Saturday, June 28, 2008

Customer (dis)Service?

I'm in the middle of a common issue with a large corporation. There's a problem. Relatively small for both myself and the billion dollar corp. It matters not exactly what it is. The attitudes and options of all parties is what interests me. But for clarity, here's my letter to the CEO of Virgin Mobile which I sent along with my non-working cell and copies of the relevant receipts and instruction booklet.
John Perkins
5201 22nd Ave NE #201
Seattle WA 98105
206 524.4496

June 27, 2008

Mr. Dan Schulman, CEO
Virgin Mobile USA
10 Independence Blvd
Warren NJ 07059

Re: Balance Held by VM
Phone #:*** ***.****
Customer names: Julene Weaver/John Perkins

Dear Mr. Schulman:

I have been a customer of VM since November 2005. The service has been superb.

I have run into a problem and you may be the only person who can solve it.

Relationship summary:

Date Activity

11/05 Purchased VM Kyocera phone/service from Radio Shack (RS).

08/07 Purchased a top-up for one year @ $90.

06/08 Phone malfunctions, troubles begin.
±$60 balance remaining.

The phone no longer works. Try it. I returned to RS to discover they needed my vkey/PIN. The short of it is that the salesman at RS (at time of purchase in 05) entered the online information and mistaken told us the wrong number to pay attention to as our vkey/PIN. Human error. We have entered over 30 variations with no luck trying to guess this number. Frustrating. I send you copies of our paper documentation.

I'm asking you, as CEO, to authorize VM to return my balance. You may need to re-examine your no refund policies before approving this.

In all fairness,

John E. Perkins, III
Dealing with VM is a dance of frustration. To call in to the customer service number means working past about 6 or 7 steps with their automatic voice responder. Each time.

Then I go over the history, each time, and they invariably say what's the answer to the Question, in this case favorite pet. We don't know as we never entered that. Then, they say well, nothing we can do. So I point out they are holding my $60 and I would like it sent back. And we start at the top again about needing the pin/vkey, etc.

So, next I called into the headquarters on a toll number and got the identical run around. But, get this, when I asked who the CEO was so I could send him a letter the CS rep (and after a pause, her supervisor) said send it to the customary complaint address I can find on the web. This is a slip on their part for two reasons: 1. the name of the CEO is easily found via other means. So give up the name. Or send the Money. And, 2) The usual complaint route will have the same rote response as I'm getting from the phone in Customer Service. Like I want more of this!

The following day, I got a call from D. who eventually said that the phone I mailed in would probably make its way to him and he'd take a look. I had told him I would most likely get another VM phone (price is the best for my needs, still). He said he'll see what he can do to make me whole because he didn't want to have a customer for 2.5 years to continue with a bitter taste in his mouth. The right attitude, at last. Can he come through? Stay tuned.

No comments: