Service of Expecting the Worst and Getting the Best

June 16th, 2016

Categories: Customer Service, First Impressions, Phones, Technology

Verizon Grand central flipped

Whether you dread a doctor’s appointment, party or visit to a cantankerous vendor, isn’t it miraculous when the doctor says you’re fine; the party is fun and the vendor agreeable and helpful?

I’d visited a Verizon Wireless store on several occasions before Icat takes a leap took the leap into the second decade of the 21st Century—or more accurately was pushed by my nephew who upgraded his iPhone and gave me his.

Long before, I knew I needed to upgrade but was discouraged by early forays to the store. I was off-put by the apathetic responses to my questions about the different phones and billing options. Each time sales associate reactions ranged from disinterested and dismissive to rude. I knew one thing: I didn’t want to buy anything from this crew or to ever return.

I asked around to see if there was another branch with helpful staff. Seems what I experienced was standard. I was anxious about my visit to transfer my mobile number to a different device–that required a visit–and came with reinforcements: My remarkable IT expert.

Blue ribbon for excellenceSo what happened? I won the equivalent of the best sales associate lottery last Wednesday. Tyrell Person was watching from the top of the stairs near the street entrance as I entered the Verizon store at Grand Central Station looking bedraggled with dripping umbrella, sopping shoes and soggy telephone folder. He was smiling. He said, “How may I help you? Please have a seat and you can put your umbrella over here, right near you.”

He quickly made the phone transfer, gave me an estimate of what it would cost to add my husband’s phone to my plan, [I wanted to think about this], answered all my questions and volunteered his contact information and the days he’s at work. He also sent me a text with his email address and phone number.

He was so nice that I returned this week with a few more questions, a favor and an add-on to my monthly invoice.

The favor was to replace a cracked screen protector. I was warned that it’s tricky to lay it just-so on a spotless screen without creating bubbles. Tyrell performed the operation with the expertise of a surgeon.

He also discovered that I was inadvertently doing something that wasted the iPhone battery and shared the remedy as well as a few other shortcuts as he continued to recalculate the bill. He added my husband’s phone to my plan, took the time to call my mobile number with the other phone to make sure the setup worked and to ensure that I have the right number in my phone.

In addition Tyrell remembered, from the week before, an answer I’d given about my previous usage.

In spite of charges for the additional phone, the total bill should be about what I was paying before.

The nicest part: Tyrell was pleasant, patient and kind. As I left the second time, he reminded me that I have his email address and that he checks email daily and assured me that I should come by anytime.

While he was working with me one of his other fans came by and we agreed how lucky we were to be working with him. The man said he’d be back in an hour and joked about being Tyrell’s neediest customer. So the word is out about how customer-crucial he is!

Have you expected the worst and instead enjoyed the best? Isn’t it grand?

 iphone 6 screen

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6 Responses to “Service of Expecting the Worst and Getting the Best”

  1. hb Said:

    Ever since “Ma Bell” disappeared, and Verizon came into being, their name has been synonymous for me with the very essence of the concept of bad service. In instances too numerous to remember, from the deaf repair woman who came to check out why we had no dial tone, to the three weeks that we were without phone service for no comprehensible reason, we have endlessly suffered at their greedy hands. I received markedly better service from the local phone companies when I lived in third world countries.

    Now this gem comes along! He’d better get himself into a more service oriented establishment, before he gets fired for over-servicing their clients.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    It sounds as though your problems have been with the Verizon landline division–though as I wrote, my reconnaissance visits to a wireless operation in the city BEFORE Tyrell didn’t end well.

    We waited three months for a third phone line in a previous apartment, staying home too many times waiting for promised appointments and nobody came. At one point, one of us was asked to do the wiring. When the technician finally came, he took a few hours to complete the necessary. I thought at the time, “How the dickens did customer service expect a lay person to make the necessary hookup when this fellow, trained to do the job, took so long?”

    For my sake and that of his other fan and no doubt countless others, I hope that Tyrell stays for a long time. If he managed the branch and had the power to move out those whose work ethic didn’t match his, that, too would be a great development. I trust he won’t be punished for doing his job so well.

    Fortunately, I’ve come across examples of glorious exceptions, such as Tyrell, even at Verizon, just not recently. Hopefully he will inspire his colleagues to match his approach.

  3. Tyrell Person Said:

    Wow I just read it, thank you so much for the kind words I really appreciate it. If you need anything further feel free to reach out to me.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Typical of you, you reacted in minutes to my email in which I shared a link to this post.

    Readers of this blog know that I don’t bandy about praise easily. They must be relieved, as I am delighted, to learn about a positive customer service experience.

    Thank YOU so much.

  5. Lucrezia Said:

    Good things happen all the time, trouble is, being greedy humans, we think they don’t happen often enough.

    Experiences w/the local not so friendly AT&T store are similar to earlier visits to the Verizon store. Enter the place, and the customer is attacked by salesmen, all too eager to sell everything in sight. It’s not surprising to see an empty store as one passes by.

    It’s time to approach these sharks again, and will show teeth at the slightest hint of corporate greed!

    PS The AT&T people one meets online or at customer service are a different species and a joy to deal with!

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    Nobody was interested in me when I entered the Verizon store. My visits were reminiscent of the old saw about a bad home decorating retailer when the customer asks him/her–“What’s the difference between the $25 wood shade and the $50 wood shade?” Answer: “$25.”

    One of the times I visited the store I asked what was with an iPhone the cost of which was ridiculously cheap [i.e. $100 vs. $700 or $1,000]. I got a shrug. Had my nephew not come to my rescue, I might have gone back to the tin can and string variety phone or given up altogether, out of frustration.

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