thoughts/ideas/opinions from scott hodge

Tuesday, March 23


For the 4th time, my antenna broke off of my Motorola V60 phone. Without an antenna, it doesn't work AT ALL so I made a trip to Verizon Wireless this afternoon, walked in and was greeted by Rico, one of Verizon's "Customer Service" representatives. With a smile on my face, I told Rico that my antenna had broke off AGAIN for the 4th time and that I realized that it was not Verizon's fault, but would like to have it fixed.

After looking over the phone, Rico asked, "Do you put it in your pocket?" I said, "No".

He said, "Well, if you put them in your pocket the antenna will break off."

I replied, "Well then it's a good thing I don't put it in my pocket."

Rico sighed and said, "Yeah, I guess so."

He explained to me that it would cost $12 to fix it.

I kindly asked him if it would be possible to "give me a break" since I've been in several other times to get the same thing fixed and he quickly told me that there was "no way" he could do that.

I explained to him that I pay the monthly "insurance" fee and asked him if that makes a difference. He explained that if I chose to use the "insurance" plan that it would cost me a $35 deductable and they would have to send the phone off. So I told him to forget it and to go ahead and fix it.

About 5 minutes later, a different guy walked out and handed me the phone and said, "Here's your phone. Did they say if there would be a charge?"

I said, "Yes, but I..." and he quickly interrupted me and asked, "Do you have the insurance plan?"

I said, "Yes." and he said, "Well, you deserve a free antenna, especially since you pay that fee every month. Have a nice day."

I pointed to him and said, "YOU DA MAN!"

This is a guy who understands how to satisfy a customer. He took into account that I pay a few dollars per month to be covered by Verizon's insurance and decided to be cool about it and not charge me. On the other hand, "Rico" took no time to ask questions or be helpful. He was more interested in following his "script" than going "above and beyond" the call of duty to make sure that I was satisfied.

What's the difference in the two mindsets? To Rico, this is a job. He probably doesn't like his job much, but has to make a "buck". He needs to remember the ever important word in his title "SERVice" representative - "serve".

To the second guy, this might be a "job", but he must think that it's important, on occassion at least, to understand his customers and if necessary "break the rules" to win them over. And he did.

Thanks Mr. #2 Verizon Rep.

Thank you Rico for nothing.