I'm not convinced a public forum is the best place for customer support - witness Ben's very reasonable statement above which is still accruing negative responses, in spite of going well beyond the call of duty in refunding money paid to a completely different service. It's quite hard to interact with a crowd baying for blood - emotions run high, and people tend to pick sides and pick holes in any argument. One response to that is to ignore the crowd and try to deal with the particular customers - that's what I take the tweets to mean.
It's fair to criticise those tweets and I don't feel they are appropriate really, but I don't think they should be classified as disgusting - misguided and inappropriate at this particular time, perhaps, but not disgusting. Isn't it better to deal with situations like this without escalating emotions further and degenerating into both sides insulting each other?
He spent weeks trying to get help from them, to no avail. It's more than reasonable for him to post a negative review at this point, explaining the situation, taking blame where he should, and warning others to think twice.
All I want to see from the CEO in a situation like this is: "I'm sorry. We fucked up. Here's how we'll make it right, and here's how we'll make sure it doesn't happen again."
And if you genuinely can't say that because you don't think the customer is right and you're not willing to do anything for them, just keep your mouth shut.
I'm not convinced a public forum is the best place for customer support ...
I think a great heuristic here is this: your customers can be publicly negative, but you cannot.
If you publicly flame a customer then, no matter how deserving the customer was, some future potential customers will look at that and say "That could be me." Most businesses, I think, can't afford to risk that.
There are some notable counterexamples, in my opinion they are the exceptions which prove the rule, i.e. when the business wants to fire the customer and make an example of him/her for others.
Sorry, it's just my personal opinion as a WPEngine customer, and I stand by it. I don't want to see the CEO of a service that I pay money to publicly behaving this way towards those customers and others who have had issues. It's the opposite of good customer service, and a great example of biting the hand that feeds you.