Twitter doesn’t care about your late delivery

Shouting at companies on Twitter

In the days when social media meant standing in silence alongside other people while reading the magazines in WH Smith, I was given some advice.

I’m paraphrasing a little, but it was something along the lines of ‘don’t say on Twitter what you wouldn’t be prepared to shout out on your local high street.’ It’s about the only thing I can remember from a day of social media training.

Yes, I really did go on a social media course. I don’t get out much, but when I do…

I’m not the world’s most prolific Twitter user. Is ‘Twitterer’ the correct term? I take a ‘quality not quantity’ approach, which, when roughly translated, means I rarely have anything interesting to say.

But the point about shouting at people as you take a stroll along your local high street is as valid today as it was when I watched a dreary PowerPoint presentation about the importance of Twitter, Friends Reunited and MySpace.


Turn to Twitter right now and I can guarantee that somebody will be moaning about something you don’t care about. ‘Hey @BritishGas, I stayed at home waiting for an engineer and nobody turned up. You said you’d be here between 8 and 7. There’s only so much Netflix I can take in one day. WTF?’

Or something like ’Not good enough @nextofficial. I ordered a pair of denim jeggings at 7 o’clock last night. It’s 3pm now, so tell me what the hell am I going to wear to Steve’s coming out party tonight?’

Such tweets are invariably loaded with passive-aggressive hashtags, like #nothappy #enoughalready #worstcustomerservice and #willgetmyjeggingsfromprimarknexttime. Others contain profanity, but my Mum reads this blog, so I won’t list them here.

Now imagine standing next to the fountain on the corner of the town square and, using your loudest voice, telling everyone that you’ve waited all day for a British Gas engineer to arrive.

How about standing up from your seat on the 6A to tell everyone on the bus that your denim jeggings haven’t arrived? It’s not a good look – and I’m not just talking about you in a pair of denim jeggings. Maybe something with a little more give around the thighs would be more appropriate.


Twitter has a lot to answer for, but the whole shouting at big brands in the full glare of your followers is both bizarre and unnecessary. Calling out companies for making a Horlicks of something is fair game. Letting people know a brand has failed to meet or has exceeded your expectations is fine and dandy.

But ask yourself this: do your followers really care about the shortage of sugar sachets in the Costa at Wealdstone? Do they want to know that you’ve ordered a new lens for your camera and it’s a day late? Or that H&M delivered a pair of size 6 boots when you ordered size 5?

It’s unlikely, so maybe drop the company a DM or have a word with them over the phone or the next time you’re in town. Standing outside the shop and shouting at the sales assistant ought to do the trick.