The Geek Squad service timeline for Stephen’s $1300 Asus laptop went something like this: ship it off for repairs, get it back in an even more broken state and missing all data, be forced to buy a $35 disk from Asus to prove to Best Buy that the problem is their responsibility, then finally find that something went missing during the first repair. Stephen eventually just asked for his money back on his ruined laptop, but the best he could get was store credit.
You might think that a company like Mozy, which sells secure online backup services, would be able to troubleshoot common technical issues that are directly related to its business. After all, surely Heather isn’t the only customer to have problems with her initial backup hanging for several days in a row. But instead of offering useful assistance, Mozy’s tech support person told Heather that the problem was that “wireless internets don’t like lots of files flying through the air.” Wow, that must really cause problems with Mozy’s business model.
AT&T seems determined to fix Mike’s problem. Only they can’t, apparently, because in the past 9 months he’s gone through 8 iPhones and 14 different SIM cards, and still can’t get a phone that does everything it’s supposed to do. (Like ring when someone calls.) Normally an 8-smartphone customer might sound like someone who’s being too hard to please, and maybe that’s Mike, but let’s face it: this is AT&T and it’s the iPhone, so most of the issues he lists below sounds completely plausible.
Recalls are imprecise and never fully successful, but how can they be improved? Jeff Gelles of the Philadelphia Inquirer took a look at the recall problem with snow throwers manufactured by a company called MTD, and sold under Yard Machines, Troy-Bilt, and Craftsman brands. The snow throwers used plastic wheel rims which sometimes exploded, so in 2006 the company cooperated with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and announced a recall.
Some unlucky iMac owners are still having problems with the screens on their new 27″ models, including a writer for TechCrunch and another for Gizmodo. TechCrunch offers a DIY tip for dealing with the screen while you decide whether to return the product. Gizmodo, however, is warning readers not to buy an iMac until Apple can demonstrate that the problem has been resolved.
If you’re a gadgetophile like me, you love firmware updates because it’s like giving your smartphone, camera, or other mp3 player a mini-makeover. If you’re normal, however, don’t rush into it—the best thing to do is wait a bit and see what problems are reported from the front line. Take for instance this issue between 3G iPhones and Exchange servers, which no longer play well with each other after yesterday’s 3.1 iPhone OS upgrade.
Alex shipped two packages to San Francisco from the UPS store in Boston. One was delivered, the other wasn’t—until without any explanation or notification, it arrived back at Alex’s house in Boston on a FedEx truck. Huh?
Might I make a suggestion for further Verizon Customer Issue articles? It would be helpful to know where the incident took place. As I’m sure you know, different parts of the county have different installation teams. Here in the New England region, installations are handled by real Verizon employees. Where in other areas, they contract installations to a third party that pass themselves off as Verizon. Also most regions have a VP email address for employees to help expidite such issues.
Something bad has happened to Symantec’s once-good chat service, notes Neil J. Rubenking at PC Mag. In the past, he says, they were helpful and knowledgable; now they pass freeware apps off as their own and attempt to get you to pay $100 fees for their “expert” service when you’re trying to troubleshoot a problem with them. He writes, “My new experiences while evaluating Norton 360 version 3.0 opened my eyes to the magnitude of the problem. Did Symantec switch outsourced support companies? Has the chat support team gone rogue?”
William has given Proflowers three chances to send his flower orders to a loved one. So far, they’re 0 for 3. William says they’ve refunded his money, so he doesn’t feel cheated or anything. But as he points out, since flower deliveries are usually a time-sensitive matter, reliability is really the number one goal you’re looking for in a flower company.
You can’t cancel your annual membership agreement with Hasbro’s “D&D Insider”—at least not easily, and not at all for some frustrated users. Company admins keep giving out ridiculous instructions on the user forums, but those posts are followed by customers saying all they get are error messages, no matter what browser/OS combo they try. To make matters worse, their customer service department was closed over the holidays, so nobody was answering the phone numbers they listed. This is the kind of runaround we expect from scammers like the Acai resellers, not a national toy company.
Wow, those iPhones really are amazing. Chris’ iPhone can make a call from Nicaragua the same time it’s incurring a data roaming charge in Mexico—all without leaving Chris’ side in the U.S. Some skeptics will probably just say there’s a problem with AT&T’s records, or the phone’s SIM card was cloned or something, but AT&T believes. That’s why they want Chris to pay that bill each month it keeps happening.
Dale couldn’t redeem his “free 6 inch sub” coupon at his local Subway. Was it because of a particularly lazy employee, poor management, or dire financial straits? Maybe it was all three, considering the string of completely unrelated excuses Dale was given over just a few minutes.
Matt writes in to warn us all not to fly on June 29th and 30th if we can help it, because the 29th is when flight plans for all domestic flights have to switch over to the international standard. Matt adds that it’s just his personal opinion, so we’re not sure how worried we should really be (remember the fake-out of the Y2K bug?). But then again, we’re talking about airlines, so at the very least you should pack some extra energy bars if you’re traveling on the day of the switchover.
“Keep track of your bank balances!”—pretty much every week on Consumerist either we or our readers say something like this.
Katie says her Sidekick wasn’t connecting to the network for the past day or so, so she “called T-Mobile and there’s an outage in NYC affecting all gprs-using devices (sidekicks, blackberries, etc).” They gave her a $5 credit for compensation, so if you’re in a similar situation you might want to call T-Mobile to complain.