52 Customer Stories
#38 – The good and the bad
Altamont Springs, Fla. – Karl, a commercial customer near Orlando, had a problem when he
contacted Waste Management this past May. Writing in an email, he stated that his invoice was
missing a credit he had been promised. Read through a timeline for how his issue escalated
until it was resolved.
May 1: Karl emails WM about the missing credit, incorrect billing and concerns with pricing.
May 9: Karl rewrites WM about the same issue. WM responds, saying that his former account
manager moved to another district. His email is forwarded to another account manager.
July 22: Karl receives an email from WM that his account is delinquent for lack of payment.
July 23: Lesly Baxter, a payment collector from WM’s Phoenix call center, contacts Karl about his
delinquent no tice. Karl politely describes his billing and contract issues. Baxter immediately
resolves the credit issue. At the same time, Deborah Felipe, a WM billing liaison with the Phoenix
office, directs his request to discuss his contract to a local account manager. Both Baxter and
Felipe remain in close contact.
July 30: Karl emails Baxter and Felipe to inform them that he has still not heard back from an account
manager to discuss pricing, despite their best efforts.
August 2: With his contract issue still not resolved, Karl emails Jim Trevathan, WM’s executive vice
president and chief operating officer, writing that while the care and responsiveness of Baxter and
Felipe has been outstanding, all other elements of the company’s service have been underwhelming.
Trevathan emails back.
August 5: Karl’s issue is resolved. He emails Baxter and Felipe to show his appreciation, writing:
“The bottom line result: we’ve signed a new three-year agreement. I wanted to recognize you both as
true team players and point out that you were individually addictive to the reasons we decided to
continue with WM.”
What to take from this story? This is an extreme example of a communication breakdown that happened
when an account was transitioning between managers. Mistakes happen, and while the vast majority of
issues the company faces don’t take this long to resolve, it’s important to remember that even when
problems are at their most complex, there’s still an opportunity to provide a positive experience.
Thank you Lesly Baxter and Deborah Felipe for your responsiveness and persistence, as well as Florida
Sales Manager Bryan Wing, who was able to negotiate a new contract.