Saturday, May 31, 2008

PR Idea of the Week

Customer service. What a concept. This week I saw the best and worst of both. And I'm not afraid to name names.

First, let me take my hat off to all those who toil in consumer PR and work for B2C companies. Consumers are, for the most part, very dumb. Otherwise, why would companies need to protect us from ourselves. I once owned a sun shade for my car, the kind that covers the windshield, that said: Do not use while vehicle is in operation. OK.

But back to my recent experiences. I use Verizon DSL for my Internet service. It's about the only thing we can get out here in the country. So a few weeks ago the DSL stops working consistently. The little light is blinking sporadically and a horrible fuzz takes over the phone line. So I called the 800 number. They made me check all my lines, download software, get a new modem, and on and on. Until I said the magic word: cancel. Then suddenly and mysteriously I was connected to a wonderful man named David who was actually named David by his mother, not Abu.
Anyway, David said he knew right away that the problem was: it was in the switching station. The low pass filter had a problem and I had a mis-wire issue. I have no idea what any of that means.

I asked David how I could reach him directly in the future and skip Abu and his cousins who were reading a script that dictated the problem is always due to the stupid consumer. He said in a very conspiratorial way: Whatever you did to reach me today, do again in the future. I said, you mean say "cancel?" Like a movie guru who refuses to give straight answers, he said: Whatever you did to reach me today, do so again in the future, grasshopper.

So, a little tip to Verizon customers. Only those who are frustrated to the brink of tears. Only those who have wasted HOURS of their lives on the phone with people who blame you, the idiot consumer, for their service problems. Only those who are fed up and say, cancel, get the good customer service. Just a tip.

P.S. Damn, those people are good. I had this posted for seconds before the lights on my modem turned blood red. If you never hear from me again, please call Verizon, ask for David.

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