Sunday, March 29, 2009

Verizon Math

I don't remember the source of this, but I originally came across this audio recording of a guy's frustrating conversation with a Verizon customer service rep regarding the difference between 0.002 dollars and 0.002 cents (there's a hundredfold difference for those of you without calculators as there are 100 cents in 1 dollar). You can listen to the audio recording here, though it may want to make you drop Verizon if you're a current customer. After a little Googling (a very little, by the way), I found the blog dedicated to this silly stuff -- you can read it here at Verizon Math.

Aside from the actual content, which, by the way is appalling (yet funny), think about this: 10 years ago none of this could have happened. It would have been expensive to get the gear to record the call at a high quality level, it would have been very expensive and slow to digitize the audio, it would have been insanely slow to upload the recording, most people would have been unable to even find the recording because of a lack of broadband penetration and inefficiency of the webscape, and even if they had found it, it would have taken forever to download and could not have been easily shared.

Dell has a team of people that now respond to things like this and it's not hard to respond -- search engines and blog-specific searches make the job infinitely easier. The problem for big companies is that if they do not address items like this early, then they wind up with exactly what Verizon Math is: a perpetual bad experience story with high Google rankings that will always show up in search results because people find it and bloggers like me continue to link to it.

Are you watching after your online reputation?

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