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Customer Service

I am pretty sure everyone reading this guards their privacy and their private time fiercely.  As do I. But 21st century modes of communication and  various social media mediums are plotting against us  to strip away our “private” time.

We live in such a competitive world, that sometimes what separates one product from another is the customer service.  This is true ESPECIALLY for phone companies.  What really is the difference between AT&T and Verizon?  Service.

In an effort to look like they are trying harder, Verizon has employed 21st century technology to make it look like they are doing a good job.  In reality, they suck!!

Last week, our landline went “on the fritz”  We hardly use it, but if we got rid of it, I would feel like some Williamsburg hipster.  Besides, where would all the solicitors call if I didn’t have a landline? Though I considered taking the phone out, instead I contacted Verizon for a service call.

I dialed 611. That was the way I used to do it?  No good.  I went on the Verizon website and after surfing through several links I finally got a phone number to call.  Verizon’s hope is that you contact them via Email.  It makes it easier for them to ignore you. In retrospect  I would have preferred that.

I scheduled an appointment for Monday morning.  The woman who was on the phone with me did a little check of some sort and told me that the problem was outside of my house, so I did not need to be home.  Monday came and I got three text messages from Verizon telling me they were on the way.  Apparently, because I didn’t respond they thought no one would be home and they did not show up.  Huh?  I called Verizon Monday night and waited 20 minutes to get someone on the phone again.  Only to be told that the problem was in the house, so I needed to be home.  So, like an idiot I scheduled another appointment.

I waited around the house all day Tuesday and no one showed.  I also received another three messages telling me they were on the way.  I got busy Wednesday and waited until Thursday to call again.  “Can you please come and fix my #$#%#$# telephone!!”  I asked to speak to a supervisor.  He was tied up and I got a promise that he would call me “as soon as he was free”.  Never happened!!  What a surprise.

On Friday I gave it one more chance.  After waiting another 20 minutes I spoke to another person in the repair department.  She assured me someone would be out that day to fix it.  I got three more messages saying someone was being dispatched.  He would be here between 5pm and 8pm.  About 7pm I got an email saying that my appointment for TOMORROW (Saturday) was confirmed.  Please be home between 8AM and 8PM to allow the repairman access to the house. 

By this point I was committed to ripping out the phone. We totally ignored the instructions from Verizon.  By accident we were home at about 4 when the guy showed.  He told me that the problem was outside and that he would call me when he was finished.  By the way, I received three more text messages telling me that they had my order and were sending someone out.  One message saying he was in the area, but had to stop for lunch and would be there soon. (Only half true).

Finally, after running several errands my home phone rang and it was the repairman, who was brilliantly disguised as a homeless person, telling me my phone was fixed.  Two more phone calls from Verizon, telling me that they were fixing my problem, one more text message and an email and the job was finished.
If for one minute you doubt that the new technology available to us for communicating is not devouring what is left of our spare time, then think again.  How many emails do you get from credit card companies, car manufacturers and other people that you do business with, following up on some interaction you had with them?  “Will you please take five minutes to fill out this Customer Satisfaction Survey”?  The answer is NO,NO,NO!.

They take our money for poor or at best mediocre service. Then waste our time with follow-up questions, mostly designed to get a rapport going with them so they can sell you something else.  Don’t fall for it.  Stop leaving your email addresses at websites you visit.  Stop answering blocked phone calls, or calls from 866, 877 or 800 area codes. Step away from the keyboard.  Go a week without checking Facebook.  Let these companies figure out if they are doing a good job or not, the old fashioned way.  By looking at the bottom line.

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About jimdelbalzo

As the former Senior Vice President of Promotion at Columbia Records and now founder/helmsman of the artist management company-Jim Del Balzo Entertainment, Jim has managed, consulted, and developed/executed the promotion and marketing plans for some of the planet’s most beloved musicians. He has guided the careers of artists/acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Pink Floyd, Billy Joel, Bob Dylan, Alice In Chains, James Taylor, George Michael, Soul Asylum, and System of a Down; to name just a few. Jim also does consulting for labels and publishing companies including Columbia Records, Warner Brothers/Reprise Records, Hear Music/Starbucks, EMI Music Publishing and several other entertainment entities. Jim Del Balzo Entertainment clients include,  John Mellencamp, Elvis Costello, James Taylor, LL Cool J, Burt Bacharach, City Sleeps, Buddahead and Since October.     Jim’s highly successful career and great service to the music industry has earned him a number of accolades and awards over the years. Namely, he was voted one of the Top 25 Most Important People in Rock Music (2000) and Promotion Executive of the Year (5 times) by Album Network—from which he also received a Lifetime Achievement Award. And Clear Channel twice honored Jim with the Executive of the Year Award while Friday Morning Quarterback and Radio & Records named him Top Industry Executive 7 times combined.   Today, Jim Del Balzo takes his talent to the microphone, adding voice work to his remarkable repertoire. His promotional expertise and attuned top executive instincts-combined with his richly unique sound- delivers VO that is truly somethin’ else.   Jim Del Blazo VO.  Like nothin’ you’ve heard. Like nobody’s business.   Jim lives in Saddle River, New Jersey with his wife Mary Beth, daughters Jessica and Julia, and their two golden retrievers.

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