Getting the Runaround from Sanyo!

Discussion in 'Displays' started by Larry Talbot, Oct 23, 2003.

  1. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    [​IMG]

    In another thread I wrote about trying to get Sanyo to repair my PLV-Z1...The left half of the image has a green tint, visible in brightly lit scenes. Sanyo phone guy ("Dan")leaves me a message today says they figured out the problem was the lamp assembly. At first I'm not sure what that is, then I figure out that it means the lamp itself. Great! I get a new lamp!
    Not so fast. Finally get Dan on the phone again (not an easy thing to do) and he says
    "Yes, we determined that the lamp assembly was the problem."
    "Great," I say. "So you replaced the lamp?
    "No we did not." (Long pause - he's very good at giving out only the most minimal information.)
    "Oh. Well, Why not?"
    "Because that is an end-user repair. We do not do end-user repairs. It's due to an old lamp. We switched it out with a new one, saw that fixed the problem, and put the old one back in."
    "But wait a minute, I only had around 150 hours on that lamp."
    (Pause) "Yes. It's old."
    "But isn't my lamp still under Sanyo warranty?"
    "That's true."
    "So why aren't you going to replace the lamp?"
    "That is another department. If you'd like I can switch you over to them."
    "Great."
    He switches me over to a woman who has no idea who I am or why I'm calling. I go back to the begining, and she tells me she's going to fax me a form to fill out, to ship the projector to Sanyo. But wait a minute - Sanyo already HAS my projector. Where is my projector now? The woman explains that she has no idea, and she's going to transfer me over to Dan. "But Dan just transfered me to you," I say. She says she just talked to Dan and he said to transfer me back to him. Well, okay...
    "Hello?"
    "Hello Dan. She just transfered me back to you."
    (Long, angry pause.) "Why did she do that?"
    (I swear I'm not making this up. At this point I'm starting to feel like I'm going a little a crazy.)
    "Uh...She said you TOLD her to."
    (Long pause.)
    "I told her to transfer you to me if you had any more questions. What is your question for me?"
    "Where is my projector? When am I getting it back?"
    "You should have it back by Monday."
    "But you are not replacing the lamp?"
    "No. That is an end user repair. We don't do that here."
    "So what you're saying, is, that you are going to ship the projector back to me on Monday, and then I have to ship it back to Sanyo, to get the lamp replaced?"
    "That's correct."
    "But why can't you just send it to the office that replaces the lamp, instead of sending it all the way back to me and making me ship it all the way back to Sanyo?"
    "We don't do that. That's just not how it's done..."

    Am I being unreasonable here? Does this sound a little STRANGE to anyone else?

    Before I can ship it BACK to Sanyo, I have to fill out a new lamp replacement form, with proof of purchase, etc, etc, and mail it to them - more or less the same form I had to fill out to ship my projector in for repairs in the first place. Since Sanyo is the one who determined the lamp was faulty, why can't they just tell the other department that? It's their diagnosis, not mine.

    PS: Even if this is official Sanyo policy, my advice to anyone who has a problem with their Sanyo projectors is to avoid talking to Dan if at all possible. His customer service skills aren't exactly top notch. I make it a point to be very polite on the phone (these people have my projector, after all) and he always sounds like he can't stand to spend five seconds on the phone with me, like I've interrupted him in the middle of his dinner with his family, even when I'm returning his phone call. He'll never just voluntarily explain what the situation is: You have to ask about every single detail, like when you're getting your projector back and if they replaced the lamp, and even then his favorite response is a lo-ooo-ong pause, followed by: "So what is your question for me?"

    Maybe I should have gone with the Boxlight Sanyo clone after all...
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    No. You're being victimized by bureaucracy. I would, however, have asked "Dan" to put me through to his manager or even higher up in order to find someone who has the what's-best-for-the-customer attitude.

    And they wonder why Corporate America has such a bad rep...
     
  3. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    Thanks for the voice of support, Jack! With no responses, I was begining to think that maybe I WAS being unreasonable...
     
  4. _Alan Preston_

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    Doesn't sound to me like you're being unreasonable. What you're getting here is a case of people not wanting to do anything extra (or anything) for the customer.

    I do tech support for a large IT firm, and if one of my customers asked me something which is not strictly part of my job, I will regardless always do my best to give them what they need, or I will contact the person who can help, and either find out the info myself, or if necessary, ensure that the right person gets back to them.
    And, I will call back later to make sure they are ok.

    I would never dream of just dumping them with an unhelpful, negative response.

    That whole deal about not being able to send your PJ to the other department sounds like bull**** to me. I bet "Dan" could easily do that if he wanted - even if it's not exactly the "rules" - he's just being a lazy sob.
     
  5. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Man I got Sharp to replace a bulb twice in my old projector, plus when the second bulb exploded, it wrecked a circuit board... $1000+ dollars of damage the second time around and they did not give me even half the hassle.

    Talk to the right person... usually someone at or near the top.
     
