We moved on December 22. Here's the short version of the experience so far:
- In October I ordered new service, scheduled the installation etc.
- In November when I didn't hear back from Frontier I contacted them again. There was NO record of my order or the promises made to transfer our same numbers. It turned out I was told I had contacted an authorized retailer instead of a corporately owned office. The entire process had to be restarted.
- On December 27 we had everything installed - high speed Internet, two land lines and the television package. Oops, after four hours of working on the installation the "office" changed something in the system and the tech essentially had to start over! It took eight hours of work and he left with only one line working.
- For the next two weeks I'd chase Frontier for the access code to voicemail. Nobody could give it to me.
- At one point I was given the access code for my office line. I got my messages and recorded a new greeting. However the lines were somehow crossed and you got the message for my office on both lines! The next day the access code wouldn't work.
- For the next 2 1/2 weeks I'd chase their promise for an operator interrupt message when people would call my old office number. They promised me a message that would say the number had been changed and then give the new number.
- We went to watch FOX News one night and it wasn't there! It wasn't there because it's not included in the "sports pack" which I never wanted in the first place. But, here's what I don't get - cutting out FOX News these days is as significant as not having ABC, CBS or NBC!
- Our first bill came and it didn't show any of the discounts we were supposed to receive. The result was $130 in excess charges. And, an hour on the phone with a rep who corrected the bill and told me the correct amount.
- This week one of our phone lines died - no dial tone. I called service and was told "Nothing can be done because your new account is posted to our system yet - so we can't schedule a technician!" This is over thirty days after it was installed.
- Contacting their executive office and the woman who helped us through the mess the last time, later that night the phone was back to working, but when I asked what the problem was, all I was told was "James didn't tell me what was wrong." However, it was definitely on their end and nothing in our home.
- I was told to ignore my new bill for February, which is off by approximately $200!
The people on the front line couldn't be nicer. They promote the fact that they're an American company. I'm not talking to somebody on the other side of the world who doesn't understand my frustration. I love that, but even dealing with companies with overseas customer service, I typically have been able to resolve my problems.
So here's the point...
- Follow through on your promises to your customers. Don't let a promise slip by. Trust is a big responsibility and once violated, it's twice as hard to get back!
- Solve problems quickly. The longer they exist the less confidence your customers have in believing you care.
- If you have a staff member on the front line, give them the authority to make decisions. I know it's hard to delegate, but every step you add to the process, slows down the resolution time and stifles the goodwill you want to build.
- Take responsibility for your mistakes. The days of being able to blame the lab for a lost roll of film are long gone. Just own the mistake and then work to make sure it doesn't happen again. Mistakes happen, but pointing the finger at somebody else will never get you the credibility you need to have as a business owner.
Last on the list, if you've got a choice in phone, Internet and television service don't use Frontier! While everybody you talk to will be professional and empathize with your problems they're the Fisher Price of phone companies. Our lives are too sophisticated to have to deal with a "my first phone company" experience!
And to "Lanette" in the corporate office, who's trying hard to resolve my issues, my post this morning isn't meant to show any disrespect for your hard work. You're the one shining star in this whole experience. You've worked hard to resolve every problem, but as I said to you earlier in the week - you don't get the support from the other departments. I shouldn't have to contact you whenever there's a problem. Every time you try and help you're flying without a net!