negative customer experienceOver the past week I have had a less than optimal customer experience with my mobile phone carrier and the saga is ongoing until I get the final bill from them in the next week. However let me tell you the story of my customer experience over the past year with this carrier…

I purchased a deal from them because they were the only carrier with a ‘Twin’ deal so my then 17 y.o. son could have his own phone and data package for college without costing me a heap extra. The happy-go-lucky sales girls in the store had the same phone even though I had never heard of it before – a HTC Legend. From the very first week I realised my phone didn’t work the way I was expecting it too, but I gave it a go due to the fact that the girl at the store had told me that the carrier was in the process of updating their network blend with another much larger carrier for their wireless data services.

Months later I still cannot access any social media unless I am logged into someones modem, and even then at times my phone just sits there spinning around and around trying to load the internet. :( Not happy… I do some googling and find out that the HTC legend is not one of their better phones and there are a lot of complaints about it, although my sons phone seems to work much better than mine does, perhaps mum just doesn’t understand how to use her phone, lol.

I took it back in and spoke to the girl who sold me the phone and she offers to send it away to be fixed, but “I use this phone for business”, I tell her. She tells me they have loan phones but they are all out at the moment, and perhaps when the network updates it will all be fixed.

Not so much… within a few months I have said some very bad words about my phone as now at times it isn’t ringing when I get a call, and I am missing important calls because there is no sound. Back in I go, no loan phones and a very funny shuffle from the new person I spoke to at the shop. Come back in he say,s not looking me in the eye and speak to G (original sales girl) by then we might have a load phone for you. Perhaps you just can’t work the phone… [see steam coming from my ears].

One year later I put my phone on charge and it rings a few minutes later, I answer it still on charge and realise that I am getting a mild shock of electricity through my year and down my jawbone!!!!! After nearly throwing the phone out the back door, I take it up to my son and do a little rant [see stamping feet, steam coming from ears and loud voice]. He patiently sighs, [more steam from ears as I know what that means – Mum is dumb but I will be patient].

He puts both his HTC and mine together on his desk and attempts to log into the internet with both, his works, mine sits there going around and around, he plugs my phone into the charger and OMG! gets a tingle on his ear, he tries to make a call from my phone only to find it isn’t picking up the network. OH! there IS something wrong with Mum’s phone!!!!

I first ring the store no loan phones AND I am speaking to G, so I tell her the whole saga, she tells me she had to change her phone as her HTC Legend stopped working after 6 months, she also tells me that even if it is fixed it won’t work with the new network upgrades as the software and processor in the phone isn’t strong enough for it. Hmm… G tells me to ring the carrier and tell them the story and they should give me 2 new phones and she will make sure when I come in store to give us free cases etc.. for all my troubles.

I ring the network carriers tech help line, I was completely over it by this time. Nice Indian man tells me I can take the phone in store and get a loan phone while mine is fixed… I tell him the whole story again and add in the little items of interest that G told me about the network, her phone and tell him I need new phones. Silence greets me and then he asks if I will hold….. Thank you Ma’am if you will just take your phone into the store and send it to be updated and fixed.. if there are no loan phone available just purchase a $50 phone to use while it is being fixed.

[lots of steam coming from ears] Very calmly I tell him that I am not happy at all and that updating the phone will not really help as I was told the processor would not work with the new network anyway… silence. Ma’am I have been authorised to tell you that there is no other option available to you.

Nearly in tears from pure frustration I hang up on him, he would NOT hear me cry!!

I Facebook my problems with the carrier and get a few people agreeing with me, I look for them (the carrier on Facebook they are not to be found). I find them on Twitter and send a tagged tweet out about not being happy with their customer service and that I want out of my contract with them. No reply from them, but a few replies to the effect “We are just looking at their deals and now rethinking the move to them.”

I send an email to their complaints department to the effect, here is the whole story and that I am not happy, and that I have a large social media network and over 500,00 reach, and that I will be calling the Ombudsman next. I also tell them that I have tweeted out under this name on Twitter and on Facebook, yes I have told the story as nicely as possible under the circumstances, no defamation just the story and that my tweet also had no defamation, no real anger just the facts and that they would stop if they let me out of my contract. I also told them not to cancel my contract until I had ported my numbers as I had, had the same number for 14 years and wanted to keep it.

They rang me the next morning… I am out of my contract and only have to pay the last bill with them. I can keep my numbers and port them on the last day of the monthly bill cycle – I did! lol Now I am just waiting for the last bill to see if they have actually kept up their end of the bargain we made on the phone that day.

I have new phones, a new carrier and so far am happy with it all.

I did the same thing with another business who totally stuffed up my tax last year, they will not only never see me again, I told the world as stuffing up someones tax and having to do retractions etc.. with the Tax Dept is not a great thing to do when you are supposed to be the expert! AND they tried to blame me!! Lucky for me I had proof that I had provided all the correct information, they had to fix it.

These days with social media your customer experience it THE most important thing you can do for your business, give a great customer experience and the word of mouth will get you more business, give poor customer experiences and the word that gets out will no be so good. Whether you are on social media or not, your business is going to be talked about!