Here’s Proof That Twitter Is A Dumpster Fire When It Comes to Brand Impersonation

Earlier today, I listened to my wife sit on hold with Porter Airlines. For 95 minutes I listened to her endure hold music while trying to get to an actual human being. And what made this worse is that their phone system claimed that there was a five minute wait and she was number 26 in line. Clearly neither of those things were true. So I hopped onto Twitter to express my displeasure:

Now as an aside here, this is a horrible customer experience. If you say that a customer only has to wait a few minutes, then it should only be a few minutes. This experience suggests to me that the wait time that the phone system that Porter uses is lying to customers. Ditto for the number of people in line to wait to get connected to a human. This suggests to me that Porter’s call centre is likely understaffed relative to the number of calls that they receive. Again, that’s not a good customer experience.

Now, I’m not here to talk about how bad Porter’s customer experience is. What I am here to talk about is what happened after I posted that Tweet. I got this:

Now this looks like Porter’s Twitter account. Except it isn’t. Let’s start with the name of the account:

@Airlines_u is not Porter’s official Twitter account @PorterAirlines is. So right off the top, that’s a red flag. Second, there’s the quality of English. A phrase like “It’s unfortunate for the challenge encountered” isn’t something that a business would use. Finally, the ask to “DM your WhatsApp number” is not something that any business would ever ask. Clearly this is a fake account on Twitter that is trying to fool you into doing something that won’t end well for you.

But wait, there’s more. A second fake Porter Twitter account sent me a message:

Again, let’s pick this apart. Starting with the twitter account name:

Well, “@porterairl” is marginally better than the last one, and this might fool someone who isn’t looking too closely. But it’s still fake. And the second tip off is that the phrase “Kindly follow back and share your number via DM so we can assist you promptly” sounds like a phrase that a non-native English speaker might use.

Here’s why this matters. This sort of thing is now an epidemic on Twitter as Elon Musk has just simply destroyed any means for Twitter users to use Twitter to get assistance from a company. And it’s not just me saying that. Sticking with fake airline accounts, here’s what others have said:

Such is the dumpster fire that is Twitter. Given what I’ve experienced, I am surprised that any company would want to have a presence on Twitter as there’s just no way that they could conduct business in any meaningful way. Thus I would say that if you need help, and you need to reach out to a company, you can’t rely on Twitter to get that help. As for companies who are on Twitter, consider this your big hint to dump Twitter and beef up your other support channels. Because Twitter is not a credible platform for you to do business on.

UPDATE: I am now up to four fake accounts that have tried to reach out to me:

I honestly don’t know how Porter or any other company can conduct business on Twitter given this.

2 Responses to “Here’s Proof That Twitter Is A Dumpster Fire When It Comes to Brand Impersonation”

  1. Don Smith Says:

    Did the real Porter ever reply?

    • The real Porter Airlines replied by giving my wife a call as the phone system that they use had that option at 8PM last night. Keep in mind that she called them at 9:30 AM. THAT IS THE WORST CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE EVER. And it’s going to encourage me to not ever fly on Porter.

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