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Why I Am a Verizon Wireless Customer: An Example of Excellent Customer Service

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VZWI’ve been a longtime Verizon Wireless customer, and I am very excited to hear the iPhone news because I will almost certainly upgrade when I have the opportunity. I got my first Verizon cell phone back in 1994 or 1995 when I was a sophomore in high school.

Over the years, I’ve had small issues with various phones and plans, but they were generally worked out in store or over the phone. In July of 2002, I had an issue with a LG flip phone. The store wasn’t very helpful, nor was the customer service phone line. It would have cost roughly around the same amount of money to cancel my contract than to buy a new phone, and I was ready to switch carriers out of frustration.

It was late at night, and I was home from grad school for the summer break. I figured I would try and find a senior executive marketing contact at Verizon and hope for the best. I figured a marketer could relate to a marketing student and possible take pity. I did a bunch of email guessing and sent an email to the then Chief Marketing Officer, John Stratton at half past midnight:

“Dear Mr. Stratton,
I am terribly sorry to bother you, and I know this does not pertain to your field, but I am at my witts end with VZ and I need some help. Because I am attending graduate school for marketing, I felt that you might best be able to relate to my current situation
.”

…….etc….. situation explained….. etc.

I am terribly sorry to have bothered you with this issue that has nothing to do with marketing, but as I have said I am completely exasperated with the lack of support that I have received. Please inform me of what I should do, as I would like to remain a loyal customer of VZ.

By 7:30 the next morning, I had this email in my inbox from Mr. Stratton, which resulted in my receiving a new mobile phone later that day:

“Thanks for taking the time to write me re: your frustrations with your phone. Let me assure you that your lack of satisfaction is my business, whether it’s a marketing issue or not. Your allowing us the chance to make it right is fully appreciated.

I’ve copied Rich Meigh, our VP of Wireless Devices, on this message. I’ve asked have someone contact you directly to resolve this problem as soon as possible. You’ll hear from us within 24 hours.

Thanks again for your message. I hope we can rapidly restore your confidence in Verizon Wireless.”

As mentioned earlier, it is now around 8.5 years after this email exchange. This is approximately 102 months, and if you figure I’ve paid in the vicinity of $70/month for that period of time, that email has generated somewhere north of $7,000 in revenue for Verizon Wireless, not including the cost of devices and that my wife also switched to VZW a few years ago from AT&T.

This really has nothing to do with domain names or domain investing, but it’s a testiment to the value of great customer service and going above and beyond a job description. Mr. Stratton could have easily not responded or simply apologized, but he didn’t, and his company has benefited from my continued loyalty.

Today, it is no surprise that Mr. Stratton is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Verizon Wireless, and I am a happy Verizon Wireless customer.


About The Author: Elliot Silver is an Internet entrepreneur and publisher of DomainInvesting.com. Elliot is also the founder and President of Top Notch Domains, LLC, a company that has sold seven figures worth of domain names in the last five years. Please read the DomainInvesting.com Terms of Use page for additional information about the publisher, website comment policy, disclosures, and conflicts of interest.


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Comments (10)

    Mike

    I was also a long time customer of Verizon Wireless. 20+ years though all of the preceeding companies that led up to Verizon Wireless itself. They allowed me to leave and go over to AT&T because they flat out refused to acknoledge that their commercials were LIES. The one in particular, where the couple wants to buy a new house but isnt sure about the service and the “network geek guy with the glasses” is standing in the street saying “we’ve got you covered”. BS. They dont have you covered. They’ll actually tell you “sir, there are other carriers in your area and I suggest that you look into them”. Thats what the secretary of the president of Verizon Wireless told me in August 2008 after 4 months of no-connection-hell. My neighbors all suffer (the ones who refuse to switch out). Those who did, they’re elated. My friends and family – none of them have service when they come to visit. Not inside, not outside, not down the street. You have to go 1 mile up the road before you get a bar of Verizon Wireless’ service around here. And there are thousands of homes in 3 different, mid-sized, developments over here. This isnt the boonies. Verizon Wireless = Fail.

    January 12th, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Elliot

    “My friends and family – none of them have service when they come to visit.”

    Sounds like what many of my friends would say here in New York City.

