Yesterday my bill from Cingular arrived. Two months earlier I had added my daughters phone to our family plan. For the first month a new phone gets free, unlimited text messaging which allows you to figure out which messaging plan to sign up for. Let me tell you that teenage girls text a lot!
After the first month I got on Cingular's web site, logged into my account, and changed her texting plan to allow MANY text messages, 3000. Turns out that's just enough. But, when the phone bill arrived yesterday it showed that I didn't change the plan so the text portion of my daughter's phone bill was $170. If you're wondering, that represents 2700 text messages in one month (busy fingers).
I called Cingular, 611 on my cell phone. I explained to the customer service rep how I got on the web site and made a change to my plan to accommodate my new rapid texter. She checked the records and found out that I made a change to the account but that I ended up with the same plan. To me that means "no change" but they have record that I did something that day. She said she would refund half of the $170, not because she had to but to show good faith. "I don't have to do this sir". She didn't believe that I made the change. By-the-way, if you didn't already know, Cingular has a website that frequently has problems. Well, at least that's been my experience over the past 1 1/2 years.
While having this discussion with the customer service rep my Cingular call just dropped. It makes a sound when that happens, "da-da-da-da-daaa".
I called right back, got a different rep, and told my story again. She listened. She checked and found out that I had the same plan before and after the "change". Then she said "I'm making changes to your account sir, I'm post dating your text package to the date you tried to make this change". Then she took care of the overage and other assorted things she needed to do to get it to all work out so that my bill would be correct.
Cingular is an immense company. I won't argue that Cingular is a good wireless provider or not. Mostly it's worked well for me but a bad experience with them and I would be pushed to change providers, it's hard to have a lot of loyalty to a mega-company. It's hard unless they deal with you correctly in all circumstances The experience with the first rep wasn't good, it was exactly what I had feared would happen. That coupled with the extra $170 and other fruity action from their web site and I had plenty of reason to leave Cingular's service. Had this story ended there I'd be with another wireless company right now. But, one customer service rep made all the difference for me. She made it all right, over the top of the first one and other bad experiences I've had with the company. A huge company and one person in it makes the difference. A remarkable person.
I don't talk about my cell phone company unless something gives me reason to, whether it's good or bad. It's good this time and I'm telling others. I'm using a megaphone (this blog) to do it. If Cingular were my company... I'd be rich! No, no, no. If Cingular were my company... I'd find out who my happy customers are and give them a megaphone to tell their friends about how great a company I have.
If you have a company you should do the same with your happy customers. Find out who they are and give them a megaphone to tell their friends about what a great product or service you have. You can do it and you should do it. If you need help with the finding and the megaphone you can get it here.