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« 2011 CRM Forecast - What's Up Wit' Dat - Part II | Main | Accounts Payable, The Role of Process, The CustomerNever Think Bloodless »

January 28, 2011

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Brittany

I don't know how anybody pays for ATT or Verizon. I am a Sprint customer, all day everyday.

My boyfriend worked tech support for Apple from home. After listening to some of the phone calls he got from ATT, I have decided around 98% of their employees are missing key brain components. He would get transfered calls from ATT reps saying "the customer is having dropped calls, you need to fix this."

Then, Verizon got the iPhone.

It amazes me the number of customers that yell at the person they are calling to help them. As well as, the number of people that think Apple should send them a new iPhone 4 because their screen broke.

I am excited to see the future of telecommunications since Apple seems to want to move everywhere. And Sprint & Google's partnership in mobile banking.

Hopefully, ATT & Verizon will change their customer service.

Kathleen

A few years ago I made the switch from Verizon to AT&T,partly to get the iPhone but also because I had vowed never again to give my business to a company that cared so little for its customers. I guess I was one of the few who didn't have any issues with At&T. Actually, their customer service impressed me. But when I moved to Canada, I realized the most affordable phone plan was one offered by Verizon covering the US, Canada and Mexico. So I returned. Oh, the horror. I simply cannot wait for my Verizon contract to expire so that I can leave them again, never to return until their CEO is gone AND a real customer appreciation policy is in place.

Chuck Schaeffer

Comparing ATT to Verizon will produce no favorable winner. ATT and Verizon operate in an oligopoly that leverages lack of competition, readily incurs penalties as a cost of doing business, methodically pushes business practices to the brink of regulatory compliance, employs business ethics for little more than PR, plays on short term gimmicks and unfortunately, for now, gets away with it. For both organizations the customer experience is challenged at nearly every level – from the retail store sales rep to customer service to the management hierarchy to the board room. That kind of consistency, particularly over a very long period of time, comes from systemic behavior from the top. I’m sorry to say that you should expect both of these firms to continue their modus operandi until they believe that any change in business behaviors will have a positive effect on their stock valuation – and before you think you can prove such a theory true, recognize that making any arguments to these organizations is far less about education and rational business sense and more about a cultural change of massive proportion. Sorry to come across as such a downer, but I’ve been spent time with ATT at the executive levels and will never go back. As I see it, you have a few alternatives. Pursue Gandhi’s call to action and be the change you wish for – possibly the spark that melds a community action. Or seek a smaller, more innovative provider.

Ginger Conlon

Paul, Great post--but sorry it came about through such a bad experience. I had wondered if former Verizon customers "forced" to switch to AT&T to get the iPhone would switch back en masse (or at least when their contracts expire...), but it sounds like the situation isn't much better with one carrier than the other.

Robert Eastman

Paul: A pathetic story indeed. But then what can you expect from a service provider who would allow a customer - any customer - to incur an unexpected, and obviously unintended - $18,000 bill (http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20003930-71.html)?

Interestingly, Seidenberg's justification for Verizon's billing practices? "I don't think the world's that simple,". My thought: When you will allow customers to incur unexpected and unintended $18,000 bills (or put your customers through the kind of experience that you had), maybe the world IS that simple.

I agree that Verizon gives every impression of price gouging. The only word I can think of to describe these business practices is "unconscionable".

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