Mystery Caller

Mystery Caller – Company Business and Marketing

Rate Update

Most carriers offer rate-plan analysis if customers call customer service and ask for it. Then there’s Alltel’s Always Up2Date Guarantee, which promises to apprise customers of the most cost-efficient rate plans periodically.

Likely, Alltel’s guarantee is just the first of many rate-plan-analysis promotions to come. Do CSRs know about and promote their companies’ ability to analyze and update customers’ rate plans?

Verizon Wireless

Total Hold Time: 0

Transfer/IVR Layers: 1

CSR: Thanks for calling Verizon Wireless. This is (name). May I help you?

WR: My long-distance carrier calls me periodically about signing up for new promotions that can save me money on my bill. I’m just wondering why Verizon Wireless doesn’t do that.

CSR: We don’t offer any promotions like that. We have one steady rate. We’re not like the landline companies.

WR: So there will never be an opportunity for me to get on a better plan?

CSR: Concerning your long distance? No.

WR: No, I’m saying just for my rate plan in general.

CSR: What kind of price plan do you have?

WR: I’m spending about $50 a month. I don’t know which plan that is. It’s been a while since I signed up for it.

CSR: We have a current promotion that gives you unlimited long distance for one year.

Alltel

Total Hold Time: 20 seconds

Transfer/IVR Layers: 2

CSR: Thank you for calling Alltel. This is (name).

WR: My long-distance carrier calls me periodically about signing up for a different plan to save money on my bill. I’m just wondering if Alltel does anything like that.

CSR: I don’t think so, because I haven’t heard that we do. I know we send out letters, but I don’t think we make calls to customers. At least I’ve never heard that we have.

WR: So can you upgrade your rate plans periodically?

CSR: They don’t change very often. But yes, we do send out letters whenever we make a change in our rate.

WR: Is there a way that I can make sure that I’m always on the cheapest plan for me?

CSR: You can call any time, and we’d be happy to check your account. Other than that, we just send out notices in bills or in letters advising customers of our rates changing.

U.S. Cellular

Total Hold Time: 25 seconds

Transfer/IVR Layers 2

CSR: Customer Service. This is (name). How can I help you?

WR: I’ve heard that some of the carriers are offering periodic rate-plan analysis. Do you offer this kind of program?

CSR: Yes.

WR: How would that work?

CSR: You’d call in and ask us to look at your rate plan and your usage to see if you’re on the right plan.

WR: Would I have to do anything to qualify?

CSR: It’s nothing you qualify for. You call in, ask if you’re on the right rate plan, and we look over your last three bills, how much usage you’re using, and then if you want to change to something different, you change it.

Cingular Wireless

Total Hold Time: 2 minutes Transfer/IVR Layers: 4

CSR: Thank you for choosing Cingular Wireless. This is (name).

WR: My long-distance carrier calls me periodically about signing up for different plans that could save me money on my bill. Does Cingular Wireless do anything like that?

CSR: You can always call here, and we’ll be more than happy to run through the plans with you. If we can bring up your account on our system and give you the minutes that you’re using and the minutes that you’re not using, we’d be more than happy to do that. If you’re using long-distance minutes and need more, we can tell you that. If you’re using roam minutes and you need more, we can tell you that.

WR: Do you know if Cingular’s ever going to call me and let me know when there’s a new plan that will save me money?

CSR: No. The only thing that we do is send out flyers stating that we have new plans.

COPYRIGHT 2001 PRIMEDIA Business Magazines & Media Inc. All rights reserved.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group