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My Cell Phone Saga

August 24, 2011 · 13 comments

in Life

About a year ago, I upgraded my cell phone to a Samsung Intensity (not s Smart Phone).  The phone worked fine for 11.75 months, and then suddenly, I started dropping calls like I was in the middle of a rain forest, and I had very limited reception no matter where I was.

My Many Attempts To Get A Functional Cell Phone:

So, I took my phone to the local Verizon store.  The technician hit about a million buttons on my phone and said “OK, you still have 1 week of warranty left, so we will send you a new phone, and you can send this one back to us”.  Sounded good to me, I was actually in shock that the phone started falling apart before the warranty expired.

Two days later, my ‘new’ phone arrived.  I opened the box, and it was a new phone alright, but it was a Droid, and not a Samsung Intensity.  Of course, I would have preferred to keep the Droid, but I know they would put up a fight when I returned my low-end phone when they sent me a Droid.  So, I repackaged the Droid and sent it back.

Meanwhile, my unreplaced Intensity phone was completely malfunctioning.  Besides not getting reception, it now was randomly typing a ‘pound’ sign repeatedly until the power died.  If I was actually able to send a text, it ended up with ‘#s’ throughout the message, and they could not be deleted.  I went back to Verizon again to get another cell phone sent to me, and the technician said “Sorry, your warranty is expired by 2 days, we can’t do anything to help you, you have to call customer service”.  Frustrated, I left the store and called Customer Service.

After one hour of discussion on the phone and multiple call backs because of phone disconnections, I was told I would be sent a new phone as long as I extended my contract by 3 months.  Fine, whatever, just get me my darn phone.

Just when I thought everything was settled, the customer service rep called me back.  Since I wasn’t getting any reception at that time, the call went straight to voice mail.  The message said “Um, sorry, but we can’t do what I promised, but we have 3 exciting options for you, just call us back”.  At this point, I was about to lose my mind, and I was heading out of town.

On Sunday, I called Verizon back, and got the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE REP EVER.  She actually felt bad for all the time I wasted dealing with all of this, and she was willing to do anything that would make me happy.  It was so refreshing to talk to someone that showed empathy and creativity instead of just stating the latest company line over and over.  I actually asked for her supervisor’s contact information so I could compliment her fantastic customer service.

So What Phone Did I Get?

In the end, the great rep moved my phone upgrade up by a year and arranged a Droid for me!  I couldn’t believe it.  I had been wanting a Droid (with a slide out keyboard) for awhile now, but I knew that I wasn’t due for a new phone anytime soon.   By the end of the call, I was absolutely stunned to get such great service, and I was so happy that I actually got to talk to a human being that saw all the hassle I had experienced and wanted to make up for it.  There were no fake “please hold while I talk this over with my manager” excuses to get me a deal.  It was just a straightforward transaction.

What I Learned From My Phone Experience:

Persistence pays off.  However, you have to have a game plan to get what you want.  In my situation, my warranty was up.  However, had Verizon sent me the right phone in the first place, I would have had a functional phone within my warranty period.  So, when the first customer service rep told me my warranty was up, I politely explained that I had tried to replace my phone within the proper timeframe and that Verizon is the one that made the mistake.  After the new ‘deal’ fell through, I had more ammunition for the next customer service rep I had to talk to.  By then I had the perfect combination to get what I wanted:  A competant customer service rep and a ridiculously long story about my attempts to just obtain a working cell phone.  The resolution to my situation could have gone entirely differently had a different person picked up the phone on Sunday.  I realized then that there is so much variability in how many situations can be handled that I think next time, if I feel the rep is not listening to or fully understanding my situation, I might just make an excuse to hang up and call back again in a little while with the hopes I would get a better custome service rep .  I am guessing that at a lot of big companies, there are such large call centers that you might get a different rep every single time, and each one would probably offer a different solution.

Have you ever had a customer service situation completely turn around just by dealing with a different person?



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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Moneycone August 24, 2011 at 8:03 am

Why did you send the droid back? If Verizon sent you the wrong phone, it isn’t your fault?

But I’m glad everything worked out fine at the end! Persistence does pay off!


Kris August 24, 2011 at 8:32 am

I thought about keeping the Droid, but I knew I would be charged if I received a Droid and sent back an Intensity. (Or I would have to send the Droid back. They had written my problem down apparently as being my son’s phone and not mine.) I didn’t feel like dealing with all the hassle, so I just sent back the Intensity.


The Biz of Life August 24, 2011 at 8:30 am

Glad things worked out for you. Don’t think I would have sent the fist Droid back.


Kris August 24, 2011 at 8:33 am

I know, but I just figured they would make me send back the Droid anyway. I was unsure what to do. If I knew that they wouldn’t charge me or make me send it back, I would have kept it for sure.


Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter August 24, 2011 at 11:03 am

Glad to hear your persistence paid off and you are enjoying the fruits of your labour. Patience obviously pays off if you can stand waiting.


First Gen American August 24, 2011 at 11:41 am

Yes. I have had a similar experience when I was trying to get a health insurance denied claim fixed. After at least a dozen phone calls I finally got someone who took personal responsibility to get it fixed vs just passing the buck. It was nice.

Droid and I-Pad…you’ve got all the bells and whistles now. I’m starting to want an i-pad.


krantcents August 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm

I had a problem with customer service (Verizon) a number of years ago. I wrote a letter to the president of Verizon and 48 hours later I received a call from some special assistant. My problem was resolved plus I received a $25 credit.


Deb V August 24, 2011 at 1:40 pm

Great news for you Kris! I just had a great experience with a customer service rep for Blue Cross Blue Shield. We have new insurance and we have to choose doctors within the network. This is all new to me so I had quite a few questions. The women at BCBS was absolutely wonderful . My call got answered so quickly (amazing!!) that I didn’t have my insurance card in front of me . . .then it wasn’t in my wallet! Then it came to me . . .I had put it in my pocket when I went in to see my chiropractor so that I didn’t have to bring my purse in to the office. Well, the BCBS rep was so patient and when I told her I would call back when I found it, she said no don’t do that, I’m sure you’ll find it soon. Well, when I did find it, we both had a good laugh because it went through the washer and dryer and was a bit warped! She answered all of my questions and more and even went so far as to look for a local network dermatoligist for me when we discovered ours is out of network. So, the only negative . . . I forgot to get her full name to let her supervisor know what a great job she did!!!!


Suba August 24, 2011 at 3:18 pm

Glad to hear your persistence paid off. I have been dealing with a few frustrating customer service experience myself this week. Hope I get some resolution by the end of the week.


retirebyforty August 24, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Great job being persistence. It’s always great to get good customer service once in a while. Maybe I’ll add that to my strategy – keep calling until I get a nice rep. 😉


Crystal @ BFS August 25, 2011 at 12:13 am

Congrats on finding the right rep!!! I was the rep that customers liked, so I spent most of my day fixing stuff for pissed off people…


Arriana - Orlando phone water damage August 3, 2012 at 11:47 am

Glad to hear it worked out for you. Persistence is the key! Great job!


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