If there is any justice, Westinghouse Digital would likely win for worst company of the year. Let me give you some enjoyable details about the nightmare quagmire that is currently their customer service department.
I bought a Westinghouse TV during a Christmas-time sale utilizing all of the discounts my wife receives as an employee at Target, netting a 46″ 1080P model for around $350. I’ve actually owned a few other Westinghouse TVs in the past and only one failed (which was promptly replaced by them without much effort at all). That was a few years ago…
This new TV worked for about three weeks and then started just flickering and making an odd noise. No on-screen menus, no more boot-up screen, no audio. Luckily with this new purchase, Westinghouse says they will provide in-house repair of 46″ and larger units. Great!
Our first attempt was to call Target.com’s support. Unfortunately, we were told it had to be handled through Westinghouse. My first regret here is that it was purchased with a Target debit card and not my American Express… again, discounts!
Calling Westinghouse yielded a traditional call menu and options. Once I selected customer service I waited on hold for about 30 minutes and was dumped to voicemail. I tried again the next day, same result. Over and over for days, I kept being on hold, never speaking to anyone. In this time period, I also tried their online support form, Twitter, and Facebook. No responses.
During my social media attempts I noticed something interesting — page after page of complaints against the company for not handling refunds properly, ignoring calls, not responding to emails and voicemails. Oh, and that’s when the Facebook page is live, sometimes (for days? weeks?) the page will be taken down for unknown/unexplained reasons. Currently, it is “gone”.
Despite all of this, Westinghouse still takes plenty of time to have their media department slather Twitter and Facebook with marketing for people to buy their products, never responding to inquires of what the point of buying a product is that fails in a few weeks and cannot be repaired.
After about a month of this, I opened a complaint with BBB. Sadly, a few days ago, I received a notice that after two attempts, the BBB had received no communication from them and would be closing my case. To be fair, Westinghouse Digital already has an F rating so, you can’t do much worse at this point.
Most recently I called in and received a person who said “Complaints Department”. To this I asked to be speak to someone about having my TV repaired. The CSR (Complaint Service Representative, in this case) told me that he can’t handle that but I could file a complaint. I asked to be transferred and he said that there was no availability to have anyone speak to me. Getting angry at this point I decided, what the hell, I’ll gladly file a complaint. That was a couple weeks ago, and guess what? Still no response.
So here I am, with a great deal turned customer service nightmare. While “get what you pay for” is certainly applicable, there are plenty of people in the same boat out there, some of which claim they were promised a refund more than 6 months ago without seeing the check. Despite buying cheap products, a warranty from a manufacturer is generally handled quite well from my previous experiences across many industries. This is the first time I couldn’t even speak to *anyone* about my problem. A new low, for sure.
That all said, what steps do I have left to see this problem resolved when a company won’t respond to calls, voicemails, emails, social media, or the BBB? EECB is usually my stand-by but for Westinghouse Digital, even that seems futile. I’ve thought about small claims court but not sure how that would really work out in terms of even forcing them to payout for just ignoring me. Anyone have success breaking through this wall?
One option is to use customer service ninja tactics to reach the CEO’s office and make your case to the person who answers the phone. Small claims court might be satisfying, but Mark is right in that it sounds like Westinghouse may not even acknowledge the judgement.
Have you dealt with Westinghouse and successfully forced them to repair or replace your TV? Do you know what on earth happened to their Facebook page?Let us know.