Good Customer Service

One of my usual peeves is dealing with customer service.  So when I come across good customer service experiences, I suppose I should give credit where credit is due and write about them as well.  I had two good customer service experiences this week.

The first involves AT&T’s CallVantage VoIP service.  I’ve used them for my business line for a little over two years now and it was mostly trouble free.  The only problem I had was that I’d get bad call quality if I didn’t reboot the Telephone Adapter (TA) every month or two.  On Tuesday morning, though, I started getting crackling and hissing on the line when I tried to use it.  I did some basic troubleshooting and resolved that it appeared to be a physical problem with the TA.  So on Tuesday afternoon I called the CallVantage support number.  I was pleasantly surprised that it only took me about two minutes to reach a real person after navigating the VRU.  The second pleasant surprise was that the AT&T representative listened to me describe the problem and was able to diagnose that the port was bad on the TA (it also helped that I was able to let the rep listen to the noise on the CallVantage line by holding my phone’s microphone up to the speakerphone attached to the TA).  The rep put in a request to have a new adapter sent to me overnight via FedEx and explained what I would need to do upon receipt of the new unit.  Sure enough, FedEx came yesterday afternoon with the new adapter.  I installed it and called CallVantage support again.  I again got a representative within a couple of minutes and he was able to active the new TA within about 10 minutes (most of it was waiting on the TA to download its configuration data).  So, overall, I give AT&T CallVantage high marks for solving the problem quickly and efficiently.

The second incident involves my Surefire L4 LumaMax.  On Monday evening I tried to use it but the beam was very weak.  I thought it odd, because the batteries had been just fine earlier in the day, but I decided to change them anyway.  When I put the new batteries in, the light came on as soon as I screwed down the head and the switch wouldn’t turn it off.  I opened the light and pulled the batteries and when I looked inside I noticed that the tailcap spring was bent sideways, causing it to come in contact with the body and create a short that was causing the light to stay on.  So I unscrewed the tailcap to see what was wrong with the spring and when I did little bits of plastic and metal fell out.  The switch assembly had disintegrated.  I had read on some of the flashlight forums that people had experienced failures with the Z57 tailcap but I had thought mine would not have the problem since it had been working for a year (most of the people with problems seemed to have them within days of purchase).  I went to the Surefire website to get their contact info.  I started to call their tech support line, but it was after hours for them (they close at 5:00pm Pacific, which is 7:00pm here), so I tried their email support.  By Wednesday morning I hadn’t heard from them so I went ahead and called them.  I got in touch with one of their techs within about a minute and as soon as I described the problem he said they’d send me a new tailcap assembly.  Even after confirming my address, the whole call was probably only about five minutes.  So, I give Surefire’s phone support high marks, but I will have to deduct a demerit for the email support experience.  Frankly, I was kind of expecting this to happen, since a lot of people on the forums had complained about their email support, but enough people had managed to get a response that I decided to risk it.  Still, if Surefire isn’t going to consistently answer their emails, they ought to just remove the email option from their website.  Anyhow, once you get in touch with them, Surefire is known for having good warranty and technical support.


  1. Mike Murray says:

    Hey Aubrey –

    You listen to the scanners right?  Any idea what happened of Whitley Ln behind the Home Depot at around 6:15ish?  I think every cop car in Keller was there, lights flashing.  No signs of an accident.


  2. Yeah, there was a structure fire at one of the houses back there.  I forget exactly which street it was (it was one of the ‘horse name’ streets).  They contained it fairly quickly, although I never heard anything about the extent of the damage.

  3. Aubrey,
    I believe in Customer service and like your calling out GOOD customer service by name.  At Southwest Airlines, there is a premium on that and it really helps grease the wheels of progress internally and keeps ‘em coming back to fly with us.
    Being nice and helpful is as easy as being lazy…
    Nice commentary.

  4. shelly says:

    What kind of cell phone do you have?  I’ve got to know.

  5. Shelly,

    I have an LG VX8700 from Verizon Wireless. 

    Just curious, but why do you need to know?


  6. Shelly says:

    Because I have been shopping for a cell phone for over a year.  I have read every review, I’ve gone to several stores, I’ve picked up I don’t know how many cell phones and tried to figure out what would annoy me about it.  You tend to pay attention to the details about things, so I figured you probably have a really un-annoying cell phone.

  7. I did spend quite a bit of time selecting that phone.  I went back and forth between several alternative models, comparing features, size, etc, as well as checking online reviews.

    My search was narrowed somewhat, though, by the fact that I was going to renew with Verizon to get a discount on the phone, so I only had to compare models offered by Verizon.  My main concerns at the time were that it function well as a phone and have Bluetooth.  I have to admit, though, that I was swayed by the brushed metal appearance as well as the size and form factor (I like the flip style because it protects the buttons from accidental activation when it’s in your pocket).

    It didn’t hurt that it was an LG, since the phone I was replacing was an LG and the LG was the first mobile phone that I’d been happy with.  In the past I’d had Nokia and Motorola phones and had constant problems hearing the caller.  When I migrated to Verizon I chose the LG and was finally able to get enough volume out of it to hear the caller even in a noisy environment.

    Unfortunately, the VX8700 is now discontinued.  I’ve had mine for a little over 1.5 years (eligible for an upgrade in May).  It’s still working fine, so I don’t know if I’ll upgrade when eligible.  But if I do, I’ll have to go through the whole research phase again.