If you’re Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon, what’s it worth to you not to see this headline on Consumerist?
Verizon: Die Fighting In Afghanistan, Pay $350 Early Termination Fee
I’ve written more than once about customer service and the value of employees being given some latitude in fixing problems. Here’s a perfect example of what I’ve been talking about.
What’s the opposite of warm and fuzzy?
The story was originally reported by CBS13 in Sacremento. Thanks to the Internet it’s been seen worldwide. Time wounds all heels!
The family says a Verizon customer service representative told them that “nothing could be done” about the termination fee.
The customer service agent’s job isn’t to fix problems. The agent’s job is to make the person complaining go away! Of course something could be done and was done once this story saw the light of day.
Is there anyone who believes any party involved in this story didn’t know the right thing to do immediately? Words like “nothing can be done” represent the training customer service agents receive and their total lack of discretionary power.
This wrong decision was the inevitable outcome of the system as it now stands.
Maybe it’s time Sprint or T-Mobile (both desperately trying to regain their footing in the cellular marketplace) gave their agents a little latitude and then screamed it in their ads? Considering the typical customer reaction to cell carriers it just might work.
The sad truth is bad customer service is not bad for business when your competitors are doing the exact same thing.