Have you had the pleasure of talking with Dustan and Ashley? Dustan describes himself as being in “soft support” and told me Ashley is in “tier 2” support. They both are members of Verizon’s amazing cell phone support team. Since I spent my last post ranting about siber Frankensteins and the gurus at Redmond, it seemed a pleasant change of pace to reflect on how delightful it was to encounter Dustan and Ashley.

I was on a trip from northern to southern Ohio last Sunday. It was a beautiful fall morning but the trip down route 71 is, at best, long and boring. To help pass the time, I selected a favorite station from Pandora on my smart phone. The signal was strong and the music was relaxing, at least until it stopped. Yep, it just stopped. I did not have a clue why.

Since I wasn’t driving, I clicked around some on my phone to see if I could diagnose the issue. My first thought was Pandora had a problem of some sort. Other features of the phone still worked so Pandora seemed the obvious focus for my pointing finger.

I would rather not admit how long it took before I noticed my phone was patiently reporting “No Service.” Suffice it to admit it was about 6:30 in the evening and we were headed back north when I finally realized “No Service” meant my smart phone, as smart as it is, was not connecting to the cellular network. – I did only say my phone is smart, right?

Later that evening I took a deep breath, prepared to suffer through a tedious hour or more and called Verizon’s support line. I could not have been more misjudging. First I talked with Dustan. As soon as I told my tale of woe, Dustan’s first comment was to apologize for my music being interrupted. You heard it correctly. He apologized for my not having an uninterrupted music experience. Whatever happened next, at least I got a little empathy. Pandora stopping really had bummed me some – not a lot but some.

Now comes the amazing part. Dustan said, “I will get your phone fixed for you this evening.” Not, “I’ll try,” or “We’ll see what can be done.” Just a simple, “I will.”

Dustan’s last step was to pass me along to Ashley who he assured me would fix the phone. She is a tier 2 person and has a higher level of skill and resources. Ashley also said, “I will fix your phone,” but added “I’m sorry you needed to talk with a second person. I will fix your phone. You will not have to talk with anyone else.”

I’m embarrassed. While working with Ashley, I noticed I had somehow put my phone in airplane mode. One click and all was well. Ashley reacted as if that were the phone’s fault, my putting it into airplane mode. She didn’t apologize for the phone but came close. At a minimum, there was not the smallest hint of smart phone, dumb customer.

Are there lessons to be learned here? I’ll let you judge. It is enough for me to have had a very positive experience with Dustan and Ashley. Thanks to both of you.