My daughter lost her phone to a watery grave a few weeks back while floating the Teton River. (Not an uncommon circumstance, I'm told.) She quickly procured a replacement, and asked for my help activating it on our account. With that the nightmare began.

When Verizon launched its ‘Can you hear me now?' campaign years ago, it promoted the breadth and quality of the network. Unfortunately, as this week illustrated for me, network is only a small part of the value equation. This past week I have spent hours at a time, days in a row, waiting for Verizon 'customer service' to activate the replacement phone. I've tried their phone app, their website, as well as calling. I've sat for hours on 'neglect' only to be disconnected (presumably by nasty phone gremlins) or to be told 'I'm sorry, something isn't working, and I'm unable to complete your request, please call tomorrow, or try our website.’'

This epic fail in ‘customer service’ was so extraordinary, so incredibly painful, and so frustrating, I could only laugh at the hours wasted. At long last, on the third day, and possibly 20th attempt, a friendly representative named Henry was able to help...sort of. He offered to send me the missing SIM card, which would arrive in 7-10 days. Or, he suggested, we could visit the local Verizon store located on Main Street in Driggs. (Up until that point I had assumed that this store would not be able to help, because it is not owned by Verizon. Shame on me for assuming.)

My daughter and I rushed to the store, hoping to catch it before closing, only to discover that we'd missed it by mere minutes. As we dejectedly walked away, a friendly fellow unlocked the door, and called out, 'Can I help you?' We explained our predicament, and asked what time they'd open the next day. Without hesitation, he invited us in, even though he’d already closed up.

Mica was so helpful! Within minutes he had the phone up and going, and us on our way! And that was after hours!

In this age of giant corporations and mega-mergers, we found a bright spot. Our hero and savior from ‘customer service hell’, Mica, at the local Verizon store in Driggs. At long last, my daughter ‘can hear you now’ on the Verizon network. Thank you Mica! You won our loyalty with real customer service.

 Hyrum Johnson, Driggs

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