Don’t Make These Top 10 Twitter Etiquette Mistakes!

Those who know me, know that I am big on manners. People who don’t say thank you for presents or the time you give #Rude. People who don’t let you know they aren’t coming when you’ve made arrangements. #Rude. People who say they will ring and don’t. #Rude. People who don’t say thankyou when given their change at the shop. #Rude. People who don’t say thank you when a car driver lets them cross at the Zebra crossing. #Rude. Now, other than that last one I practice what I preach. If I don’t, if I’ve forgotten somewhere to say thank you then pick me up on it. I’ve worked with people who drove me mad because they were wholly incapable of saying “Please”, “Thank you” or equally important “Sorry”, but expected everyone around them to be flexible and do things for them. Even been known to get into grievance territory because of it! In my personal life I recently cut someone out of my life who although purported to have the same standards failed on many levels many times and was extended to being rude to my family which was the final straw.

So, I could write a book about people’s bad manners and individuals. But now I have a new bug bear. Twitter. People are rude on there and frankly, stupid. Don’t you find the same? As I write this I have 1600 followers and I expect a few people to read this and unfollow me! I’ll probably be down to 20! But I do know that many of my followers agree with me. I tweeted asking what people thought was rude on Twitter and some strong opinion came through!

Good Manners Extend to Twitter!
Good Manners Extend to Twitter!

The rudeness that annoyed me to start off the research and post was the ignorance of so many people who I directly tweeted to say that I had linked to their page. Not one person, not one tweeted back to say “Thank you”, never mind look at the page or do a reciprocal! I would take the link off the page but as all the links are to useful websites providing all the discount places in one place and I use it as quick and easy reference as of course do you! But let’s just name them. Topcashback, SavvyMummys, Groupon, Wowcher, Sir Savealot and Living Social. I followed them all and one or two even followed me and yet nothing. #Rude. If @Martinslewis can respond to individuals and he does, often AND sets up times to do Q & A then so can they with 10s of thousands fewer followers tweeting them for a reply! Then there was someone I followed whose Bio said they were interested in good and bad PR. (Quite! A blog right up their street! Nope, no response so he just got an unfollow). Many of my followers waded in here too saying that celebs are as rude. I’m not so sure, depends on how many tweets they get and certainly some celebs do respond and I do think when asking a reasonable question as I did  it is not unreasonable to expect a reply.

People #ff 5 people in a tweet. Those 5 people RT it? Why? That is not just rude it’s STUPID. Idiots are RTing to people who already follow them. Huh? D’oh! Oh perhaps they think ah this kind person has #ff me so I should follow the others in that list. Nope. The amount of people who I have seen RT a #ff list which I am in and don’t follow so what is the point in RTing? Seriously? Just say thankyou. Perhaps it’s laziness as well as stupidity and rudeness?!

Just listing names in #ff that’s rude as well. I don’t always do them but when I do, I personalise them and say why people should follow them. Respectful to them and my other followers.

DMs or tweets telling me to look at your website. No I won’t. Why should I when you haven’t engaged in conversation with me? Call them out on it that’s what I say! Many times I’ve dm’d back and said you look at my blog and let me know what you think. But usually one can’t dm back because they set up their auto dms but don’t follow back so one can’t dm! I’ve taken to doing it openly now saying “Can’t dm you back to your auto dm telling me to look at xyz you might like to look at my site etc.” Not one has done but they expect me to look at theirs. Sometimes it gets a response because I put a “.” before the “@” so all my followers see it so they try and make amends! But mostly they are foolish and don’t respond and get an unfollow! Not good business sunshine, usually gets you an unfollow as well!

People telling me to go and follow someone else. Fine if you give me a reason and do it as a #ff. But no, some fools think that I will go follow someone because s/he has told me to do so. The person telling me (not asking!) to follow doesn’t even follow me. That doesn’t get an unfollow that gets a block and quite often a “report as a spammer”!

Here’s an odd one. One of my lovely followers asked me what I thought about people joining in other people’s conversations on Twitter. I thought here we go I’ve probably done it to her and she’s going to tell me I’m rude. So I said Twitter is open DM for private conversations. But no, it was ridiculous, in a matter of a couple of weeks someone had told her not to join in a private conversation and a follower of hers was told the same AND blocked. That’s just rudeness and stupidity on a big scale. Twitter is SOCIAL. Get it? If it’s private dm it. Simple. I meant to go and follow the culprits and deliberately get involved in a conversation but I forgot, but I may still do if just in the name of research for another post you understand, not just pure bloody mindedness. Ahem.

People who directly ask me to RT their tweets. I don’t really have a problem with that. I do however think it’s rude when I’ve RT’d for them without being asked and they’ve done nowt for me!

