This is a long post, but I’m telling a story with a lesson, so bear with me. When I was in the Verizon store today, I received some news of a policy of theirs that aggravated me so greatly, that I couldn’t wait to get home to blog about it. I was tweeting about my displeasure while in the store and how the only reason I’m still with Verizon is because they’re less evil than AT&T. A person shouldn’t have to choose any company based on who sucks less, but that’s what we have in 2012.
But, by the time I got home, I grabbed my laptop and started this rant. Verizon will only allow one phone to be upgraded on a family plan. Dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in a long time. Two phones on the plan, but I can only upgrade one of them today. I’ll have to wait until August before the other phone is eligible to upgrade (and they can get another 2-yr contract out of me eight months from now). Don’t hold your breath, Verizon.
I do want to mention that there was a nice, young lady who assisted me (I said I wouldn’t mention her name in the post despite the fact that she was the only pleasant thing about my trip into the store). She answered all of my questions and explained things to me thoroughly before we made the decision to buy the phone anyway. I can’t have The Mrs. without a phone she can’t rely on, so it was necessary to go ahead and get the phone for her.
So, I’ll just hope that my phone can last me until August because if not, I’ll have to pay full price for a new phone since I can’t upgrade. But, despite my aggravation, there was another guy in the store who was just a tad bit more pissed than I was. Well, let me stop lying, he was way more pissed than me. Here’s what happened…
A young, male employee storms back to the counter followed by what looked to be a pre-teen boy. They’re having a heated discussion about equipment insurance. The boy is being really rude to the Verizon rep and the rep loses it and says, “Look, I’m grown! You’re not going to talk to me like that!”
The boy rushes out of the store and returns seconds later with his father who appears hot under the collar. He slams his hand on the counter which causes everyone to stop talking and turn around. “I want your general manager’s name NOW!”
The Verizon employee bites his lip and looks like he’s about three seconds from performing an over-hand gorilla slap on the guy when a co-worker escorts him to the back room. The man beats on the table and screams out again, “I want your general manager’s name now! I’ve spent $35,000 for my business in this place and you all are constantly rude to me! This is the 3rd incident I’ve had happen in this location.”
A store rep comes out and tries to calm the man down, but he’s not having it. She starts, “Sir, I can get your number and have our general manager call you?”
“I don’t want him to call me! I want his name and number now or I’ll get you fired, too!”
“Sir,” she says calmly, “let me get your name and number…”
He then turns to his son, “Were you rude to that man?”
“No, sir,” replied the son which was a blatant lie.
The man pounds the desk one more time and then screams his demands. Everyone in the store is staring at this point and I’m borderline ready to pull out my phone and start filming in case he goes “O.J.” on an employee. But, after three-to-five minutes of ranting, he finally gets a name, pounds the counter one last time with the palm of his hand and storms out mumbling about “idiots.” His storming out did include him slamming up against the door as if he wanted to take it off the hinges.
Everyone in the store is standing in disbelief in complete silence. The young lady who was helping me did confirm that the man does spend a lot of money in the store. She personally knew of $3,000 worth of equipment he bought once, so he was a valued customer. “Valued customer?” Hmmph. Isn’t that an oxymoron? Kind of like “jumbo shrimp?”
But, despite the fact that the man handled everything all wrong, I don’t really fault him. I fault the employee who got into it with his son. When you work with the public, you have to know how to control yourself and not let people push your buttons. Yet this dude got riled up by a 12-year old? Seriously, dude? Chris Brown thinks that you have a short temper. You can’t let a child cost you your job. Even 15 minutes after the man and his son had left, this guy is still coming out of the back room and cursing under his breath. These young bucks today are way too emotional. Man up.
As for the angry customer, although he was wrong in acting a donkey in public, I get his frustration. Although he pays a ton more money for his business to have cell phones than I do for me and The Mrs., we’re still two paying customers not getting the basic service. For him, it was not getting the customer service that he needed and for me, it was being told that I’m not important enough for any perks until my contract runs out.
This economy has kicked this country in the backside, but Congress has bestowed power upon these corporations that allow them to treat their customers any way they want. Where are you going to go? You’re going to pay a termination fee to go some where else and be obligated for two more years? Hardly. And they know you’re not able to go any where. Termination fees has replaced customer service. So, they’re not obligated to even give you basic service yet alone, go the extra mile for you.
Companies used to bend over backwards for customers because we weren’t obligated to stay. Current laws handcuff us to companies which allows them to mistreat you until a couple of months before your contract runs out. After that happens, then all of a sudden, “Mr. Q, sir, we will give you this cell phone today for free with a new two year agreement.”
But, after I sign that agreement, then it’s “screw you” for the next two years. I think the man who lost his cool today was tired of being screwed. What makes the afternoon so crazy is that I was more than likely going to get that Motorola Razr Maxx today. That was $300+ going to Verizon that they may now never get because of their policy. Now, I can’t wait to cut ties with this company and let some other company put the screws to me. At least maybe they’ll kiss me first before bending me over.