Last week I grabbed a bite to eat at Taco Bueno on the way home from class. I had a lot of work to do and didn’t want to spend that time in the kitchen (although I love to cook.)

I don’t normally eat Taco Bueno. I’ve been a Taco Bell fan even through the “beef” lawsuit. On this particular day I choose to order the Beef Nacho Salad from Bueno. Normally I will order the cheese quesadilla. The restaurant is just a few miles from my house so I drove home to eat.

So, there I am sitting at the table, starving, waiting to devour some food… I open the styrofoam container… lo and behold, the salad is covered in refried beans!

Here’s the deal: I refuse to eat any kind of beans. I’ve tried them (all kinds) several times and I just don’t like the texture or taste. My boyfriend and I have an agreement that he won’t make me eat beans if I don’t make him eat peas. Our agreement includes that we won’t argue about it or force one another to eat our forbidden food.

I wouldn’t have got so upset about the bean cover nachos if the meal comes with beans and I asked for no beans. But the beans are not even an ingredient for the beef nacho salad! Someone working there decided I should have them and loaded them on. There’s a big difference

Naturally, I complained on Facebook and Twitter about my food mishap. I thought some friends would read it and laugh at my misery and I’d move on with my day.

Within seven minutes @Taco_Bueno replied to my tweet.

I honestly never thought I would interact with a brand on Twitter. I didn’t try to get their attention on purpose; I wasn’t looking for a resolution, free product or trying to get someone in trouble. They were just on it.

I direct messaged them but also asked a question just to make sure the ingredients in the salad haven’t changed since last time I ordered it and there really aren’t supposed to be beans. I would feel horrible if I was ranting and I was actually wrong.

I never got a response to my message, just an email.

The email was very generic, I was a little disappointed. It wasn’t conversational and didn’t make me feel like I was talking to an actual person. It seems like Taco Bueno has some a great social media team looking for people tweeting about their brand, but fail to follow through with a personal and meaningful DM or email.

Bueno’s timely response and attempt to send me a coupon still isn’t going to change my opinion on their food. Taco Bell will always be my fave.  I’ll probably give the coupons away.

There are a lot of brands that using social media well. Anyone who pays attention in the twitterverse are familiar with Southwest Airlines, Toms, Chevrolet and in response to recent events, Taco Bell. Mashable has compiled a list of 40 of the Best Twitter Brands and the People Behind Them in 2009, but I’m sure a lot has changed in two years.

Brands need to follow some of the better social media campaigns to see what is and what’s not working. A lot of companies are looking for a quick fix and use a lot of automated responses. Going in this direction isn’t going to get your company noticed or make consumers feel intrigued by your services.

UPDATE: I have received seven $5 free Taco Bueno cards in the mail. I’m a poor college student, I’ll never pass up free food so today I used two cards and got $9.93 of food… free.