Tag Archives: verizon

FailOS

The telephone went out at my brother’s house the other day. This hasn’t been an unusual occurrence and is usually resolved by a call to the folks at Verizon, his telephone provider. One pole in his area seems to have an issue and service will just go out for no apparent reason. When his line failed the other day, I called Verizon to let them know. That’s when things took an interesting turn that is a great example of what businesses can’t do if they want to survive.

1980s Dodge Ram Van Verizon

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“It’s because you have copper wire” the customer service rep informed me.  “You need to upgrade to fiber optic – have you heard of FiOS?”  Yes I have, but that wasn’t solving the issue since repair couldn’t come anyway.  Since no one is in the house most of the time, we’d have to call to schedule an appointment when someone was going to be there.

Fast forward a couple of days.  I was going to be in the house so I called Verizon.  Of course, the numbers listed on their website were not correct – I was instructed to call another number (why can’t a PHONE company switch you –  strike one).  When I got the rep on the phone and said I’d like to get a repair person to the house I was told the rep could “see your house is on old copper wire.  We need to upgrade you to fiber optic cable.”  I told him I was fully aware of FiOS and just wanted the telephone service I already had to be fixed.  Not internet.  Not TV.  Land line telephone.  After a few more minutes of him telling me all about the virtues of a service I didn’t want or need, he gave me the number for repair.  I stopped him and asked if he could just switch me over?  “”No, we’re a call center (which means he’s probably off shore) and I can’t do that.”  In other words, I called the repair number and was sent to a sales center to sell me FiOS.

Land lines are an endangered species.  It’s a once-ubiquitous business that’s declining rapidly.  Rather than selling the service on the merits – clearer voice, much better reliability in an emergency such as a storm – and providing excellent customer service to those still paying for the service, Verizon seems interested only in pushing FiOS.

This is what no business that wants to be successful can do – ignore the voice of the customer.  It’s not about what you’re selling – it’s about what I need when I interact with you.  There is no chance you’re selling me additional services when you demonstrate that you won’t service the ones I have.  Many businesses still put themselves above the consumer.  We can see it in their messaging, paricularly in social media.  It’s all about the brand, it’s all about the sale.  Sorry, guys.  Not anymore.

I fixed the telephone line myself – it turns out there was a short in the alarm box that connected to the telephone line.  It took about 3 minutes to figure it out and to fix it.  We’re in the process of selling the house and I want to be the one to call Verizon to turn off the service.  I suspect if this is how they treat all their customers that I’m not alone in wanting to make that call.

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Huh?

Welding On The Dealer Plate

Automobile dealership - service and repair are...

Image via Wikipedia

I’m sure you’ve bought a car at some point or known someone who has (that ought to cover all the bases!). The last time I did so, I had a discussion with the salesperson about what value was assigned to the advertising for the dealership they were asking me to do. She was kind of taken aback and didn’t quite know what I was getting at. I asked her if the dealership routinely placed license plate frames with the dealer name and other information on every new car. She said “of course – it’s standard practice”. I told her my standard practice is to remove them in the parking lot before I drive off with the car unless I’m being paid to serve as media for her business. I know – selling me a car might not be worth it!
I raise the point because you might be thinking – oh, it’s just car dealers and no one likes them anyway. But it’s not. Continue reading

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Where to?

Verizon Wireless announced their earnings this morning and I found something of interest in the announcement.

Data revenues grew 45.3 percent over the prior year, contributing nearly $2.6 billion. The company had 49.6 million retail data customers in June (approximately three-quarters of its retail customer base), a 25.6 percent increase over the prior year.

The above without the benefit of the iPhone on their network.  As you may know, all the evidence is that iPhone users, while a small installed base, account for a disproportionately high percentage of data usage and it’s reasonable to assume that as other advanced devices like the iPhone come to market in the next year or so, demand for data will soar, as will networks’ revenues from them.

So the question really becomes what are you, as someone who is paying an awful lot of attention to yourself on the web, doing about it?  I know – you’ve barely figured out social media for the web – how can you worry about mobile and the integration of content, ads, and community?  How can you not?

I got up to play golf yesterday and it was pouring.  Lightning everywhere, ponding in the back yard.  I did what I always do – go look at the radar, figure out how long it will take to pass, and proceed accordingly, especially since my course has no tee times and if you show up late, you wait.  I figured it would all be gone in an hour so I dressed and drove up there.  Got right out, played in 3 hours, no rain (OK, one tiny shower on 12 but it was gone in 5 minutes).

My point is that as marketers and content providers we need to look at the radar.  A lot.  Verizon’s announcement tells us something and if we don’t act accordingly, we going to have to get in line on the tee.

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Filed under Helpful Hints, Thinking Aloud