Verizon Guy Tells Me The Customer Is No Longer Always Right

Let’s face it — the maxim “the customer is always right” never really held true. But still it was nice and polite for managers and customer service reps to at least pretend they had customers’ needs in mind. So it’s distressing yet oddly comforting to hear the bluntness in which A Verizon CSR handled Sean:

I had a maddening experience today with Verizon Wireless’ customer service. Long story short: I ordered a Verizon phone and a talk plan that included unlimited text messages. Or so I thought. When I got my first bill, I was shocked to find I’d be sending and receiving texts at $.20 per. When I called to ask why I didn’t get the plan I asked for and to get the charges reversed, I was told in so many words that I was lying because the computer didn’t say I ordered the talk and text plan. This, of course, was my whole point. I didn’t get what I asked for.

So I escalated the issue to a supervisor. He also told me I couldn’t have asked for the talk/text plan because it wasn’t on the screen. When I asked this rep whatever happened to the customer always being right, he responded, “Those times have changed.”

What’s the most quotable thing a CSR ever told you?

Comments

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  1. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    If it’s your first bill then you should be within your 30 days cancellation window. Threaten to leave, and magically you were on the text plan all along.

    • sleze69 says:

      Yeah…that 30 days is BS. Verizon had that policy but still billed me the ETF when I cancelled phone service 10 days after getting it. I tried to get it reversed for about 5 months but then gave up. It is finally off my credit report.

    • Krang Krabowski says:

      on these if they are unwilling to revers it copy the contract and a brief summary of the situation and fax it off to their legal department. often times they will fix it it will just take a while

  2. humphrmi says:

    “What’s the most quotable thing a CSR ever told you?”

    I once had a sales rep, who obviously thought I couldn’t understand Spanish, call me “Puta” under his breath, while I was pushing for a better deal. I thanked him for his time (in Spanish) and hung up.

    • qbubbles says:

      Best shit in the world is when people think I cant speak Spanish and talk bad about myself or my husband. The look in their eyes when they realize I understand every word… priceless.

      • DariusC says:

        I had that happen and they just laugh and then reiterate what they said in english. Some people don’t care if you know or they would not have said it.

      • jimmyhl says:

        Or when you say ‘donde esta su jefe?’

      • katstermonster says:

        Best ever was when my mom and I were in the supermarket and heard one employee telling another that two of their friends had just gone to the office upstairs “para chingar.” They got really freaked when we looked at each other and started laughing.

    • NaOH says:

      I don’t speak a word of Spanish and even I know what that means. What a dolt.

    • jimmyhl says:

      A guy at a deli counter once told another counterman in Spanish that I was a cheap bastard. I had a word with the manager and left.

    • mandy_Reeves says:

      few days ago…at my call center gig… I was saying hello…I hello to the customer, but all I heard was giggling and Spanish about how they were messing with me. I said have a nice day in spanish and hung up

  3. perfectly_cromulent says:

    This was a terrible answer. Usually what they would do is adjust your bill as if you were on the correct plan from the beginning. Yes, there’s no way to prove who’s right, but we would approve this at the (corporate) store level all the time. I feel bad this guy had such a crappy experience; l’d encourage a call back or manager visit in a store.

    • hmburgers says:

      I used to be in family plan, and we went over by a few hundred minutes in a month, fortunately I was in the habit of checking the bill routinely during the month and so I caught it online before the end of the billing cycle…

      I called VZ to upgrade the plan–thinking it would take affect for the next month and I’d eat the overages–the CSR volunteered to retroactively apply the plan, so at $0.35/min for my overages she saved me over $100 in charges that month.

      I switched to AT&T for the iPhone 3GS and although I love the phone I’ve regretted being an AT&T customer the entire time due to dropped calls and poor signals…

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        The same thing happened to me with Cingular and text messages. I admitted fault and wanted to not have a $300 bill in the future, so I called to change my plan for the next billing cycle. The CSR retroactively gave me a texting plan.

        I was very surprised and impressed. It was completely my fault and I was planning on eating the cost.

        • wolf3345us says:

          I miss those days when it was Cingular. AT&T has no heart.

