Man Spends $1,000 to Tweet About Bad Service

tweet about bad service

How far would your customers go to tweet about your products or services? Would they spend $1,000 to tell the world about you? That would be great if what they had to say was complimentary. But suppose the reverse were true. How far would a customer go to complain about a bad product or tweet about bad service?

Promoted Tweets Target Airline Over Lost Luggage

Chicago-based business man Hasan Syed paid about $1000 to promote his angry tweets, like the one below, to all of British Airways followers, after he said the airline lost his father’s luggage:

Media reports say the campaign worked and the airline finally apologized.

We generally think of social media in terms of marketing messages. But, of course, customers can also have their say. And it turns out some of them may actually pay to do so!

Syed even shared some of his stats with his followers showing details about the level of engagement he received:



The promoted tweets were seen by more than 50,000 people in the UK and New York area where the promoted posts ran, reports Business Insider.

Promoted tweets are just like ordinary tweets but are specially targeted to reach current and potential followers, according to Twitter.

Tweets can be targeted based on gender, keyword, interests, geography, device and more.

This situation made the news because it seems to be the first (or certainly one of the first) uses of Twitter advertising to make sure a complaint is heard.  It’s all the more reason to deal with customer service issues quickly.  Because not only may disgruntled customers take to Twitter, but if you make them angry enough, they have the power to amplify their complaints through advertising.

It’s a leveling of the playing field — in a way that may catch some companies flat footed.

Angry Blue Bird Photo via Shutterstock

More in: 10 Comments ▼

Shawn Hessinger Shawn Hessinger is the Executive Editor for Small Business Trends and a professional journalist with more than 20 years experience in traditional and digital media for trade publications and news sites. He is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has served as a beat reporter, columnist, editorial writer, bureau chief and managing editor for the Berks Mont Newspapers.

10 Reactions
  1. Saw a similar use of Twitter ads for a company that had their BingAds account closed. You can read the full post here –

    Again, it worked.

  2. I think they would go to great lengths to tell the world on how unsatisfied they are but they would generally keep quiet once you do a good job. The most they can do is say “thank you” except if they see a battalion of people thanking you as well. Yes. An unsatisfied customer will do everything to get other people on his boat and to stop using your services so be warned.

  3. Taking out $1,000 to amplify his complaints through advertising is a sheer waste of resource. Losing luggages are quite common and the airline should compensate the businessman and have it settled amicably.

  4. I have mixed emotions on this one. First, I understand his frustration. I’m sure I would have been as well. On the other hand, what did he accomplish? Ok, so they apologized. Problem is, an apology is meaningless if it is a result of provocation. An apology only has meaning if given freely. So was Mr. Syed tweeting his own horn or simply venting. Either way, I feel he would have received a more favorable response had he kept it private dealing with the airlines direct. Not all things are not for public scorn.

  5. Wow! My boyfriend went on a social media jihad against a restaurant chain once for getting his order wrong twice – the manager of the establishment even accused him of lying! He got more than an apology. He got about $100 in free food that we donated to a food bank. 🙂

  6. I read about this guy, he was certainly upset and he had every right to be. He could have erred slightly on the side of caution so as not to become involved in a defamation or slander suit.

  7. Just goes to show you that some people will go to great lengths to show their dissatisfaction. This may not have been ordinary luggage; maybe they had some valuable family artifacts that cannot be easily replaced.
    This kind of reminds me of the altercation film director Kevin Smith had with Southwest airlines where they kicked him off the plane because the airline said he was too fat. He then went on social media and it didnt end well for Southwest’s reputation