UPDATE: ShopTo has issued a statement on the matter, offering a full apology, account restoration and a pre-ordered PS4 free of charge. The entirety of the statement:
Earlier today there was a small misunderstanding with a customer which resulted in his account being cancelled by ourselves, for this we would like to apologise.
Basically, while we were talking to a customer via direct message on twitter regarding the pricing on our PlayStation 4 pre-order bundles, the same customer was also talking to a friend regarding our policy. It was at this point the customer swore while mentioning ‘shopto’ in regards to our decision, however as our staff were talking to this customer at the same time, when our social feed showed the abuse (for social purposes we use tweetdeck to allows us to see anytime the shopto name is mentioned on twitter), the staff took it as being directly made to ShopTo. Further investigation into this matter shows us that the customer was not actually pointing abuse at us, but just talking to his friend, so in this case we have to deeply apologise for being in the wrong.
As a way to make this up to the customer we have offered to restore his account and provide his PS4 pre-order free of charge.
We hope that you understand that we thought this abuse was being aimed at us directly. We cannot tolerate our staff being abused and have to take a stance on this, but since this customer did not aim abuse at us directly we must admit that on this occasion we were in the wrong with regards to the decision to cancel his account.
Original Article: Twitter is a social media site that lets you post exactly how you’re feeling or what you’re thinking in 140 characters or less. Your tweets are public domain, meaning followers and the general public can see them at any time. For one UK gamer, such openness can result in a cancelled customer account that contained a PS4 pre-order, which was the case for NeoGAF user Carl.
According to Carl, Amazon.co.uk lowered the price of their PS4 mega bundle by £20 to £430. Having a pre-order with ShopTo, he asked the Twitter account if they were lowering their price to match Amazon’s. In a DM, they said they had no plans on changing their prices. Possibly frustrated, Carl entered a conversation with a friend on Twitter stating he would be switching his game pre-orders to Amazon as retaliation. (Caution: Tweet contains vulgar language)
@TheRocketMind Had games preordered at Shopto but switching them all to Amazon to say fuck you
— Carl (@PooWithEyes) October 13, 2013
ShopTo’s must have been monitoring either Carl or their company name results in a Twitter search, because they saw the tweet and continued the DM conversation with Carl’s Twitter account, allegedly saying that because of his vulgarities they will be closing his account, along with cancelling his PS4 pre-order.
If the account is closed and the PS4 pre-order is truly cancelled, this behavior is inexcusable from a video game retailer such as ShopTo. If Carl was going off on a crusade against their company on Twitter, rallying costumers in a boycott of ShopTo and trying to do active economic harm to the company, cancelling the account and pre-order would be completely justified. However, Carl was in conversation with one other person. The only people who would have seen that tweet without searching would be @TheRocketMind, Carl and people who follow both accounts.
The incident is the virtual equivalent of overhearing a conversation between two people on the street and taking it personally. ShopTo reacted completely over the top in this scenario, and they need to make this right.
GameSided has contacted ShopTo for a response at the time of this posting. We will update our piece if we have any new information to share with you on this matter, or if we get a response from ShopTo themselves.