If you don’t know it by now, social media is a beast.
It has the potential to make you, like James Wright the viral Patti Pie eating singer:
And the potential to break you, like Belle Gibson who “lost everything” after she went viral for posing as a cancer survivor to get money:
People have lost jobs for tweeting. Justine Sacco, a director of corporate communications at IAC who was fired while she was on an international flight after she tweeted this:
Now that’s some turbulence.
My case isn’t nearly as extreme, but the power of social media was profound in my life today. One tweet from Uber, a national taxi service, turned my frown upside down.
I am a new North Carolina resident, born and raised in Atlanta (s/o ATL!) I have ventured to a new city. My BFF out here is Uber and I have learned how to request a ride with my eyes closed.
Let me tell you something: I ride Uber so much I was standing outside Subway on my lunch break and one of my past Uber drivers drove by me screaming at me out the window, “HEY ELIZABETH!!” Yea the only person who knows me out here is my Uber driver, don’t judge.
Anyway! I was trying to beat the rain this morning so I requested an Uber to *Uber* me to work. I should have known it was going to be an interesting ride after I’d been waiting for almost 10 minutes for her to find me. According to the Uber app she was “2 minutes away” the whole time. I eventually called her and she sent my call to VOICE MAIL. A few minutes later she called me back and pulled up.
Good right? WRONG!
I’m sitting in the car listening to her talk she seemed nice. We traded stories about the weather and how she’s lived here for 22 years. I soon realized this conversation should not be this long…where are we?! I’m still learning the area, but I know my job and the bank we started from are on the same street. I’ve walked the road and the bank is less than a mile from my house, but we somewhere in the boonies!
13 minutes later (and a brief mental panic attack that I was about to be taken to my untimely demise) we arrived at my job and I get my receipt. I immediately took to Twitter:
The route she took made no sense other than she intentionally made the trip longer for profit. That ride cost me $15!!! Fifteen DOLLARS!! What should have been a two mile ride at the most in this small town, turned into 4.44 miles and $15. You gonna do ME like that lady?!
While I’m running around my job showing locals the unbelievable route she took Uber responds on Twitter:
I followed the instructions and a couple hours later (which is understandable considering the wave of complains Uber was responding to on Twitter at the time) a wonderful thing happened:
Look at that Christmas green!
My $15 trip was changed to $6 and I basically got a free ride ($5 was added to my Uber credit).
Thank you Uber and thank you Twitter for the platform! I did not make one phone call, didn’t have to listen to Kenny G on hold, or pick a number and have a seat. Problem solved purely through social media.
I experienced something similar with T-Mobile, their social media CSR told me to send a DM (direct message) which I did, but I never got a response after that. T-Mobile needs to get it ALL the way together, but I’ll save that for another post.