If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Service Is Important - Follow Up

I ordered new phones for Mike and me last week.  We were due for upgrades earlier in the summer.  However, I didn't really want or think I needed a new phone.  I must have reached old age because I tend to like what is comfortable and familiar more often these days.  Mike did sort of need a new phone because his screen on his was wonky from too much time in his pocket in a hot warehouse where he has sweated more than usual due to the unbelievably hot temperatures this summer.  For some reason, I procrastinated in upgrading, though.

I think it was probably because the upgrade wasn't urgent for me and, like most people, I tend to think the world revolves around moi!  Oh, I did get online and do a bit of browsing.  I even went to the store about a month ago to ask questions and get some ideas.  I think what nudged me toward getting Mike a new phone is that I thought I could do that as a birthday treat.  Well, that and the fact that I got a couple of email advertisements offering pretty good deals on phones. 

When I went to one of the local stores - it seems there is one on almost every corner these days - I left frustrated because the young sales representative didn't seem to want to talk to me about anything but the top of the line, fancy, cutting edge products.  I even explained the situation that I wasn't so much interested in the newest trend but was shopping for my husband.  Rather quickly she was sort of pushing me out the door and moving on to the young woman who was waiting with the neon hair, tattoos, and multiple (painful looking) piercings.  I guess I seemed even more old-fogey than my khaki-pants-and-sweater-teacher-attire first advertised. 

So, last Saturday I opened up the website and got the customer service phone number and gave the company a call.  The young man who happened to answer was a gem.  He was personable, helpful, and patient.  He guided me through selecting phones that might fit our lifestyles and personalities.  He made me feel as if I got the most economical deal.  He listened to my questions and offered wonderful suggestions.  I got all that good personal service while I was sitting in front of my laptop looking at the suggestions Justin was making and I was wearing one of Mike's T-shirts and some old baggy shorts.  You can read more about that HERE.

Somehow, after the order left the capable hands of Justin, things seemed to go downhill, though.  Justin promised me that I should look for the FedEx folks to deliver our phones on Thursday.  So, when I got a voicemail message from them right after lunchtime, I got a smile on my face.  The caller gave me a series of numbers to use for my inquiry and said that the address was incomplete on the box.  So, she wanted me to call.  When I called and waded through several recordings and touched one and two a couple or three times, a fellow came on the line and asked me to identify myself and give the number I had been provided.  He asked me my zip code and address and then asked me to repeat the confirmation number.  Then, he told me I would need to call Verizon to get them to straighten out the address confusion and HUNG UP before I could even complete asking the question I had begun to utter!  After uttering an ugly curse word to describe this service representative, I looked up the number again and called back.

This time I got a nice woman who explained that the package could not be delivered because there was an incomplete address but I could always go by and pick my package up at the station if it was urgent that I have it today...or FedEx would try to deliver it tomorrow.  When I asked where the station was so I could just go pick it up, she said, "Olympia," and started to give a more detailed address.  I interrupted her and asked, "Where is Olympia?"  Her response was, "Washington."  Now, I live in a little town in middle Tennessee.  So, needless to say, I was a bit flumoxed!  The woman asked me what is my zip code and gave a short chuckle when I told her.  Then, she said, "Well, I guess you won't be picking it up this afternoon, huh?"  At that point, even though I was steamed that the other jerk had not explained this, I chuckled as well.  This woman had been kind enough to explain the entire situation before referring me to Verizon to get them to re-route the package and that made all the difference in the world.

I called Verizon, then, and began probing them to find out how such a mistake could have been made.  It seems that the packer simply typed "Box 1 of 2" into the address label machine and printed it out.  The previous order was being shipped to Olypia, Washington and that is the zip code on it.  I'm sure that the representative on the other end understood my frustration and promised to get the package to me by Monday and was appologetic that I might not get the phone in time for my husband's birthday.

To add insult to injury, the other phone I'd ordered was shipped with the correct address label.  However, when the FedEx delivery man tried to leave it, he went to my mother-in-law's house.  To further cause frustration, my nephew had ordered a phone to be delivered on the same day and the FedEx guy had tried to leave it at the same locale.  My nephew was expecting the delivery and saw the truck and was madly waving to get the driver's attention but the driver simply waved and kept racing out the driveway to get to his next delivery destination. 

The next day, I got a voicemail message from my mother-in-law calling the FedEx delivery man an unflattering name.  It seems he returned to her house - even after I had called their office to clarify where to deliver.  He knocked on the front door but before she could get there to open it, he was driving away!  Luckily, my nephew saw the FedEx truck pull in and blocked the drive.  He had to do a bit of wrangling, I think, but he got our phones. 

So, while I don't have warm fuzzy feelings toward FedEx right now, my attitude about Verizon is still in tact.  Why?  Well, after my phone call to them at almost 8 P.M., they rerouted my package and the two phones (well, three, if we count the nephew's) were delivered together. 

Update:  My nephew called and told me that he never wanted me to get as frustrated with him as I did with Verizon and FedEx.  He thinks I must have given a "good ass-chewing" to get them to send a package from across the country to be delivered before lunchtime the following day!