Sometimes escalating a customer service issue to a manager, or sending an Executive Email Carpet Bomb just doesn’t get the message across. Times used to be, people with a bit of money to spend could take out an ad in the newspaper to vent their frustrations with a foe — but nowadays, there’s social media. That’s the route one man angry at British Airways took, by buying a promoted tweet to complain about a recent customer service fail.
Mashable says the man is ticked off at the airline for lost luggage, and aimed promoted tweets at the company to vent his frustration, writing things like: “@BritishAirways @British_Airways is the worst airline ever. Lost my luggage & can’t even track it down. Absolutely pathetic #britishairways”
He apparently bought the tweets for New York City and UK markets on Monday night, simply using Twitter’s self-serve ad platforms to do so. If he isn’t a millionaire willing to shell out a whole lot of loot per engagement (retweets, etc) he probably set a cap on the amount he was willing to spend per day.
But that doesn’t matter much now that the Internet has caught hold of it — after all, having people talk about your tweets off of Twitter is a good way to get your message across.
A glance at the man’s Twitter account shows British Airways trying, sort of, to resolve the situation hours after the Promoted Tweet campaign started: The airline seems to have asked the man to send his baggage reference number by way of Twitter’s direct message, but he then told the airline to DM himself. A social media rep then said the customer wasn’t following British Airways so it couldn’t do that… but he is, and said as much, to no reply (that we can see). Head in hands. Sigh.
As of this writing the incident still seems to be up in the air, at least so far as the whereabouts of the luggage that started it all. But the campaign has at least caught the eye of one airline executive — for JetBlue, that is. Namely, one Marty St. George, senior vice-president of marketing and commercial at JetBlue Airways:
Interesting; a disgruntled customer is buying a promoted tweet slamming a brand where they had a bad experience. That's a new trend itself!—
Marty St. George (@martysg) September 03, 2013