  6. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    Okay, you guys have convinced me. I'm going to call Sanyo tomorrow and see if I can go over Dan's head. Maybe I'm a little paranoid, but I'm concerned that if I try to go over his head, then he's just going to be more impossible on the phone, particularly if I fail to get anyone else to listen to me...I actually tried talking to a different person in this department earlier, and the guy said "Hold on a second, let me check. Dan's been assigned your file. He's out to lunch right now. I can leave a message with him if you like..." So I feel like I'm kind of stuck with Dan...(sigh). Does asking to speak to someone's supervisor really work? I think he'll just say "My supervisor is out right now," or something. Well, tomorrow I'll give it a shot anyway, come hell or highwater. Maybe I should just take the attitude that I'm going to speak to somebody else NO MATTER WHAT and not let this Dan guy push me around...If only they didn't already have my projector. It's so small and vulnerable without me around to protect it...Wish me luck.

    Neal, I take it you didn't have to send your projector back to Sharp TWICE in order for them to replace the bulb? (Twice to replace the bulb each time, I mean...I guess that would be four times. They didn't make you ship it to them four times, did they?)
     
  7. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    If you had heard the way he said "Why did she do that?" you would have known why I called it an angry pause, Dean. The spooky thing is that she did what she did because he told her to do it. Then he gets angry about it. I felt like a charachter in a Kafka story.
     
  8. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    Actually, the best way for me to convey what it is like to talk to this guy, Dean is to respond to you like he did to me. Just forget my first response. This is my real response (long pause first):


    "So what is your question for me?"


    I haven't even mentioned how he got my QR (quick return) number wrong. He was insisting that my fax number was such-and-such, while I was trying to convince him I didn't even HAVE a fax number. He didn't believe me, kept reading it off this form that had me working at a hospital I never heard of before...(It was of course the wrong form. I'm glad he's not a surgeon.) Even when we got THAT cleared up, he still insisted I had a fax number (like he would know better than me?) because he had one listed on my (correct) form. He read it to me and it was just my phone number. Someone had entered it as my fax number. They're really big on faxes there - every time I try to tell them I don't have a fax machine things get very confused.
     
  9. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    Dealing with Sanyo: Part II

    Okay, drank too much coffee this morning, got a little jazzed up, got on the phone, started dialing numbers. Couldn't get anyone on the line with the tech support number I had, so I started randomly dialing extensions, 256, 255 and so forth.
    Got somebody on the third try. Explained that I wanted to talk to a supervisor in the Tech Support Office. Got transferred to a woman named Sonya who immediately put me on hold. Listened to classical music for a little while.
    Sonya gets back on the line...Immediately, she is much, MUCH more polite than Dan, but talks so fast I can barely get a word in.
    Things start off on a confusing note before I can actually explain what my problem is. I tell her my projector is two months old, meaning still under warranty for parts, labor, and bulb, and she says "We've had your projector for two months?"
    No, no, I hasten to explain, that's how long I'VE had it. I'VE had it for two months. It is two months old. (No, I don't stutter, or mumble, or anything like that.)
    "You have a receipt?" she asks and I assure her that I do. She tells me she has to get off another line and she'll be right back to me, so now it's time for more classical music.
    I listen to violins for a minute or so, then she's back.
    "Okay Larry," she says, and immediately starts listing the basic facts of Sanyo's warranty service, most of which I already know. She's telling me all this stuff and I have yet to explain WHY I'm actually calling her.
    After a moment or two I finally get to my main complaint - which is that Sanyo is shipping my projector back to me without replacing the bulb, and making it me ship it BACK to them to get a new bulb.

    And here I find out that I do in fact, have the WRONG idea: Yes, Sanyo is shipping the projector back to me without replacing the bulb. No, she assures me, Sanyo is NOT going to make me ship the projector back to them to get a new bulb. All I have to do is fill out the form for the bulb, which I should receive today, and they will overnight me a new bulb. (Sounds like I even get to keep my "old" bulb.)
    So that's it, problem more or less solved (as long as the bulb really IS the problem....)
    Sonya also explains that the Tech Support Office and the bulb warranty office are in fact two completely separate entities, so Tech Support can't just slap a new bulb in there. That's just the way it is.

    So where did I get the idea that I had to ship the projector back before I could get a new bulb? Let me quote from my previous phone call:

    "So what you're saying, is, that you are going to ship the projector back to me on Monday, and then I have to ship it back to Sanyo, to get the lamp replaced?"

    "That's correct."

    Yes, that's right - my old friend Dan. Who would not volunteer any information UNLESS it was explicitly asked, and in this instance, after I asked him a point blank question, gave me the WRONG answer. So it's possible that the real problem I had with Sanyo Tech Support, lay almost entirely WITH Dan.
    The ironic thing is that I never even got a chance to complain about him in my phone call with Sonya. And once I found out they would ship me a new bulb overnight - after I filled out their bulb form and sent it back to them, I lost the will to even try. Things were going to work out after all, right? Time to leave well enough alone, no?

    Except the thing is, I wonder about the next customer who ends up dealing with Dan. Maybe I should have been more forceful, talking to Sonya, just to try to spare someone else the hassle I went through...

