I’ve recently started taking to Twitter when I’m in a retail environment. Like the other day when I was in the Lucky Brand store and instead of assisting me, or even acknowledging my presence, the THREE store clerks decided it was more important to discuss their Memorial Day plans. Or when I passed the GNC store in the mall, and the store clerk was leaning against the door frame, texting, and cleaning his ear with his finger. That can’t be on brand for GNC surely?

I didn’t hear anything back from either company after I tweeted, but LaShonda from Fedex Kinkos immediately messaged me after I Tweeted a blow by blow account of the insanely bad service as I received it. LaShonda asked what store etc, but then never got back to me, so in the end, I felt that my voice went off into the ether. What a difference it would have made if she had simply sent a message back to say thanks! And ironically just last week the same store lost our printouts. So clearly I didn’t effect any change.

In the past I’ve received a free membership to the National Association of Professional Women whose saleswoman put the phone down on me after I asked if there was a cost to membership before I let her continue with her pitch. And a free membership to Zagats after their wine club sent me wine I didn’t order and the person on the phone argued that I did. Nina Zagat herself also committed that most hilarious faux pas by cc’ing me on an email that I shouldn’t have seen. But that’s an entirely separate blog entry, right?

But wait. This is not about getting free memberships that I don’t want of will never use. The point is that every time a company had made good on the issue, whether something significant or a mere response, it has completely changed my relationship with them. The PR woman at Zagats thanked me profusely and said that she wished more consumers would speak up. Was she sucking up? Maybe. But it worked!