major store is giving me the runaround...how to get my way?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Christ Reynolds, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    ok i just got off the phone with the customer service lady, and i'm here to ask my fellow htf'ers what to do. a major retail store is giving me the runaround about a camera i bought there (with the service plan) and had repaired. the camera went dead on july 4, and i turned it in to be fixed on july 10. they said expect it back within 2 to 3 weeks, which was fine. after about 6 weeks, i call them back and they say it was sent out to the repair shop, and we dont know which one, blah blah blah. i call the corporate office, and that didnt help at all.

    anyway, i get my camera back last night (tomorrow would make 12 weeks after i turned it in), and it has a new problem. before it wouldnt power up, but now the retractable lens is caught on the lens cover that hides within the camera, so the lens is stuck. i call their corporate office again (may i add that through this entire ordeal, nobody has ever called me to tell me what was going on, i made every call), and the lady calls the store that i turned it in to while i am on hold, the store said that i have to bring it back to them. if they authorize the no-lemon policy, then i get a new camera, or credit towards a new one. if they dont authorize it, they said i have to send it out again to be fixed, who knows how long that will take.

    so if you are still reading, my question is: what can i do about being dicked around? the lady i just talked to admitted that they lost my camera for about two months. if you want my honest opinion, i think the actual camera i brought there is still lost, and the extra time was to find me a new camera of the same model. i think this because my camera had a few scratches and dings, but the one i got yesterday is in pristine condition. so is there anything i can do? it may not be the biggest injustice that has ever happened, but i'm fuming. if they say i have to turn the camera in to be serviced again, i dont think i will do that, i'd rather call the better business bureau. not that i'm the type that makes calls just to start trouble, but i think i have a valid reason to be mad. i've had enough of half-hearted apologies. someone please help! and thanks for reading. [​IMG]

    CJ
     
  2. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    First, read the service contract. Including all of the fine print. There may be some performance clauses for the store in the service contract. This may well be the case, as most stores need some ‘sweetener’ in order to sell the service contracts.

    I don’t know anything about consumer laws in Massachusetts, but you might check with the appropriate state agency to see if there are laws regarding ‘lemons’ and definitions regarding what constitutes a lemon. Most lemon laws tend to cover large purchases such as cars—but you won’t know unless you check.

    In any case you will now have a firm idea of what you can request (or demand) of the store—both from the service plan and from state law. Go to the store with your camera, receipts and service plan in hand. Ask for a new camera that works, politely explain the length of time you have already been without a camera—and it still does not work and your expectation that the store will ‘do the right thing’.

    If you get a ‘no’ (and you may well get a ‘yes’, as it is likely that the store will get their money from the manufacturer), ask to see the clerk’s supervisor. If you get a no again ask for that person’s manager.

    Keep on going up the ladder until you get a yes.

    Don’t get mad, loud or aggressive. Just insist that the store meet its stated (and implied) in their service plan. Stay polite, but remain firm.

    This approach will work 90% of the time. Most people don’t have the patience to wade through the bureaucracy.

    This is very much better than the BBB, which will have no enforcement power.

    If you get no satisfaction, you might try contacting the manufacturer.

    Or you might try small claims court (but again I have no knowledge of Massachusetts law or court system).

    Good luck.
     
  3. Chet_F

    Chet_F Supporting Actor

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    I bought a Sony dual cassette deck that had SERIOUS problems with ripling the sides of the tape within the cassette. So serious that I had it repaired 2 times. The third time I brought it in, they invoked the lemon law and gave me store credit. I think the store was Circuit City. Of course I made the mistake of going with the same brand but the newer model - biggest regret. This deck did the SAME thing. Finally I just sent a long letter to Sony about what it had been doing to my tapes and they sent a check for 7 of my tapes and a few other tapes.

    I guess my point is - write a letter to the corporate office and see what happens.

    Chet
     
  4. EugeneR

    EugeneR Second Unit

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    Yeah, start writing, which is what you should've been doing instead of making calls in the first place. And forget the "corporate office"--find out the name and address and write to the president of the company. He won't deal with you directly, obviously, but you may bring it to the attention of someone higher up.

    None of the above is a guarantee of satisfaction, of course, but it is your best bet.

    P.S. If the name of the chain is similar to the last two words of the previous sentence, I wouldn't hold my breath. They are not exactly known for their customer service.
     
  5. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    You've got the Internet too. Look up the store and you might find that you can 'lemon' it immediately. Pointing out that this is not the camera that your purchased will send out some really interesting questions.

    You should have your papers with the serial number on one of them. With another serial number, any service is VOID.

    I'd also check the camera on the net to see if there have been other complaints about it.

    Glenn
     
  6. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    guess I'm the only one that sees no runaround.
    you sent a camera in for repair, you got it back, it has a problem, they want to repair it again. Where's the problem?
    sure they were slow and they hosed up the first repair, but it's not like they're unwilling to remedy it.
     
  7. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    i checked the serial number, and somehow it is the same. however, i remember dropping the camera, leaving a small, but very memorable mark on it (it looked like a check mark), and that is gone. if it is the same camera, the case is different, at the very least.

    when you describe it like that, philip, there seems to be no runaround. but, the customer service lady admitted they lost the camera for two months, and all i'm getting is lame apologies. i dont see how sending my camera back to the service center could benefit me at all. they are treating me like just anothe customer, which i guess is true, but when they are responsible for what i'd call a major fuckup, they are unwilling to go above and beyond their standard policies.

    the lemon policy is written into their service plan. i have never heard of it other than with vehicles. the lemon policy basically says that if i have a piece of equipment that breaks three times, they will fix it, and if it breaks four times, they give me another comparable model. now if i got my camera back after a couple weeks and it was broken, i'd be unhappy, but i would have to send it back. even if it wasnt my camera, i just cant see this as a standard return/exchange situation. thanks for all the replies!

    CJ
     
  8. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Ok, this is totally 'off the wall', but I just have to say it.

    What really sucks here is that Christ didn't have his camera over the summer. I'd be pissed off too.

    I can actually see this happening. You give it to them for repair, and it gets repaired inside of 2 weeks and goes back to the store so you can pick it up, but when it arrives, one of their employees opens the carton and says to himself, "Gee, if this got lost for a couple of months I could have myself a camera for the summer."

    Ok, that could have happened at the camera shop too, but your store is more likely.

    Glenn
     
  9. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    Easy enough, go buy one, use for 28 days, return, repeat until cam is returned in original working condition. Afterall, they have his camera, consider it like getting a loaner car from the dealership... [​IMG]
     

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