I hate Brighthouse cable, but I love their social media team

I have moved exactly seven times in my life. I know that’s not a ton, but it’s enough to have some, ahem, experiences with a few different cable/satellite/internet providers.

I used Charter in a few different cities and then Brighthouse in Birmingham. (Now that I’m no longer in an apartment that forces me to use a certain company, I have DirecTV and am relatively satisfied with it, but let’s concentrate on the cable folks.)

I would say that Charter and Brighthouse were equally bad in product, but Brighthouse did have a semi-redeeming quality. They were incredibly helpful on social media. Every time I had to visit their physical office in downtown Birmingham, I was greeted by less than enthusiastic workers who did the bare minimum, if that. But the social media team was always courteous, understanding and helpful. When I was a Brighthouse customer, I gave up on using the phone or attempting to get attention in person. I always turned to Twitter.

I was pleased to find upon checking @brighthousecare that my favorite helper from when I was a Brighthouse customer, Carlos, is still tweeting away.

Brighthouse Care on Twitter

I have heard a lot of people in Birmingham complain about their Brighthouse service, and of course you can see how many complaints the company receives on Twitter alone. But the social team keeps an upbeat tone and answers quickly. (There’s also a note in their bio that tells customers when the account is manned.) This certainly keeps their customers calm(ish) while Brighthouse addresses the problem(s). They use words and phrases like hello friend, happy to help, thanks and the ever cheerful 🙂 — which keeps the conversation light and makes stressful situations (such as BUT I’M MISSING THE FINALE!) a little less stressful for the customer.

I think it’s also a nice touch that each team member signs tweets with their name. It humanizes the big bad cable brand and keeps people (at least me) from getting quite as angry. It’s easier to be impatient and rude with a faceless brand than an individual with a name.

You’ll notice the Brighthouse team directs a lot of the conversation to direct message. I think this achieves two positives for them: (1) Customers can share personal information like service addresses or account numbers, and (2) It moves a potentially negative conversation to a more private place. However, for the record, I do not think the second reason is not reason enough alone to privatize a conversation on social media.

Brighthouse’s social team made all the cable/internet outages and equipment failures more bearable because I felt like I had someone on my side. Will I ever go back? I doubt it. But I commend the social team on a tough job well done. Now somebody give Carlos a raise!

Have you had any good or bad experiences with your cable/satellite/internet providers’ social media team? How did it affect your view of the overall company?

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9 thoughts on “I hate Brighthouse cable, but I love their social media team”

  1. I’m with you on the private messaging. I think there’s a point where there needs some private back and forth, but as a customer who is not involved in the direct message, I kind of like seeing a public conversation. Often times when I see an organization go private, I wonder as to what is exactly going on behind closed doors.

    But having the option to have a private message with a big brand, and a small brand for that matter, is an amazing gesture of customer service.

    I look at it like the organization cares enough about me they want to hear what I have to say. And in turn, that makes me feel appreciated and not like I am some number in a big system. The personalization goes along way with me.

    And when organizations have great customers service, the store will sell more and become an agent of trust. Tell me which businesses don’t want that?

    That’s right … they all want that.

    1. I also wonder sometimes what’s happening in private-message land when a brand quickly directs a customer to a private space. But I do get that it is needed sometimes, and I agree that a brand taking the time to address customers one-on-one equals great customer service and most likely will gain the customer’s loyalty.

  2. Some good insight here. I like that Carlos signs his tweets. Its personal, its SOCIAL! In terms of going to DM. Sometimes its necessary but I respect a company that can sort problems in the public space. It also gives us, customers, a chance to see it at work, potentially winning it points for service and maybe even its ethics.

    1. I definitely respect companies who can resolve the majority of their problems publicly. In some cases, they may even be saving themselves work; by answering questions publicly, they are also serving people who might have been wondering the same thing but hadn’t gotten around to asking yet.

  3. Hi Julie! I have had problems with COX before and what a headache it is to be stuck on the phone waiting. I should check out what there twitter account is like to see if they are quick to respond to problems through that medium.

    I get just as frustrated with as customers when it comes to having my internet cable in service because 1. I am paying for the overpriced service 2. Usually have something important to do online when the service goes down 3. I just want it now!

    I like that bright house is friendly rather than so cold and professional. It would calm me down knowing that there is someone on the other side of the computer that seems to be a good mood. I also like that they sign up with The DM, it had a personal touch and also the sense of security that if anything were to happen again, Carlos or whoever else would still be there to help us.

    It just reminds me us that there is a human not a computer looking out after our concerns.

    1. Cable being down is annoying, but losing the internet is DEVASTATING. When I was a Brighthouse customer, I often tweeted to Carlos in a panic, but he always kept his cool and helped me through whatever problem it was. So that’s why I say I still hate Brighthouse but love their social team. I had a lot of problems with it, but the social team always helped.

  4. Julie,

    Great post and insights! I’m with you on hating you have limitations when it comes to choosing your cable/internet provider, but having to go with what is available. I’m glad you were able to see your friend (customer service rep) is still tweeting… it tells you a lot about the company, and how they value their employees and your service. He’s good at what he does and they take care of him.

    I can imagine the desperation of the student yelling that they’re missing their final because of an internet failure, and hoping that Brighthouse can make it work. Here’s to hoping it is (always) solved quickly. 🙂

    I think taking the conversation into a direct message is a good way to go– it saves them from having too many public conversations on the issue, and it allows the customer to know that their issue is being attended to directly. Plus, all of your customer base now knows that the company pays attention to you. I have the tendency to do that when handling service recovery (mainly because it’s easier) but also because you never know just quite how far (or how angry) the customer is to take it.

  5. I think the DM option is a great one when you’re handling an issue that requires any personal information — full name (if it’s not already disclosed on the Twitter profile), address, account number, etc. And you’re right — it does give the customer one-on-one attention, which makes them feel like their issue is important, which is very important. 🙂

  6. I’ve had a similar experience with Comcast – aka the devil’s cable and internet provider. Widely seen as the most hated company of all time around Nashville, they were pretty much my only option while in undergrad. Their service was poor, prices high, and monopoly very real. However, every time I called their customer service line I had an incredibly pleasant experience. Everyone seemed so nice! There were no call centers, nothing lost in translation with foreign workers, and I rarely had to wait on hold. That almost made up for Comcast sucking. Once I moved somewhere that allowed me to have a satellite dish, I happily switched to Directv, but for those years with Comcast they managed to keep me around, albeit begrudgingly.

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