I’ve seen so many billboards and even met briefly with RingCentral‘s VP of Product and Brand Marketing Nisha Ahluwalia at a Marketo event. All signs seemed to point to “YES! Go for it!” when our office decided we needed VOIP service.

I was on a mission! I went to the website and signed us up for their service and ordered a couple of phones. Free 30-day trial? Awesome! Shortly after, I got an order confirmation, then my FedEx tracking codes for my phones. It would take about a week for them to arrive? Hmm, okay I guess we can wait. They were really good about having someone contact me via phone to set up my call with my very own implementation advisor. But no one told me that I needed to have the phones on hand for this, so when they called a couple days later I ended up having to reschedule for the end of the week when I estimated they’d arrive.

My implementation advisor Chris was on time and very patient as I juggled the multiple phone sets. We ended up spending 3.5 hours over the phone trying to make this work. The online account part was easy, it was the hardware/software that didn’t want to cooperate. First, it was the ports not matching up, then something about slow upload speed so I could only hear but not be heard over the line. As we troubleshot each phone, there didn’t seem to be a set fix for the issue. He assured me that this was not normal for an implementation experience. When we finally seemed to get everything set up, I (being the cautious one) wanted to try the first phone again to make sure all the changes didn’t affect the initial settings. Boy was I glad I checked. We were back to square one.

I never knew setting up phones could be such a headache. I was rooting for these guys and desperately wanted this adoption to be quick and painless (I am the end user after all). While I say thumbs up for the detailed and patient support from the implementation advisor, I just don’t think I’d ever want to recommend this to anyone else and have them go through a similar adoption experience.

Now my desk area is cluttered with non-working phones as I wait for someone to get back to me. Nightmarish adoption experience, wouldn’t you say?Y U NO WORK!

I’m willing to give it another go because Chris was so helpful. Come on RingCentral, let’s see how this unfolds.

Update 10/16/12:

I never heard back from my advisor at RingCentral after 2 voicemails and an email. I gave up and finally called customer service and requested that they cancel my account and that I was returning their phones. The next day, I received a phone call from another implementation advisor who informed me Chris was out of office the past few days and wanted to see if I got my issues resolved. I was kind of shocked that I had to tell him that I had already canceled my account and services with Ringcentral the day before because he didn’t know at all. This led me to wonder what internal communications must be like across their different departments.

Three or four days after tweeting and sharing this story, I finally got an email from one of their social media folks saying they were sorry I had such an unsuccessful implementation experience and wanted to know if anyone had followed up with and whether the phones were good to go. If not, they’d be happy to finalize the setup.

Maybe being on social media constantly has spoiled me to expect a much quicker response and now that we’re in real-time customer engagement, I half expect informed contact. It was surprising that despite their good intentions, it left a questionable impression on my part. This is why it’s so important to help your customer-facing teams avoid situations like this!

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