Verizon Wireless gets it right!

And now, for a happy story. I bitch so much about how people get it wrong that it’s always great when a company gets it right.

My mobile contract was up and I was looking to upgrade my service and my handset. I work with social media and mobile and the phone I’ve been carrying around is almost embarrassing to pull out around colleagues. It’s kind of like working for Volvo and driving up in a KIA. But more than image, I needed to be fast-forwarding my capabilities – I need to be able to show clients and prospectives what I’m talking about and I need to be able to function better away from the laptop.

I’m with Verizon Wireless and have been for awhile, and unless they do something dramatic I’m staying with them. I won’t dog AT&T or Sprint here, but you may safely conclude that my loyalty to Verizon isn’t all about Verizon.

However, this is all happening as the iPhone is coming out, so I figure I’ll use that as leverage to work the best deal I can – Verizon can’t match the handset, so they have to play on price, right? I walk into the Verizon store in Boulder, mosey up to the counter (looking as dead-serious as I possibly can), and tell the rep – a young woman named Ashley – that my contract is up, I’m thinking about switching to the iPhone, and what can she do to talk me out of it.

It was like I walked into a buzzsaw. I knew within three minutes that either Ashley was some kind of savant who stayed up at nights memorizing comparative analyses on wireless services or that Verizon was doing a very good job of training its employees. There are a number of reasons to avoid the iPhone (as any number of blogs and articles have pointed out in the past couple weeks) and she knew all of them. She may have known even more than the media experts, in fact. Incredibly confident, articulate, etc.

So we began talking alternatives, and before long she had sold me on the new LG enV Orange, an insanely cool WAP-enabled handset that flips open to reveal a full qwerty keyboard (that’s it above – and please pardon the amateurish Webcam photography). She worked with me to optimize my accessories and services packages and answered every question and objection I could come up with (and by now you’ve probably figured out that I was being as difficult as possible – not to be a jackass, but you lock into a two-year contract, you want to make sure you have your ducks in a row; further, the world of mobile consumer sales is full of junior-grade grifters, so you’re wise to take no chances). When all was said and done, she sent me out the door happier about my new Verizon deal than I imagined I could be.

Now, there are no perfect carriers in the US mobile market, and I have had some complaints about Verizon in the past. But credit where it’s due, huh?

Before leaving I asked Ashely savant vs. training question, and it turns Verizon is doing quite a lot on the training front. Once a month they have update sessions down in the Tech Center (South Denver, maybe 45-60 minutes from Boulder) and employees are paid for attending (and their mileage is paid for the trip, as well). Ashley has worked with several other carriers, and seems to regard Verizon as the cream of the crop.

These days it takes a lot to move me to composing testimonials. But consider yourself referred….


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