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Friday, January 13, 2017

Horror over the Air

Here is a story with a message for all businesses.


A cell phone senior citizen customer went to a retail distributor for a major cell phone carrier, with a request to repair a power cord connector on a “flip” phone. It seems the plug could not be inserted in that particular phone, while it functioned fine on another phone in the household. The store representative stated that the connector was damaged beyond repair and, proceeded to “up-sell” the customer to two “smart phones” in the household. The sale included the ability to rescind within 14 days.


Within 2 days the customer retuned to the distributor and wanted to rescind the sale because the new phones increased the monthly charges approximately four times over those preciously paid, without much added value, based on past use. The distributor rescinded the sale, returned two new “flip” phones, and recorded new “flip” phone sales on the cell phone company records. He could have simply reinitiated the original service the customer had. In addition to selling something with limited customer value, recording a “new” sale is a major source of the issues here. A new sale started a new two year contract!


Over that two year period the customer attempted to upgrade to more expensive “smart” phones on multiple occasions with the same service provider, each time being told by the service provider that this could not be done until the two year contract period expired. Now, here was a company turning away the opportunity to increase revenue from a customer. Smart???


As the contract termination period approached, the customer requested that the service provider remove the exorbitant cancellation fee for the last 30 days of the contract, and was refused.


By the way, the original “flip” phone problem was repaired with a slight bit of pressure of a screw driver.


Here was a customer that was now committed to leave this service provider, and never do business with the distributor again!!! Their friends, family and acquaintances are hearing this story as well!!!


A lot to learn from this example. How does your business compare?



Steve Koenig, SCORE Counselor





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