Kelly just bought a plastic Baby Bjorn potty seat at Babies R Us. When the cashier rang it up, the system told her to ask Kelly if she’d like to pay another 30% of the purchase price for a service plan.
At first he thought it was an earthquake, being in California and all. Then Eric realized, no, it was his Mini Cooper that was violently shaking.
The New York Times has an article about why consumers buy extended warranties for electronic products and other appliances, especially since we rarely have enough information at the moment of sale to make an informed decision. Here are three things to watch out for the next time you’re buying some fun electronic device.
Buddy, owner of the refrigerator from hell, has sent us a follow-up. Lowe’s has agreed to send him a check for the replacement cost of the evil fridge. Hooray!
CarFax provides a useful tool for used car buyers, tipping them off about the myriad abuses their prospective rides once suffered. But Gyorgy says the service failed him, failing to report a number of modifications and indignities that voided the ride’s warranty. He writes:
Here’s the $199 question. What does it take to set off the moisture sensor on an iPhone 3G? Immersion in water? Sweat from a vigorous workout? Using the phone on a humid day? The truth is somewhere on that continuum, and many iPhone users claim that their warranties have been unfairly voided when normal use set off the sensors.
Russ used to have a TV, but now all he has are problems. He summarizes his 52-inch Insignia (Best Buy‘s House Brand) HDTV’s decision to check out, then goes into Best Buy’s bumbling attempts to fix it.
If you owned an expensive TV that stopped working, and you were years out of warranty, you’d assume the manufacturer would have nothing to do with you, correct? LG doesn’t play that game—Tim’s experience with them when his LG set went kaput is a mind-blowing example of a company practically coddling its past—and almost certainly future—customers.
Feisty Dell laptop purchaser Elijah says he bought a Dell laptop that failed him, and when Dell warrantied it out it sent an inferior one in its place, saying it had comparable functionality. As this replacement laptop has a smaller screen and a weird haunted keyboard that presses Ctrl all on its own, Elijah doesn’t agree.
Here’s an example of a great EECB that worked: even though Joe’s generator was out of warranty and the first two levels of customer service refused to help him, he was able to convince the company’s execs to make good on a defective starter.
Back in February, Funai put a Consumerist reader on hold for two and a half hours before telling him that there was nothing they could do about selling him the entirely wrong DTV converter box. Now Funai has decided to head those long hold times off at the pass, and their warranty division has stopped answering the phone entirely.
Reader Martin sent his PS3 in to Sony because a game was stuck in the drive. When he got it back, the game was missing. Where did it go? Sony says there was nothing the drive when they received the unit. Martin is wondering why he would have sent his console in to Sony in the first place if it didn’t have a game stuck in it. It is a mystery.
Everyone is tired of hearing about Twitter. It’s not the newest and shiniest communications tool anymore, and stories about its effectiveness in customer service aren’t novel anymore. Reader Ryan is tired of hearing about Twitter, but he shared a story with Consumerist about how Logitech only replaced his mouse under warranty after he tweeted at them.
Wentao, who had been waiting over half a year for a replacement set of earbuds from Skullcandy, wrote in with an update:
There is a guy at Skullcandy named Joe, and he is in charge of their warranty fulfillment program. He is overworked. Why, just on this one warranty replacement story, he’s had to deal with the same customer over and over and over, and the customer still hasn’t gotten a replacement earbud set for the one that broke last November. Wentao writes, “I am also moving out of the country in 10 days, so I will probably never see the headphones I paid for ever again.”
We know how you feel; telemarketers suck. But no matter how much they’re in the wrong, please don’t threaten to burn down their place of business and then kill them and their families—even if they call you a jackass—because they may report you to the police. Then, if your police are anything like the ones in St. Louis, Missouri, you’ll likely be arrested and charged for making terrorist threats, like poor Charles Papenfus.
Can we tag a story “above and beyond” if the customer service cycle is so screwed up that it eventually works out in the customer’s favor? When jpodbuild tried to get his Craftsman sander repaired or replaced, he couldn’t get anyone on the phone who could actually help him—eventually he would end up back at the first number he’d called. He decided to show up in person and let the store manager handle the phone calls. New sander!