Saturday, December 15, 2007

Twitter / T-Mobile - Updated

I have been watching this episode of Twitter vs. T-mobile erupt since last evening. I am a T-mobile customer but use my Web browser to use Twitter mobile (m.twitter.com)so i am not affected. Now I am not on a unlimited SMS plan so each SMS from Twitter costs me .10 cents I hate paying that so thats the reason why i do not use Twitter SMS much. At the social times launch party I did feel the need to use SMS for direct responses to my tweets from the party. I am puzzled by a few things in this T-mobile-twitter episode:

a) Why do this on Friday ? I have not seen any response from T-mobile but I did see a response from Twitter at getsatisfaction.com. By the time Monday comes the T-mobile brand may have suffered a lot of damage just by their silence.

b) One customer did get a scripted response from T-Mobile which may have done more damage. i wish they had just said they do not know and will try to get an answer.

c) Mkrigsman has written a post on ZDnet to explain the motive :


Twitter / T-Mobile: when policy meets technology by ZDNet's Michael Krigsman -- Twitter (click to follow me) is a social networking phenomenon and powerful communication medium; it’s shown vast growth and currently has almost 700,000 users. With these facts in mind, I was disappointed to hear that T-Mobile is blocking Twitter, since (unfortunately) I’m a T-Mobile customer and frequent Twitter user. When considering failed IT, whether software implementation [...]



TechCrunch coverage here.


In all fairness I would like to say why I chose T-mobile in the first place.

a) They were the only provider who unlocks their phones after 90 days no questions asked.

b) Customer service is usually very good.

c) They have a good choice of phones - I could get the Dash only from them and love it.

I hope the message reaches someone high at T-mobile and they respond over the weekend if not be ready to sell your T-mobile stock on Monday.

Update 12/15/2007

From the Twitter Blog

T-Mobile + Twitter

We've been tracking a missed connection between T-Mobile and Twitter for the past few days. If you're a T-Mobile customer using Twitter in the United States over our shortcode 40404, you may see intermittent failures (both with sending and receiving updates). We're working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Thank you for your patience!

Update: I checked from my phone and Twitter SMS works. Response from Tmobile offical Rep at getsatisfaction.com

"We've been working on this problem and believe it to be a technical issue, not a policy issue. That is, we think there is a problem between T-mobile and the folks who handle our text message aggregation; not a decision by T-mobile to cut off Twitter users.

We hope we can get it resolved really quickly because we know how many folks are impacted by it."

How I wish this was the first and only response to this issue and not the last.

This is also confirmed on the Twitter Blog

Update 12/16/2007 - Email from T-Mobile

Thanks, Sashi;

As an FYI to you as a customer...Twitter users are welcome to stay connected through T-Mobile service. Rumors that T-Mobile blocks the service are false. T-Mobile confirmed with Twitter that there was a technical issue between the two companies’ systems that temporarily prevented some customers from utilizing the service this past weekend. That issue has since been resolved and the companies are working to prevent such incidents from re-occurring.

Regards,
T-Mobile USA, Inc.
Manager, Public Relations
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