Home > Accomplishment, Focus Areas, Struggling > Tenacious Me (finale)

Tenacious Me (finale)

So far, I’ve for all practical purposes lost the ability to use my LG Chocolate Touch phone that was only ten months old, taken said phone to the local Verizon store only to be ignored and left waiting for a supervisor that took ten full minutes before she showed up and told me she couldn’t help me, watched from my car as the store employees peered at me from their window perch, called Customer Service and talked to ‘Ed’, was forced to tell my full-length story for the fourth time and was left with the information that all I could do was ‘grin and bear it’ by reverting back to my old phone .

I don’t do well with ‘grin and bear it’ when it comes to giving my hard-earned cash to corporations for the priviledge of using one of their products! I’m determined that they be the ones to ‘grin and bear it’ if they have any intentions of keeping my business.

After I came home, I was still seething from the very bad customer service experience I received at the Verizon store, and although I now had a work-around that allowed me to use an old cell phone, I was more than dissatisfied with looking at the husk of my LG Touch. I was determined to receive satisfaction!

I went to the Verizon online site and signed on to my account. I must have spent close to ten minutes looking for the customer service number! Do they intentionally hide it? I think that they might because right around the ten minute mark, a box popped up with a message asking if I would like to chat with a Customer Service representative. I thought “Here we go again!”, but clicked to accept.

  • A moment later ‘Emma’ wrote a line that said something similar to “I’ll be with you in a moment”.
  • Almost a full five minutes of waiting passed before  I wrote ‘Hello?’
  • A minute later a line appeared that said something similar to “I’ll be with you in a moment”.
  • Almost another full five minutes later I wrote ‘Hello?’
  • A minute later a line appeared that said something similar to “I’ll be with you in a moment”. I was about to go through the proverbial roof.
  • I wrote and asked if there was an issue with my account that she had been looking up or if she was on multiple calls at once or what the issue was that caused her to take so very long to at least acknowledge me.
  • A minute later a line appeared that said something similar to “I’ll be with you in a moment”.

At that moment, I found the 800 Customer Service number and dialed it. I had to go through the keypad maze of selections but eventually found my way to ‘Paul’ – a real live Customer Service representative! I immediately clicked ‘Close’ on the so-called conversation I had been having with Emma.

  • I again trotted out my lengthy story – leaving out no detail at all – he got the whole saga
  • I added to the story mye Verizon store experience
  • I added in the work-around of having to use my old phone
  • I added in the online chat with Emma from Customer Service
  • I added in that I’m about to go T-Mobile on them and I’m not sure if he would be able to help me at all!

I must have taken a full 7-10 minutes of ranting (politely, but very firmly, mind you) about how badly Verizon had treated me and because of it how I would buy out my contract, spread the word to everybody at my place of business and to my friends of how poorly I had been treated and how Customer Service was used in name only.

Paul calmly took down each and every word. He took names, he took locations and he took times. He told me that he was there to fix my issue and keep me as a Verizon customer – no matter what he had to do.

Turns out that Paul was as tenatious as I was.

After twenty-five minutes had passed, Paul had not only solved my many issues, he had indeed retained me as a Verizon customer. How? By working for it and remembering to put the customer first.

The issue with using my old phone? He looked up the LG Chocolate Touch online and asked me if I still wanted to use that particular phone, and I answered in the affirmative. No problem – he had it shipped overnight/next day delivery to me.

The problem with all my contacts from the old LG to the new? He took me step by step the very next day on how to back them up online and then download them to the new LG. And by the way, he was the one calling me!

And in order to ease my obviously bad (but ever polite) attitude toward Verizon, he poured figurative sweet and pure Tupelo honey on the deal by giving me five free ring-tones (a $5 value) and a package that included two clip-on carry cases for the phone – a $30 value.

  • So, today, I have a new replacement phone at no extra charge
  • I had a Service Rep that called me at home to see if things were working out
  • That same Service Rep let me know that the Verizon store supervisor was about to be disciplined. She not only treated me rudely, but didn’t know (or decide to utilize) corporate policy by giving me a replacement LG right away!
  • Service Rep let me know that the online rep Emma would be spoken to (they proved how long I was left hanging by the backup chat records)
  • I was given a replacement phone via next day/overnight delivery
  • I was helped. step by step, in getting my cell phone contacts in order
  • I received profuse apologies from Paul’s supervisor on the way my issues had been handled
  • I received five free ring-tones for a total of $5
  • I received $30 in cell phone merchandise

As I mentioned in the first four paragraphs of the first post in this saga, it’s all about receiving fair and accountable treatment from the company that you are allowing to take from you the hard-earned cash you struggled for, in order to receive a needed service.

If they don’t, you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time on the phone, have a determined attitude that you will get what is rightfully yours, be willing to speak to supervisors after supervisor, be willing to take your issue online, be brave enough to take your business elsewhere even if it’s inconvenient at the moment and finally, speak up – demand something extra for your troubles and ask them to use it as an incentive for customer retention.

Look what I received in the end – a new LG phone, two free phone cases and five free ringtones. In the past I have negotiated my way to a family vacation that started at $2,500 and ended at $1,700. I’ve received free DVR access through my cable company and also free premium channels. I told my credit card company that if they didn’t lower my interest rate, I would take my business elsewhere – they changed it right away.

Stand up for yourself in the consumer world and you will be rewarded!

  1. 02/12/2011 at 12:57 AM

    WOW. impressed. NICELY DONE! That is a great lesson for working for what you’re owed…so many companies get away with this crap, it’s ridiculous. Good for you!

    • 02/12/2011 at 1:13 PM

      The reason a lot of companies get away with this type of crap is because 99.9999% of docile dopes allow them to! Most everyone will see a charge that they’re not familiar with. Many, many less of them will actually make a call to question it and an even more tiny sliver of the minority will ask to speak to the supervisor.

      And the smallest percent of all? Those who will not stop with the supervisor. They are the ones that will spend real time on the phone over a period of a few days and rip and tear the issue with bloody fangs until they receive what is rightfully theirs in the first place.

      So companies ‘get away with it’ because consumers are apathetic and couldn’t be bothered.

      Thank you for the comment and for reading the too long series of how I had my phone replaced and received free merchandise.

  2. 02/13/2011 at 2:26 AM

    Good for you! I’m glad this ended well for you. There is so much competition between companies these days that I’m actually a little shocked at how hard you had to fight for what was rightfully yours. At the end of the day, Verizon spent more money on replacing your phone than was truly necessary in terms of the number of staff it took to get you to where you wanted to be. It’s mind boggling really.

    • 02/14/2011 at 2:31 PM

      You know, that a good point. The effort it took them was costly.

      But, they get the money for that from the people who do not make the effort to call and ask the questions and demand adjustments.

      Thank for stopping by and reading – I do so appreciate it and hope you are doing well.

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