Posted on October 13, 2013 AT 01:29pm
Imagine this. The PlayStation 4 release is a little more than a month away, you have your preorder all set to go, and the anticipation is building. When suddenly, you find yourself in an argument with the retailer that sold you the console and has now CANCELLED your preorder based upon remarks you made regarding the retailer. Well, that’s exactly what happened to one gamer in the United Kingdom.
Carl, (Twitter user @PooWithEyes) had his preorder with UK retailer ShopTo. After seeing the bundle he purchased for a cheaper price on Amazon UK, he decided to ask ShopTo if they would consider price matching. Unfortunately, ShopTo did not price match for this circumstance. What followed is astonishing. Carl had a discussion with a friend on Twitter about the situation including ShopTo in his tweet stating that he planned to switch his game preorders over to Amazon UK. See that tweet-up below (beware language may be offensive for some readers).
And with that, the Twitter war had begun. What followed was a set of direct messages between Carl and the retailer with the retailer accusing Carl of rude behavior and closing of his account on ShopTo. That direct message stream can be viewed in the image below.
What followed after the direct message stream, is nothing more than the power of social media and Twitter itself. Carl quickly posted his story on the NeoGaf forums which resulted in an outrage by that community. The thread was retweeted and the story quickly spread to many amongst the industry. After seeing the story myself, I quickly reached out to Carl to get the scoop and find out what exactly sparked this and how things may get resolved. He politely accepted the email interview but later declined as he discovered that ShopTo was planning on releasing a statement regarding the situation, that of which can be read below:
ShopTo: An Apology
Earlier today there was a small misunderstanding with a customer which resulted in his account being cancelled by ourselves, for this we would like to apologise.
Basically, while we were talking to a customer via direct message on twitter regarding the pricing on our PlayStation 4 pre-order bundles, the same customer was also talking to a friend regarding our policy. It was at this point the customer swore while mentioning ‘shopto’ in regards to our decision, however as our staff were talking to this customer at the same time, when our social feed showed the abuse (for social purposes we use tweetdeck to allows us to see anytime the shopto name is mentioned on twitter), the staff took it as being directly made to ShopTo. Further investigation into this matter shows us that the customer was not actually pointing abuse at us, but just talking to his friend, so in this case we have to deeply apologise for being in the wrong.
As a way to make this up to the customer we have offered to restore his account and provide his PS4 free of charge.
We hope that you understand that we thought this abuse was being aimed at us directly. We cannot tolerate our staff being abused and have to take a stance on this, but since this customer did not aim abuse at us directly we must admit that on this occasion we were in the wrong with regards to the decision to cancel his account.
So after the war, we have a happy ending. ShopTo has responded and apologized for the misunderstanding, and Carl was provided a free PlayStation 4 console for all the trouble they may have caused.
So there you have it. Just another example of how power social media has become in this industry. What do you guys think about this story? Do you think Carl deserved a free PlayStation 4 after everything that occurred? What role do retailers have when taking criticism on their policies? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, and be sure to check out the next episode of The Weekly Beat Podcast, as Matt and I are sure to have a lot to discuss on this story.
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