I had been an AT&T Customer for years; however, last year when I found myself phone-less because I shared a plan with the ex, Kyle tried talking me into going with Verizon. Considering that I had to get a new number and everything, I reluctantly agreed to follow his advise.
I walked into the Verizon store located in the Riverdale area of Little Rock to sign up for service. I had a phone in mind; however, the sales rep went on and on about how great an HTC phone was. I finally gave in and agreed to take the HTC Eris instead of the Motorola Droid I wanted. Of course, I was excited because the associate raved and raved about how great the Eris was suppose to be.
Of course, as if you cannot predict what I am about to say, I had nothing but issues with the phone. I was not doing anything out of the ordinary to my phone; however, like clock work, every month or so my phone would just stop working. Each time I had to step into a Verizon store to get a replacement, I got a different excuse as to why my phone was not working. I heard everything from the processor was fried to the graphics card quit working.
Anyway, I was at my ropes end. I was ready to just walk away from Verizon regardless of the termination fee. I feel that had I walked away, and they tried to collect, I would be justified and not requied to pay.
Kyle talked me into doing one final bitchfest at a Verizon store. So, once we moved to Illinois, he looked up Verizon's corporate stores, and he found one on Dundee Road in Palatine. Our first appearance in the store did not do any good. I had a young girl tell me that I just did not know how to use my phone. She reluctantly ordered me another one without ever telling me what she was doing. If it were ever legal to bitch slap someone, I would have her.
Once my new phone arrived, it could not make calls. So, mad as hell, I drove back to the store and queened out. I ranted, I raved, and I am pretty sure I even dropped the F-Bomb a few times. I was refusing to leave until they fixed the problem. I did not care if that meant terminating my contract, getting me a new phone, or just allowing me to punch someone.
Then, something unexpected happened. The Verizon associate that was helping me, listened. She heard what I said. She listened to my complaints. Then, out of nowhere, she looked up at me and said, "I'm sorry."
I was completely thrown off my game. In eight months of complaing, I had never gotten an apology. It was apparently all I wanted. I just took a deep breath, and asked if she could please fix it for me.
Brenda, that was the associate's name, asked if she could please order me one more phone so that she could see what the issue was. If it was something related to the phone, she would use the appropriate steps to solve my ongoing issues.
I did get a new phone - my eighth; but it instantly started having issues. So, I went back to see Brenda Laboy. I almost felt bad telling her the phone was having issues because she was so nice the first time around. When she figured out the issues with Eris #8, she spoke to her manager, who agreed to let me out of my contract.
Brenda then took me through all the phones that they had in the store, and asked me which one I wanted. She let me pick. She told me the good and the bad with each phone I asked about. She was so good at her job, that I actually, mindfully, decided to sign a new contract with a company that I hated.
Now, eight months later, I am one of the happiest Verizon customers you can find. Now, in the interst of fairness, I have had to replace my Motorola Droid X twice. However, the first time was a defect in an update to the operating system not working and the second was because I gave my phone an extended bath in a puddle of water.
Regardless, I added a second phone to my account yesterday for Kyle. Of course, I only allow Brenda to sevice my account now. If she is not in, I ask when she will be, and I return at said time.
I often wonder if big companies know that some of their employees are the only reason they retain customers. I wonder if they could train them to know that sometimes an "I'm sorry" is all the customer wants. In my case, it, and a nice smile, was all it took to get me to stick with a company that I had nothing but issues with. Matter-of-fact, I even refused to really write or speak about my experience with Verizon until my amount of good-service time was at least equal to my amount of bad-service time.
Anyway, companies, and even indidivduals, should sometimes just realize that owning up to a mistake or mishap, is the best way to get out of a sticky situation. Most of the time, a little understanding is all any of us are asking for.