@ArgosHelpers or @ArgosHelpless? A bad customer experience on Twitter

When is Twitter not effective for changing the perspective of the customer or resolving issues? When it leads to confusion and when information is wrong.

I had a bad experience with @ArgosHelpers the other day, so I thought I’d blog about it and see what you thought.

Some perspective: I completely understand this falls under #firstworldproblems and probably #itsonlyahoovergetoverit, but my point still stands – I felt I had bad customer experience. I’m also sure @ArgosHelpers do great work overall, but I think it’s still OK to highlight the points where it could be better.

So, recently I bought a hand held hoover from Argos. I used it, it didn’t hoover up very much at all – that can’t be right, surely? I tried to return in store, but because I had opened it and used it (how else would I know if it worked) I couldn’t get a refund.

I wanted to complain and I ended up getting confused and frustrated through their customer service Twitter account @ArgosHelpers. You can read the full Storify here to see what happened.

It got me thinking more of the downsides to a business opening up a customer service arm if it’s not done well, or at least not all of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t envy the disgruntled customers and the abuse they must receive, just for trying to help – I completely get it.  I applaud them – but that doesn’t stop me being frustrated when things aren’t helped by this communication.

In fact, in this instance I would have been much happier if I had just got the email address I was after in the first place. I went from being told ‘definitely no refund’ in store, to being told the store was wrong on Twitter and I could get a refund, only to be told 15 minutes later that I can’t get a refund – information I already knew.

The positives: @ArgosHelpers actively engaged with me on Twitter in a polite and friendly way, they did it quickly and they contacted the store in question to clarify individual details – I think that is really impressive.

Where that work was undone was with the confusion around getting what I really wanted: a refund. It left me feeling annoyed and like my time was wasted/my query hadn’t properly been read – because all the information they needed was there to tell me what they eventually did.

What do you think – is this a good or bad example of customer service on Twitter or couldn’t you care less? Leave your comments below or catch me on Twitter @willdotbarker.

If you were wondering which hoover it was, it was this one, don’t buy it – it’s rubbish!

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