          • meske says:

            I just don’t get all the complaints with AT&T. I personally have never had a problem with their customer service. And I don’t have problems with dropped calls (or at least no more problems than my wifes VZ phone).

  4. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Does the OP have a receipt of his purchase? If he ordered it all online, there should have been some kind of listing of what he ordered and the price he paid.

    Let’s entertain the idea that maybe the OP got confused. Look at the offers page: This is the plan type the OP is talking about: http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/store/controller?item=planFirst&action=viewPlanList&sortOption=priceSort&typeId=1&subTypeId==17&catId=808

    On the Talk and Text offers page, it has regular Talk (no texting) plans on a tab right next to the Talk and Text ….and you click back and forth, they’re the exact number of minutes being offered, it’s just that the Talk and Text adds a text plan and changes the price. Aside from a few sentences and numbers, the pages look the same. Maybe the OP selected the wrong plan.

    • hmburgers says:

      “Does the OP have a receipt of his purchase? If he ordered it all online, there should have been some kind of listing of what he ordered and the price he paid.”

      +1

      I notice this is conveniently left out of the OP’s narrative… I think it’s more likely he’s getting exactly what they claimed he was getting on the order, and he didn’t pay attention.

      If he could produce an email, PDF, print out… some form of receipt that showed what he ordered this would be an open/shut case…

      • Nisun says:

        +1

        This is exactly why the customer is not always right. We all make mistakes, I’ve done it before, and I’m the first to admit I’m not always right. Maybe the OP made the mistake, but I still find it more likely VZ did. I still don’t understand why VZ didn’t just retroactively change the plan or something?

        • koalabare says:

          You really don’t undersand? It’s because they want the money. Not saying it is right or even a good idea, but that is why.

          • Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

            Not to flame you, but rather enlighten you…if it was all about the money…VZ would have eaten the charges and switched the OP to the plan he thought he purchased. Trust me, VZ would have gotten way more blood from the OP if let him stay on the plan.

            Unless, VZ is banking on the OP not fighting too hard so they get the money from the text and he stays with them…

            • pecan 3.14159265 says:

              If he just got his bill, it means that he’s probably over the 30 day return time frame anyway.

    • jason in boston says:

      I’ll pile on to this. He should have a receipt. E-mail it to a supervisor or even print it out and walk into a store and talk to the manager. Seems to me that the OP didn’t look at the receipt and might not have actually received what he thought he ordered.

  5. HaveSomeCheese says:

    I would sadly agree with the Sup. Ever since customers started demanding beyond what was resonable, no one really wants to help them or try accomdate their requests.

    • CustomerServiceAgent says:

      Amen,

      People think that customer service is on the decline, but it feels like the customers themselves are starting to become unreasonable in their expectations.

      Even the best CSR can crack under a snide customers comments and let things slip that would normally never be said.

      That being the case, I wholeheartedly support recording your calls. Catch those rouge CSR giving us all a bad name.

    • IThinkThereforeIAm says:

      How about the (paraphrased) explanation of:

      “we don’t have any record of you ordering that plan, because we don’t have any record of it?”

      While times may have a-changed, alienating customers is still not a good idea, ebemn if you are representing a wireless giant.

      • HaveSomeCheese says:

        Granted Verizon should have just suck it up and credited his account, they should have done it for the sake of keeping the customer and choosing the lesser of two evils (the other being the customer cancelling his account altogether). Pulling the “the customer is always right” card does nothing but frustrate those in customer service. The idea that I as a customer am always right, regardless of how reasonable or unreasonable my request is absurd. Anyone who pulls that card knows they are wrong or is just an entitled asshole

    • Rachacha says:

      The OP wanted a plan that included unlimited texts, but that was not what he received. Perhaps the representative that placed his order misunderstood, or forgot to enter the order, or perhaps the OP did not ask for it, even though he thought he did. Would it have been so difficult to say something along the lines of “I’m sorry sir, but I don’t see a notation of that here in my records, but I would be happy to add that service retroactively to your account if you would like…here are your options and pricing for each option.”

