BrightHouse Networks' Orwellian customer service response

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A guest post from Tampa attorney Paul Phillips:

So, at 9:28 a.m., after a service outage that began at approximately 9:05 – and the third such occurrence in less than a week – I tweeted the following:

@PaulPhillipsEsq – BrightHouse seems to be down AGAIN! Seriously. Great way to send business clients to FIOS!

At 9:31 a.m., I received the following Tweet:

@BrightHouseCare is now following you (@PaulPhillipsEsq)

By 9:35 BrightHouse Tweeted yet again:

@PaulPhillipsEsq I’d really like to look into that for you; please follow back & DM your full address – Ian.

At 10:09, I replied with my business address, to which BrightHouse responded, at 10:12 a.m.:

@PaulPhillipsEsq Is that a residential or business account – Ian.

I did not reply, but was once again contacted by BrightHouse with the following:

@PaulPhillipsEsq TY Paul; also, pls direct message the best contact # to reach you at. – Ian.

Probably annoyed by the constant Tweets, freaked out by the Owellianess of it all, and  disturbed over the use of a preposition at the end of the sentence – I did not respond. I did however, send the following Tweet to my new follower at 10:35 a.m:

@BrightHouseCare am curious, I was not following you, you not me, how did you get the tweet

At 10:35 a.m. BrightHouse respondent with the following:

@PaulPhillipsEsq We monitor any mention with our name in it in an effort to be practice as possible for our customers =) -Ian

Then at 10:55 a.m., without providing BrightHouse with my business phone number, BrightHouse somehow managed to call me and set up a visit from a technician.

Sure, this is the technological age and anything related to technology’s ability to invade our online lives has ceased to surprise us anymore. For me however, this event was different – to a certain extent. In particular, BrightHouse’s active pursuit for the reasons behind my frustrated Tweet made me wonder about corporate monitoring done under the guise of customer service.

After all, is this the kind of instant service I really wanted? Or was I just venting in frustration at my inability to access my phone, computer, email, etc.? Life has its ups and downs, things go wrong, and sometimes you just need to vent. But apparently, if you vent about a Corporation or a product on Twitter, “they” will know.

By the way, the BrightHouse technician showed up at our office door at 11:59 a.m. I have to admit…that’s service.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.