So I’ve just changed phone companies. I’d been with the one provider since…I reckon it’d be about 1995. But today my phone died. (At the exact same time I got a flat tyre, would you believe it?) When the phone broke down I went straight to My Former Phone Company. And I’m not talking online. I walked into a store.
My Former Phone Company told me my preferred brand and model of phone was out of stock and I couldn’t have a replacement. I was also told that as my phone was insured I could have a temporary replacement phone, but I would neither be able to access emails from it, nor use it as an external modem. I can’t operate without either function, so I told them I’d walk next door and see what Another Phone Company could offer me. The guy silently handed me back my phone and I duly went next door.
I said to the next guy that I was a customer of My Former Phone Company, but I was prepared to switch right then and there if he could give me a device that would allow me to take calls, get emails and could be used as an external modem.
But before he kicked my old phone to the kerb and jumped hoops to get me to sign up, he actually tried to make my old phone work, albeit unsuccessfully. The sales guy at My Former Phone Company didn’t even bother to find out what was wrong with the phone (it was stuck on headphone mode, by the way, which means I could actually use it, but only with headphones in.)
The actions and attitude of the guy at my new phone company impressed me – in this day and age you expect everyone to chase the dollar rather than try to find a solution that doesn’t have a commercial benefit. The fact he did this predisposed me to his company.
Switching phone companies turned out to be a painless exercise and during the switching process I was only without service for a couple of hours. My contract with My Former Phone Company expires in a couple of months, so although I’ll be paying for two phones during this time, it’s worth it because it means I don’t have to settle for a phone without the functionality I need.
But back to the flat tyre, which also turned out to be an example of great customer service. Given my phone was down when I got the flat, I walked to a public phone booth (around 100 metres away from my car – big argument for keeping them). I then called the NRMA, which dispatched a vehicle within 15 minutes.
My car only had one of those stupid temporary wheels. So (via the phone shop) I drove straight to my mechanic. I thought if they had to order a tyre I might be without a car for a few days, and expected the whole exercise to cost hundreds of dollars. But in the end he was able to patch my existing tyre – which he did very good naturedly right then and there, at about 5pm on a Friday, probably the last thing he wanted to do – and the whole exercise cost me $22 (thanks Autolab Manly).
Which proves (A) on the odd occasion it’s not going to cost you a bomb to go to the mechanics and (B) great customer service is not dead.
Can anyone top my experience of unexpectedly good customer service? I’d love to hear about it.