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Man Buys Tweets to Call Out Subway for (Alleged) Cockroach Sandwich

We recently posted on a study finding that most brands aren’t quite ready to perform customer service functions on social—and based on this tale we might need to add Subway Canada to that list.

About a year ago, Ontario native Patrick Balfour claims he found a cockroach inside his turkey sandwich and responded by tweeting at the corporate account. He wasn’t satisfied with the company’s follow-up, and last week he went so far as to pay for his tweets:

He insists that he’s telling the truth about the roach and that he only wants Subway reps to contact him directly. That’s not how customer service usually works, but it’s not like he hasn’t tried…

Barfour says that the account asked for his contact information but didn’t follow up and that, when he did try to call this number, he got yet another automated message from a company that’s usually pretty good about responding to followers:

We’re not quite sure whether we believe the guy’s story about the big bug (he didn’t take a picture), and some have implied that he just wants attention for reasons we don’t quite understand:

But we do get why Subway doesn’t feel the need to contact him directly when his new stated purpose is to discredit its customer service practices.

Still, when the Daily Dot picks up your story and passes it on to Gawker, you might just want to respond—especially when you’re the world’s largest restaurant chain.

Like the time a man paid to promote his tweet shaming British Airways, this case is an argument for more aggressive customer service on social. But at least it’s less meme-worthy than the not-quite-footlong scandal.


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