The Customer Isn't Always Right

Published: 2021-06-29 07:00:07
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Category: Business

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Who Is Always Right?          A customer walks into the Verizon Wireless store with a wet phone and tells customer service that her phone accidently fell in the toilet. She wants her phone replaced and needs it today as her business relies on it. The customer service representative tells her there is nothing he can do, as she does not have insurance on her phone and the warranty does not cover water damage. She can purchase another phone and offers to give her a discount of the phone. The customer yells that this is unacceptable and demands a new phone.  She thinks she is entitled to a new phone because of the amount of money she spends on a yearly basis with Verizon and does not think she should have to pay for a new phone.  The old adage of “Is the customer always right” comes into play.  Is she right? Is she entitled to a new phone just because she is the customer and Verizon does not want to lose her to the competition? The customer is not always right just because they think they are. Allowing customers to believe they are always right sets the standard for how business should be conducted; therefore, businesses need to find a balance between making the customer happy and not being taken advantage of.        According to Joe Fontana “ The customer is always right is considered by many to be the golden rule of business. Some think the term originated by Chicago department store legend Marshall Field, his employee Harry Gordon Selfridge, or French Hotelier Cesar Ritz who said, the customer is never wrong.”(Fontana 9) They advocated that customer complaints should be treated seriously so that they should not feel cheated or deceived. There are still some businesses out there that hold true and steadfast by this “Golden Rule” of customer service: still other businesses have progressed to a more forward thinking attitude when it comes to dealing with customer complaints and issues.          One of the more successful companies of the 21st century is Amazon.com. The website founder and CEO Jeff Bezos attributes the success of his company over the past twelve years to the unique customer experience provided to its customers. Amazon.com stands behind the fact they are willing to correct mistakes, even those that are not its fault. For example, Amazon replaced, for free, a PlayStation controller that was supposed to be shipped to a customer’s house, but never arrived. Amazon’s customer service department is rated excellent and not because mistakes aren’t made, but because they strive to correct mistakes with no questions asked. Bezos said “We’re not competitor obsessed. We start with what the customer needs and we work backward. Focusing on the customer makes a company more resilient.” (LeClaire 2)        On the contrary, Verizon Wireless has a huge customer base and, although they strive for customer satisfaction, they stand behind policy and will rarely deviate from this policy. They refuse to let customers take advantage of them. Just as in the example of the women with the soaking wet phone, the cause of broken phone was an accident, but she was offered and declined insurance on her phone. This insurance option is offered for just such instances when the warranty is not applicable, such as water damage.  Was she entitled to a free phone? Verizon doesn’t think so, but still tries by offering to help offset the cost of a new phone with a discounted price on a new phone.         

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