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« Wal-Mart's (Possible) Epiphany | Main | The Problem with Trying to Predict Consumer Behavior »

September 03, 2006



Oh, grrreeatt! Thanks, David..I just signed on with Verizon yesterday. I hope this isn't the kind of customer relations I get to look forward to!

Thanks for the story, though...

And thanks for the great blog stuff every day!


I had a similar experience in a Verison store in Tucson. I just stopped in to by a $4 plastic clip for my phone; but was told I would have to wait until a representative was available and all were helping customer set up accounts and pick phones. I handed the greeter a $5 and asked if she would just take care of it and keep the difference and was told that was not allowed. Another gentleman was also waiting just to pay for a charger cord. We both just walked up to a counter near a register, laid our money on the counter with the packaging containing the price and told the customer to keep the change. The customer made an extra $4 and Version gained two frustrated customers.
Have a great day my friend.

Gary Bourgeault (

It's too bad companies still don't get the idea of empowering their employees. That is the real issue behind this terrible service.

Evidently Verizon has trust problems and aren't doing anything about it for the benefit of the customer.

Good thing there are plenty of options available to look to.


Charlie, Thanks!

Mr. Positive, I love your creative response to Verizon's inattention to the customer voice.

Gary, Your take is on target. Everyone of the companies we researched for our new book, Firms of Endearment, go beyond the ordinary to empower employees to make sure that customers are delighted by their experience with the company. On one occasion, a Wegmans chef went to a customer’s home to help finish cooking a meal for guests that she had messed up.

Thanks for your comment,



Slogans sadly are not policy. Had a similar experience with Sears. I wanted to return the photos that had been taken by their in store photographer. Since I had ordered a CD and paid for a license to use the photos, the store refused. I walked out the store under the door with the declaration above - 100% Satisfaction or your money back.

Thinking this was a promise that Sears made to its customers before they even enter the store, I returned to talk to a manager about my less than 100% satisfaction.

One hour later and various store managers later, I was informed that the guarantee above the door did not apply to products like CDs since after all I could copy them.

The fact that I didn't want to use the photo in any venue failed to get through to them. The best they would do was offer to have the photographer reshoot.

One reshoot later, I am still unsatisfifed and reminded that my money is in their pocket and a taste of bitterness lingers in my mind.

I've purchased thousands of dollars of appliances from Sears as well as lawn equipment and tools.

But since my less than 100% satisfaction, I have never been back and won't return. With 12 levels of management the company has become Tom Peters icon of a dying corporation.

Sears is the prototype mismanaged dinasour that doesn't get the message - don't give us boomer customers a warranty if you don't intend to keep it.

Like elephants, we won't forget.


Stuart is correct, "Slogans sadly are not policy."

Surely am glad I stopped by here prior to puchasing a cell phone. Had reservations about Verizon after talking with a rep in one of their stores a year or two ago, where I did not get a cell phone. Was just on the verge of thinking I'd stop back in, but now am having not only second thoughts, but third ones, too.


i noticed your write up because I have Marketing Sherpa's headlines on my Yahoo homepage. Not that I am interested in consumer reports such as yours, I hope to learn something more fundamental than a little mishap with your phone privider. You must feel like a kid in a candy store, being able to express your presonal experience/feelings on the internet for so many people to see. But what value does that really add??

The Verizon managerdoes not even remotely decide what slogan will be posted on the billboards in his store, neither is he able/allowed to introduce the loaner program. Take it up with the big guys at Verizon who make those decisions and then find out that the little man has no say. The same holds true for any other provider, they have their pros and cons. What did your research find out, do other providers HAVE a loaner program? Where is that information in your article, that would only be fair, apples to apples. I think in the past you had good posts but this is garbage. Keep your personal frustrations to yourself. We all have our difficulties with suppliers at times.


Hey, everyone,
Marilou (just above this post)wants to know what value is added to my blog by my posting a piece about a personal experience with Verizon.

Given all the research that has gone into my next book, which is coming out in January 2007, that examined companies that empower employees to go beyond "the manual" to solve customers' problems, I felt it was well within the bounds of good taste to tell my story. Marilou thought otherwise. Employees of any of the companies profiled in the book would likely allow local managers to take down a slogan that could not be fully fulfilled. Moreover, were the executive management of these companies in Verizon,they would probably approve of a cell phone loaner program that had been tried out locallly with great success.

Such local initiatives have accounted for many innovations at companies like Starbucks, southwest Airlines, Whole Foods (Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey calls each store an experiment!).

So, what do other readers feel about my posting my complaint about Verizon on my blog? Was Marilou right?




I wonder when companies will finally learn that it only takes one truly negative experience like the one you described here to drive a once loyal customer right into the waiting arms of the nearest competitor!


As a consumer I place great credence in the experiences my friends and acquaintances have with any product, especially one which I might be considering buying.

I view blogs, such as David's, an extension of a place where I may go to find what his experience is, as well as those who choose to comment on his blog. This would just be one source of many from which I would draw information to make my purchasing decision. I certainly am not going to rely entirely on information given me by sales representatives for a product I may purchase. I sincerely doubt that many people do, including Marilou.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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