      Perhaps I missed it, but how was the OP asking for more than he deserved or was entitled to. A mistake on someone’s part was apparently made. Verizon could do a 30 day retroactive text plan and keep the customer happy, and the customer gets a break on the cost of per text charges. Everyone wins and is paying/pompensated for services used/provided.

    • Conformist138 says:

      I agree with you, but not in this specific case. This is common and very simple. When I was a CSR, we did it all the time, particularly for new customers or customers who had recently changed plans. As long as the customer was willing to either 1. Change to a higher plan that would prevent overages in the future, or 2. Opted to entirely block the service that cause the overages, then we would issue credit.

      The OP clearly wanted to change to an unlimited texting plan; had I been dealing with him, it would have been done in 5 minutes because putting him on a plan that makes him happy is still our first priority. Customers have done damage to the goodwill of many businesses, but we can’t just deny service across the board because of those few rotten apples.

  6. A.Mercer says:

    I remember when I was working in fast food, the only people who trotted out the customer is always right are the people who knew they were 100% in the wrong.

    • Doubts42 says:

      +1

      • Zclyh3 says:

        Whatever happened to “the customer is always right?” Whatever happened to “we have the right to refuse service to anyone for any reason?”

    • Nisun says:

      +1
      Sadly that has been my experience.

    • BobOki says:

      +2
      This is ALWAYS the case. ALWAYS.

    • Big Mama Pain says:

      Totally; plus you have to be a total asshole to even say something like “What happened to the customer always being right?” Everyone knows the stupid phrase, and if you are in the business of customer service, you know that you have to treat the customer with respect and all that shit. They don’t need to be reminded of this tired old saying. Thanks to people abusing that system, sadly, it really does no longer apply.

  7. smo0 says:

    I just switched from a family plan to a single plan when I got my android with Tmobile… because of the set up involved (my dad’s name is on the account) and the timing (my friend had the other line) it took multiple calls to Tmobile… but that’s on me.
    Each time I called, however, I asked them repeatedly – what was promised to me in the system… as my unlimited texts were going away when I dropped the sidekick plan.
    I was promised, unlim mins 49.99 a month… and unlim data + text 34.99… reason being, data is normally 30 a month and texts are 20 a month… but they gave me a special.
    Now, every rep saw that in the notes. Exept the one who actually did the change when the time came. I made her get a manager on the line to update that… but her excuse was that the “special” no longer existed in the system and they couldn’t do it.
    Anyway, my last call was my having the second line canceled and the plan officially moved from family to single.
    My dad had to make that call. I wasn’t there.
    So after it was completed, I called customer service again and TRIPLE CHECKED… that my plan was 49.99 unlimited minutes… and 34.99 unlimited DATA AND TEXTS.

    I made the rep repeat it. So, we’ll see if the august bill is legit. Either way… repeat yourself, over and over – every call .. when you make changes like that. I trust NO ONE.

    • psm321 says:

      That sounds like the old plans before they went to “even more”/”even more plus” (with the $50 unlim. talk being a loyalty plan and the $35 text+data the standard android plan). I’m surprised they’re still available for new orders. If you’re willing to pay up-front for your phone though, you can get $80/month unlim. everything under the “even more plus” (no contract, but no phone subsidy)

  8. RogalDorn says:

    threaten to cancel your service. If they don’t budge then do it and you’ve only lost your early termination fee, and you voted with your wallet by doing do. Its stupid crap like this that big companies rely on to lock you in to mandatory loyalty. Do not fear the termination fees to gain your freedom as a consumer.

  9. scratchie says:

    Have we come full circle?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9e3dTOJi0o

  10. Platypi {Redacted} says:

    “The customer is always right” has been essentially ruined by obnoxious aholes and scammers insisting that businesses bend over at their whim. The goal should be that both parties are satisfied with the transaction, not that a customer can demand unrealistic stuff and expect the business to capitulate.

    That said, Verizon should correct the mistake, regardless of who made and where. The will retain a customer, and make him happy at the same time.

  11. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    You’re right: times have changed. You used to be my cell phone carrier.

