how to deal with

I need a hero

Today we got a notice that our internet service would be raised to $71 a month (just for internet). Two years ago it cost $19.99 a month.  How can the cost more than triple when the service keeps getting slower? My first instinct was to call them up and curse them out but then I remembered the best piece of advice for dealing with customer service.

Barbara Hosler, one of the instructors for The Living Course, once mentioned that when she calls up customer service she asks, “Can you be my hero today?” The questions totally catches them off guard, and amid all the yelling and cursing they hear all day, really stands out. It puts the operator in a position to be on your side rather than become defensive.

I tried this technique today even though I had a bunch of four letter words on the tip of my tongue. I could not believe how well it worked. Within minutes, the woman on the other line was telling me how terrible it was that I had to pay so much and it’s really unfair that we haven’t gotten a promotion when we’ve been such loyal customers; she basically made my argument for me.

She lowered the price to $44.99, sent us a new router and modem for free, and even directed me to a great website for checking the speed of my internet. We chatted on the phone for five minutes after we were done talking business. We shared budgeting tips and I suggested a few places for her to check out when she visits New York.

All in all, it was a really pleasant experience. I got more than I expected without raising my blood pressure or losing my voice. All it took was a new approach. Thank you Barb!