Sunday, August 03, 2008

Dancing the Jitterbug...

...and happy to report that I have a GREAT customer service experience to share.

A little preface: I am SICK TO DEATH of lousy customer service, disappointing buying experiences, and apathetic encounters with retailers, service personnel, and business partners. Over it. Completely. So much so that I've almost stopped even ranting about it when it happens.

Once in a while, I'll have an experience that restores a bit of my faith, and I love to rave about those rare events. Buying my Mom's cell phone last week gave me a great opportunity to rave like a drunken sailor.

Have you heard of Jitterbug? They're a cell phone company that specializes in simple, easy to use phones that are great for old people, technophobes, and kids. Their plans start at just $10 a month for pay as you go (at .35 per minute), and their phones are beautifully simple - no cameras, no organizers, no text messaging. Big, easy-to-see buttons and a screen you can actually read make it easy for failing eyesight and shaky hands. Quick-dial numbers are entered via a secure website, allowing Jitterbug operators to have access to all the stored numbers on the phone - very helpful when the phone owner can't dial for his/herself. Just press zero and tell the operator to call a named person on the list and, bam! You're connected.

I called Jitterbug to order my Mom a phone and a very nice man walked me through the process. He answered every question, resolved every quirky request I made, and managed the entire process to a beautiful, blip-free conclusion. And he was pleasant, spoke real English that I could understand, and completed the whole transaction without ever once sounding anything but happy to be talking to me. The phone arrived in three days, exactly as ordered. After an overnight charge, we turned it on and found that it was already programmed with the first four quick dial numbers, given to the rep during the initial call.

It's not a great commentary on the state of service in our culture that I'm writing a blog about a routine transaction. It's a shame that calls this smooth are the exception rather than the rule. All that aside, I'm happy to sing the praises of Jitterbug. They've got a good product, clearly advertised, with excellent service to back it up.

That's worthy of a happy dance.

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