How Not to Do Customer Service

Written by on May 17 2016

I recently took my family to the beach. On the way home we stopped off for ice cream. We went to Baskin Robbins. Baskin Robbins was my childhood favorite and since there’s not one near our house, I was excited to find one near the beach.

It was a terrible experience:

  • The employee that was helping us, “Brent,” was clearly new to the job and was in serious need of training.
  • There were two other employees who were standing around about fifteen feet away from him. Brent kept shouting questions with a desperation in his voice. “Marsha” would shout back answers, but never walked over to help. “Tina” had headphones on, working the drive-thru window and looked a bit lost herself.
  • ALL of the ice cream cases were open and ice cream was melting in the bins. That meant that the Mint ‘n’ Chip and Rocky Road were ruined and they had no more in the back. Imagine any ice cream shop in the country out of Mint ‘n’ Chip, I was dumbfounded.
  • They were out of sugar cones. Oh wait, there’s some in the back.
  • They were out of spoons. One last bag of twenty spoons was found after a frantic search.
  • Lastly, all the tables were dirty.
  • Did I mention we were the only customers in the place?

Now, to be fair, no one died; we’re talking about ice cream here. But it was enough that I thought it warranted a tweet, so I did:

Having a really bad experience at @BaskinRobbins right now :(

— Steven Bristol (@stevenbristol) May 8, 2016

A few hours later I was pleased to get a response from @BR_cares, here’s our conversation:

Just before DMing them my address I stopped to wonder why did they reply with a different account than the @BaskinRobbins account. Here’s what I found out:

  • The @BR_cares account was created in May 2016. So within the prior 8 days.
  • It was only following one person, me. (The @BaskinRobbins account was following 9625 people.)
  • It had only three tweets, the ones to me. (The @BaskinRobbins account had 6096 tweets.)
  • It had only two followers (now it has three). (The @BaskinRobbins account had 159k followers.)
  • It was not a Verified Account.

That means that someone was either trying to prank me or social engineer me. The point is that if you are not controlling the public conversation about you, then someone else might be.

Here are four tools you can use to monitor your twitter account:


Hi I'm Steven,

I wrote the article you're reading... I lead the developers, write music, used to race motorcycles, and help clients find the right features to build on their product.

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