I haven’t blogged for a while. That’s because I’ve been spending all my spare time on the phone with Verizon Wireless.
As a customer, I’m being told by business publications that I’m in charge. What horse hockey. Take my Palm Treo 650 from Verizon Wireless. On Sept. 9 I fell victim to a common problem among owners. The thing froze up and died. Sept. 17 and I’m still without a working replacement. The latest insult is that after being sent by VZW to a store to buy a replacement battery on the bet, best guess, or hope that a new one would fix the problem, the store clerk informed me they didn’t actually sell them in stores. So I ordered one. After checking today on why it did not arrive, I was told there was no record of the order.
This is after realizing I cannot just go into a store and return the prematurely dead device for a replacement…
after realizing that I have to pay for VZW to ship me a device to replace the dead one…
after realizing it is not a new device, but a reconstituted one…
after realizing that VZW won’t give me a loaner while I wait for someone in customer service to turn the lights on and get me a working phone…
after having to ASK for a rebate on the data services fee for the days I am without any data service…
after getting the feeling the customer rep at my local store didn’t give a rat’s you know what from my predicament, judging from his tone, look and general lack of engagement…
after noticing that my 2-year contract is feeling really onerous right now.
I feel like a chump for being a VZW customer.
But I guess so do these and these and these .
Here is what VZW should do to make its customer LOVE being so:
sell products that don’t die
immediately replace ones that do with new ones if within the warranty (what use is a warranty otherwise?)
supply loaners if a customer is going to have to wait for a replacement
do not charge for shipping, boneheads
address billing adjustments where appropriate, as in my case, proactively
throw in a sweetner to account for the customer hassle, like extra minutes, to show appreciation and understanding and CARING
check up with customer on the day the new device or battery or whatever is supposed to show up, and not wait for them to call to let you know it has not
And that’s just for starters.
Yes, it’s true that they ship you “refurbished” phones instead of new ones. My experience has been that refurbished phones have sent back to Palm/Verizon for a reason — they have problems. Usually these problems are not fixed during the refurbishing process, which must involve little more than wiping the device down with Windex.
When my Treo 650 died, Verizon sent two bad ones before I got one that worked acceptably. My experience, however, is that the shipping was completely free, and the service was pretty good – basically overnight.
In all fairness to Verizon, it could be worse…my HP laptop died for instance. Talk about painful.