    In what city do you live?

    January 12th, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Amanda

    Heartwarming story. Thanks for sharing. You know they have an affiliate program right? Could change those mentions to links.

    January 12th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Elliot

    @ Amanda

    Thanks, but not looking to make money on this.

    January 12th, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Mike

    Raleigh-Durham, NC. Not only what I wrote earlier, but, when we went to AT&T, Verizon Wireless sent my wife’s account to collections.

    Why? Once you leave Verizon and you’re on electronic billing only – you lose access to your account. Immediately. As soon as we arrived home with our nice shiny iPhones, we could not log into our Verizon accounts. We were mainly wondering how much each of us would get back since we pay one month in advance.. Naturally we assumed that we would receive a final bill via US mail. Nope.

    I suppose that the einsteins that developed the billing system never conceived a customer would leave *and* be on electronic billing *AND* what they’d do about collecting that last bill. In my case, I received a refund via mail. In my wife’s cast, she owed something like $6. They sent it to collections. Why didnt they mail her a letter? Why didnt they call the same number she had ported over? Why didnt they email her at the address on her account that they closed? God only knows…

    It cost these geniuses more than the $6 they were owed to start a collections claim against her, and yet they wasted their money instead of making phone call OR better yet – leaving access to our accounts so that she’d actually get billed again, one last time! Nope. Cant have that.

    No company is perfect but let me tell you this – if you’re waiting for Verizon’s iPhone then I hope your experience is as good as ours is on AT&T. We’re never looking back for many more reasons (customer service, marketing, billing) than the lack of service in our area, which, 2 years later is still as lacking…

    January 12th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    jp

    I found them to be crooks. They were my first cell phone in 1997. Every month I went over my minutes and it cost a fortune. Every month I upgraded my plan and told myself I’d do better this month. I determined proof positive that they were crooks when I lost my phone for a week (under my car seat), yet somehow I used alot of minutes that week under my seat. The call log showed a bunch of calls to numbers I would normally dial so had I not lost the phone I would have never known. Needless to say they had no problem with me breaking my contract penalty free.

    January 13th, 2011 at 5:22 am

    Domain Nitro

    I’ve been with ATT forever and their service and support is usually very good, but don’t get me started about Charter Cable. The day I can drop them can’t come too soon. Just proves that a little customer service goes a LONG way especially since it is no longer the norm, but the exception.

    January 13th, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    Eddie

    I found their service to be the worst that I’ve ever encountered in the wireless space. The fact that you had to go to someone outside of “customer service” to get any help says volumes.

    You really think that’s good service?

    January 13th, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    Poor Uncle

    I heard a lot of great thing about Verizon. But I don’t have good experience with them. That said, I would switch from Sprint to Verizon when they offer the iPhone. AT&T is the worst…it’s ironic that they had the iPhone. Sprint was a giant…but something went wrong along the way. Still has great receptions.

    January 14th, 2011 at 1:52 am

    Bill

    I’d like to offer a very surreal experience in dealing with Verizon Wireless.

    Let me begin by saying that I’ve been a customer for about ten years. Our family is moving to the coast of NC in about three months; we own a small business and trailer there. Cell phone reception is non-existent inside both our house and business. Literally, we have to step outside both, away from any trees, approximately 15-20 feet away from either one-story building.

    When I called Verizon to ask what was going on, I was informed that cell phone signal was admittedly weak there, but that we did get service. When I asked if they’d let me terminate my contract since I couldn’t get a signal indoors, I was informed that according to the contract I signed, cell phone reception was not guaranteed inside a building – even a one-story wood structure.

    My option… Imagine standing outside in 40 degree weather with the winds blowing at 40 mph just so you can use your cell phone. Of course, I was offered a device that might potentially (and I underscore potentially) improve our signal inside both at the price of $250 a device… of course, no guarantees this would correct the problem.

    Now, I’m left with several choices….
    1. Go outside in any weather to use my cell,
    2. Pay the $375 termination fee and use a provider who works, or
    3. Buy the machines, again with no guarantees.

    I think I’ll take a fourth option. I’m on day one of my countdown to my contract termination… how many more customers will Verizon lose for life.

    March 26th, 2011 at 5:25 pm

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