4 ways NOT to get or keep my business.... (part 2)

Todays example of bad service is my cell phone company. I've only ever had 2 cell phone providers and they have both managed to annoy me at some time.

For some reason phones do not excite me. I can spend lots of money on other geek toys but all I want and need my phone to do is make phone calls. Of course you can't find a phone that does just this one simple task so last year I was forced to upgrade to a Razr. Yes I know I'm 2 years behind the cool kids but it was free if I signed up for 2 years. Since I don't use it all tht much I chose the cheapest plan they offer. $29.99 with no text and no data included. I figured I didn't need the data and I can pay for the odd text message. Imagine my surprise when the bill arrived and it was for $85 with $50 of 'data'.

The phone call went something like this:
Andy: Hi I'm calling about my $50 of data
Support: Is this your first bill
A: Yes - why
S: Oh we see this all the time on the first bill.
A: So what is it for? I'm smart enough not to use my phone for data when I don't have a data plan and I never chose yes when the phone said 'do you want to connect to the internet'
S: Oh my computer system doesn't tell me that
A: Well if you can't tell me what is for and I don't know what its for then shouldn't you give me a refund. $50 is a lot of money
S: Oh no thats a small amount of money, I've seen accidental data charges of hundreds of dollars. You must have downloaded some ring tones or wall paper
A: No I think custom ring tones are annoying, wallpaper on a cell phone is beyond a joke and anyway there are plenty of ways to get those on my phone for free - why would I pay $5 for a 50x50 bitmap? Please tell me what I am being charged for or give me a refund.
S: Sir - the supervisors do not like to give refunds for data that has actually been used. However we can disable that feature on your phone so it doesn't happen again
A: Well thanks for that - don't you think that might be a nice option to give people BEFORE they accidentally run up hundreds of dollars of charges that you cannot explain to them. Please disable that now and then get a suprvisor on the line. Unless you can tell me what I got for my $50 then I would like a refund.

At this point he disabled the data and went to find a supervisor - who it turns out was only to happy to refund my money

So today's list of what went wrong:

  • If you know that there is a common problem with people running up data bills when they first get the phone then do something about it - otherwise it seems like you might just be doing it on purpose.
  • Maybe offering to disable the data when someone takes the cheapest no data plan would be a nice way to prevent any of this from happening. Of course at $50+ per customer who doesn't notice and just pays the bill I can see your incentive to not fix this
  • Fix your computers. If you tell someone they have $50 in charges you better be able to tell them what they spent it on
  • Don't lie to me about how unlikley it is that I will get a refund just to stop me from pushing for it. It might work on little old ladies (though how *that* is ethical is beyond me) but I will talk to the CEO of the company about it if thats what it takes.
Published 31 January 2007 12:54 AM by zman


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