    ICE BURN

  12. teamplur says:

    The SBARRO’s Employee manual tell you that “The customer is not always right, but the customer IS always the customer”
    That’s a little less foolish that thinking a customer is ALWAYS right. Customers come in all ranges from savvy consumerists to down right ignorant morons.

  13. curmudgeon5 says:

    I don’t find Verizon’s answer so offensive, because the question (“what happened to the customer always being right?”) was so lame.

    The question here isn’t whether the customer should always be right (and no, Phil — they shouldn’t — something Consumerist used to understand), but whether the customer was right in this particular instance, which they were.

    Verizon messed up, but the issue isn’t that they say the customer isn’t always right. They’re correct about that.

    • pawnblue says:

      I actually think the rep meant to say: There’s not enough competition in any telecommuncations market for you to be right anymore. We will treat you how we want because you need us more than we need you.

      Sure, it’s a little longer than: Those times have changed. But it explains the situation more clearly.

      After 30-40 years of constant mergers and acquisitions (with practically no criticism from the people) we should be glad there’s any competition at all. I think we should be thankful that companies still have customer service lines. They don’t have to care. You won’t get better service at AT&T.

  14. hoi-polloi says:

    I’ve seen a similar flawed logic, and had to talk a cashier into taking back the excess change she gave me. I handed her a $10, but she made change for a $20. I pointed it out, and she asked to see my receipt. Then she said, “No, I entered that you gave me $20.” I said that’s exactly what I’d expect if she thought I handed her $20. Eventually, I convinced her to check her slots. My ten was sitting right on top of the $20 stack. Just because you keyed in $20 doesn’t mean that’s what I handed you.

  15. CuriousGeorge113 says:

    I remember in a new hire training back in 2006 (When I started at Verizon Wireless) we were actually told the following phrase:

    “The customer is always right. Unless they’re wrong.”

    We were then trained on how to defend our position, and what resources to use to check order records, customer conversations, self-serve interactions.

    I can only remember on one occasion, after working nearly 4 years and handling tens of thousands of accounts, where the billing system itself actually made a mistake with a customers account. 99.99% it was either another rep or the customer, and in both of those cases, there are ways to track back and see what actually transpired.

    Chances are, the OP made a mistake. He would have gotten farther admitting it as such, and asking for a courtesy rework or credit, rather than standing his ground that he’s right and Verizon is wrong.

    • Rectilinear Propagation says:

      He would have gotten farther admitting it as such

      That’s assuming that the OP 1) made a mistake and 2) knows that they made a mistake. Why would anyone admit to something that, as far as they know, isn’t true to a CSR?

      The CSR didn’t give the OP any reason to believe that they didn’t enter the wrong plan on his account.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      Yeah because those people working at the Verizon store are the best and brightest and don’t make any mistakes. It is impossible that in the hurry to get on to the next customer (and commission) they did not enter what the customer asked for.

  16. myCatCracksMeUp says:

    If I start thinking about all the stupid things that CSRs have said to me, I’ll just get angry all over again.

    • INsano says:

      +1

      I prefer to just look over my catalog of concessions I’ve gotten from companies instead. Much better for my spirit.

  17. aja175 says:

    These are the same people that told me I shouldn’t carry my phone in my pocket…

  18. Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

    I had a similar problem back when I had Cingular. I called and the CSR retroactively gave me a texting plan. It was surprisingly painless.

  19. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    He also told me I couldn’t have asked for the talk/text plan because it wasn’t on the screen.

    I hate that “a computer said so” argument. Ask for proof from the customer, say you can see the signed contract that says X instead of Y, but don’t just say that your computer is infallible.

    • dragonfire81 says:

      Some companies think this way though. When I worked for Sprint that’s how it was. The rule we went by: “If it’s not in the notes, it didn’t happen” so if this guy had called Sprint when I worked there I would have also had to tell him there was nothing I could as the computer didn’t indicate he wanted a texting plan. If I actually did help him by crediting the charges, this would be going against policy and I would fail the call and be written up.

      Take one guess how much I liked that job.

