Saturday, December 15, 2007

Twitter and T-Mobile

A new case study for conversational media is created every day. This time it is a conflict between a wireless operator and and an Internet startup. Another case of a network operator blocking the free and open Internet? YES says Chief Twitter Biz Stone on the Get Satisfaction website, one of the first places the question arose. NO says T-Mobile's official customer service answer which is that the problem is with Twitter.

The story is now in all the major blogs and forums. Twitter is actively engaging in the conversation, spreading their side of the story that T-Mobile has blocked them. So far T-Mobile hasn't shown up to the conversation to tell their side of the story. If T-Mobile doesn't respond and solve the problem, it will be in mainstream news outlets by the beginning of the week, and a much bigger headache for them. Given the sensitivity over "net neutrality" issues, it could end up being a part of a congressional hearing. That is definitely NOT the kind of PR that T-Mobile wants.

There are two important questions that a company like T-Mobile should be asking right now (or at least after the fact). How is that we allowed this bad decision to be made and implemented, which would clearly be visible to our customers and would make them mad? And how is it that our communications department wasn't on top of this issue?

UPDATE: Great letter from a T-Mobile customer to the CEO of T-Mobile...

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