Metro North thinks that twitter sucks…
Over the years, Metro North’s twitter account (@MetroNorthTweet) has been operated by several individuals (two of which are most wonderful folks) – the most recent of which has decided twitter is absolutely pointless and is not a platform in which customers can be helped. Their current modus operandi is to copy and paste to everyone “call 511, idiots, twitter sucks.” The new tweeter also made it a point to unfollow me, though to my immense amusement they are still best pals with @fuckedcommuter. A fine endorsement for the railroad, I see.
Unfortunately, I thought the railroad was actually doing pretty well in terms of social media. In fact, I thought the way they handled Irene was commendable. There were frequent photographic updates on flickr, many of which were picked up by various arrays of media outlets. In fact, a photograph taken by Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders pretty much went viral, was talked about by thousands, and was even a trending topic on twitter. Companies pay to get their topics trending on twitter. Metro-North did this organically. And you know what? I bet all of nobody at the company even knew it. So although there is a lot to learn, they were on the right track.
Well, that is, until they dropped the ball on twitter. Twitter is now merely a platform to refer people to 511. End of story. How unfortunate. You can see my conversation to the right with the new @MetroNorthTweet – and the other people who just happened to chime in, which was never my intention, but thus the spirit of twitter. Since they don’t believe that people can actually be helped on twitter, I decided to come up with a list of times that I was helped by twitter… and for the record, I am sure there are many more that I do not remember.
• Glass panels in the doors at Goldens Bridge were kicked in. Was repaired within a week.
• Was extremely irate due to being detained by a track worker who eventually called the cops on me for photography. After blogging and being angry on twitter about it, @MetroNorthTweet talked to me, and turned me into a friend. That on its own should be a fairly powerful statement, because I was seeing stars angry.
• As a personal favor to me, I requested that @MetroNorthTweet investigate a situation where I was trapped in an elevator at the White Plains train station. After being stuck for a half hour, by the time I was rescued by the fire department, my train had just arrived on the platform and I ran off to catch it. I felt bad that I did not appropriately thank them, and after Joe was able to figure out who it was that rescued me, I telephoned with my gratitude.
• Goldens Bridge station was again graffitied, reported on twitter and taken care of within a week.
• Reported via twitter that CooCoo was not appropriately serving schedules for Beacon – it only showed schedules for Beacon Falls. This bug has since been fixed.
• Me and countless others have reported things like air, heat, or announcements in train cars not working via twitter. @MetroNorthTweet always followed up on these for us. The real question is, if not on twitter, who would we even call about this, or even about vandalization in our stations? I’m not going to spend ten years talking to a robot and wishing and hoping for an operator that can speak English with 511.