  20. Horselady says:

    I agree, the customer is NOT always right,
    and I bet anyone who’s ever worked retail will agree with me.

    Working retail for a few years (thank the Lord, not anymore)
    made me a much nicer customer.

    I am always nice to clerks & customer service people,
    because I know they have a hard job.

    Unless of course, they are really nasty to me, then I just
    ask to talk to someone else.

  21. TheAssociation says:

    The customer is never right.

    I’ll show myself out…

  22. Jack Handy Manny says:

    A Sprint rep told me “you sound retarded.”

    ED note: I don’t sound retarded.

  23. dantsea says:

    When I was pitching a polite fit about the status of a refund some years ago (it was 9 weeks overdue), the supervisor told me “Sir, we’re a very large Fortune 500 company, there are a lot of things happening and we can’t be expected to take care of everything right away.”

    I stopped being polite after that, but I did get a check next day air. :)

  24. damageddude says:

    I just ordered two new phones, made my selections and, most importantly — PRINTED the final plan. If there is a problem later I will either have proof that I made the right selections (and its not like I make that many texts).

  25. NarcolepticGirl says:

    So, what does the receipt say that he received when he placed the order?

  26. skapig says:

    Be a smart consumer and cover your ass be confirming phone transactions. Most reps have to run through the transaction at the end, but of course you always want to verify in print if you can. With Verizon Wireless, it’s just a matter of logging in to the website and looking over your plan details.

  27. Doubts42 says:

    The handling of he situation was certainly wrong, but the csr was absolutely right. Anyone who has spent more than 48 hours in a customer service job can tell you that as soon as you hear the words” But the customer is always right” you know 2 things.
    1. the customer in this case is clearly 100% wrong
    2. You are dealing with a self centered entitled D-bag

  28. AwesomeJerkface says:

    The most quotable things a CSR will say to you will always come after you tell them “the customer is always right”.

    In this case, the CSR was more polite than I would’ve been.

    • roguemarvel says:

      I have to say that was really a fairly nice and polite response and probably along the lines of what I would have said. Although I might have added “I’m sorry” to it.

  29. Sir Winston Thriller says:

    When we got phones from Verizon last November, there were loooooooong register tapes that listed everything we got–hardware and plans. It said right on the tape which family plan, which texting, which internet…all of it. And the saleswoman went over each item, pointing them out and reading them off the tape to me.
    I’m not saying Sean is a liar. I’m saying that the Verizon saleswoman I had was very thorough and made sure I understood what I was buying before leaving the store.

  30. Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

    My absolute pet peeve is “The computer made a mistake”. And I do light into reps that say that. Computers make so few mistakes so the actual number could be considered zero.

    Now, there could be a programmer error, logic error in the software (programmed by a human), operator error, entry error, etc. But those ARE NOT computer errors. They are regular human errors that just happen to occur with the help of a computer.

    Even the famous Pentium math error was not a computer error. The programmer that wrote the instructions made a mistake.

    • Aurora Nightwalker says:

      Then your the D-Bag everyone is describing. You seriously do that? Sorry but who the hell would say “Hmmm well it looks like the programmer must have got the coding wrong.” Screw you for berating someone for saying “the computer made a mistake.”

      Loser.

  31. Sammich says:

    The customer is not always right and has never been always right. The difference is that the customer used to be obnoxiously wrong rarely enough that it could be ignored.

    The flip side is that the system isn’t always right either.

    It’s impossible to tell which was wrong here without more information than we’ve been given, but the Verizon CSR should have at least entertained the theory that it was a problem on Verizon’s end.

  32. kethryvis says:

    i worked for a small, regional ISP in the mid 90s. We were a fairly eclectic, ragtag bunch but we got the job done.

    i remember working Sales/Customer Service one night; it was slow for us, but the tech support side of the room was busier, as to be expected. One of our more… colorful techs was working that night, we were all kind of half-listening to what everyone else is doing, and said tech was with a difficult customer. i don’t remember the context now, all i remember is hearing him say:

    “Sir, the size of your hard drive doesn’t matter, it’s how you use it.”

    i know i blinked a few times, exchanged amuse glances with several co-workers and immediately ran to the bathroom so i could giggle my fool heart out without him seeing.

