Spin Me Right Round

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See that record? That’s how I felt recently while talking to a provider.

Spin. Spin. Spin. In circles.

Over and over and over.

Getting no where. Fast.

 

A very frazzled customer reached out to me about porting their phone number to a new provider. That provider continued to state that the request was being rejected. On my end, I saw no request and no reason for rejection. The customer had spent numerous hours on the phone with their soon to be “new” provider with no end in sight. I told her I’d call and straighten this out. Little did I know, I was in for a wild ride.

My first call to them, I was placed on hold several times. “Let me check on that for you…” then “Yeah, I cannot help you with this. Let me transfer you.” And the journey begins. I’m transferred to someone who was not informed of the situation, so I start over again. Then, placed on hold. For quite a while. I inform them that I am with the losing provider. A few minutes into the call, they are reading a script to me stating that I must call the losing provider. I inform them again that I am from the losing provider. “Oh”, they say.

Then they tell me that the port request is cancelled. Without customer knowledge. Why? They are not sure. Would they resubmit if no one would have called? Nope.

Then, they tell me they cannot help me anymore with this situation and ask to transfer me. It’s been almost an hour at this point. I disconnect my call.

I call back again a couple hours later. Same situation. Different agents.

The customer informs me they called back later that evening. Same situation. Different agents.

I asked my customer, “Are you sure you want to move your service to this company…?”

A customer is not a ping pong ball. While I love a rousing game of ping pong, it should stay on the table and out of the customer service center.

The following day, I muster up the courage to try again. I want this customer to get their number ported, even if it means losing them, dab nabbit!

So, calling again the first time results in someone telling me completely different information that I received yesterday. The port rejection is coming from a totally different provider, not us. WHAT?!

At this point, my customer says “CANCEL THE PORT” to this provider. They are going elsewhere. They cannot stay with my company because their company requires them to have cellular service and well, we don’t offer that. However, I am pleased they are NOT going to this company because all this back and forth, spinning, ping ponging is enough to make a person ill.

It’s sad when a company cannot empower their agents to assist without having to transfer to someone else. Transferring is sometimes necessary but it doesn’t have to be a horrific experience.

Sadly, it was. And sadly, they lost a customer out of it.

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Jenny Dempsey is the Social Media and Customer Experience Manager for NumberBarn.com. With over a decade of customer service experience, Jenny has been recognized through social media channels as a thought leader. She is co-founder and a regular contributor on the Customer Service Life. When she's not helping or singing to customers, she is an Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, coaching clients over at her side passion project, JennyDempseyWellness.com.

One comment

  • I’ve often thought you can’t fake the customer service spirit. You often serve people or you don’t. I don’t believe that you can treat your “customers” right but treat other people badly.

    Your post confirms this belief. The effort you put into helping a customer who was leaving is amazing, but also a sign that this is how you treat everyone. Well done!

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