I played chicken with WOW! and something amazing happened

Miss Sally and I decided to get rid of our WOW! Internet Provider land line. The phone had not been working for about a week and neither of us noticed. When I figured out what was wrong and plugged it in correctly, we only had one message from seven days previous. The only thing I use it for is to call my cell phone when I’ve lost it.

Since we were giving up the land line, we started checking prices with other companies. AT&T and RoadRunner have been flooding our mailbox with offers. What we decided was that I would play hardball with WOW! and get our monthly fee lowered. Everyone knows that the service providers bend over to keep you on board, so I thought it would be a simple game of chicken where I would say, “I want out” and they would say, “Are you sure” and I would say, “Yes” and they would weep and the supervisor would come one the phone and BEG for me to get cable, internet and phone for $99/month. Suckers!

I called WOW! and spoke with a very polite dude. We exchanged my account information. Then I told him I wanted to cancel my service. He said, are you canceling or switching? I said we were switching to AT&T. Polite Dude was very concerned because he did not want us to lose our phone number. He entered in his system that AT&T would be our next service provider and they would handle handing it off. I passed the first test. He was checking to see if I was serious and I was.

Next Polite Dude went to the next part of his script and asked me when I would like to cancel. Right now? Tomorrow? I did not hesitate! I thought this was the point where he would start begging and he threw me a curve ball. I lied and said that our new service was starting at the end of the month so I would want to cancel then. Polite Dude suggested a few dates and times for our equipment to be collected and I picked one.

I had passed the second test! Now was about the time when Polite Dude would get to the part of the script where he talks me into staying with WOW!. Questions about pricing and service. How WOW! could do one better. How I was a Valued Customer.

Instead he thanks me for the call and that the service dude would be at my house to pick up the modem and cable box and that I should call back if there were any issues. WOW! would transfer the number to AT&T when the time came.

I said thanks and good-bye and paused. I waited for the, "Just one second, valued customer!", but Polite Dude said bye and hung up.

There was no groveling. No bending over. No supervisor. Amazing.

So, I went to the AT&T U-verse website and signed up for Cable and Internet in about ten minutes.

U-Verse is about $50 a month cheaper without the phone with a $250 cash back bonus and 2nd receiver. Now I need to go around and change all my WOW! contact e-mails to my Gmail account. A pain in the ass, but worth the savings.

So in the end, we both won and we both lost. But neither of us flinched, and that’s what really matters. Nice job WOW!. I’m ticked you didn’t roll over, but I commend you for that!


{Author's note: You must check out the follow up story: http://www.holyjuan.com/2009/08/wow-really-likes-its-customers.html}


Anonymous said...

I'll be curious to see what think about AT&T, which should be an acronym for Always Trouble & Tiresome.

Anonymous said...

Good story Doug.

Patti said...

from my experience, a "customer retainment specialist" (i just made that up) will call you approximately 2 days after your new service has been installed to give you a great offer. this makes no sense, but it's what happened to me!

Eric Lester said...

I'd rather drink muddy water,
sleep out in a hollow log,
said I'd rather drink muddy water,
sleep out in a hollow log,
than do business with AT&T.

Anonymous said...

I left ATT once and they offered me two months free and gift cards to boot. That was when people actually used home phones though.