  33. CounterfeitGod says:

    Anyone who uses the “Customer is always right line” is usually an idiot full of wrongful self entitlement.

  34. CBenji says:

    First of all I don’t really care if the OP was wrong. Text messaging is a big moneymaker for Verizon. I think it might cost them like .05 cents to send out each text and even if this person made a big error and signed up for the wrong plan I think a big company like Verizon should eat the damn difference and stop being so greedy. I mean after all this is a service isn’t it? Funny how a stupid company like Verizon is able to be obnoxious over something like this. Next thing you know all these jobs at Verizon and companies like it will start being shipped to other countries because these people have no humanity or loyalty. Oh wait a minute.

  35. jimmyhl says:

    Bad on Verizon to conclude that the customer was fibbing. It’s one thing to say ‘we have no record of that’ and much different thing to say ‘we don’t have a record of it because it just didn’t happen.’ This is the first bill and these things can happen when setting up new accounts. This should never have reached the ‘customer is always right’ stage. I just hate giving my business to someone who treats me like a mutt. If I were the OP, I would escalate this to the bitter end.

  36. SPOON - now with Forkin attitude says:

    “What’s the most quotable thing a CSR ever told you?”

    Seagate tells me that my computer’s firewire port which works with every other fw drive in the house isn’t compatible with a seagate drive because the fw motherboard component is broke and no one can use it.

  37. VisualizeWhirledPeas says:

    My medical provider gives separate bills for each visit, each with its own ID, rather than assigning ME an ID and tying all the services together. Makes it hard to tell what’s already been billed, what’s been paid, etc.

    When I called to see if they could accommodate me (I have weekly appointments – sometimes multiple visits per week), the CSR told me, “We don’t provide consolidated patient bills. If you want those, get Kaiser.”

  38. KennyS says:

    A friend of mine has owned a restaurant for over thirty years. He says “The customer isn’t always right but I want him to come back and give me more money”.

    • Dodger88 says:

      KennyS said: A friend of mine has owned a restaurant for over thirty years. He says “The customer isn’t always right but I want him to come back and give me more money”.

      What people don’t seem to understand, is that this is actually the truth behind “The customer is always right” saying! Even if the customer is technicially wrong, in most cases the company comes out ahead by keeping the customer even if they have to make a concession that they are not “required” too. That is why the customer is always supposed to be right.

      Of course there can be instances where it is pushed too far. However this situation does NOT sound like one of them. Verizon screwed up my Fios order multiple times before finally getting it straightened out. I signed up for a package with abc features for $x and they sent me confirm email with package xyz for $a. I told them they were wrong and they sent 2 more incorrect email confirms. When I told them what I ordered and the price they denied it was even possible. I insisted they pull up the recording of my original call (with rep x at call center y at such and such time/date) and review it. A few hours later I got a call from a Mgr admitting that the call confirmed the package the rep said she was giving me (I asked about a million questions on the original call and made them review my features and the price numerous times during the call b/c I know the bait and switch games they play).

      The problem with the all-mighty computer didn’t say so argument is that the notes in the computer only reflect what the person on the other end of the phone is typing and you have no way to check it for accuracy (intentional or unintentional). I’ve repeatedly requested that the CSR fax me a copy of the notes so there would be no confusion about what was to be done… They have refused EVERY time. They say they have taken extensive notes and I shouldn’t worry.

  39. JayPhat says:

    What’s the most quotable thing a CSR ever told you?

    “Your unlimited data and text plan means that you can send and receive and unlimited amount of data and text. We still get to charge you for the data sent and received.” And that’s why i’m no longer with Sprint.

  40. SugarMag says:

    “What’s the most quotable thing a CSR ever told you?”

    At a verizon store, where I took my “new” non-working data plan phone:

    “It’s not our job to help you with equipment that has known software glitches.”

    When I asked to be credited for the data plan since I couldn’t use it:

    “It’s not our job to credit your acct”

    I finally asked them what their job was. “It is our job to sell you a phone and a service plan. It’s not our job to help you with your problems.”

