watch what you tweet: a rant about a red satchel

hello! first of all, happy valentines day to all those singletons or people in a relationship out there. i hope you’re all doing something extra nice on this forced, overpriced and commercialised day (once a cynic, always a cynic ;) ). now, this is something a little different than my usual posts as this will be somewhat of a rant, an opportunity to get some opinions from you and make a small point about how companies can’t always have what they want.

now, let’s begin. last night i posted a tweet on my blog twitter
account. a simple tweet merely stating my intention to buy something. a tweet i sent out not as a blogger, but as a potential customer, a consumer, an every day normal person:

innocent enough, right? not long after i posted the tweet, the cambridge satchel company (which i will refer to as company one instead of typing it out) followed me on twitter. now, i liked company one, it’s nice to see a home grown business do so well and make a great success of themselves, it’s inspiring. i especially liked how they used bloggers as a source of getting themselves out there, i think (as blogging was only just getting started at the time) that it was a nice way to involve the community and it obviously paid off well for them.
but, my opinions of them went rapidly downhill when shortly after the follow i received this DM:

now, i sat pondering this for a few moments before the ever so teenage phrase of  ‘it’s my twitter, i’ll post what i want’ consumed my brain. and that’s my main point here, should a company tell you what you can and can’t tweet? as a simple potential customer, who was wondering what bag to buy, i was actually shocked that this DM was sitting there in my inbox (with the overuse of exclamation marks only making it seem like they were being snarky and sarcatic, to me personally)
so, i would like to say this to company one: your legal issues with company two have absolutely nothing to do with your customers, they should not be associated with it and they certainly shouldn’t be made to feel awkward by posting a simple, harmless tweet. if i had said something offensive or at all inappropriate, then i would be inclined to apologise and remove the tweet if it was an issue to either company. but, it wasn’t either of those things. as a blog friend on twitter pointed out, you wouldn’t say anything to me personally if i was in your store, debating which shop i should purchase my bag from. so, why, under the safety of as assumed private DM on twitter, do you think you can make a customer feel like they’ve done something wrong, merely by mentioning two company names?
as i was positively puzzled by this point, especially as i shared it (without naming any names) on twitter and every single person agreed that it was out of order, i sent this back to them as a reply:

and i stand by it. i, as a user of social media, do have the right to tweet what i please (as long as it doesn’t cause offense or is slanderous or threatening) and talk about whoever i wish. isn’t that the whole point of freedom of speech? i’m not going to get all political, mostly because i don’t care about all that stuff enough, but isn’t that a basic human right? i will not be made to feel like i’ve said something inappropriate, when all i wanted to do was potentially buy a bag from company one.

well, i’m sure you can guess who i personally won’t be buying a red satchel from any time soon and i invite them to look at all the responses i’ve received on twitter, which can only reflect that this was a bizarre thing to send to a potential customer.

now, i’m glad a lot of you on twitter have supported my opinion on this and i am also grateful for the encouragement in writing this particular blog post.

i would really appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this, positive or negative, especially regarding companies using social media, the PR behind it and their behaviour towards customers.

thank you for reading and i really hope you do have a lovely valentines day!

EDIT: some may think this is an overreaction but i couldn’t get it out of my head, hence writing this blog post. it just made me uncomfortable and i wanted to get some opinion, whether people agree or disagree on the topic. i’m not starting an argument and this isn’t a slanderous piece. i’m not telling you not to buy from company one or trying to damage their image, i’m just voicing my honest held opinion about one interaction that i had with them. that’s all.

[follow with GFC at the bottom of the page]

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