    Bottom line? If I get my projector back on Monday, and get the new bulb overnight after I send back their form, and the bulb WAS the problem, then I'll consider myself a satisfied Sanyo customer...except for my dealings with Dan, of course. I'll just be sure to try to avoid him at all costs if I ever have to deal with Sanyo Tech Support again.

    I want to thank you guys very much for your words of support and encouragement. Going over Dan's head was in fact the right thing to do and you were correct in suggesting it. I'll sleep a lot better tonight. Thanks again.
     
  10. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    Larry, the problem is more than Dan. If the projector is under warranty, then all the other behind the scenes crap should be exactly that.....behind the scenes. If they have to get you a bulb from a different department or even company that they outsource, for crying out loud they should do it and all the other junk you should be blind to. Just my rant on what true Customer Service should be.
     
  11. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    You still should not have to end up flustered to the point of confusion, as Tommy says. Sonya of Sanyo is at least somewhat helpful.

    Larry, I don't know what you're like on the telephone, and so I wonder if you conveyed any confusion in the tone of your voice. Bureaucrats, like some auto mechanics, will seize perceived confusion as an opportunity to give a customer the ol' run-around. So, next time you have to deal with a warranty issue, try to assume a "take-charge" air -- that is, you know what you want and you intend to get it, no ifs, ands, buts. Live and learn.

    Keep us posted.
     
  12. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    "So, next time you have to deal with a warranty issue, try to assume a "take-charge" air -- that is, you know what you want and you intend to get it, no ifs, ands, buts. Live and learn."

    That is EXACTLY the conclusion I've come to, Jack. I think I was way too polite and maybe even timid my first go round. I tend to want to believe that people who are supposed to be assisting me, are actually trying to assist me, even when the evidence indicates otherwise. I hope I'll be a little more assertive next time.
     
  13. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    Larry Talbot my butt, you're Gray Davis[​IMG]

    I wonder if Arnold is on here under a different name?
     
  14. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    Now where did that come from?[​IMG]
     
  15. mark alan

    mark alan Supporting Actor

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    You have to be on a different forum
     
  16. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    Huh? [​IMG]
     
  17. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Mark, my troll-sense is tingling. Cool it.
     
  18. _Alan Preston_

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    I agree with Tommy G.
    Customer service should mean that the customer doesn't have to work for something that, let's face it, they ALREADY PAID for - ie a working projector.

    They should:

    1. Shut the h*ll up, and listen first, because unless they are psychic, they don't know what your problem is until they have heard what you have got to say.

    2. "own" the problem from then on.
    In other words, once you've explained to one person at "the company", they should then do whatever it takes to fix the problem, and only get back to you for one of three reasons:
    a) to tell you it's fixed.
    b) to tell you it's not fixed yet, but when it will be.
    c) to get more info if necessary, so they can fix it.

    (there's probably some other variations on these, but you get the idea).

    Anyway, like you say, all's well that ends well.
     
  19. Larry Talbot

    Larry Talbot Second Unit

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    Dealing With Sanyo: Part III

    First, I want to again thank everyone for the support you've shown me as well as all your comments...I'm sorry I haven't posted a followup in this thread for a while, but I've moved to a new house (first house I've ever owned!) and dealing with that has taken up pretty much all of my time...

    After I started this thread I received five or six VERY friendly phone calls from Sanyo customer service, mostly from a guy named Raji (sp?) who was clearly trying hard to make up for the terrible service I got from Dan.

    Previously, I had been told I had to fill out a new form and send it back to Sanyo before I could get my replacement bulb, but then Raji called and told me that Sanyo was shipping me a new bulb ASAP...All of a sudden I didn't have to fill out the new form anymore. I don't know if Dan steered me wrong on that as well or if Sanyo was just trying to go the extra mile for me because of my previous experience, but either way, I'm glad they decided to just send me the bulb.

    Unfortunately I can't say whether the new bulb fixed the problem with my projector or not, because...drum roll please....they sent me the wrong bulb. Whoops. But when I called and left a message for Raji on Friday and informed him of this, he called me back the same day and told me they would send me a new one ASAP. So I'm assuming I'll get the new bulb tomorrow.

    At the risk of repeating myself, I want to make one thing very clear: My bad experience with Sanyo seems to be limited ENTIRELY to my dealings with Dan. Every one else I've spoken with has been very helpful - eager to help, I might say - particularly Raji. So no one should read this thread and decide not to buy from Sanyo...Just don't have anything to do with Dan if you have a technical problem, is the main advice I would give you. I love my projector and I’m still glad I bought it.

    By the way, when I bought my Z1, the online company I bought from told me to ask for Bruce if I had a technical problem. I thought it was strange at the time that they would tell me to ask for this one particular guy, but as Bruce and Dan seem to be the only two people in that department, it doesn't seem strange to me anymore...
     
  20. Christian Behrens

    Christian Behrens Supporting Actor

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    In Mark's defense, I too have read the exact same story over at the AVS forum, and the guy's name there is/was Gray. Rather strange, if you ask me...

    -Christian
     

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