    This was a “real” store – not a kiosk or storefront selling VW phones only.

    They did offer a store landline phone to call Verizon’s customer service, saying maybe a phone rep states away would be helpful. I did that, and the rep complained the music was too loud and bass-y to hear me so could I please leave the club to speak with him? He was flabberghasted to learn I was IN THEIR STORE.

  41. Not Given says:

    What’s the most quotable thing a CSR ever told you?

    Our server is working, you should call Usenet and ask them why you can’t access newsgroups.

  42. Alternate says:

    In my head, the CSR had a much longer, more epic response:

    “Those times have changed. Its not longer about customers, service, or products and services. Its an endless series of phone calls fought by men and answering machines. Customer service – and its consumption of my patience – has become a poorly oiled machine. Customer service has changed.”

  43. Alternate says:

    In my head, the CSR had a much longer, more epic response:

    “Those times have changed. Its not longer about customers, service, or products and services. Its an endless series of phone calls fought by men and answering machines. Customer service – and its consumption of my patience – has become a poorly oiled machine. Customer service has changed.”

  44. ovalseven says:

    My favorite is from Charter, and I’ve heard it from them more than once when they’ve tried to schedule an unnecessary $50 installation. I’d tell them, “My cable TV is already physically connected without filters. Why can’t you activate my new internet service”?

    Charter: “Oh, that’s because there’s two separate lines going into your home”.

  45. doobiewondersmoke says:

    My most quotable happened 2 weeks ago. Long story short I just wanted to know when Android 2.2 would be pushed to my phone. It began a 2 week odyssey into the underworld of Verizon all for a simple answer. I had one CSR call me back and say “Let me school you on how cell carriers work”. Needless to say I ended up contacting Verizon’s CEO and actually got a good callback today. Verizon’s service (cell/data) is outstanding IMO, but their shady business practices and poor customer service will make the rest of us understand when a customer goes postal.

  46. Moosenogger says:

    Me: I’m trying to answer the security question, but it won’t accept my answer. I know it’s correct, but the site won’t log me in. It keeps saying the answer is incorrect.

    Online “CSR”: Please do not answer the security question incorrectly.

    I gave up at that point. It was apparent that I was either talking to a robot or the dumbest human being on Earth.

  47. jimmyhl says:

    Me: Is my new phone in?
    Radio Shack CSR: No. It’s at the North Hills store.
    Me: How did that happen. I’ve never been to that store.
    CSR: The delivery guy accidentally dropped off all the downtown deliveries at the North Hills store.
    Me: Okay. So I can just go there after work and pick it up?
    CSR: I wouldn’t do that if I were you.
    Me: Why not?
    CSR: I don’t want to set you up for failure.
    Me: #$&*#%$_())*^(*&($!$@$!!!!

  48. DigTheFunk says:

    Haha Phil, I always like your story categories the most, “Sh*t my CSR says”….I LOL’ed

  49. xaraan says:

    I always hated the phrase “customer is always right” because it’s usually used by someone trying to abuse policies. And they usually are not right when they are using that phrase. But employees make just as many mistakes.

    But the customer is always the customer. In the instance in the article I think we are seeing what the phrase was meant for. They are not trying to take advantage of something to do crazy returns or anything odd. It would be the perfect time to take the customers word and adjust the bill to give them their way.

  50. Kitten Mittens says:

    Verizon executive customer service would/will fix this. However, due to the amount of time I had to spend on the phone with them to get my wife’s phone added to my plan (she wasn’t even in contract) along with a host of other CSR-related calls, I finally switched carriers…to AT&T. Sigh.

  51. Pax says:

    “The customer is always right” never meant “the customer’s version of events, policies, and statements is always 100% accurate”.

    It always meant: “never tell the customer ‘you’re wrong’.” For example, if a customer says “but the advertisement said ____”, don’t tell them “you’re wrong, it said ___”. Instead, say “I’m sorry the advertisement wasn’t clearer; it’s supposed to mean _____”.

