Monday, September 19, 2011

Crossed Wires

We have a cell phone family plan with AnyPhoneCompany USA (seriously, just insert any phone company name here and it will suffice).  Over the summer, they alerted us that they were ending a partnership with another company that allowed us to include our vehicle phone in the family plan.  As a result, we needed to either cancel that line or move it.  No biggie, I could move it.

To say this was a challenging endeavor would be an understatement.  Long story short, 6 phone calls and 2 retail store visits later, the line was moved.  What a waste of time, theirs and mine.   

After the switch finally went through, we started getting calls from AnyPhoneCompany USA saying they were sorry to have lost us as a customer and would like to talk.  Now since we were actually still customers, just not for that line (the line they told us we had to cancel or move), I ignored the first two messages.  But after the third one, I figured someone needed to tell them they were wasting yet more time trying to reactivate me.   

I called customer service and sure enough, the rep told me there was a "glitch in the system".  I had been put into a general pool for follow up reactivation calls.  And I was not alone - all the other customers affected by this change were getting calls, too.

Been there, right?  As consumers, we all have stories like this we could share.  And that's unfortunate, because these kind of changes just don't have to be so painful for businesses nor their customers. 

I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that for AnyPhoneCompany USA, an experienced project manager working with the right crossfuntional team at the onset of this change initiative would have made all the difference. 

But then again, it usually does.

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