Two different stories of breakdowns in customer service. One had a very simple solution, but one was most difficult to resolve. Both resulted in ill-will on the part of the customer (us.) Both of these prove the old saying my former boss used, “It takes ten ‘atta-boys’ to make up for one ‘Oh Sh*t!'”
The Lazy Goat
This was the simplest to resolve, but that didn’t happen. The customer service faux pas could have been fixed with just one simple phrase, but the offending parties didn’t.
Laura and I celebrated our 21st anniversary last week. However, we decided to wait until we got home from Florida to have a celebratory dinner at The Lazy Goat. I made reservations, and specifically requested a table at the windows overlooking the Reedy River. When we arrived, we were seated in the middle of the restaurant, our request notwithstanding. The window tables had been taken.
Here’s where things broke down…
All the hostesses had to do was to acknowledge our request and let us know that our requested table wasn’t available. We would have been happy to wait 10 minutes in the bar (which is about all it took for one to come open.) Instead, we got two twits who acted like they couldn’t be bothered, and didn’t even make eye contact. A simple sentence could have avoided some ill-will. The food was still good, and we had a nice evening, but it wasn’t quite perfect.
This was more egregious. Apparently Laura wanted to buy me a new Droid smart phone for Christmas, so she headed to our local Verizon outlet. My current phone has been shutting off of its own accord, and I guess I had complained about it too much.
At the Verizon store she was informed by the salesman that we were not eligible for an upgrade. Even though Laura said she would be willing to pay whatever the difference would be, he flatly refused to sell her a new phone. He told her that my current phone was still under warranty and that they could just replace it. He even agreed with Laura that she should just go buy me a new camera at another store instead (which she did.)
When we got back from Florida we headed to the Verizon store to get my phone replaced. We were informed that A) my phone was NOT under warranty and it would be $50 to replace it, and B) we were eligible for an upgrade. The first salesman didn’t want to be bothered with Laura and flat out lied to her.
I complained to Verizon, and did get a response. They were suitably appalled at the salesman’s behavior, and offered to deduct 10% from my primary line bill for the next six months. That comes to about $36 – not a huge amount, but it does help offset the expense of the phone replacement.
However, they lost more than just $36. They lost a sale, and they lost the additional monthly charges for data access, not to mention the ill-will on our part.
Customer service can really be a simple thing – just a well-time phrase often takes care of everything. Sometimes people just don’t think.
5 thoughts on “Adventures in Customer Service”
Sorry about your poor service stories. I actually had an excellent experience when I purchased the Droid.
Maybe someday you can still go back and get one. I’m loving mine everyday!
I figure it was just this one salesman at Verizon. I can’t believe he didn’t want to make a sale. Everyone else has been trying to make up for the way this one dude screwed up. Oh well.
I’m thinking I might consider the Motorola Droid sometime this summer. I may want to talk with you more about it then.
Hey Tom take it to Twitter–it seems everyne who complains on Twitter gets contacted by a twitter rep for the vendor and gets great satisfaction and compensation. Surely Verizon has someone lurking in Twitter, and bc its so public, they will do anything to make it up to you. Worth a shot if you feel they have not done enough.
You know, that has worked for me, too. I may just do that.
Most times customer service and delivery are pretty good, but when it breaks down these days things can get appalling very fast.
Wachovia made a mistake involving $21 which cost me about $350 in fees and interest along with potential damage to my credit. They offered $100 in compensation which I turned down. Anyway, for that $21 they are losing a six figure brokerage account and a checking account which probably nets them over $1K per year (they know about the possible consequences beforehand).
Needless to say, our community bank where I am on a first name basis is happy to have me.