Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Customer Service Difference between AT&T Small Business & Apple Computer is...

When you walk into an Apple Store and say you run a small business, they bend over backwards to get you out the door with a smile on your face.

AT&T on the other hand...Not the same story.

Thanks Apple Computer for helping me this morning. The new Magic Mouse is working fine. And the matter we discussed about the website has been detailed and sent up the line to the right person as I promised it would be. You folks in Scottsdale Quarter Apple Retail ROCK!

Now, with regards to AT&T...first the retail side of things. Let's take a walk back a couple of years to the first iPhone shall we.

Had a few problems with it, did not get serviced by AT&T, was told to take it to the Apple Store and they'd help me out. At the Biltmore in Phoenix...walked in, explained the issue, in less than 5 minutes had a brand new iPhone in my hand ready to go. Biltmore Apple Store...you ROCK!

Come forward to a year ago, my wife decides she wants an iPhone. We try to sign her up on my retail account with AT&T. Oh you can't do that because she has a 415 number and you have a 480 number, the only way you can do that is to get one of our really awesome small business accounts!

So we did. And the ride down in the pits began.

1st off...NO APP for Small Business Customers to use to pay bills and such on the iPhone. HELLO!!!! What the FCK were you people thinking???? AS a retail customer I simply download the app, use my website login, pick a card, any card, and pay my bill, add service, add a line, blah, blah, blah. As a business customer I have to go to a computer, or an iPad (let's hope it's not on AT&T's DATA PLAN) and then try and get into the business website (not always available, the retail site is and was during the iPhone 4 launch more than the biz site).

2nd is that wonderful business website. PREMIER they call it. Premiely CRAP is what I call it. Not impressed. Whoever designed it...take them out and break their fingers and never let them near a keyboard again. Or better yet, let them sit and watch while some 16yr old does a better job cranking one out in wordpress. That will solve their problem.

3rd. The iPhone 4...LAUNCH DAY. Stood in line with many others and was disappointed. AT&T did not order enough inventory to cover what the traffic flow into the stores was. Now, they're retracting their positions that if you bought a 16gb phone on launch day that they'll order and call you when your 32gb phone is in and will not charge you full price for the phone and then do refunds. I only paid for a 16gb phone based on that promise of "customer satisfaction".

I go to the store today and have to talk to some joker who tells me "Well, I've worked on computers for 20 years...and we can't do this because it's against federal banking laws". PLEASE. Do not jerk me off, I am married! I've been doing this longer than he has and I have more of a story to tell, but it's not relevant to the situation. The other thing is that Merchant Processing is part of my business and credits are done ALL THE TIME. Sheesh. Felt like I was talking to Mickey Mouse about Minnie having an affair with GOOFY. Yeah, NOT RELEVANT.

You can't do it because someone in your freaking store does not know how to use an override key and provide what is called Customer Service. It's not your fault that AT&T management does not know how to properly stock stores, or provide great web access to business customers, but when someone stands in line with 60 other people and then gets told one lie after another, it's enough to make us puke.

I downgraded from a 32gb 3GS to get an iPhone 4 because you did not have inventory. I was told that you'd get inventory in and hold a phone for me. I was told that I would have to pay a restock fee of 10% (who freaking cares about the 19.00), and I was told I'd have to pay an additional $100 for the 32gb phone. That's $119.00, it's NOT $299.00!! So...you order the phone, and charge me $119.00, and when it comes in, I give you my current 16gb phone back in erased, and cleaned up fashion with all of the original materials. You credit me for that, and you can then resell the phone as used once it's been reset, and make some additional cash.

IT'S NOT ROCKET SCIENCE. It's called CUSTOMER SERVICE. Because this particular customer can and will have a flow of over 10,000 people per hour coming to his website to read about this if he really decides to promote it and at some level some other people will read and forward it, and eventually your CEO will be on TV explaining to the world why you decided to yank the chain of the one person on the planet that does know how to get attention.

No, I am not angry with Apple. I LOVE AND CHERISH MY iPHONE, BUT I NEED that 32GB phone. I am NOT angry with AT&T. I am disappointed that their "Customer Service" model does NOT extend to the "Small Business" end of their client spectrum and frankly I think it's sad that their CEO has his head jammed so far into the sand as to not know about such things or is simply choosing to ignore them in hopes that people will leave and go to Verizon when the time comes.

Personally I can say that I HAD no plans of going to Verizon, but the more and more things that happen with regards to the PREMIER SMALL BUSINESS EXPERIENCE with AT&T, I can't see any reason not to give AT&T the flying fickle finger of fate and walk over to Verizon and sign up even in advance of the iPhone arriving.

There, for the moment I am done. I have two newspaper interviews to do now with regards to this situation. I know they won't print what I've written, but they and the TV people who I am talking to about consumer issues will do something about getting this resolved to my satisfaction.

Look iPad people, NO LAWSUITS REQUIRED! Just a posterous account, some links to facebook, twitter, and a few other places and a few thousand followers some of who write for various magazines, papers, etc.

GAME ON!!!

Michael Murdock, CEO
DocMurdock.com

Posted via email from DocMurdock - Technology Tidbits