the worst TWC has received recently - how could it be when people are frequently disgusted with all cable companies?  I've handled social media for a beverage that never offended anyone and the Twitter account still received rude messages describing the taste with four-letter words.

I caught tonight's Yankees game in the 3rd inning, after I returned home from meeting with my accountant. The game just ended in the 12th inning and because the broadcast on MY9 came in crystal clear, I was able to watch a full nine innings for the first time since Friday.

For the record, though, YES Network is still a black screen.

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