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Tears of a Cloud Clown

June 1, 2012

After a crying, footstomping hissy-fit that would have embarrassed my four year old granddaughter, I entered the local big red store, and a kid toting an iPad handed me a tissue, then entered my name and number while saying, “it’ll be about 10 minutes.” I was still in denial regarding the condition of my beloved HTC Thunderbolt. Since a recent “over the air” software upgrade, I was extremely happy with it. Everything, including the “mobile hotspot” that provides (Play)Joyce and me wi-fi at her cottage was working flawlessly. All of my apps were tweaked perfectly. An Evernote “widget” allowed me to record audio notes with one touch and save them to “the cloud” for a playback reminder later. That’s a nice thing to have for us forgetful boomers. Anyway, change was a comin’, just not in 10 minutes…

Forty minutes later, a very pleasant female “associate” called my name, then smiled while asking, “How can I help you?” I held up the shattered glass screen fronting my phone. Jennifer looked convincingly empathetic and said, “Ooohhh, that’s not good.” Having spent my “10 turned into 40” queue minutes playing with droids and iPhones, it seemed I was looking at a $650 price for a replacement phone with a sufficient cool/geek factor. Nobody is happy to face a big surprise bill, but Jennifer had a great attitude and swung into action by:

  • Checking the system to see if I had insurance (maintenance agreement): No
  • Verifying if I was due for an upgrade: No
  • Gently breaking the news that they don’t repair phones. No!
  • Searched for a refurbed Thunderbolt: No
  • Offered me two alternative Android refurbs: No…

I finally broke under the pressure of the hot lights and being phone-less for an hour… “I’ll just buy a new one.” Jennifer looked at me the way someone might look at a sick puppy, and then proceeded to save me $210. She explained that if I added a new line to my account with a 2-year commitment for $10/mo, the new phone would cost me $200 instead of $650. So I’m paying $440 ($200 for the phone + $240 for the new line) over the next two years instead of $650 full retail for the phone. Hey, it’s beter than $650 up front. I’ll just have to remember to cancel that line in 2 years. (Note to Evernote…)

Finally, knowing I was running late for a meeting, Jennifer said, “I’ll take care of this and you can come back to pick it up after your meeting.” I must have looked dubious, because then she then said these magic words:

“I’ll back up your files and contacts from the old phone to the cloud, and then restore them to your new phone. Don’t worry.”

Cloud backup and restore. What a concept. It’s one of the benefits of our own cloud services. Hey, I’m still shattered about my Thunderbolt, but Jennifer’s attitude, her skill at finding me options, her great service, and of course… the cloud, led to a reasonable outcome and a relatively happy customer.

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