Archive for the ‘Correction’ Category

Service of Keep it Down: Use Your Indoor Voice Please

Thursday, June 27th, 2024

There are 58 posts in the travel category of this blog. I may have covered this aspect previously but not recently.

I’m no stranger to traveling on Metro-North. For some 25 years I took the train upstate every Friday and for 15 back to the city as well. There were bad trips such as the one I described in 2015 in “Service of No News is Not Good News.” It starts, “In the time it took us to get home on the 7:06 [pm] from upstate NY Sunday night, [normally 2 hours], we could have been in London.” You get the gist.

I love traveling on trains, both here and in Europe however, I suffered one of the worst rides last Sunday evening.

The woman behind me did not take a breath. She screamed into her phone for 1.7 hours. Her voice was raspy and irritating. She mostly spoke in an indecipherable foreign language sprinkled with English and on occasion, a shriek of laughter. I wondered if the person on the other end had left the room because the woman literally didn’t stop talking the whole time.

And I didn’t have my earbuds with me.

Something told me to tolerate the intrusion as awful as it was. I couldn’t see her: was she fierce? Unhinged? You ask, “why didn’t you move?” The train was full.

The conductor might have suggested she take it down a notch had he noticed, but either he didn’t or he wouldn’t. Mary was an old school conductor on the 5:19 upstate out of Grand Central on Friday nights for years. She counseled “her passengers” not to reprimand another passenger. That was her job, she said. I heard her tell a commuter babbling incessantly into her phone to lower her voice. The next time she walked by, when nothing had changed, she asked her to hang up. Mary retired years ago.

What would you have done in my spot? Have other passengers ruined a trip for you?

Service of Persistence Pays if You Luck Into an Adolfo Hererra

Monday, January 10th, 2022


Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

I first wrote about my issues with Verizon Wireless November, 2021 in “Service of Automation Hiccups.” I’d been unable to get credit for the paperless option I’d agreed to in spite of countless calls to customer service.  On one call I agreed to change the account from my deceased husband’s name to mine.

With that my FIOS bundle–phone, Wi-Fi and cable–increased by $400+/year and I’d not been warned this would happen.

A strident conversation with a nasty customer service person who told me I’d committed fraud by keeping the account in Homer’s name increased my irritation and disenchantment. She hit the ceiling when I said I felt bamboozled and explained I hadn’t been but that I wasn’t eligible for the discounts he had. When I was explaining the situation she said in a voice filled with sarcasm, “Are you through?”

That’s when I wrote Ronan Dunne, executive VP and group CEO of Verizon Consumer. I wrote that to take away discounts given a man because a woman was now the customer was sexist. My credit is excellent, we had been decades-long customers, have other Verizon accounts and pointed out that it was my checks paying for the bundle from the get-go. Nothing changed but the first name.



Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay  

Soon after I heard from Adolfo Hererra, a member of the Verizon executive relations team. He was thorough and polite and he listened. He warned me of some things that might happen although he did what he could to avert them. For example, auto pay took money to satisfy Homer’s cancelled account and a few days later took money for my new one.

Throughout the process I knew I was in good hands. Hererra always called when he said he would and he returned my calls promptly.

In the end, he gave me a credit of $50 because of the time it took to sort out the tangle. With a company as big as Verizon I suspect he and his team had to knock on many doors, starting with the one to initiate the elusive discount for the paperless option. I’d agreed to it in August 2021 and it will kick in January or February 2022. Only when he was certain that I’d be receiving the discount for going paperless–he’d said he could confirm this in early January–would he close the case. We spoke last week right on schedule. He assured me that I’d get the discount. He also securely closed Homer’s account and sent a debit card to refund the money that shouldn’t have been taken to begin with.

He feels pleased when he brings down an unsatisfied customer from a ledge of anger and frustration. Thank goodness for dedicated customer service employees like Adolfo Hererra.

Can you share a recent example of top of the line customer service in an era of rampant neglected emails and phone messages and often pleasant sounding customer service people who say they will do something and they don’t?


Image by Magic Creative from Pixabay

Service of Discomfort to Correct a Situation or Person

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

In a recent “Social Q’s” column in the Sunday Style section of The New York Times, reader D.H. shared a problem with Philip Galanes: She’d given a longtime manicurist a $50 instead of a $20 by mistake. She didn’t “want her to think I want the money back,” D.H. wrote, “But I also don’t want her to think the huge tips will continue (almost twice the cost of the manicure). What should I do?”

Galanes’ advice was sage: “Say: ‘Doris, I realize I gave you a $50 tip last time. I hadn’t intended to, but I’m delighted I did in light of your many years of excellent manicures.’ Otherwise, you will be on pins and needles every time you get your nails done, afraid that your ordinary (but still generous) tip is signifying some unspoken complaint.”

I agree.

This situation is a first cousin to someone calling you by the wrong name and how the situation exacerbates when you let the misnomer continue especially if they introduce you to others. I’ve heard it happen quite often to my husband Homer. Some people call him Horace. And although I don’t recall what name folks have given me, the discomfort in correcting them when what they’ve said is nowhere near Jeanne makes me squirm the longer I let it go.

I find it hard to speak up even when I know that not doing so will make things worse in future. Does correcting people under these circumstances bother you? It’s not like advising a client, which I don’t find nearly as hard to do. How do you push yourself to do the smart thing?

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