Friday, May 8, 2015

Heart attack after talk with Verizon Wireless is understandable

Last year, Angela Hawkins of Chesapeake VA was talking with customer service at Verizon Wireless. She was discussing her bill, trying to correct a billing issue, or so it seems. Been there; done that. The conversation must have distressed Ms. Hawkins because, according to Verizon Wireless, which records phone calls to customer service for training purposes (laugh, laugh), Ms. Hawkins threatened to do away with (“kill” is the word used) everyone at Verizon Wireless. In return, it appears, the customer service agent at Verizon Wireless threatened to call the police to take care of Ms. Hawkins threat. 

The situation turned out to be a bit more than tit for tat for Ms. Hawkins. She was so upset about her possible arrest that, according to an EKG taken the next day, she had a heart attack. She had surgery followed by four days in the hospital. Because of all of this, Ms. Hawkins has filed a $2.35 million lawsuit against Verizon Wireless claiming “both negligent and intentional infliction of emotional distress.” Lots of people who talk with Verizon Wireless customer service, Time Warner Cable customer service, Duke Energy customer service, AT&T customer service…the list could continue for many pages…come away without satisfaction and with emotional distress. Been there; done that.

Not every conversation with customer service representatives ends up that way, but usually, when you talk with one, especially one located off-shore, the discussion starts with the business being right and the customer in the wrong. It should be the other way around. The benefit of the doubt should be with the customer especially when the customer has options and can choose another supplier. Usually, if explained properly by the customers, the problem is resolved in the customer’s favor, though maybe not exactly as the customer wishes. If more customer service agents were given a little leeway in resolving differences instead of reading from the company policy manual, there would be fewer upset customers and the world would be a better place.
-------------------- word of the day
logy (adjective) [loh-gee] lacking physical or mental energy

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