Help, my email is “already taken” on Twitter!

Heidi Reyes can’t change the email address on her Twitter account. Can this consumer advocate for herself? Find out.
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Twitter has a secret about you

This week’s top story was Janice Hough’s first-person account about the power of social media.
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Have companies stopped listening to us online?

If you haven’t seen the stories about the “miracle” of social media — particularly Twitter — and how real-time social media platforms can lead to superior customer service, you won’t have to look far. Or wait long.
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5 times customers should say “sorry”

Raywoo/Shutterstock
Raywoo/Shutterstock
Ever apologized to a business? If you said “never,” then maybe you don’t have kids.

At some point, each of my children has slipped a candy bar or lollipop — strategically stocked at kid-level in the checkout area — into their pockets without first informing Mom or Dad. When we discovered the transgression, we raced back to the store, paid for the item and apologized. Profusely.

Then we gave the kids a stern lecture about paying for merchandise before leaving the store. We haven’t had any relapses, but then again, the teen years are just around the corner. Fingers crossed.

I hear a lot of apologies in my line of work. But as a consumer advocate, they almost always go one way: the company apologizes to a customer for a problem, actual or perceived. Sometimes, the tables should be turned.
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Want better airline service? Power up your smartphone

Ricardo Miguel Silva Saraiva/Shutterstock
Liz Owen needed help, and she needed it fast.

She had rescheduled a flight from Washington to Los Angeles on Virgin America to avoid superstorm Sandy, which was about to slam into the East Coast. But she’d forgotten to order a wheelchair.

Owen, who works for a nonprofit organization in Washington, had recently broken her foot, which was in a cast. “I had been on the phone on hold with Virgin America for well over an hour,” she remembers. Halfway to the airport, she decided to send Virgin America a tweet — a message on the microblogging service Twitter.
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