Monday, September 22, 2008

What happened to customer service

GG and I have been thinking about getting a family plan for our cell phones. It makes no sense for us to each have our own cell phone plan when, 1. neither of us uses even close to the number of minutes that we each have and 2. we are paying like thirty dollars more a month than it would cost for the two of us to get a family plan. The contract for GG's cell phone plan has expired so there is no problem with her switching to another company. My plan on the other hand is still in effect, but I was thinking that I might be willing to pay the early termination fee if I had to, but that it might be best to stick with the same company I already have. We had been looking around at the different companies and the plans that each has and also trying to figure out which has the best service and would work best for us. We finally decided that it would be one of two companies, the one I was with or a new one. So first, on Saturday we went into the retail store for the one I am with and the sales person was rude and really obnoxious. I asked first, if I up graded to a family plan if that meant I had to have a new contract, he looked at me like I was stupid and said well yes of course. So then I asked since I had to have a new contract could I get a new phone because I am starting to like my phone, it has really bad battery life and I wanted one with a better battery life. He said he had to go look at my account and then he could tell me. He looked up my account and said that I could not get a new phone till January. "This isn't that long of time though." Also, the salesman said even if I got the new contract adding GG to get a family plan, this date would not be affected. So I was going to have to wait a few months for a new phone. GG and I then added that I could get a new phone with another company and pay less per month for a family plan. His retort was that but "we have the only national network and we are the best network." Hmmmmmmm well most of the companies are now national and you can get signal most places. The places where you can't get service is pretty much uniform where it doesn't matter which company you are with, they are just too rural, at least this seems to be my experience. So we left and he did not even really try to keep us. He lost two consumers. As GG and I talked about it, if he had tried to keep us he may have had success. If he had said, hey I know that you are not due for a new phone till January, but since you are upgrading I will work with you and you can get one. Or I can't give you a new phone, but I can give you a credit on your first bill. Or I can get a nicer phone for the other person to encourage you to stay with us. But he didn't do any of this, he seemed to not understand the customer service is about making sure people stay with your company or at least do not think you are horribly obnoxious and an ass. This is not the first time I have had bad in-store service with this company, in fact all but the first time I have gone into the retail stores for this company, I have had to deal with obnoxious, annoying salespersons.

So, GG and I have gone with another company where the person at the retail store was friendly and helpful. He answered all of our questions and when he didn't know the answer to something he went and found the answer. We also mentioned that we were thinking of getting the phones online and he agreed with our logic that since we could get phones free from online that would have costed us some money in the store that this was not a bad idea. He did add that if we got them online, we would have to return them by mail if something went wrong, that we could not take them into the store for service, which is not really a big deal for us, but was really helpful to know. He also was not obnoxious and actually seemed to want our service and did not act like we were doing him a favor by coming into his store. This salesman was there to help us. I should have known that the new compnay would have been had better service based upon this survey from J.D. Power.

The lesson here, customer service is still important and if you cannot be personable than maybe you should work in a dark basement where you don't have to come in contact with others. I know not everyone's experiences are not the same, but I can only go on what I have dealt with and can only hope that the new company will continue to live up to my positive hopes.

NOTE: I am intentionally not naming the companies I dealt with, but just in case you want to know the bad company rhymes with berizon and the good company rhymes with b-mobile.

1 comment:

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Dude, allow me to recommend Virgin Mobile Prepaid. We went from having a bill of $40 plus dollars every month to having a bill of $20every three months.