We're seriously conflicted by this piece of news. Verizon Wireless announced that it is going to charge customers for upgrading their phone. Starting April 22, Verizon Wireless customers will be charged $30 every time they upgrade their phone. Since other cellphone carriers have been announcing similar intentions, this isn't that big of a surprise. However, the company announced that it is doing so to help fund customer support and online education tools. So there's the rub.
Any time a company announces that it's going to cost it's current customers more money to get the same services they've received forever, there's usually a public outcry that follows and often times those fees are reversed (are you listening Bank of America?). However, we're all about advocating better customer service and hiring more actual people to speak to in customer service departments, so we're conflicted. While it's no secret that cellphone carriers have been losing money trying to subsidize iPhones and Android phones, to announce the intentions of future spending from the revenue increase, and to tie it directly to the customer service department, then I guess we support it? To be honest, the proof will most likely be in the pudding on this one. If Verizon takes the extra money earned and hires more workers, provides better customer service, and in general is more available to it's paying masses, then so be it. But if they simply take the money to invest in a one off upgrade to their online customer service ala Facebook, well then there's going to be hell to pay. More often these days companies are beefing up their online customer service with Frequently Asked Question sections as a way to save money vs paying employees, and nothing is more infuriating than wanting to talk to a company, only to find they are not accessible and instead you are turned to a website. So the ball is in your court Verizon. If you truly care about your customers, you'll take that money to hire more customer service representatives for us to talk to. However, if all of a sudden we see you issuing a dividend to your shareholders while customer service falls off, then you can expect an exodus of customers looking to jump off the sinking ship.
For more on the new fees at Verizon, text for link
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Posted by GetHuman on Wed, 11 Apr 2012 8:14pm