Monday, August 31, 2009

Be your own customer service advocate

Freedom of the press belongs to the person who owns one, but the power of the press does, too. And in the Internet era, anyone can own a press.

Many major newspapers and TV stations have customer service features: a reader or viewer writes them with a customer service problem, they take it up with the vendor and essentially use the threat of public embarrassment to get the problem fixed. Heaven help the hapless vendor if the victim is actually a journalist.

But what happens when everyone can be a publisher, and many many people can command an audience of hundreds or thousands? Stuff like this, in which incompetent customer service confronts the power of Twitter, and loses, big time. (Sleep-deprived new parent rant. Contains shouting, some bad language, and references to baby poo.)

Full disclosure: I have occasionally played the journalist card myself. But it's always a last resort. Like many such weapons, it loses effectiveness if used too often.

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