Monday, December 05, 2011

Keurig Elite K-Cup Machine Broken? No Problem.

It appears I'm not the only one who has had a Keurig K-Cup Machine break.  And just as advertised, Keurig replaced it, free of charge, no questions asked.

I received the Keurig Elite coffee maker as a gift 11 months ago.  Just this weekend, it wouldn't power on.  I called them, quickly explained the issue and they went on to send a replacement.  The lady was nothing but polite.

Note to every other company... This is how you do customer service.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight Saving Time never really made a whole lot of sense to me.   Even as a kid, I had questions.  It was explained to me that we moved the clocks in the spring so that we'd have more sunlight in the evenings to play.  "Well," thought 7 year old me, "if that's the case, then why don't we leave it like that all year long so we can play all year round?"

As a teenager, I began to feel the effects of changing the clock twice a year.  In the spring, my already sketchy sleep schedule became worse for the entire week after.  Teenagers aren't meant to wake up at 5:45am.  Waking up an hour earlier was something short of a disaster in the high school classroom.  I cherished the extra hour of sleep in the fall.  But then always felt a pit of depression in my stomach when the sun would set before I'd get home from school.  It never felt right.

Soon after college I was working on some big project with my company to sync up clocks among a whole bunch of companies across 5 states.  It was then that I learned how parts of Indiana didn't adhere to daylight savings.  We had to figure out, county by county which ones didn't use daylight savings and fix those individually.  The only explanation I got was that the farmers would startle the cows if they were milked an hour earlier or later.  To which, I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought, "Why don't you, the farmer, just wake up a bit earlier or later and not startle your cow?"

At this point I realized that I've both been in favor or daylight savings and somewhat against it.  More to the point, I'm more interested in a standard.

My solution is this:  One time, worldwide.  Let's say we all adopted Greenwich Mean Time.  If you live on the east coast of the United States, instead of waking up at 6:00am, you'd wake up at 11:00am. After some time, you'd simply think of 11:00am as the time to wake up.  You'd get to work with 1:00pm and finish around 9:30pm.  You'd then eat, spend time with the family and go to sleep at 3:30am.  Why not?  Except for the "It's just the way we've always done it", I don't see an issue.  There'd be no more lost or gained hours when traveling.  Every computer, phone, call center would be on the same time.  One time, worldwide.  That's my solution to all of this.  We can then adjust our days and nights accordingly.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Verizon Wireless Customer "Service" - Can You Hear Me Now?

Before sounding like a bitter consumer, hiding behind an outdated blog, let me say a few positive things about Verizon Wireless. First, I've been with Verizon for 7 years. I'm ok paying a bit extra for their plans since their coverage seems to be better than the competition. I have a $60 / month call plan plus some limited texting and the mandatory $30 / month data plan. I figure I've paid upwards of $10,000 since 2004 to Verizon. I probably get a new phone every two years and continue to autopay around $100 a month. Again, I'm alright paying a bit more per month when the service is worth paying for. Verizon is expensive. And that's been alright with me. Until now.

I bought my first smart phone about 18 months ago. The original Droid. In recent days the battery meter had a question mark in it. As a result, the battery won't hold a charge, but is alright if it stays plugged in. I was as resourceful as I knew how and looked up the problem online. As usual, I'm not the only one.

I went to the closest Verizon Wireless store on Thursday. The girl behind the counter doesn't really know what to do and suggests upgrading my phone and committing to a 2-year contract. This is my biggest problem with Verizon. They don't want to fix problems. They want you to commit to a 2-year contract. At $100 a month, that's $2400 plus the cost of the new phone. Yes, that's business. I understand. Just realize, Verizon, that I've shown over 7 years, that I'll upgrade my phone and re-up my contract in another 6 months or so anyways. Why won't you spend a few minutes getting to the root of the problem?

Her other suggestion is to try a new battery. I say, "Great. I'll buy a battery." They don't have batteries. I ask where the closest Verizon store is so that I can buy a battery for the phone. She tells me to order one online. Thanks, Verizon. I don't blame the girl. She's new. I blame Verizon. Why don't you hire people who can do anything more than repeat the company line?

I go home and order a battery online. They have free 2-day shipping. The battery comes a day early. The Fedex guy acted surprised at the fact when he delivered it. I do everything suggested online. I clean the battery contacts, I replace the battery. And, still, the question mark in the battery meter and the phone won't work when not charging.

Now it's Saturday. I decide to go to another Verizon Wireless store. It's bigger and I figure there's a better shot and getting something figured out.

I walk in and an older gentlemen mumbles something. I politely let him know I couldn't understand. He repeats to me, in an insulting manner, "How. Can. I. Help. You. Today?" Well, great. I see where this is going. I explain the battery situation, how it doesn't hold a change. He asks me two idiotic questions. First, he asks me what phone I have. Listen, if you work at Verizon and don't know that you're holding a Droid, something is severely wrong. He then asks if he's pressing the correct power button, wondering why it won't turn on. I calmly explain again that the phone will not hold a charge. You know, the whole reason I came to the store in the first place.

He plugs it in and upgrades roaming capabilities by dialing *228. Awesome. Roaming. Without trying to sound insulting, I ask if there's a technical expert in the store. There were at least 10 people working and only 5 customers. He gets offended and tells me he's the technical expert. When his brilliant *228 doesn't miraculously cure my battery issue, he sends me to a young guy behind the counter.

Young guy behind the counter immediately tells me to upgrade my phone by doing the 2-year contract. I want to know if he'll look into the current problem on my current phone. "Sorry sir, your phone is out of warranty." I know. I understand. There's a one year warranty. I'm fine with that. But can't we spend a few minutes looking into the battery issue? Perhaps it's an easy fix? Or is your only goal to get another $2400 contract + $200 phone purchase from me? Clearly, it's about the money.

He refuses to even look into the problem. My option is to buy a new phone with a 2 year contract or leave. I left. But before I did, I insisted on getting a refund on the battery. I got my $43.99 back.

Again, I'm not upset with the people at the store. They all seem woefully inexperienced and underpaid. It's the long term business model of Verizon. I've been happy to pay you $1200 a year for your better than average coverage. Just help me a bit during a time like this. If it's going to cost me a couple hundred dollars to break my contract with you, it may be worth it. Five years ago, I was always given the benefit of the doubt when I had cell phone issues. Now we've been reduced to the company line - Upgrade your phone. You've failed, Verizon. And when thousands of people read this and begin making decisions to go elsewhere, perhaps you'll hear me then.

Side note: If I could get a mobile device with data only (no call plan), I'd do it in a second. With Google Voice and Skype, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't miss voice or text. I think that's where we'll be in a few years anyways.