Don’t ever just “settle”…and other things…

Don’t ever just “settle”….

but let me explain what I mean by that, because that statement is far reaching.

I spent over an hour today with my cell phone provider (T-Mobile) – whom we’ve been with for 15 years – over a billing dispute that I discovered at the beginning of December 2016, after we participated in yet another phone upgrade.  We’re part of their JUMP! program which allows us to upgrade our phones at any time with no penalties.  We simply turn in our old phones and pick new ones.  The old phones are credited back to zero balances, and the new ones are put on the new installment plans.   Simple, right?  You’d think so.  Most of them have gone very well with no problems.  However, one of our two lines did not go well due to a few errors along the way that soon snowballed into one big clusterf*(k of a problem.  I’ve made a total of FIVE calls about this, each resulting in more & more frustration, at least until today when I DEMANDED that someone from Customer Loyalty take the time to truly listen to me.

I didn’t get into a huff, get frustrated, lose my temper (Kenny of olden days would have blown several gaskets)….I just simply demanded that I be listened to with respect and courtesy because the entire situation COULD be explained if they would just LISTEN as SHOULD be done with any customer regardless of the amount of time

In the long run, the representative FINALLY realized what I was saying was correct, that I knew what I was saying and that they had actually made a quite large error, and on TWO phones at that.  The end result will be enough to pay for close to TWO months worth of service.  I’ve been saying all along “Isn’t our bill a bit high?”….but instead of taking the time to LISTEN to me, an intelligent long-standing customer, the customer representatives I’ve talked to in the past were more interested in getting their call numbers in, their quotas filled, and filing their duties for the day away in their folders.  It didn’t matter if the customers who actually paid their checks in the long run were taken care of or not.  And that’s my real problem.

A customer should not have to make multiple phone calls, complaints or not, to satisfy an issue they have.  They should not have to make several trips to a location to “fix” an issue, nor should they have to take to social media outlets to air their frustrations (as I have had to do in the past with our banking institution, where, when I did that, credits actually “magically appeared” back in our account).   Our world SHOULD be based on trust and respect, not suspicion and doubt, but it is.

Companies, despite what slogans they have and catchphrases they use, or commercials they run and pitches they exercise, DO expect they’ll be taken and/or betrayed and they build their models around such distrust.  As a result they operate backwards; out of protection only for themselves with a facade of caring about US, and making it appear that they’re helping or giving….because when you truly need SERVICE it seems that these days…?  Well, when the shoe is on the other foot and you go them with a real need, you had better be equipped with magic sauce and something extra special to get what you should actually be on the deserving end of.

Now, I’ll say there are some companies that strive very hard to make this no appear to be the case, and they’re very good at it, and some that outright do it the RIGHT WAY.  The customer comes first and they WANT you to be happy because they KNOW a happy customer is going to come back to them, even if they run into a few glitches along the way.  To those entities:  I salute you.  You will last.  I hope.

But to those that you have to fight tooth and nail to budge and inch, or that it takes 5 phone calls to get a modicum of satisfaction….well, you know what?  You may be on or near the top right now, but as spending habits change and the face of the consumer spending landscape erodes and changes over the next decade, you will ALSO have to change in order to remain successful.  Look at the HUGE amount of change companies like UBER, LYFT and ride sharing companies have had on the taxi industry?  That industry has changed forever because those companies have changed the business model.  Upstarts like FAVOR have brought new markets into business and continue to inspire others to do the same.   It’s an entrepreneurs dream.   And there are some smart peeps out there.

You might be reading one of them right now.


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