Monday, October 3, 2011

Just say NO

bad-customer-service 2
Over the last few months I have been the victim of bad customer service. My cell phone seems to not like where I live anymore. When I have explained the problem to the respective company I am astonished with the lack of empathy that was expressed. I was made to feel that I should be pleased that they designed to lower themselves to provide me with said services and complaining just makes me a bad customer.
As a business owner myself (over 10 yrs) I have a high level of expectations for myself and my customer service skills. I know that my buyers are my meal ticket. I NEED them-they don’t need me. There are too many people out there lining up to take my customers. One of the first things I as ever taught with the first company I worked for was that 85% of customers just want empathy. They want to know you care about their problem. You don’t have to agree with them, but you should at least listen. I have garnered a lot of crap over this attitude. I have been told I show weakness when I say I’m sorry or cater to a customer. Really? It’s weak to tell someone who handed me over their hard earned money that I understand their frustration? That I acknowledge their anger and will try my very best to help them? Maybe it is weakness; but this so called “weakness” has established me a repeat buyer base of over 20 percent. And that’s nothing to sneeze at.
This brings me to my problems last week. Sprint, a company I have been with for home phone in the past and cellular service now is not empathic. They bought out Nextel a while back and frankly, I now remember why I dropped their home phone service. They just don’t care. My cell phone service has been erratic to say the least over a year long period. Dropped calls, no service, missed calls and voice mails. Missing emails, unreliable apps. I don’t even want to talk about the bricking that occurs when I have to update. *sigh* When I talked to Sprint they did inform me that they were phasing out the Nextel towers and that maybe the problem. Maybe? Your not sure? Their solution? Buy a new Sprint phone, convert, and sign up for an additional 2 years

Excuse me?

You mean I have to pay you MORE money in order to get the service you promised in the contract I signed? And stay with you two more years? Because it’s so good right now? My mother got involved (we share a family plan) and she  escalated up the chain to speak to a high level manager. My advice right off the bat? She needs customer service training pronto. According to her, she would rather lose our business then give me a $50 credit to buy a Sprint phone. Then she informed us I should have never gotten a phone in the first place because service in my area is bad.


So your saying your company sold me a phone and contract knowing it probably wouldn’t work? Needless to say she feel back on another old customer service trick that if the customer is argumentative, simply repeat what you will give them and say nothing more. She also had the audacity to inform us when we asked for her boss that she didn’t have one. Really? So we're talking to the CEO of Sprint? Funny, because I’m pretty sure HE is a man. She also said she couldn’t give out the complaint department’s address. Yes, she actually said that she wasn’t allowed to. Lucky for us, I found the numbers, names and addresses I needed on line while she was blowing smoke up our arses.

My whole point in this is that the customers come first.  When someone gives you their hard earned money, you need to make sure you give them what they paid for. Attitude and threats should play no part. They may not be right but your job isn’t to let them know that. I’m not saying you should bend over and kiss it all goodbye; but sometimes a simple, “I understand your problem and will try to help,” will make all difference. Had Sprint said that at anytime, I would not be sitting here drafting letters to the FCC, my attorney general, and the BBB. I no longer want to work with this company and will doing all I can to sever my relationship with them.

In this crappy economy, there are to many people who want my business for me to put up with bad customer service.

1 comment:

Helyce said...

Hey T-excellent post and I totally agree. When I first moved to CA my roommate and I had Sprint for our home service (this is pre-cell service). When we split up and moved, we were still getting bills two months later for our long distance charges-it was so ridiculous. We have been with Verizon FOREVER for cell service and I have to say I wouldn't change for anything. Other than a few problems with voicemails, they have been easy to work with and my husband, who is really hard on phones because of his job has used the insurance we bought for his phone at least four times and they never give us a problem. It's a big pain to move service, I'm sure but sometimes you just gotta.