I have to admit, I underestimated the power of Twitter for awhile — but now that Twitter helped to organize a national uprising in Iran, I've reconsidered a bit.

I opened my Capital One statement this month and I noticed an APR hike from 10%->17%. When I called, there was no reason they could give me except some vague nonsense about the economy. No recourse — none. He was obviously operating out of some call center in some country thousands of miles away. My only recourse after pressing for awhile is to fax a letter to some invisible office regarding my 70% rate hike. I might just do that, even if I zero out the card.

OK, but this has to be relevant somehow, right? Let's get that —

I Tweeted something, searched for others — and even followed some of them. Hundreds of tweets I can't (politely) repeat on this blog. I did, however, notice one set of Tweets in particular:

Capital One customer meets Fox News anchor? Interesting how efficient that was — interesting in the same way that Twitter organized a national uprising in Iran.

Twitter will be causing a bunch of reputation management problems for guys in suits

And because some of them outsource their customer relations entirely — Capital One included — they might not know until the viral process gains traction and has started to wreak irreparable damage to their brand. They may indeed monitor Twitter — but there's little they can do if the complaints are real and it's not just a misunderstanding — except perhaps reevaluate said business practices. Even then, if they wait too long, the damage is done.

And Capital One doesn't have guns like the Iranian Basij Militiamen

When and if anyone gets upset, Twitter provides a very easy viral starting point. If Twitter potentially upsets a government, it may cause Capital One to treat customers better.

Twitter is a major threat to anyone managing the reputation of a brand — and even a country

If I were some guy in a suit, I'd be watching closely. It's clear that some companies are watching, and do resolve complaints as a result of a renegade employee or genuine misunderstanding — but if there motives are actually malicious, there's very little they can do to put out the fire.

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