Honest Answers That Make Money

I moved into a new house last weekend. I chose Shaw for phone, TV and internet for a variety of reasons, but primarily for the phone and internet as I work from home.

Today the node that powers my neigbourhood went down, taking my phone and internet with it. Since all my work is online, this was a bit of a problem. It’s not like I can just take the rest of the day off. After a ~5 minute hold I got someone from Shaw on the phone. They were average as far as call center employees go, but then they did something great.

I asked how big the problem was, concerned that if I went the 4 blocks to a coffee shop their internet would be down.

He told me just how many people were affected.

I asked how long it’d be out (which was actually a dumb question), and he didn’t know the answer. But then I asked if he thought it’d be worth it to pick up and go find somewhere else to work.

He said yes.

That’s a big deal, beacuse tech support isn’t really supposed to tell you that their service is all screwed up, and that you should go use a potential competitors’ service. It could almost imply that their service is unreliable. This did the complete opposite.

Honesty let me keep working, reduced my frustration and gave me the ability to get on with my day. And 2 minutes after I walked out the door I saw 4 vans and 8 guys working to fix the problem.

I’d be way more pissed off if they’d told me it would only be a 30 minute outage. Instead I’m glad they were honest, and I got to spend the afternoon working at Second Cup. I’ll keep giving them my business and a reasonable number of people read this blog. That’s pretty good impact for just having honest employees.

Photo Credit: ChrisofDavies on Flickr

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  • What a great post, thank you for sharing it. I’ve always heard positive things about Shaw, so it must have just been one of those rare moments of contrast. Good luck with everything though!

  • Shaw actually has one of the best customer service experiences of all of the companies out there, so that’s no surprise, although it sounds like the representative you had was the type to put himself in your situation and think of the honesty he would want and need to get on with his day. It’s a valuable reminder to all of us in an industry where we deal with customers and take pride in serving them well. Great post!

    • A

      Thanks Leigh. I should mention that my internet did go down again on Friday for the whole day, and I’ve yet to call in and get a refund. I’m sure it’ll go fine.

  • Hey Chris,

    What a great difference it makes to get good and honest customer service!

    It is the little things like this that contribute to the forming of our opinion of various companies.

    Related, I recently had a horrible experience with regards to customer service at a utility company (Direct Energy).

    I made 9 calls into the customer service department to request a small change to my account. After a lot of pain felt my me, and 9 calls later, the problem still wasn’t fixed. Worst thing though as each time I talked to a rep there, they said that they had fixed the problem. (The 9 calls that I made were follow up calls, in order to check that they had made the change to my account, and they did not)

    The point is…

    It is the small things that are done by these such companies that make the difference for the customer.

    In your case, their honesty was appreciated, and you made a mental note of that, no doubt.

    Onwards and Upwards,

    • A

      Hi Neil, very true. I don’t miss dealing with utility companies when I was doing property management. It’s nice to have a company with some decent customer service.