Lessons learned from a few calls to a major cell carrier

I usually don’t write about personal experiences on here; I think that this blog should primarily conglomerate material from others.  However, this one could help you out down the road.

Yesterday, I called my major cell carrier to cancel my wife’s cell service.  We got a land line from Bresnan and don’t want the cell anymore.  The rep was rather nice and didn’t try to get me not to cancel (remember canceling with AOL in the 90’s?  They used to give you a free month just for telling them you wanted to cancel!).  I explained that I have been very happy with Company X, but we decided to change service providers to save money by bundling Internet service with phone service.

This was all good to this point.  Then he told me “your phone will be disconnected at the end of your billing cycle.”  There are 28 days or so left in the cycle – we purposely did that to avoid prorated overage charges.  I have had the same situation with the same company before, and I know it’s how they do business.

Since I know this isn’t how they usually work, I am needless to say a little miffed.  But he did use the phrase “we always do this.”  Since I know they don’t always do it, I asked him to prorate it.  He said, “We always end service at the end of the cycle, but let me check.” 

Miraculously, in about 15 seconds, what they “always do” changed!  So he told me the service would end that day and I would see a credit for the rest of the month.  So we are OK – I realize that CS reps lie regularly.  Sometimes through lack of knowledge, sometimes a direct misrepresentation.  Not that I am stating that this situation was a deliberate lie, but I would be tempted to think so based on prior experience with the same company.

So then this morning, I tried calling the “cancelled” number.  Sure enough, it rings and I get the VM.  So I called Company X back.  As it happened, my miracle rep hadn’t changed the end of service date, so it still would have gone through with a disconnect at the end of the month!  I talked to the loyalty team and they canned the service as of today (they sent me a confirmation email this time). 

I still like this company and would check on their rates if I were getting another cell phone (I have the same company for my BlackBerry).  However, after this experience, I realized several things:

  1. You can’t trust cell company CS reps.
  2. Always check to make sure that they actually did what they said they did.
  3. As I provide customer service, I need to be truthful with the users, meet their needs, and follow through on a timely, effective solution.
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One Comment on “Lessons learned from a few calls to a major cell carrier”

  1. I found the best way to deal with call centers is to never argue about anything. If you don’t like the answers you’re getting hang up and dial again. Eventually you get someone competent or who has some type of authority.

    I know they make you wait a log time so I just put the call on speaker phone while I’m doing something else.

    It not unlikely you’re talking with someone whose been there less than three weeks and is just going through the checklist. Don’t waste your time, don’t be rude, hang up and try again.

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