Friday, May 16, 2008

Turning Cable Company's "No" Into "Yes"

Among the best pieces of advice I've ever received is this little ditty: "Never take 'no' from someone who can't say 'yes'".
Basically, that means if the person you're dealing with doesn't have the power or ability to grant your request, then don't accept their "no" as the final answer. Move on and find someone who has the capability to say yes and then make your case.
This is especially true when dealing with corporations and their customer service representatives.
One example: My cable TV provider. Last Saturday, the cable guy (we'll assume it's a guy) did not show for a scheduled appointment between 1 PM and 4 PM. At 4:30 PM, I called Comcast customer service and asked what was going on. After some back-and- forth, the customer representative said my appointment would have to be rescheduled.
Not good.
Then, he turned down my request for some type of compensation for my wasted time and inconvenience. I was not entitled to any payback because Comcast had done all it could for me, he harrumphed
Perhaps it was his condescending tone. Perhaps it was waiting an entire Saturday afternoon. Perhaps it was my gut instinct that this guy was clueless. No matter the motivation, I was ticked and not about to take his "no" as the final word. So, I hung up and then immediately called back Comcast, asking this time for a supervisor. I explained my tale of woe to her. After reviewing my situation, she went to work fixing the problem.
The result? A Comcast repair man showed up 20 minutes later and did a fine job that took a mere half hour. What's more, I was awarded a $25 credit (Yes, these exist! Who knew?) on my next cable bill for the missed appointment and inconvenience.
Now, everyone was happy.
Everyone, I dare say, except that first customer rep. Yup, I did rat him out to his boss. Hated to do that, but that's what happens when you just say no.


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