I recently purchased a new cell phone.  After several years of use and abuse, the Android had to be replaced.  My wife suggested I try an iPhone, so I thought “why not!?”  Besides, Verizon was running a special.

I contacted our account representative and placed the order.  Since I was heading out for a trip, I asked that the phone be shipped to a location along the way as I was not certain how much longer the existing phone would last.  There was plenty of time to process the order and have the phone delivered.  Someone dropped the ball and failed to process the order promptly.  I fully expected to hear from my representative with a lot of apologies but no solutions.  I was pleasantly surprised.   She arranged for me to drop by a nearby Verizon location in Minnesota, where I was traveling.  I arrived at the store, and the manager was aware of the situation.  He had the phone, instructed the sales representative on how to handle the changes needed on the account and I was in and out in about 20 minutes.  While frustrated with Verizon, they did an excellent job recovering from a bad situation.

However, things were very different when I tried to access a dormant Apple store account.  There were several apps I needed and no matter how many times I changed the password I could not access the account.  To shorten the story, I had four calls with Apple support, the final one lasting over an hour.  I came to find out that the account had been disabled because of a back charge from the credit card company.  They could find no evidence that I purchased anything that would cause a back charge.  All of the tech support people were nice but seemed to lack the understanding of why accounts get disabled.  The last person with whom I spoke was the one who determined the real reason.  I deleted the existing credit card and put in a new one, and things were fine.

How do I view these two companies now?  I view Verizon in a more positive light than I have in the past.  The person who delayed the order wrote me an email personally acknowledging she was the culprit and apologizing.  My representative got things arranged so that I got my phone.  On the other hand, I view Apple in a more negative light.  It took too many calls to reach to the person who understood what was wrong and how to correct it.

In the customer service world, things will not always go as planned.  How quickly and effectively you recover from a problem can do a great deal to create a satisfied and loyal customer.


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