  52. TrustAvidity says:

    The customer was probably completely in the right in this scenario but I do believe the “customer is always right” policy is total garbage. I work in retail and have had a customer “swear to God” that he purchased a particular item on release date from my store when my store didn’t open until three years after that item was released. This is one of many examples when customers have been full of crap.

  53. StevePierce says:

    My wife had someone from the No Help Desk at the local hospital tell her, after they had deleted two years worth of emails, “computers are very complicated”.

    My wife is a burn and trauma surgeon and COL in the Army Reserve Medical Corp with two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    So she tells the unhelpful geek, “You should try taking out a gall bladder, that’s complicated.”

    – Steve

  54. dah2 says:

    I had an overdraft fee placed on my account even though my bank’s policy (as stated by an employee of that bank) is that charges causing an account to go negative will only result in an overdraft fee if the money charged past the $0.00 marker is deposited on the day of the original charge. So I went to make my account positive on that same day and was charged an overdraft fee anyway. When I called customer service to get the charge taken off my account because of an obvious bank error, the rep. told me that they could not do anything about it because it was not, and i quote, “classified as a bank error”. These kind of things happen to people every day and we are supposed to just bend over and take it because we have no other leverage against them or we don’t have the time or money to make them see their mistake and make things right. It’s just the way the world works. There are very few businesses with customer service like we all picture it to be. The only company I know of that would fix an error until it was made right is Starbucks. I have never once been turned away because my drink was not made right and they always offered me incentives to return with my business when I was not satisfied.

  55. UrIt says:

    part of my job is CSRing, and the customer is NOT always right. the customer is the customer, and should be treated with respect, but their word is not law, so stop feeling so bloody entitled because my way of making a living is “less” than yours.

  56. kyramidx3 says:

    When my boyfriend and I first moved out together almost two years ago, we thought we could not get Verzion where we were living, so we decided to bite the bullet and order Comcast.

    Well, after calling Verzion anyway, I found out their internet was available in our area, and for only 31.99/month (which we are still paying now, they have locked it in at that until we change services), rather than the $81 something that Comcast wanted to charge for both internet and cable, which we didn’t even want. (Internet alone would have been $50 some a month by itself).

    Needless to say, I canceled the Comcast installation appointment. The following week I received numerous calls from several different Comcast “CSRs”, asking if I wanted to reschedule. Here is the kicker: The last person I talked to actually told me that they were “desperate for sales”. Why would you tell the customer that? I just hung up on him, and it has become a running joke now, that whenever either my boyfriend or I see a Comcast van, we just wait for them to somehow realize who we are, and follow us to our destination, yelling out the window, “DO YOU WANT TO RESCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT?!?”

  57. Skazaam! says:

    OP should have double checked what plan he was getting before confirming it, whether it be from checking his shit before ordering online or reading his receipt before leaving the store. Talk & Text is different from Talk. Also if a transaction is done through VZW’s website it says in the notes on your account, the notes that are auto generated by the computer system, that they selected that particular plan and features. Saying “why didn’t I get what I asked for” is like getting pissed at your teacher for not proofreading your term paper for you.

    But maybe I’m just a former VZW rep venting about all the “I thought the customer was always right” calls I’ve taken. :)

  58. thinksojoe says:

    I used to work for Verizon Wireless Customer Service, and the store reps NEVER got the initial order right. My job constantly called for me to adjust off charges for things that should have been included in the plan but were conveniently forgotten to be added on by store reps. I’ve seen other posters say it, and I’ll confirm that – tell them you want out, and they’ll change their tune.

  59. vzisrippedmeoff says:

    I’ve been a customer for about 12 years, but Verizon this past 2 weeks, has tried its best to rip me off. My Storm wouldn’t boot, and they told me it was no good I would have to buy a “Droid”, that they were no longer going to support blackberries…, my buddy got the phone re-booted and working in about 15 minutes, today it says the sim card is not working and is cutting out, on phone calls, they said they could not replace the sim card, and that I would have to buy a new phone, a Droid…and that after Jan 1 they would no longer carry blackberries…
    Any one suggest a service in Texas that sells blackberries, and has good service….