Vail Daily column: A serious lesson in customer service |

Vail Daily column: A serious lesson in customer service

So last week I learned a very valuable and serious, or should I say Sirius, lesson in customer service. What I learned was that when you cannot get satisfaction by calling the customer service department of the company that you are trying to reach, reach out to them on the Internet.

Without boring you with the details, I had an issue around a lifetime membership I had purchased for Sirius Satellite Radio service about 5 years ago. My agreement states that I can transfer my license up to three different vehicles. Well when I finally bought a new truck and tried to transfer my lifetime service to the new vehicle, I was told that the company could not do it and that the program I purchased was no longer applicable. I guess “lifetime” means different things to different people.

After several calls into the customer care department, I gave up and had actually decided to turn this into a positive experience. Although I have been sharing time between Sirius and the local radio stations, this would give me an opportunity to really support and appreciate local radio a whole lot more.

Still feeling a little unsatisfied I took my issue to the Internet and posted a quick message of how excited I was to be leaving Sirius Satellite Radio and reconnecting with local radio. I posted the message on my own Facebook page, on my LinkedIn page, and I even tweeted about it on Twitter. The last thing I did was find the Sirius Satellite Facebook page and I shared my situation for all of their fans to see.

Within a few minutes I received a follow up post on Facebook from a customer care person named Kate asking me how she could help. We had a few online exchanges, visible for the world to see, and she indicated someone would be in touch with me. The next morning I received a call from Steve, a customer care rep who took the time to dig in and work with me to fix the problem.

The serious lesson, or Sirius lesson, was that there is power in the internet and in social media. Large companies with well established brands have teams of people and leverage available technology that keep a close eye on anything being published or posted about their company or their products.

So if you find yourself with a serious or legitimate issue or problem with a product or service and cannot seem to work through traditional customer service channels to resolve the issue, take your battle to the Internet and social media and watch how fast things get resolved. You may even want to start with the Internet first and save yourself the aggravation of dealing with the automated telephone systems and lengthy calls with a customer service agent who may or may not be able to assist you anyway.

I would like to thank the folks at Sirius for stepping up and honoring our agreement, with a special thanks to Kate and Steve.

And in all seriousness, not Siriusness, this whole experience has opened my eyes to how much I do appreciate local radio and all that they do to inspire me spiritually, motivate me musically, and inform me during my drive times, thank you all.

I would love to hear all about your customer service victories at and I hope that you will make it a seriously better than good week.

Michael Norton is a strategic consultant, business and personal coach and motivational speaker, and CEO of He writes a weekly motivational column for the Vail Daily.

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