Thursday, September 18, 2008

Bad computer and terrible customer service

This is a story posted on I have seen and heard this exact thing happen many, many times before.


“I purchased a computer in late March, two weeks later it started having problems. Little annoyances but problems. They got worse and I contacted customer service who very quickly offered to fix it if I sent in the computer with everything.. I had bought extra memory ($300 worth). I got the computer back and NOTHING was fixed AND they did not return the extra memory! They kept it!!. I called and was given the run around (over THREE hours on the phone!). TWO months have gone by and my computer gets worse and worse. I cannot completely restart it, the screen goes black, the sound sucks... it won't recognize files or accept updates etc etc. At first the techs pretended to be concerned and helpful but I never was allowed to talk to anyone higher up and there is nothing they can do, nothing over the phone for sure. I was told a case manager would contact me to discuss another fix or a new computer. One tried to call me at the time I was NOT able to answer phone. I called back that same day and got routed to leave message,I did, explicitly stating the times I could be contacted. Two weeks later one called back at a time I specified not to call ( I work nights) and left me a message saying they had called me multiple times (they have not.) when I call I leave a message and they never call back, now when I call it says there is no room for messages. Like others before me, it is always a different person and the second caller said the first had left the company (REALLY?? I wonder why? ha). I sit here wondering if I should try to get a lawyer. It has been two months since they promised to find a solution. I have a relatively new laptop that is a piece of junk. I paid over 1000 dollars for nothing! Their customer service is the worst and it is an abuse of a corporation to take your money and not care for the quality of the product they sell.”

It sounds like this lady has fell into the “cheaper computer trap.” She paid over $1,000 for her laptop ($300 of it was the memory upgrade) most likely because it was a good deal. Why was it a good deal?

#1 The companies support is outsourced over seas to save money and lower the price tag.

#2 When she sent it in for repairs they had no way of tracking the fact that she ordered the extra memory and shipped it (or a replacement) back to he just as it would have been with out the upgrade or (stock condition). This is both a failure of internal systems and people. Great systems and great people cost money. Low prices and margins on these “bargain” systems do not allow greatness, only mediocrity at best.

#3 The “complaint department” is also outsourced over seas where there is a language barrier, time differences, low wages, high turn over and (due to the low quality of the product) a huge influx of complaints.

So my question is this:
How do we stop the cycle of wanting high quality computers for low prices. The two things just haven't proven to me that they co-exist. As an example, take Apple computers. Pound for pound they are the most expensive computers on the market. And while they are not perfect, they have an incredibly high customer satisfaction rating.

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