Most of us have been on both sides of customer service. This is about a time I was greatly blessed! It's from February 4, 2011.
NO SCHOOL.... and no snow today in Houston. The kids were so excited to be out but most of them wanted to see the white stuff, a rarity in this vicinity. Three years ago today it was 80 degrees in Houston, just a slight dip to the 20 degrees or so it hit last night. The highways were iced over, causing considerable headaches and both airports closed temporarily. I stayed in myself but by the afternoon, the roads were full again around town. Chancellor's, my fitness club, was closed or I would have made that excursion. I had one thing to do and that was work on my taxes. I usually get a nice refund from the government so the sooner it's sent in, the better. I don't do them myself. Larry, one of the elders of the church I worshipped with in Tennessee and a former IRS agent, is my tax guru. All I have to do is send him my W-2 and a list of contributions and expenses. It's really pretty simple but I'm glad when I can write it off for another year.
As you may know, I wrote a book several years ago so I am a businessman of sorts, as well as a teacher/coach. Six years ago, I started this blog to draw attention to my book's website and hopefully increase sales. It became too time consuming to write the blog at school so I bought a Dell computer and added the Internet at home. That became a business expense, and I estimate the amount of time I use it on the business/blog side of the equation. To be honest, I did not know today how much exactly my Internet bill is as it is tied to my phone bill which is routed through my credit card. I had to open the latest three week old communication from ATT, my provider, which jolted me with some frightening news. My credit card was about to expire and so would the connection with my billing. Recently, I renewed my Master Card but I was not sure it would automatically be transferred back so I called ATT's customer service and was assigned to a young representative named Vince. I explained the situation and he wasn't sure so he got some help. It turns out it did have to be redone but Vince could do it for me on the spot and he did. Then, he told me he could save me close to five dollars monthly on my bill with a feature I could do without. Was I interested? Over a year, that would more than pay for an extra month of my Chancellor's membership so I was definitely interested! I expressed my gratitude for his helpfulness. Vince told me earlier today he saved a customer in excess of $200, rescuing him from a plan that he bundled together back in the 1990's. I thanked him again as we ended our conversation and he told me to put in some extra work for him at my club. Vince, that's the least I can do.
Many of us don't have a great view of corporate America. It's popular to bash big companies like ATT. I have nothing against ATT but I can't say there is any great affection either. And yet this evening, I feel a whole lot better about them than I did this morning. I don't know Vince's last name or where he lives but even though I've never seen him, he became the face of the company for me today. Companies are made up of individuals and eight hours ago, I met a good one on the phone. Christianity gets bashed alot these days as well, although some of us would wonder if what is being decried is anything the Savior would recognize as the bride He gave His life for. Why wouldn't a non-believer have animosity towards the church if his interaction with a Christian was not one of cordiality or respect? Sometimes, we don't have the best track record of being salt and light in the world. Still, Christians are the face Jesus left behind when He went to prepare that special place for us. You know, I saw the face of ATT when I heard the voice of Vince this afternoon. This stranger treated me as I would like to be treated, as I SHOULD treat others. Maybe someone will see the face of Jesus when they look at you and me or even when they just hear our voice. Even after two thousand years, it's still an amazing face. Somebody's listening.
Applicable quote of the day:
“We demand that big business give people a square deal; in return we must insist that when anyone engaged in big business honestly endeavors to do right, he shall himself he given a square deal.”
*If intereseted, here is the website for my book:
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org