Among people writing to the Consumerist tipline, our post from earlier this week about Roku sending the gift of a brand-new Roku 3 to their earliest adopters from 2008 has already become the gold standard of corporate awesomeness. It’s impossible for all companies to meet that standard all of the time…including Roku itself.
If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, then you have to worry about the mental health of Comcast. They keep sending the same technician out to fix Brian’s switch, even though the tech doesn’t have the parts or competence to repair it.
The next time you’re on musical hold trying to get through to customer service, don’t get mad. Be like this IT guy and use it as an opportunity to express yourself through the transformative power of dance. You’ll feel less powerless and burn a few calories too. Watching this is the Law of Increasing Returns in action; each time I watch it, it amuses me more than the last.
What should you do when you have trouble with your Internet connection? N. tells Consumerist that his combination DSL modem and wireless router from Netgear simply won’t work. According to the ever-helpful technical support team at Netgear, there’s nothing left that they can do, and his only option left is to call the Geek Squad to perform a house call. If it didn’t require a $139 house call to troubleshoot a $79 device, N. might go along with this plan.
James wanted to buy a new Samsung Blu-ray player that could download and run Samsung Apps, which are widgets that can connect to the Internet or–in the case of the Hulu Plus app–stream video content. He tried to make sure he knew what he was doing before making a purchase, because his whole point for upgrading was to access Hulu, but he still chose the wrong player. Or did he? No, he did. Right?
Quickbooks from Intuit is a very popular piece of accounting software used by accountants and non-accountants alike. One of its more annoying features is that customers must call to register their software after purchase, or it won’t work. Brian writes that his problem with Quickbooks came when the registration code for his new copy of QuickBooks wouldn’t work, and Intuit wanted him to pay $40 for technical support in order to get help registering the software he had already paid for.
Hey look, Google has finally decided to take selling smartphones seriously! After initially trying to treat Nexus One owners like Gmail users who’d locked themselves out of their accounts, the company finally admitted it might be good to have actual people on hand for troubleshooting. If you’ve got a Nexus One problem that T-Mobile can’t solve, call 888-486-3987 (888-48NEXUS). The line is open from 7am-10pm ET.
When I was in college, an older woman I worked with paid me $25 to come over and program her VCR, and that is not a euphemism. Clearly I missed a valid business opportunity when I didn’t think to package that skill and resell it as an in-home service for idiots everywhere. You know, sort of like what InstallerNet offers with universal remotes for the low low actually-sort-of-high price of $250.
AT&T loves your money and will not give up that money no matter what, even if it means making you waste nearly an hour of an AT&T employee’s time, which surely must be worth more than three dollars. We guess it’s the principal; as long as AT&T refuses to admit they’ve got problems, the problems don’t exist.
Ryan’s new Nokia Intrigue 7205, which Verizon gave him, doesn’t work with the Verizon network: “48 hours ago, the phone began cycling on and off continuously.” He’s not the only Intrigue owner experiencing this problem on Verizon, although Verizon is following that tired old “it couldn’t possibly be our fault so let’s make you jump through a dozen useless hoops” protocol. Sadly, a single Google search would give them the quick fix for Ryan and other Intrigue owners.
If Seagate tells you to call Microsoft for technical support, don’t talk back or you’re going to get an earful. At least that’s what reader K. learned when he called to ask why his external drive worked well under Vista, but not XP. Seagate’s customer service representative immediately blamed the problem on Microsoft, and when K. tried explaining why the problem might lie with Seagate, the CSR responded: “Well since you know better then we do, Im sure you dont need our assistance.”
Earlier this week, we posted an email from a frustrated Qwest customer who said he couldn’t download YouTube and other online videos at a speed equivalent to the Qwest service he was paying for. Qwest wrote to us, and spoke to the customer, and swore they were not interfering with any download rates. Instead, it looks like the problem is with OpenDNS, a free service that usually speeds up downloading, but that seems to have an issue when it comes to certain video streams.
Cracked takes a stab at explaining why your calls to customer support inevitably lead to frustration. You’ll probably recognize your own experiences as you read their article, and learn a little about why being a customer service agent sucks so much, too.
UPDATE: It’s getting worked on!
Comments still not functioning correctly for you? As Ben suggested, I’ve opened a complaint on GetSatisfaction.com to try to reach Gawker’s tech team. If the comment reply/preview feature is still broken for you (it seems to be working for some, not others), why not head over there and add your two cents to my complaint? [GetSatisfaction.com]
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.
Last Friday we posted that a customer in D.C. was on hold with RCN’s tech support for over 7 hours. (And no, she didn’t sit next to the phone that entire time—she periodically checked in to see whether she’d been disconnected, but always heard the same hold music and message.) We received several comments—one from the Senior Director of Operations at RCN—saying that her call had likely been dropped from the system. But Meredith says someone finally did answer her call. Here’s her story and the RCN Director’s version.
Meredith has been on hold with RCN’s tech support line for over seven hours now. She’s put down the phone and keeps doing other things, but whenever she goes back to see if they’ve finally disconnected her, she hears their “please hold” message and music. Apparently RCN doesn’t think you need tech support over the weekend.