I switched from cable Internet to Vivint wireless Internet on the advice of a friend. He really liked the speed and the price. However, after the last several months, I’m beginning to wonder whether that was a good decision.
The first warning sign was when they changed their service hours. I only found out about this by accident a few months ago. I’d been gone Thursday and Friday night, arriving back at home on Sunday morning. My home network was working fine, but it didn’t have a connection to the outside world. I power-cycled all of the obvious things, but nothing worked. Then I contacted Vivint customer support…
…only to find that they don’t provide any tech support on Sundays. Like none. I called and left messages and they weren’t returned. I called their security system department and spoke to someone who confirmed that their wireless Internet techs weren’t around on Sundays.
Seriously? Who would sign up for Internet service where you’re told, essentially, “If you get this recording on Sunday morning, wait until 8:00 tomorrow and then call again.”
Unconscionable. Unbelievable. Unacceptable.
We had yet another outage last night, Sunday night. I knew there would be nobody to help, so I waited until Monday morning to call. I called at 7:30, hoping I could fix the problem before leaving for work. Nope—turns out they don’t begin providing “service” until 8:00 a.m. In other words, I can’t get help for my home connection until I’m at work. Because that totally makes sense, right?
So I left a message and went to work. Did anyone call back? Nope. So around 9:40 I went onto Vivint’s website, clicked over to their support page and initiated a chat with tech support. I’ll tell you how that went in a moment. First, just in case some executive from Vivint happens to stumble on this blog post, let’s do a quick round of HOW NOT TO PISS OFF YOUR CUSTOMER.
How Not to Piss Off Your Customer
OK, Mr. Vivint Executive (or Ms. Vivint Executive … we want to be inclusive), to start this off, why don’t you visit your own website? Seriously, let’s do this. I’ll wait.
Just in case you haven’t checked it out in a while, here’s what it looks like:
Note that I’ve highlighted the support link in red. (You can click on the image to see the full-sized image.) Now step one of HOW NOT TO PISS OFF YOUR CUSTOMER would go something like this:
- Provide service that never goes down.
Okay, so we know that one didn’t happen. It’s probably unrealistic to expect five nines from a consumer service. So step two would be:
- Provide 24/7 support on the off chance that your service breaks down.
Okay, you failed again. That’s two strikes against you, Mr./Ms. Vivint Executive. Let’s clue you in on a crucial third step of HOW NOT TO PISS OFF YOUR CUSTOMER:
- Don’t encourage your customers to use support options that don’t actually exist.
So if you click the “Support” link on the Vivint wireless Internet page above, you get to the Vivint Internet support page. Here, for your convenience, is a screenshot of that page:
If you look at the red boxes, you’ll see that the helpful sabbath-day observers at Vivint provide not one but two links to live chat support. Great! I love chat support—especially if your support staff doesn’t get in until 8:00, when I’m already at work.
The problem, though, is that these links go to the Automation/Security support team—who don’t take Sundays off (just sayin’), and who can’t do jack diddly squat about my wireless Internet problems.
Here’s how my “support chat” went this morning:
So there you go Mr./Ms. Vivint Executive. Three guiding principles on HOW NOT TO PISS OFF YOUR CUSTOMER. Sadly, you were tested and found severely lacking. Any chance there might be somebody at Vivint who actually, you know, gives a crap?