Why is it hard to buy?

Why is it hard to buy?
September 10, 2010 Derek Fournier

What has happened customer service? I have Verizon FIOS at my home for television Internet and home phone service. I’ve been a Verizon customer for about five years. I recently purchased a new television and will add yet another high-definition FIOS cable conversion box to my already ludicrous amount of services that I receive from Verizon. So just to recap, I already spent a great deal of money with this company. My attempts this morning were to spend more money with his company. I did what any good customer would do, I called their phone number. It appears that because I did not memorize my account number (last six digits) nor do I remember the exact amount of my last bill, I am unable to engage sales or service. Never mind that I am dialing FROM the line that is on record and is a Verizon home number. Never mind that I knew all of the phone numbers that could be on the account (including the Verizon Wireless numbers). Social security numbers are no good here boys and girls. But alas, there was an easy solution! Log into my online account and get the last bill amount. Well, Verizon has a pathetic and duplicitous online presence with the wirelesses company and ‘everything else’ being separate. This leads to multiple accounts.

Herein lies the rub.

Despite having two distinct accounts, I had set them to the same password. Somehow that was a problem. (Note, if you consult on internet security, you should call them). Now I finally (after 1.5 hours of frustration where I asked for a customer service person to register my complaint to and was met with the answer that there WAS NOBODY for that.) got to a support person. She somehow knew that my passwords were the same (ahem, internet security consultant) and gave me a temporary new password. Success, right? Nope. The ‘system’ was very sluggish and could not authenticate either of us. Here I am, 7 hours later, and their online service is STILL down.

What does this say about business?

  1. No matter the size, customer service has GOT to be high on your radar
  2. Sometimes, having crappy service will win you the battles but eventually lose you the war (as I am actively trying to replace what I get with Verizon)
  3. Effective use of technology is NOT a luxury. We, as consumers, expect and demand it

This is a company with plenty of resources. This is a company that purportedly understands technology. This is a company that despite having amazing products will lose customers for completely unforgivable reasons that could be addressed simply.

  1. Make your infrastructure work. It has to be like plumbing.
  2. Treat your customers like the lifeblood that they are

With your products and services, do you make sure it is very easy for customers to spend money with you?




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