(Readers: Please note the blog about the 5th revolution in the US is constructed as a story. While not all chapters are linked, after a few recent entries, you might want to start at the beginning. More about the blog and about the author. )

Scene: Jordan and JC continuing earlier conversation

JC: “Jordan, I need to leave pretty soon. But, if you ask me, which you haven’t, I think the POTUS project needs to be expanded beyond General Motors.”
010414_1635_16TeachingS1.jpg Jordan: “I agree. GM is what POTUS asked me to focus on.”
JC: “And you have. But your experience extends well beyond GM. You need to at least include some other ideas, especially about the importance of being fair. Besides not being fair has been a big problem for many companies, not just GM.”
Jordan: “Funny you mention other companies. Two incidents that happened to me recently point that out in spades. I’m not sure either company remembers why they are in business.”
JC: “Let me guess. One is a cell phone provider and the other a cable company.”
Jordan: “You got one right – the cell-phone provider. The other is an airline.”
JC: “Alright, what happened? Start with the airline. No, changed my mind…
Jordan: “…a prerogative of women.”
JC: “Jordan, now, now. Be careful. Like I said, I changed my mind. Start with the cell-phone provider.”
Jordan: “I get a new smart phone.”
JC: “iPhone?”
Jordan: “No LG. I have the phone a little over two weeks…16 days actually…and then have a problem. Take it back to the ATT store where I bought it. But, like the good service-minded company that ATT is, they refuse to switch it out.”
ATT-LogoJC: “Why?”
Jordan: “Because I’ve had the phone for more than two weeks.”
JC: “What do they do, if anything?”
Jordan: “Sent me to an ATT service center, about 20 minutes away.”
JC: “Service center fix it?”
Jordan: “No. The tech…let me rephrase that…the alleged technician said nothing was wrong. Before reaching that conclusion, the tech erased all the information on the phone.”
JC: “What happened next?”
Jordan: “I get the phone back and sent on my way with the claim that nothing is wrong. After 30 minutes or so, I figured out a solution that sorta, kinda solved the problem. At least enough that I could continue to use the phone. My fix worked for about six months then no more.”
JC: “Did ATT finally fix it?”
Jordan: “Tried to fix it then said the phone was defective. They agreed to replace it, except…”
JC: “…except what?”
Jordan: “There was no replacement phone in stock at the Service Center. Seems odd but I don’t work at ATT. Anyway, the plan is to ship a phone from somewhere.”
JC: “When?”
Jordan: “Next business day for sure and maybe next calendar day. But now it’s mid-afternoon Friday and ATT is unwilling to guarantee delivery to the house on Saturday. I tell them I will be in Houston Monday and ship to that office. But do not ship to the office Saturday because no one is there on weekends.”
JC: “Let me guess. ATT ships to Houston for delivery Saturday.”
Jordan: “Exactly. And then it gets delivered again Monday.”
JC: “So now you have a new phone. What’s the problem?”
Jordan: “ATT only sent the back half of the phone, not the front half. So I had to take the old phone apart and put the new phone together.”
JC: “For an MIT guy that must have been a no brainer.”
Jordan: “It was easy but the phone still does not work. I have to find an ATT store to activate the phone.”
JC: “OK, what about the old back half.”
Jordan: “The store that activates the phone will not take the broken half. I am supposed to send it back.”
JC: “So now what?”
Jordan: “I get busy all week and take off for Charlotte with the back of the old phone but not the box.”
JC: “Just get another box.”
broken-phone-sim Jordan: “I would have except the shipping label is in the box in Houston. I called ATT, told them the situation and they said to take the broken phone to the service center in Charlotte where all this started. The Service Center would then mail the phone back to wherever broken phones go.”
JC: “Seems simple enough. End of story?”
Jordan: “No. Get to the Service Center and they refuse to take the phone…but did give me a new box…”
JC: “…but no shipping label.”
Jordan: “In the meantime I am getting texts and robo calls from ATT asking me where the phone is.”
JC: “What’s next? By the way, you making up this story? Seems too bizarre.”
Jordan: “I’m not creative enough to make up a story like this. So back to Houston, find the box, put the old phone in it, use their label and mail it.”
JC: “Let me guess, again. ATT claims you still have the phone.”
Jordan: “You got it. I call ATT to explain I mailed the box and the guy at ATT asks me for the tracking number off the return label.”
JC: “Didn’t ATT send you the label?”
Mickey-Mouse-finger Jordan: “Yes. ATT does not have a record of its own tracking number. And then the guy at ATT has the audacity to tell me if I can’t find the tracking number and the phone is lost, I get to pay $300-$400.”
JC: “Gee, that seems fair to me. ATT sells you a defective phone. Finally replaces the phone. Then insists it’s your responsibility to tell ATT its own tracking number. If the phone…broken phone…is lost somewhere along the line, even though not your fault, they will charge you $400.”
Jordan: “Good way to build customer relations, right?”
JC: “By the way, did it ever get resolved?”
Jordan: “I don’t know if the broken phone ever got back to ATT. But 7-8 days after the ATT guy told me it was my job to find the tracking number, I get a text saying to the effect ‘All is well and we love you as a customer.’”
JC: “Whew! ATT has a new definition of ‘fair.’ You are responsible to overcome our incompetence. If you can’t, then you pay us even more money.”
Jordan: “Have you got time for another story about fairness – this time the airlines?”
JC: “Yes, but I need to get rid of this coffee first.”
Jordan: “Me, too.”


(Want a PDF version for Entries #1-10, #11-20, #21-30 formatted as an e-book? Entries #31-40 available soon. Click links for download. America’s 5th Revolution Volume I (Entries 1-10), America’s 5th Revolution Volume II (Entries 11-20), America’s 5th Revolution Volume III (Entries 21-30)