People who just tweet links to their own site and are just self promoting that is so boring why would I want to follow you? If your site is so great I’ll look at it regularly anyway. Twitter is a Social network so those people get unfollowed too!

People who send automatic dms saying “Thankyou for the follow now go and look at xyz” NO. I’ll just go back and unfollow you actually. You want to thank me for following do it with an “@” because that may start a conversation. BECAUSE TWITTER IS SOCIAL. Get it yet? Trying to sell before anything else is rude. It is also bad business sense. Soon as you meet someone at a network event do you go straight in for the sell? (Bet you sell very little if you do!) Don’t do it on Twitter.

The percentage of people visiting blogs who leave comments is very very low. I recently engaged in conversation with someone on Twitter, left a good chunk of comment on her blog and she didn’t follow back. A mutual friend had put us both in a #ff that day too. She got an unfollow a few days later! Someone is good enough to leave a comment on your blog you follow them back to say thank you! Same with helping people out with advice. Don’t get their advice and then not follow them. #Rude!

On the 14th March 2014 I would like to add something. I don’t mind helping people out on Twitter I really don’t, it’s what it’s all about and I do it on an almost daily basis. I object however to the person who follows me gets loads of help then unfollows.  I just challenged someone who only follows about 150 people and says that he unfollowed because he was following too many people. Twaddle.  There will be other people he doesn’t interact with and you can make lists and that is just unnecessary and rude frankly. So you know what? You get blocked, I will spend the time helping someone with manners. Know what else? I don’t care If you have shed loads of money and want to pay for loads of my services, if you are rude you can go take a running jump. 🙂 I won’t get rich but I’ll enjoy chatting with the people with whom I work.

I’d like to say don’t use bad grammar but that’s impossible given the character restriction and as you can tell being succinct is my difficulty…

So in short:

1)      If people tweet you directly have the courtesy of tweeting them back
2)      Don’t RT #FF
3)      Explain your #FF
4)      Don’t DM telling people to do things unless you have engaged with them
5)      If you want someone to follow your mate at least follow that someone first and use the #ff convention
6)      It is NOT rude to join in a conversation on Twitter
7)      Make sure you have rt’d for someone before asking them to do something for you and/or at least follow them!
8)      Don’t self promote all day every day
9)      Don’t send DM’s trying to sell soon as someone follows you
10)    Follow people who follow you and go the extra mile for you!

So, go and unfollow me if you don’t like my standards!! Alternatively if you agree follow me @complainingcow and of course let me know your dos and don’ts here too! If you don’t agree and don’t follow me lets argue here!!

Maybe when I update the How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results book I should put in a chapter about teaching people manners?!

BHS Customer Care Mistakes Which Made It Look Like It Didn’t Care!

Faulty Product Faulty Customer Care at BHS!

I purchased an ice hockey game for a Christmas present last year for brothers who were obviously disappointed when they found that everything other than the table was missing! Seriously!

I took the item back (oh so you would have looked inside the box before buying would you? Yes well I didn’t, I didn’t think BHS was like well known DIY stores with missing pieces in their kits did I?!)

So, I wrote to BHS. Why didn’t I take the item back to the shop? Why should I? More inconvenience! It was no use to anyone, wasn’t like they could sell it to anyone! I wanted a replacement though so would have done if it was for a replacement. But the service got worse so consequently did my willingness to be accommodating. Okay so there wasn’t much tolerance there in the first place and your point is? I was told that I would need to return the item to where I bought it and they could pull up the invoice so long as I bought it within a month. I informed them that it was not within the month. I then received an email saying that it was difficult to comment on whether the item was faulty. D’oh! I think it’s quite obvious if an air hockey set has all the pieces other than the table missing that the product is faulty? The actual table wasn’t faulty though, that much was true.

So, I wrote again spelling out the “fault”! They responded again. Their response ignored the point that I no longer had the receipt, (the item was reduced significantly after Christmas) so if I took the item back I wouldn’t get a full refund. I also requested payment for the diesel used in driving to take the item back, I didn’t request money for my time in doing so though, which was an error on my part but I did ask for redress for the inconvenience! They didn’t offer to source a replacement from another store which I requested either.

So I wrote again. I basically repeated myself and was told that I could contact my local store and see if they had any in their warehouses. Given the circumstances I would have expected the Customer Services staff to do this. You wouldn’t? Well perhaps you need to expect better service!

So… I wrote again (are you keeping up? This is the 4th time of writing to them. I said that I didn’t have the receipt. Yes, I did say that before.

I was told “if it is a manufacturing fault…” casting doubt on half the product missing being faulty and/or insinuating that I was not telling the truth! The first assumption would be stupid but not the first time staff questioned whether a box missing all the pieces was faulty, the second, well let’s just say that’s when I see red.

