AT&T Wireless Rep Refunds My Phone Upgrade Fees Because I Didn’t Whine About Them

Natalie called up AT&T Wireless yesterday to ask about a few relatively small charges on her bill. The customer service representative offered her a refund of two $36 activation fees due to phone upgrades, explaining that it was because Natalie was quite possibly the only person who had called AT&T that day who hadn’t complained about activation fees. (We’re paraphrasing and exaggerating slightly.) Then the representative gave her another credit, ostensibly for being a loyal customer of twelve years. Natalie was stunned, and couldn’t think of a way to repay the CSR…until she found our site.

I contacted AT&T Customer Care this evening to dispute a couple of nominal charges to my cell bill I received today. I spoke with [K]. in customer service. She was polite from the beginning of the call. I asked her about a $5 download charge and a $2 pay-per-use fee. K. removed those, and then offered to remove two activation fees (due to recent cell phone upgrades – a $72 total). She said that since I hadn’t mentioned it, and with all of the calls she gets every day with that being the first question, she would be happy to remove them. She promptly removed both.

We exchanged a couple of things about our children just before she advised me that she was giving my account a $240 credit since I had been a customer (with AT&T wireless) since 2001. She asked if there was anything else she could for me. After I told her, “No,” I asked if there was anything I could do for her. She said “No,” also.

I hung up, wondering, “How can I thank her? How can I pay it forward?” Just then, I opened up Yahoo.com, and the article pertaining to Red Robin and the mom to bee, as fate would have it, was the first article available to view. I knew that was a sign that I had to let someone know how [K] went above and beyond anything I have ever expected.

I didn’t tell her, but this is especially helpful since my husband just started a new job, and money will be tight for a while.

What a great story! We contacted AT&T and offered to pass on the representative’s un-redacted name…as long as she wasn’t breaking any rules by giving those credits to Natalie.

There are more direct methods to pass on praise for customer service representatives, though. When I worked in a call center some time ago, customer commendations would earn us certificates and… well, pretty much just a certificate, but it still felt really great to know that someone out there appreciated us. Our callers had a few different methods to submit commendations: they could ask for a supervisor at the end of a call and praise us directly, or they could note our ID numbers, call the main customer service line, and report how great we were.

Think about it this way: how would you complain about a particularly bad customer service representative? Call the company back? Ask for a supervisor? Send a letter? Send an e-mail? That’s how you would commend a particularly good one, too. The next time that you get truly great service, consider using those same exact methods to tell someone in charge about it. Your call could help that person’s career, or at least make them feel appreciated a little bit.