Filed Under (Musings) by Mike Wilton on 06-21-2009
Tagged Under : verizon wireless
After nearly 6 months of battling with Verizon Wireless to upgrade my cell phone, I am a proud new owner of a Blackberry Storm. Sadly, none of it is thanks to the customer service of Verizon Wireless.
Readers and Twitter followers will recall Verizon Wirelesses’ terrible customer service and my plan to cancel service with Verizon Wireless from a while back, but after researching other carriers and phone options I was hesitant to do so. After the last incident with Verizon I decided to take to their support forums. There I left a brief synopsis of what had happened and left links to the two blog posts I had written about the terrible service I had received. Within 24 hours of posting in the forums I was contacted.
After being contacted I had my faith in Verizon Wireless somewhat restored. Obviously they are terrible at monitoring their social media mentions since I put out a number of help cries both on Twitter and on my blog and not a single person took the time to contact me, but at least after a combined effort and leaving a message on their forums I felt that they were finally listening to my outcry.
The representative that contacted me asked for some additional information, some of it I felt was a bit ridiculous because they should have had it on file, but since I was hoping to finally get somewhere with the company I obliged. In the e-mail I was told my information and concerns were going to be passed on to their local support representative. Sadly, that was the last I heard from Verizon Wireless. I have yet to receive another e-mail or even a phone call from the company or their support people.
So how did I wind up with a Blackberry Storm? Last week my wife received a VIP promotional offer in the mail which offered the Blackberry Storm for $49.95 along with a buy one get one option, and let’s be honest I would be stupid to pass up on such an amazing offer.
So alas we head down to our local Verizon Wireless store and scored us some new phones. The process took forever and the salesman we dealt with was pretty much clueless and tried to charge us full price for the second phone, but after explaining to him the offer, which he had right in front of him, and help from a manager we got the phones at the right price.
What I’ve Learned
Through this experience I’ve learned a few things. First Verizon Wirelesses’ customer service has gotten terrible over the last year both in store and obviously through its main support division. Second I learned that no matter how terrible your customer service is sometimes if your product is good enough and trusted people will look past the poor support for the right price.
The key in what I just said is for the right price; had Verizon not offered the VIP promotion I had fully intended on switching to AT&T for an iPhone in August when my contract was up. Verizon Wireless has severely tarnished their image in my eyes and my trust in their customer service is nonexistent at this point.
What Businesses Can Learn from This
In this economy people are willing to bend a little more if the price is just right. I did in this situation because I was desperate, and Verizon was able to retain my contract with them even though they have treated me terribly over the last six months. If you’re a business that wants to sieze the day and take advantage of this, now is a better time than ever. However, it’s important to realize that the economy won’t be like this forever and once that time comes if your service sucks even the right price won’t be enough to keep even your most loyal of customers. If my financial situation was better than it was at the current time I would have broke my contract with Verizon Wireless and switched to AT&T immediately. In fact I debated it on more than one occasion; I just wasn’t in a place financially to do it.
The key in hard economic times is trying even harder to wow your customers. The happier you make them now the more they will be willing to throw money at your product or brand when things are financially sound.