Wells Fargo uses its Twitter to tell customers they’re not on Twitter

by mcastellon on September 20, 2010

This is odd. A Wells Fargo ATM declined my Wells Fargo Visa debit card over the weekend. I wasn’t allowed to access my accounts and the machine didn’t provide a specific explanation of the problem. The card was issued to me in August and it doesn’t expire until May 2013, according to the date printed on the card.

I called the Wells Fargo phone bank and was told that Wells Fargo debit cards occasionally expire before the date published on the card. The customer service rep was hesitant to talk about it, and I could tell he probably didn’t have a good answer. The rep ordered a new card for me, and I went to Twitter to complain about the issue.

Even stranger than the mystery of the randomly expiring debit card, Twitter hasn’t updated its primary feed (@wellsfargo) since March 2009. The feed is littered with explanations that say the company is not yet on Twitter.
But it’s most recent tweet points users to a separate “test” account, (@Ask_WellsFargo), where a rep responds to customer service issues. The “test” account, as it’s referred to on the @wellsfargo feed, is a monotonous stream of apologies for bad service and “Thx 4 the mention!” tweets. It’s all incredibly insincere.

There’s very little value here for anyone, and it raises the awkward situation many companies put themselves in when they approach online communities in an unsure, clumsy and unhelpful manner.

As I’ve said before, social media is about customer service and conversations. If you cannot serve customers, please don’t barge into their communities and pretend to do so.

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