I’ve been a longtime Verizon Wireless customer, and I am very excited to hear the iPhone news because I will almost certainly upgrade when I have the opportunity. I got my first Verizon cell phone back in 1994 or 1995 when I was a sophomore in high school.
Over the years, I’ve had small issues with various phones and plans, but they were generally worked out in store or over the phone. In July of 2002, I had an issue with a LG flip phone. The store wasn’t very helpful, nor was the customer service phone line. It would have cost roughly around the same amount of money to cancel my contract than to buy a new phone, and I was ready to switch carriers out of frustration.
It was late at night, and I was home from grad school for the summer break. I figured I would try and find a senior executive marketing contact at Verizon and hope for the best. I figured a marketer could relate to a marketing student and possible take pity. I did a bunch of email guessing and sent an email to the then Chief Marketing Officer, John Stratton at half past midnight:
“Dear Mr. Stratton,
I am terribly sorry to bother you, and I know this does not pertain to your field, but I am at my witts end with VZ and I need some help. Because I am attending graduate school for marketing, I felt that you might best be able to relate to my current situation.”
…….etc….. situation explained….. etc.
“I am terribly sorry to have bothered you with this issue that has nothing to do with marketing, but as I have said I am completely exasperated with the lack of support that I have received. Please inform me of what I should do, as I would like to remain a loyal customer of VZ.“
By 7:30 the next morning, I had this email in my inbox from Mr. Stratton, which resulted in my receiving a new mobile phone later that day:
“Thanks for taking the time to write me re: your frustrations with your phone. Let me assure you that your lack of satisfaction is my business, whether it’s a marketing issue or not. Your allowing us the chance to make it right is fully appreciated.
I’ve copied Rich Meigh, our VP of Wireless Devices, on this message. I’ve asked have someone contact you directly to resolve this problem as soon as possible. You’ll hear from us within 24 hours.
Thanks again for your message. I hope we can rapidly restore your confidence in Verizon Wireless.”
As mentioned earlier, it is now around 8.5 years after this email exchange. This is approximately 102 months, and if you figure I’ve paid in the vicinity of $70/month for that period of time, that email has generated somewhere north of $7,000 in revenue for Verizon Wireless, not including the cost of devices and that my wife also switched to VZW a few years ago from AT&T.
This really has nothing to do with domain names or domain investing, but it’s a testiment to the value of great customer service and going above and beyond a job description. Mr. Stratton could have easily not responded or simply apologized, but he didn’t, and his company has benefited from my continued loyalty.
Today, it is no surprise that Mr. Stratton is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Verizon Wireless, and I am a happy Verizon Wireless customer.