The MacBook Pro can be a pricey computer, costing more than $3,000. Maybe you get what you pay for, maybe you don’t, but that price tag is why customers have come to expect world-class customer service verging on groveling when they take it to their friendly neighborhood Genius Bar for repairs. Kristina’s 8-month-old computer has needed to go back to the store for service three times now, including what she calls a “major meltdown” and the loss of all data on the hard drive. [More]
warranty and repair
On Halloween night, the Samsung repairman rises out of the potato field and delivers working televisions to all of the couch potatoes of the world. He chooses only the most sincere couch potatoes; those who wait patiently for his arrival and keep the faith that he truly will come. Reader Joe, the most sincere couch potato of all, waited all night for the Samsung repairman to arrive and fix his television’s faulty capacitor. But the Samsung repairman never came.
When Justin’s phone failed, Verizon Wireless insisted that there was water damage to it, and billed him $299 after initially sending a warranty replacement with no fuss. Then, a month later, Verizon sent the administrator of the account, his mother, a bill for the replacement phone. It had water damage, they insisted, even though the moisture sensors remained un-tripped. Justin babied that phone, and resented the “abuse.zip” file name that Verizon gave the compressed set of pictures that they sent him as proof. So he employed the executive e-mail carpet bomb. [More]
A. got a Roku as a gift, and thought that it would keep working for a while. No… not really. It didn’t work from the start. He called tech support, who authorized an exchange for a working unit. What they failed to do was explain that “exchange” meant that they needed the old one back. His girlfriend tossed it out in the interim. No broken Roku? No replacement Roku.
Google does many things very well, like selling ads against your e-mail and designing mobile operating systems. What they’re not all that good at is customer service. Trey was really excited to buy the Nexus 7 tablet direct from Google. Great tablet, great price. The problem was that he would have to get his tech support directly from Google. That doesn’t seem like such a bad idea… unless you’ve tried to deal with Google’s tech support.
When he had problems with his ASUS tablet dock, he packed up the dock and its power cable and sent it off to ASUS for some loving warranty repair care. Both the dock and the power cable had separate, seemingly unrelated problems. He suspected this might cause some confusion at ASUS, so he was sure to clarify that both parts had their own issues. He had not anticipated that the dock’s cable would disappear somewhere between his house and when the equipment was checked in at ASUS repair.
When Mike had a problem with his lovely Ultrabook’s trackpad, there was no reason to fret: it was under warranty. He shipped it off to Samsung’s repair depot and waited for the return of his freshly repaired computer. He didn’t know that he was actually doing the opposite: that he was sending his notebook to Samsung’s top-secret anti-repair facility, where your devices somehow emerge more broken than they were in the first place.
Morgan called up LG looking for a part for his dryer. He had learned that he wouldn’t be able to get the appliance repaired. That was disappointing, because he paid $1,000 for it only seven years ago. He was already frustrated enough when an LG customer service rep said the words that prompted him to write to Consumerist.
Maybe Tim is being irrational, but he was under the impression that if he spent $100 on a pair of shoes, he could depend on the soles to not fall apart inside of a year. Sure, he lives in New York City and puts a lot of miles on his shoes, but isn’t that the point of shoes? When his first pair of Converse by John Varvatos wore out, he bought another. He really liked the shoes, except for the pesky hole in the heel. When the second pair fell apart within six months too, he sought help from Converse. Apparently, Converse has never helped a customer with a complaint about the longevity of their shoes before, because they don’t seem to know how to deal with an unhappy customer. Or maybe their passing Tim around to different places and departments and ignoring his messages is their policy.
Lance says that he babied his Sony Vaio computer. He fed it electricity, kept it comfy, and left it docked into an LCD monitor all of the time. He didn’t take it everywhere or even toss it into a swimming pool. Yet after an odd negotiation with the world’s only onsite tech who refuses to make appointments, he learned that his version of reality wasn’t true. The computer had liquid corrosion, and Sony would only repair it if he paid almost 2/3 of the original purchase price in repair fees. Lance wants to know why the tech didn’t notice the corrosion until after he replaced the entire motherboard.
Bryan’s Asus computer needed service. It would be a lot easier to make this happen if the company were able to keep track of the phone calls it receives. No, the tech support call center’s computers were down. Maybe they should send them to the Asus repair center. Once he finally managed to get a return merchandise authorization (RMA) number to send the computer back, he was instructed to send the laptop to California. Bryan just happens to live ten minutes away from the company’s repair center on the East Coast–how handy! He thought maybe he could just take it over there? Sure, as if logic and efficiency had a place in tech support.
Here is the lesson that everyone who telecommutes or runs a computer-based home business learns at some point: you need more than one working computer. Otherwise, when something goes wrong with that computer, you will be stuck the way that Meredith is right now. Her HP laptop needs repair for two relatively minor problems. Wanting to get it fixed before the warranty is up, she inquired about sending it in for service. Of course! She would just need to wait 15-20 business days to get her computer back. Shut down her business for a month, that’s all.
When we first heard from Dan a few weeks ago, he had been sent to endure punishment in Dell Hell for his sins. His principal sin, of course, was purchasing a computer from Alienware, a once-beloved company now owned by Dell. The products still look cool, but it’s Dell providing the technical support, with all of the competence and generosity that implies. His computer continued to fail. Dell sent a replacement, which was supposed to resolve this, Instead, he reached even more advanced and frustrating levels of Dell Hell. Finally, through persistence (and maybe having his story appear here on the site) he was able to make a deal with Dell and escape with his soul. And a refund.
Douglas has been a customer of Verizon Wireless and its ancestor companies for more than 20 years. He’s an executive at a company that cuts Verizon a five-figure check every month for employees’ devices. You’d think that they would be interested in making sure that he’s always happy, but not so much. When his phone stopped working, they didn’t send him to smartphone replacement purgatory: they killed him. Well, they suspended his account in a way that made it look like he had died.
Dheeraj hasn’t owned his HP Envy ultrabook for very long: barely a year and a half. But the computer, with an upgraded display and purchased for photo and video editing projects, began having overheating and video problems early on. He accepted that gaming on the computer wasn’t going to happen, but sent it in for repair once the other problems became unbearable. After a lengthy stay in the HP Hospital, the computer came back with a new, inferior display and the top panel repaired at a cost of $200. Which is nice and all, but neither of these were the reason why Dheeraj had sent the computer in. And it still had all of the original problems.
William’s laptop wouldn’t boot. He went to Toshiba for help, since it was still under warranty, and they charged him for software help, since his warranty didn’t cover that. Fine. Only they wouldn’t refund him the $100 when the problem didn’t turn out to be software-related. He sent the machine in for a hardware repair, and Toshiba sort of did the opposite of that. He says that the screen was just fine when he sent it in. Toshiba says that it wasn’t, and that he should pay them $500 to repair it.
Rich ordered an ASUS Zenbook from Amazon. It wasn’t cheap, totaling $1415 including tax. When it arrived, it had a stuck pixel. No one wants to drop that much money on a computer with a stuck pixel, so he sent it back to ASUS to have the display fixed. The company has a guarantee that their computers won’t have this kind of defect, after all. He waited patiently for the computer to come back. It didn’t. He became less patient. ASUS has given him two different explanations for why they won’t let his computer come home, and they’ve had it for a month and a half when their own policies state that they won’t hold on to a customer’s computer for more than two weeks.