So, I wrote again saying I expected to be compensated for the travel and inconvenience and offered to post the item back if they provided me with postage. Guess what I got in the email response? A blank email. Yep, blank.

BHS repeatedly told the same thing

So… I emailed again. Okay I’ve lost count now. On the 6th time? This time I emailed the CEO though. I pointed out that my points regarding redress for the inconvenience had been ignored as had my suggestion of posting the item and the final question as to why I was sent a blank email. I also informed him that the unnecessarily long protracted correspondence had been with various staff which in itself is poor service, communication should be with one person to keep continuity. Bullet pointed the list of correspondence and the failure of staff to deal with the matter.


I received an email back from the CEO’s department. I got £30 refund and £15 BHS voucher. They said I could keep the table and do what I liked with it. Ideas on a comment? I sent a cheque for £30 to the boys (yep I think that went down better than the original present fully complete would have done!)


Very poor customer service! Repeatedly not answering simple queries. Begs the questions “What part about the parts are missing don’t you understand?” and “What part of “No” don’t you understand?” and (well you get the picture). It’s not good to have different people respond to a customer either. It’s rude, disrespectful and shows that they don’t care enough to see the problem through. Their customer care could do with reading this.

Customer Service 0 out of 10
CEO 5 out of 10
CEO Office 9 out of 10
Prize £30 refund plus £15 voucher

Rating BHS needs to take stock in more ways than one!

Can We Really Trust the BBC to Bring us Real Experts?

The BBC recently used male “experts” to discuss breast cancer and teenage pregnancy. Just read this article courtesy of the Guardian.  So, they asked women who had breast cancer, survivors, people who had been through treatment, women who had advised on treatment? Sort of, for anecdotal evidence. The report on breast cancer being discussed was on distress and impact. On whom? Women! Yet a man was interviewed about it? For the teenage pregnancy piece it asked a young woman who had a child when a teenager, a mother of a pregnant teenager, a woman at least? Nope. A man. So of course they had great insight. NOT.  Caroline Criado-Perez writes a really interesting article here about the BBC’s messages it gives out on experience and expertise.

Stop making excuses BBC
BBC makes excuses for not having female experts. Ludicrous

How on EARTH can a man know what it is like to be a woman? Never mind one with breast cancer. How on EARTH can a man put himself in the position of a teenage girl never mind one who is pregnant? Any sensible man asked to do that would laugh in the questioner’s face and say “Don’t be so ridiculous”.  Now, I am a great believer in the arts and the use of drama to teach just about anything (and that’s another worry for anyone who cares about education taking the arts out of the Ebacc) and so believe role play is very important in getting people to empathise and all that. But seriously, that’s not what is going on here is it?! The opinion is being asked for by a so called expert in the field. It isn’t a lesson aimed at people sharing and learning from each other and seeing other people’s points of views is it?!

I don’t think there is any discussion to be had! It is quite simple. If you want an expert in a certain field, particularly one that requires experience and/or ability to empathise you don’t ask someone unable to do that however much knowledge they may have. It is insulting to all concerned.  It is quite ludicrous for the BBC to say that they were unable to find women. Criado-Perez and her co-founder, Catherine Smith founded The Women ‘s Room UK a site for women to register as experts for the media. Within 48 hours they had 40 people register. So the BBC couldn’t even put out a single Tweet? Rubbish. Why couldn’t they do that? Laziness? Stupidity? Apathy?  It’s not rocket science (bet they’d get a man to speak on that though!) Get me in that BBC on the Board I’d soon sort them all out I can tell you!

But seriously, it’s like my saying (point 8) that if you are a company selling to children/young people/families and you aren’t involving them in feedback and development then you are missing a trick and what about the people you don’t know you aren’t getting feedback from? (point 7) Similarly “Points of View” and focus groups have their limitations. The BBC needs to get ahead and involve its viewers more. The customers. If only the BBC was more innovative involving their customers! Is that too scary a thought for them? Perhaps we the customers know best and the BBC Powers That Be might be surprised by how much expert advice it gets.

I asked the question on a LinkedIn Q & A and someone thought that my saying that you need a female to answer questions on how a female feels about having breast cancer or be a female to understand being pregnant as a teenager made me prejudiced and offensive. I like to think of myself as unprejudiced and well I can certainly be offensive but I don’t believe that this point of view is either of those things!

What do you think are the reasons for such a shortage of female experts on the BBC?

So, if you are a woman or know a woman who is an expert in her field get them to register on The Women’s Room UK or indeed Find a TV Expert

May 2014 update. Well, given that I have appeared on the BBC a few times now regarding complaining and consumer rights I’m not sure whether that is an improvement or not?!