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.”
Here’s Wentao’s story.
I purchased a set of Skullcandy iPhone earbuds on Amazon last September. It was not cheap at $69.95 before tax. In late October to early November (less than two months after purchase), one earphone was suddenly dead. I checked Skullcandy’s website, and their “lifetime warranty” looked pretty cool. So I submitted a claim online, and received an email on November 13, giving me an RMA number and asking me to send back the broken earbuds.
I sent it back. On December 3, they sent me an email confirming they had received it. The email also said: “We have authorized it to be replaced under our lifetime warranty. We will notify our warehouse to ship your replacement. This process takes about 1-2 weeks depending upon availability of product. You will receive another email from FedEx when it ships with a tracking number.”
So I waited. In the mean time, I moved to a different address in the same city. Since the post office would forward my mail so I didn’t worry about it. When I still hadn’t received the replacement by January 15, 2009, I sent an email to their customer service email address, telling them I hadn’t received my replacement six weeks after their last confirmation email. I also told them my new shipping address.
On January 24, they emailed me back: “Your RMA request #xxxxx has successfully been processed. Please allow several days for the item to ship.”
Another month passed and nothing arrived. On February 24, I sent another email to customer service: “Will I ever get my replacement? It’s been over three months since I sent the headphone back, and it’s been over one month since I received the SECOND RMA confirmation.”
Three days later (February 27), I received an email from someone with a real name (Joe): “I will look into this.Please give us a
week to get in contact with the warehouse and see what happened.” At this point I was a little relieved. I thanked Joe and reminded him my shipping address had changed.
But dear Joe didn’t write back in a week. Or a month. On March 26, I emailed Joe again: “Another month has passed. Still no replacement or any update. Please help.”
On April 1, Joe wrote back: “I have emailed the warehouse. For the longest time we have been out of the iphone fmj’s they are just barely coming back into stock. We will get you your headphones as soon as we can. Sorry about the delay”
I was annoyed by the “not in stock” explanation. I wrote a harsher email on April 13: “Thanks for the information. However, I want to point out that I paid for the headphone seven months ago, and was in possession of the product for only two months. Do you think this is acceptable whatever your stocking situation is? It is in stock on Amazon.com as of today, and your warehouse was not able to ship me a replacement five months after the original RMA was issued. This is clearly a priority issue. I am very disappointed.”
Maybe because of my angry email, Joe started ignoring me. So on May 21, I wrote again: “I just want to let you know that I am still waiting. Sorry for bothering you again, but please let me know if there is a better channel than writing to you.”
No response again. Big surprise!
Then it was June. iPhone OS 3.0 arrived. Now I could use stereo headsets. I didn’t really want that wired Skullcandy headphone any more. But I did pay $70 for it. I went to their website again, and found a customer service number. I called. There was no pre-recorded message. No extension. No waiting. An actual person picked up, and his name was Joe! I told him about the situation. He asked which model it was. I said the chrome iPhone model. He said the chrome color was not in stock. I said I didn’t care about the color. Any color was fine. He sent the request to the warehouse.
After about a week, I received a package from Skullcandy. I opened it and it was the wrong model. Apparently when I said “iPhone” on the phone, Joe thought it was “icon”. But the icon headset was less than half the price of my original iPhone FMJ model. Besides, I submitted the warranty claim several times, and they clearly had the record. Joe shouldn’t have asked me which model it was in the first place.
I wanted to give up already, but didn’t feel it was right. In late June, I went to their website again, and found another way to reach customer service—live chat. I started up the chat window, and the person on the other end? Joe!!! Now I was convinced that he was probably the only person in this company who handled warranty. I told him I was shipped the wrong model. He said he would resend the correct model, and it would arrive in a week. Also, the “icon” model that was mistakenly shipped to me would be mine for free.
At the time of this writing (July 30), I still haven’t received my replacement Joe last promised a month ago. I am sick of it and don’t want to contact them ever again. I am also moving out of the country in 10 days, so I will probably never see the headphones I paid for ever again.