Wynd Communications responds to customer service complaints

Originally appeared in Silent News, October 2000.

Wynd Communications, a division of GoAmerica, Inc., is the deaf/hard of hearing community’s largest supplier of two-way pagers in the United States. WyndTell’s enormous growth in the deaf/hard of hearing community has generated numerous complaints about the company’s lack of customer service. Roger Willkins, director of the Deaf/Hard of Hearing Advocacy agency in Provo, Utah, sent out a request via e-mail and the agency’s website for information from customers having experienced problems with Wynd Communications and WyndTell pagers.

The website had received 116 responses as of Sept. 21,  consisting primarily of customers frustrated with not getting live customer help, or the lack of coverage for pagers. Willkins said, “When I heard their stories, I had tears in my eyes. Some of them suffered more than what I went through.”

Wilkins also said, “I only sent my request to a few people, asking if they had similar complaints. That was all—and yet I got 116 complaints. The purpose of this website was simply to pressure WyndTell to improve their service. That was all.”

Dan Luis, the president and chief executive officer of Wynd Communications since January 1998, wrote an open letter to the public in response to the complaints, where he lists several steps the company has taken to correct the difficulties. Some of these steps include increasing staff, having a quicker response time, and increasing the usage of online assistance at its website.

Luis said, “There are two realities at work here. Reality #1 is that in some areas of the customer experience, Wynd has stumbled and this has created frustration on the part of our customers. For this we have apologized and have created a mechanism through the open letter as posted on our website for those customers to get priority assistance in addressing their concerns. Reality #2 is that the vast majority of WyndTell subscribers are extremely satisfied with the service. In fact, last month alone 41% of our new customers came to us as a direct referral of another WyndTell subscriber.”

Wynd, based in San Luis Obispo, Calif., recently added John Archdeacon as the vice president of customer satisfaction in July. “He brings 19 years of experience to [customer satisfaction] in addition to having won personal and corporate awards for world class customer service in the software industry,” Luis said.

Hours of customer service will be expanded to accommodate differences in time zones. Luis added, “For our East Coast customers, it’s frustrating for them to call Wynd at 8 a.m. and not reach anyone because our business hours are 8-5 Pacific.” The company’s staff also has grown from 22 to 50, with 15% being deaf/hard of hearing and 30% dedicated to customer service.

WyndTell is also working on establishing an office on the eastern coast. “[The office] will serve as a central place for us to interact with customers in the east. We will be able to schedule training sessions, customer demonstrations, etc., from this facility and I think it’s vital that we reinforce our commitment to the community through these kind of activities.”

Wilkins said, “The president and CEO Dan Luis has invited me to visit his company. I am interested in seeing them improve a lot, and I am willing to help them with this. I think WyndTell wants their good reputation back. But I am afraid some of it is permanently damaged and they will have to work 10 times harder to regain their reputation.”

Luis said, “We plan to be around for a long time and I am grateful that we have chosen to serve this market. The rewards of changing the lives of thousands of customers all across America has been powerful and we’re grateful to those subscribers that have chosen Wynd over other options.”

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