Social media and customer service

Remember my rant blog post from a few days ago when I took Fifth Third Bank to task for their "customer service"? Well, in addition to blogging about it, I also tweeted about it - directly to Fifth Third (@FifthThird in case you're wondering). And my tweets were retweeted a few times.

Ah, the beauty of social media.

Anyway, this morning at about 9 a.m. I had this tweeted to me from @Ryanat53:  I work at Fifth Third. What happened? Can I help? Please call me at 877-833-9973 (it’s for your privacy and security).

Imagine my surprise.
They answered my tweet?
I'll call.

I immediately phoned @Ryanat53 and said "Hi Ryan. This is Traci. The person you just tweeted at."

Hi. So, what's going on? I saw your tweets and I want to help.

I told Ryan what happened on Saturday between the car loan phone call and then the mortgage phone call. I told him how I didn't appreciate being treated like that by the bank. The bank the I've been a customer with for more than a decade. I made sure to tell him everything that was said to me about foreclosure, forbearance, debt reduction, etc. 

He apologized.
And then he apologized some more.
And then he continued to apologize.

Ryan found the number for our car loan and said he would personally make sure it was taken care of properly and would let me know when it was all squared away. He also looked up the "mortgage police" from Saturday's phone call (Alexandra) and said he would get to the bottom of that phone call.

What I found most amusing interesting shocking was when Ryan said it was likely that Alexandra was from the "collections" department for mortgages and "probably" didn't understand the concept of Automatic Bill Pay. I'm sorry, WHAT?!? I mean, it's not rocket science. Nor is it brain surgery. It's automatic bill pay - you know, you set up the date for a bill to be paid and "poof!" just like that every month the bill is paid on the same day.

My response?
"Um, don't you think it would be prudent for them to understand the concept?"

Yes, probably. 

Ryan and I spoke for about 20 minutes and aside from the many apologies, he did make it a point to promise that he would get to the bottom of what happened and would make sure it didn't continue to happen. That my friends, is good customer service.

Thank you Ryan.
You got the "customer service gold star" today.

So the point is this: use social media wisely when confronted with a customer service issue. It worked for me and I had my issues addressed. And I got an apology (OK, many apologies). And I have the direct line number for @Ryanat53 just in case I have any other issues.


  1. I might have to try this approach with my ongoing saga with my local hospital and their inability to write off what is above the insurance contract rate. 18 months and still they can't figure out that they accepted a payment and that they are required to honor the rate.

  2. What a complete turnaround from the other day! Glad you got your apologies and it seems like things will get resolved. Did you tweet about @Ryanat53 and give him some props?

  3. Jessica - I did! I tweeted at him directly and told he had earned a gold star from me. He responded with a big thanks!

  4. While I'm really happy that you were able to straighten this out and receive an apology, but I find disturbing was his answer about the woman being from the collections department. While I agree with your point that automatic bill pay is something that she should understand, what I don't agree with is that just because someone reaches collections that they should be treated as less of a person or with no respect like you were when she assumed that was the issue. Even if you had missed one payment isn't there some perspective? I understand that in the current economy there jobs are more than secure and that means that they are treating countless individuals horribly just because they have fallen on hard times. Do they think that someone that had to miss a house payment doesn't already feel stressed and ashamed? Who knows what circumstances that person is facing if all of a sudden they miss one payment when they have an unscathed record like you did - a job loss, a death, an illness. I think that regardless that person has a lot to learn about how to treat people even if they are someone that owes money.

  5. Oh I agree absolutely with you, Jen. I made it VERY clear to Ryan that I did not appreciate being treated as 'less than' anything when she was speaking to me. He agreed that no one should be treated that way and he assured me that he would look into it and make sure it was not happening anymore. He was very apologetic about it. Now if only alexandra would call and apologize. Then it would be even better. But that won't ever happen.