I’ve had to postpone writing this blog post since November of 2015. I vacillated between rage and the desire to sit in the floor and cry, thinking of all the work that had been lost, and all the work ahead of me. I needed to cool off before I could sit and say what I feel compelled to say. This is my stab at controlled anger over poor customer service from an online vender…Tweet Juke Box.
Let me be clear, I’m all for the little guy…the Newbie, the Indie, the small businessman, the underdog trying to make it in this global marketplace. I want to support their efforts and see these people succeed. I cheer them on, daily. But, as a small business, it’s imperative to remember the most important thing in the equation…CUSTOMER SERVICE!
I tweet for over three hundred friends…authors, musicians, and eBay sellers, along with tweeting for myself. I’ve made over six hundred tweets, all containing pics. I work a full-time job doing Open Heart Surgery, involving long cases and long hours in the OR, so in order to get my tweeting done, I have to use a scheduler.
In an earlier blog post, I touted the advantages of automation, especially those programs that use a picture file as opposed to a picture link. Because of Twitter‘s changes to their mobile Twitter app, a pic link hides the picture tweet in the link, making it useless. TweetJukeBox seemed to be the answer to my prayers.
I discovered TweetJukeBox (TJB) during their Beta testing phase…in other words, a free service working the kinks out. I spent the better part of three weeks transferring all my picture tweets to my new dashboard, providing fresh URLs and uploading new picture files. I used the service the entire summer. The service was fantastic, so much so, that I did something I don’t usually do…I endorsed them right here.
November 1st, as promised, TJB went to paid version ($12.99/month ~ $3 USD more than other services, i.e. Buffer, Feed140, Tweetdeck). I signed up and paid for a full year of service. Immediately, the problems started. At first, a third of my tweets weren’t going out…supposedly flagged by Twitter. I contacted Tim Fargo, CEO of TJB, describing my issues and asking for help. He said that I had been flagged by Twitter as SPAM. Bear in mind, I hadn’t altered my tweet frequency, the number of tweets going out, nor any aspect of what I had been doing when the service was in Beta testing and free.
I had loaded several tweets on the free version of Feed140, but I had paused that app when I had definitively decided to go with TJB. At this point, I turned Feed140 back on, and waited. The same tweets went out without issue. Now, if I had been flagged as a SPAM ACCOUNT, wouldn’t my tweets from Feed140 cease to go out as well? Same Twitter handle, same tweets being posted. This was an indication to me that the problem was/is between TJB and Twitter, not my Twitter account or activity.
I contacted Mr. Fargo via email. He said, “We’re working on it. Our contacts at Twitter haven’t gotten back with us.” A week later, half of my tweets weren’t being posted. I could manually tweet from the site, but it was a crap shoot as to whether the tweets would go out. I emailed him again, asking him why he hadn’t updated me on what was going on. I also told him about Feed140, and that my tweets were going out fine with that app. He responded saying, “I haven’t heard from Twitter. I don’t have anything to tell you, so I don’t see any reason to contact you.”
Hmmm…I’ve paid a premium price for a service that isn’t working, you can’t ascertain why it’s not working, and there’s no time frame for when it will start working, and you don’t think you need to update me?
Week four of this mess, two-thirds of my tweets weren’t going out and I couldn’t manually tweet at all from the site. I’d been in contact with several other authors who were having the same issues, both with the site and it’s founder. They were as frustrated as I was. I emailed Mr. Fargo again, explaining that the issue seemed to be with his app, not Twitter, as my tweets were going out just fine with Feed140. I also informed him that Feed140 had similar issues when they first started. They recognized there was a problem, refunded their clients, and fixed the issue before returning to live status.
Mr. Fargo responded in a condescending manner, questioning my overall intelligence, refusing to consider that his app had any flaws, and suggested that I decrease my tweet frequency considerably, and remove all my hashtags. In other words, It sucks to be you, Taylor. Your problem…not mine!
I fired back an email (without my extensive, fine-tuned gutter vernacular, I’m proud to say) requesting a refund, minus the month of headache I had endured using the app. That was a mistake! Huge mistake! Surprisingly, Mr. Fargo refunded the full amount, immediately, but he also deleted ALL my tweets, deleted my dashboard, and banned me from the site. After vacillating between rage at what I had lost, and utter despair over the monumental task I had ahead of me to get back up and running, I spent the next three weeks making all new tweets (with pics) and uploading them to Feed140. Can I get an AMEN!
So far, so good.
Suggestions for Mr. Fargo and any other small business startup…
- Always be courteous to your customers.
- Treat customers with respect.
- Don’t try to recoup your overhead in one fell swoop…pace yourself.
- Recognize that you are human and foul-able. Technology can and does have flaws.
- Respond to emails in a timely fashion.
- Send updates even if there’s nothing to report…Knowing it’s being addressed is often enough to pacify.
- Don’t destroy someone’s intellectual property.
- Take care of your customers and they will take care of you.
In summary…You don’t always get what you pay for, and that sad fact is becoming the norm. The days of “the customer is always right” are gone. Customer satisfaction is an afterthought, at best, and customer service is an antiquated idea.
So, buyer beware…
If you are a customer of TJB and you’re happy with the service and price, then ignore this post. If you’re a customer of TJB and you’re not happy, welcome to the jungle. I made a huge mistake endorsing TweetJukeBox. I regret doing so, and I can assure you I won’t make that mistake again.
Hard lesson learned. They left me hanging…
Write with passion…