Can You Hear Me Now? I Said “Our Customers Can Piss Off.”

Seidenberg, table for one? Your clue-by-four is ready.

Alert reader Dan Jewett sent in a link (thanks, Dan!) to this past weekend’s SFChron interview with Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg. And a doozy it is. The choicest quote:

“Seidenberg, for instance, said people often complain about mobile phone service because they have unrealistic expectations about a wireless service working everywhere. Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Verizon and Vodafone, is the state’s largest mobile phone provider.

Why in the world would you think your (cell) phone would work in your house?’ he said. ‘The customer has come to expect so much. They want it to work in the elevator; they want it to work in the basement.

Seidenberg said it’s not Verizon’s responsibility to correct the misconception by giving out statistics on how often Verizon’s service works inside homes or by distributing more detailed coverage maps, showing all the possible dead zones. He pointed out that there are five major wireless networks, none of which works perfectly everywhere.” (emphasis added)

Wow. I’m not a Verizon customer. Nor is Sunil Pandey, but here are his questions for Seidenberg:

“Ummm.. Mr. Seidenberg, I’m not a Verizon Wireless customer, but those who are, are *paying* for the service, you’re not doing a charity for them! obviously they will have expectations! Calling them unrealistic is basically insulting your customers, and I don’t think anyone can stay in the business for too long by doing that. If too many customers are complaining about something, perhaps there is something wrong with you, not with them! … So, what comes next? ‘Why in the world would you think your DSL should be faster than dial-up?’ ‘Why in the world do you think your land line should work 24 hrs a day?'”

“First you have that ‘can your hear me now’ ad campaign and now you are giving lame excuses?”

It also appears that the folks over at Gawker have been having problems with them for a while, too. A really long while.

Any other good Verizon stories out there?

Offtopic Shiny Thing: The word “doozy” derives not from from Duesenberg, but from “daisy,” through this etymology.

2 Replies to “Can You Hear Me Now? I Said “Our Customers Can Piss Off.””

  1. Amazing. He can say those things because… well, he can. At $95b market cap., you can probably say anything you want and piss off a quarter of a percent of your customers. His goal is to keep customers just happy enough while keeping his cost structure in line. Fair, but not customer-centric.

    Look at their take on bluetooth for example. They offer EV-DO phones w/ bluetooth, but don’t allow you to connect via bluetooth on your laptop for fear of cannibalizing their other business units (broadband).

    How well am I going to utilize EV-DO on a small PDA/smartphone, let alone just an EV-DO phone? That’s why people complained about the bluetooth limitations, took Verizon to court, and won.

    That’s why they’re going to go back to court over their continual limiting of bluetooth and other technologies. In the end, being a little cocky doesn’t hurt, but it’ll gradually eat away at their profits.

    Why? PalmOne has already sold over a million Treos.

  2. Verizon is evil – their legacy as a monopoly whose primary talent is lobbying the government rather than serving customers. Unfortunately because they’re very good at the former (even if they’re lousy at the latter) I disagree with the assertion that they ‘won’t stay in business very long’.

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