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Support: Twitter? Yay – Mail? Nay – At least for Party Poker

February 13, 2013

Last week I had a question for Party Poker, which I ended up asking both their email support and their twitter support profile. That left me with two totally different experiences – A great service by their Twitter support while the email support was a totally different story. But let’s get the background settled first.

Background

Last week it crossed my mind that I might be interested in playing the WPT National event in Cyprus in early March this year. Not that I’m a particularly gifted poker player, but since I find playing live poker funny and entertaining – And after all, WPT Cyprus is right in my backyard these days and you never know if you might be lucky and meet Ms. Scott

The buy in is $2.200 and with my lack of poker skills in mind I thought it would be a good idea to maybe try some online qualifiers for the event and obviously headed for Party Poker, which I believe is the primary online poker sponsor for the series, looking for online qualifiers.

Had a quick look at the site and didn’t find any information but luckily Party Poker has a “contact us” option, which I deemed was a great option instead of scrolling up and down numberless pages on their website.

Contacting support

Being in no immediate rush I choose the email support option and entered the required info about email-address, subject, my enquiry, which was something as simple as this:

“Hi guys

Is it possible to qualify for WPT Cyprus?

If there’s no direct qualifier is it possible to pay with Tournament$ or some other way?

/Morten”

After filling the CAPTCHA and clicking submit I thought I was pretty well on my way to an answer, and so did Party Poker, because they send me to this site:

Party Poker Support - no related articles

As you can see they just wanted to make sure that I wasn’t contacting support needlessly and suggests that based on key words in my enquiry, it might be solved by reading the related articles to the right…

Since that list was empty I opted to send the email nevertheless and try my luck with support.

I did however find the screendump above a little funny, and what do you do then? You guessed correctly – you jump to Twitter to make sure everyone can have a little laugh at it like yourself, so I tweeted the image to @PartyPoker including my question about the WPT Cyprus qualifiers:

So @partypoker Articles related to question R waiting 2 be written or? And any qualifiers for WPT Cyprus? twitter.com/Mazter81/statu…
— Morten Madsen (@Mazter81) 8. feb. 2013

Not long after that the reply ticked in:

Great answer – simple and giving me other options if I was just really hooked on playing a WPT qualifier or interested in other locations. For me, it kind of closed this enquiry – until five and a half hour later, when I received a reply to my email enquiry.

Email support strikes back

Expecting to see the same reply again, I opened the email being ready to delete it, but no, I was in for a surprise:

Email support strikes back

The reply had nothing to do with my question, as you can see here:

Dear Player,

Our records indicate that you have a play money account registered with us. You are passing on a big opportunity to join the PartyPoints Club and start reaping in the rewards. Our customer support is geared toward our real money players and you are missing out by not becoming one.

To help you get started I have given you a special BONUS OFFER. Make a deposit now using the bonus code REALTODAY and you will receive an extra 100% upto $50*. If you need assistance while making a deposit, please call us anytime.

If your mail is about a Real Money Account that you have with us, please write to us from your registered email address for that account (this will help us assist you better) and we will get back to you quickly as we wish that no one misses out on the fun.

If you still have questions please visit the FAQ section of our website.

https: //secure.partyaccount.com/faq/main.do?productID=POKER&brandID=PARTY 

Thank you and have fun!!

Say what?

As you can see, nothing related to my question and still it took five and a half hour to send me a standard conversion email with a simple bonus offer.

There are quite a few things Party Poker does wrong in this email-case in my opinion and it is really bad customer service:

1) They don’t answer my relatively simple questions

2) They use five and a half hour to send a standard email

3) They take my enquiry as an opportunity to push hard to convert me to a real money player

The one thing that really irritates me afterwards is pt. 3 – probably because I already had my question answered by their Twitter support, although not addressing my question is really odd. Anyways, they are simply pushing hard to try to convert a player that has already converted himself by asking the question I asked.

I have already told them that I will play online qualifiers for the WPT Cyprus, so there’s no need to try to convert me to a real money player. That’s already done through my question and their sponsorship of the WPT. If they have the service, I’m playing – Simple, simple.

Since they can’t offer the qualifiers to WPT Cyprus that is obviously a problem in terms of converting me, but who knows – I might just be interested in playing any WPT, so they could at least offer me the answer that I got from Twitter and mention the other WPT qualifiers as I might be interested in that.

Once they answer my I wouldn’t mind them offering me the bonus they do, as it would feel natural. Replying me like the email support did in this case is just plain rude. That can’t be good for business

Twitter Support out on top

The answer I got from Twitter tells me that they realize that I am more or less converted if they offer the qualifier. However, since they can’t offer it – at least they offer an alternative, which I think is a pretty clever solution and I can’t comprehend why email support couldn’t come up with that in five and a half hour. Is that’s really the best they can do? They are in for a hard time then in my opinion

Maybe they just got all the clever people sitting at twitter support and someone else with email support. Or maybe Twitter support just thinks customer service and not convert, convert, convert…

Comments? I look forward to read them

You can read a bit more about me on the About page

Best, Morten Madsen

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4 Comments
  1. Classic example where one see traditional customer support via email as a cost center but recognise the marketing benefits of doing customer service outreach in social media. Companies can’t, and won’t, have great external conversations before they are aligned internally.

  2. Hi Joakim
    Thanks for your comment – I totally agree with you regarding support as a the cost center view. It has always been like that in the business and the only reason social media gets a longer leash is because it’s viewed as customer acquisition

  3. juice permalink

    this is actually a generated response sent to customers… read the e-mail correctly and all the indications are there. The question is,why did it take so long to reach?

    • Hi juice. Thanks for your comment.
      You could be right… The thought didn’t really cross my mind as it took so long for the reply to come (it was during European daytime) that I didn’t think of that as an option.
      But it definitely has got automatic answer written all over it… That’s like even worse

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