If you're pissed off at a company and want some satisfaction, it seems Twitter may be the answer to your prayers. That's the thrust of this piece from the New York Times Sunday edition, which relates several incidences of airline screw-ups resolved through a quick Tweet or two. It makes sense, I guess. Given Twitter's Next Big Thing status, active user base and such tools as hashtags and trending topics that promote viral growth of stories, it's easy to see how a company might feel like it's better to nip in the bud any complaints that emerge there. After all, if a power user picks it up and retweets a complaint, it could reach hundreds of thousands of eyeballs in a matter of minutes -- bad news for any business.
Of course, using new media technologies to bitch is nothing new. Sites like RipoffReports have been operating for almost ten years with varying degrees of success. (As an aside, check out this hilarious rant from yesterday against Denver's own Video Professor, basically accusing him of racketeering). Still, if you're having a problem, it's worth a shot. Hell, it's probably worth it even if you aren't having an actual problem.
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The most intriguing piece of the Times story wasn't the part about resolving complaints, but a tidbit near the end about Omni Interlocken Resort, near Denver. Apparently they monitor Twitter for mentions of their hotel and give bonuses and upgrades to guests who mention them. This is a trend I intend to do my best to exploit. From now on, I'm Tweeting about everything I buy, rent or use, along with the company's name. I sense many free upgrades in my future -- or just a lot of annoyed followers dropping my ass....