For a while now, we have had a war over what is better… DSL or Cable internet. And along with that, who is the better service provider, AT&T or Charter.
But regarding support of those services, Charter has had an edge by offering a social media component to their technical support. A Charter user could post to Twitter that something was not working, that their internet was flaky for instance, and if they tagged in Charter, or sometimes just mentioned “Charter”, within minutes a Charter rep was usually in contact offering some words of wisdom.
Our company, Homeland Secure IT, helps businesses in the Upstate of South Carolina keep their networks up and running, and one aspect has been to evaluate the internet service providers that are available to each business. Sometimes we have recommended Charter to a client only to be met with statements that the customer service was horrible. Thanks to having Twitter at my fingertips, I have been able to demonstrate through showing exchanges of my own, or between others who were having issues, how Charter had another avenue for customer service besides the everlasting phone call. Doing so has resulted in converting businesses over to Charter from something like DSL.
In our own experiences, in the event a client has actually had a problem, I have suggested they just mention it on Twitter, and they have received near immediate assistance! In fact, a number of months back I was complaining to someone on Twitter about an issue I was having, and without hesitation I had a Charter SM rep offering to help. That’s customer service worth bragging over!
However, today I was sad to learn that Charter has decided to stop providing the one thing they do different than everyone else, and more importantly, the one thing they do better than any other internet service provider I am aware of. Yes, they are no longer going to offer their social media support.
Here’s a statement made by Eric Ketzer @Umatter2Charter on Thursday December 6th, 2012:
As you may have heard, Charter will no longer have a customer care team tasked, specifically, with resolving matters raised on Social Media. The good news is there are other jobs available within Charter for all of the Social Media team members.
As is our nature, we wanted to provide you with a timeline of how we will execute this transition.
Monday, December 10, 2012: We will no longer respond to posts that we discover while conducting Charter searches. We will, however, continue to respond to @Charter and @CharterCom mentions until Saturday, December 15th.
Friday, December 14, 2012 (5pm): All the Umatter2Charter accounts (which includes: @Charter, all our individual accounts, as well as the Umatter2Charter Facebook page, Forum accounts, and accounts on Consumer Advocate Sites) will be removed. Charter will continue to have a presence in Social Media spaces via @CharterCom, Facebook.com/CharterCom, and Youtube.com/CharterCom.
Monday, December 31, 2012: We will transition to our new roles. If there are any outstanding issues on the 31st, we will refer them to the appropriate departments for follow-up and resolution.
It has been our pleasure to work with all of you.
The Powers That Be at Charter should not make this mistake, as there will be no recovering from it… In addition to offering slower and more inconvenient support, you will be losing the ongoing marketing campaign SM support has provided! You can’t just “turn it off” for a while and then decide to come back to it after it blows up in your face. By then, another company will pick up that ball and run with it, and the customers will have lost faith in you.
Either way, I would like to personally thank the members of the Charter Social Media team that have made such a positive impact on how their company has been viewed. They have done a fantastic job! Best wishes to you guys!