Verizon Wireless – A Lesson Learned?

 

The following post is about how a vendor made three (3) major mistakes in today’s Marketing world.

Background, I recently ordered a cell phone from Verizon Wireless (actually the sales representative made a very compelling sales pitch for this particular phone (Pantech ) Upon delivery, I inserted the battery, charged the battery and called the 800 number to activate the phone.  In less than twenty four hours, the phone “froze”. I could not do anything with it.  It appeared that the battery was dead, so I called Verizon and they stated that there were no records of this particular problem, but they would send me a new phone.  I received a new phone, without a battery, tried the new phone with the old battery and no luck.  I called Verizon and got the same story, “never heard of this problem before, etc.”  I explained that I thought it was the battery, and asked them to send me a phone AND a battery.   They agreed and said that they would send a new phone and battery, but you guessed it, new phone and NO battery.   

Well I did some of my own investigation on the web and sure enough, I found numerous postings about the identical problem and the same responses.   So I called Verizon again, and they still denied any problem with the phone, but since this was a trend (trend?) they would break the rules this one time and send me a new phone and battery.  I did some additional investigation and called the technical hot line within Verizon and actually spoke to a hardware engineer and first thing he says is, “Oh yea, there is a problem between the battery and the phone.”  He agreed to send me a new phone (not refurbished) and a battery.  I got a new phone AND a new battery and thus far it is working for more than forty-eight hours. 

So what are the critical mistakes?

1-      Product introduction– The launch of this product was definitely not best in class.   Obviously there were no test groups involved , manufacturing and quality assurance were not in the loop, there definitely was not a pre-launch review before making the product public.  There was no escalation process set up to properly handle any customer complaints and the overall communication process was missing, since no-one other than a few engineers and actual customers knew about the existing problems.  The key point is that marketing MUST communicate to all functional groups and these groups must be involved from day one, have “voting rights” on whether to launch or not.  Product introduction is a company activity that is typically led by Marketing, but in any case this activity is not a stove pipe operation but an integrated campaign. 

2-      Quality Control– Did anyone test this particular product?  Were there beta sites? Was there a QA review? Did customer support know about these issues?  How could any company release a product with such a defect?

3-      Monitoring the social media networks– Given that the selling model has changed and the customer is now in control, it is critical to at least monitor what is being said about your company and your products and services. There were so many people posting complaints about this product and on numerous sites, how could Verizon not be aware of the situation or they were aware and chose not to respond.

 If you would like to know more about best in class product/service introduction contact us for more details.

RHL 01/11/2011

2 comments to Verizon Wireless – A Lesson Learned?

  • Jim Matorin

    I feel your pain. That is why I always go to the store to buy my phones, but maybe one day I will have the opportunity to tell you my story about how I forgot my ID. Over the phone I just have to give my ss# to get to my records, that was not good enough at the store without a photo ID. Rules man!

  • Great post. I’m dealing with a few of these issues as well..

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