Gabrielle Bisset

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Business Of Business Is What?

I recently decided to leave Verizon for my cell phone, home phone, and internet service, in addition to DISH network for my television.  I got a better deal somewhere else, and I really wouldn't have left DISH if it weren't for that.  Verizon, on the other hand, is a totally different story.  Verizon I was looking to leave for a while. 

The problem I had with Verizon focused on their business plan, or at least what I can fathom is their plan.  I went with Verizon, at one time for all the services I just listed, because they delivered great prices with great customer service.  However, then over the years, the DSL got slower and slower to the point that there were times I couldn't get the pages of blogs to load.  I don't care how much I'm paying, that's unacceptable.  In addition, their cell service charges were just out of this world compared to the other companies, and their claim that their service is better than everyone else's wasn't convincing.  So when I found a better price, I took it and happily left Verizon. 

I had to call this morning to make sure everything was finished with both DISH network and Verizon.  The DISH network people couldn't have been nicer.  They wanted to know why I was leaving their company, and when I explained that it was just a matter of money, they explained that they hope I'll return someday and that I'm always welcome back as I was a great customer.  (They like people who pay their bills, I guess.  I don't think I've ever done anything extraordinary as their customer.)

Verizon's behavior was entirely different.  I was shuffled around to three people and left on hold for 5 minutes.  This is nothing new in my experience with Verizon, but it irritated me, nonetheless.  When I finally reached the last person, his tone could at best be described as disinterested and at worst rude.  No thanks for being a customer since we were so much smaller than AT&T but you went with us anyway because we offered great prices.  No we hope you'll come back someday.  No thank you at all. 

I tell this story because it seems to me that Verizon has gotten very much like so many other companies, including those I encounter in publishing.  The customer is always touted as someone important, but in reality, companies like Verizon and publishers like the big NY boys arbitrarily decide what they think people should have, and it doesn't seem like it's based on their potential to make money.  If Verizon's decisions were based on success in the long term, they wouldn't allow a customer to leave them to have their three cell phone lines, one home phone line, and internet service with another company. Keep in mind that I've called Verizon a number of times to ask them if there was anything that could be done about my slow internet and the prices I was paying for all their services, particularly my cell phones.  Their answer each time was "No," and one time a snappy little Verizon tart even took the time to inform me that "Verizon doesn't price match."  Well, chicka, that's a mistake because other companies are now getting my money and my loyalty. 

Likewise, if the big 4 or 5 traditional publishers were truly interested in making money instead of jealously guarding the gate to make sure only books they like get through, they could be making a ton of money.  Instead, these companies make foolish decisions based on a snobbery about what is acceptable that should have left them ages ago.  Their decisions seem better suited to some archaic business plan straight out of the roaring 80s. And the temerity of them to charge upwards of $10 to $15 to get a book on my Kindle!  (I suspect they think they're going to kill that facet of the business so they can go back to being BMOC concerning the books customers read and how they read them, but that train left the station ages ago.) As if much of what is being published by the big boys is that good.  Sorry, all too often it isn't.  For every self-pubbed disaster story they can offer, I can offer one of their books that contains editing problems or is just plain poorly written.

All of this makes me wonder just what the business of these businesses is.  Have they decided to abandon the idea of making money in favor of some snobbery that they're so important that customers won't leave them?  Word to the wise, ladies and gentlemen who run these companies:  we customers can and will leave you in a New York minute.  The federal government may believe there are companies that are too big to fail, but we don't. 


Pavarti said...

excellent point! We have to power to change the system as writers AND readers.

Please, if Breaking Dawn can get published there's no reason I can't! :)

Gabrielle said...

So true!

Rebecca said...

I totally agree! People have to realize that just one person can make a difference!

Your blog design is beautiful by the way...beautiful colors!

Hope to see you back around my blog soon :).

Kate said...

EXACTLY! I am pretty much convinced at this point that self-publishing is a much more fulfilling route for a newbie. Maybe if you're famous or you are an upper mid-list author, your book and career will get the attention they deserve, but otherwise, the royalties just aren't worth it.
BTW- Thanks for the words of encouragement. I think I'm more nervous this time around, because I know how much work babies are now. hahaha