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Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Sheldon, Jan 3, 2002.
What is the absolute worst customer service that you have ever received?
This is an easy one... from my home builder.
When my wife and I built our home 3 years ago, the builder, or his subcontractors to be exact, installed the subflooring on the main floor upside down. It warped and looks like waves coming in over Lake Michigan along with nail pops.
The builder has committed to repairing this, but... after 2 years thus far, no action. We are meeting him tonite to hopefully get a complete timetable to resolve this finally.
If I ever build again, it won't be with him.
Panasonic- I was one of the suckers who bought the A110 dvd player timebomb. When I called up for resolution I got the meanest, most abusive customer service rep I have encountered. Haven't bought Painassonic since.
This isn't my worst, but it's the most recent and memorable example.
My roomate and I were eating at a Mexican restaurant, when he found a toothpick in his food. A little while later, he said, "I found another one!" I looked at it and said, "No, that's a bone!"
When the waitress brought the bill, he politely pointed out to her that he found the toothpick and the bone in the food, and she just reacted like it was something meant as a joke. She didn't apologize or get a manager or anything. Admittedly, we could have pushed the issue further and asked for a manager and demanded money back or something, but we just decided never to eat there again.
Circuit City has many problems:
Rude Customer Service People
Ridicules Return Policies
Unscrupulous, Pushy Sales People
To make a long story short, they tried to charge us for their extended "warranty" after we said no 3 different times. We didn't notice until we were looking at the receipt on the way to the car and saw that they had reduced the price of the TV and VCR we bought to accomodate the price of the extended warranty. We complained to the manager and got the difference back.
It was a hell of a deal after that (another $120 off), but it was VERY unethical and downright sneaky to try to mislead us.
I have given them two chances after that incident and they failed twice more. They will NEVER see another nickel from me or anyone I can convince to go somewhere else.
I'll nominate Detroit Optometric Centers. When I went in for my exam/glasses about 5 years ago, I specified that I was getting glasses that day, but wanted to be fitted for contacts, to be purchased within a couple of weeks. I clearly stated that I was not willing to pay extra for the fitting beyond the amount paid by my optical plan, and that if there was any problem with that, then we would just skip the whole thing.
No problem, I was told. I went home with a $300 pair of glasses.
When I went back to pick up the contacts, I was told I still needed the contact lens exam, to the tune of ~$90. When I stood firm, I was referred to the manager would told me "It just sounds to me like you want something and you don't want to pay for it!"
I had to speak with the District Manager to settle the issue.
Dishonorable mention to the bicycle manufacturer (who shall remain nameless for legal reasons) whose fork on a $3000 bicycle failed, causing significant permanent facial scars (think skin/cartilage grafts and extensive dental work) to my girlfriend and myself. The owner of the company (I suspect more out of denial than greed) refused to accept responsibility. Although it seemed pretty obvious that human error during the manufacturing process was the cause of the failure, the defendant managed to contrive an alternate explanation.
They ended up paying a little more than half of a rather conservative settlement recommended by the mediation panel. Oh well, a lot better than nothing, which is what we might possibly have gotten from a local jury, or if the defendant refused to pay or opted for bankruptcy.
Like Derek, probably not the worst, but most recent.
My wife and I went to Best Buy and bought the silver Sony NS300 DVDP as a Christmas gift for the in-laws (their 1st DVDP) on about Dec. 8. Christmas morning we get a call and discover that they're not getting any audio (they're hooking the DVDP up straight to the TV, no reciever).
We determine that the unit is bad and they take the receipt and the DVDP back to Best Buy to exchange it. Well, BB says that they don't carry the 300S and basically accuse us of trying to rip them off and said they would send them a check in the mail, but it might take up to 8 weeks
Apparently on the second visit some employees spoke up and it turns out they had about 6 of these silver units on their floor, ALL with the same audio problem. They eventually gave in and gave them their money back at which point they went to Ultimate Electronics and upgraded to the 700P.
After all this we recalled that when we bought the unit, it took about 15 minutes to get checked out. Apparently it wasn't in their computer and they eventually rang it up as the black unit which they do carry.
Pretty fishy $h!+ if you ask me.
I gotta stop reading these threads. I can feel my blood boiling while reading all of the posts.
Yeah, I've heard about the Circuit City scam. My local news did an investigative report which showed that the salepeople were forging customer signatures on the acceptance line for the extended warranties. Then, they would charge for the warranty amount on the credit card. All the while, the customer believes he paid X dollars, but instead is charged X + Y dollars. Even when the customer explicitly rejects the warranty. Actually worse than JasenP's experience.
AT&T Broadband seems to be the worst locally. Their service is so bad the city considering fining them. This story is from last June but things haven't changed very much since then.
Paid ~$3500 for a KP61HS10 61" 4:3 HDTV at Best Buy. (Best Buy was great to me throughout this whole thing, BTW, and always has been) Anyway, the TV started acting up the day after we got it home, to the point that it was unwatchable. We had already waited a month for it to arrive and it was going to be another month for a replacement, so I decided to have it serviced. At the same time, Best Buy placed an order for a new TV, just in case.
Sony's warranty on that set stated, in big bold letters, that it was a preferred warranty and that a repairman would be out within 7 days. It also said that if the TV could not be fixed within two weeks, they would replace it with a brand new one.
First, the repairman they wanted to send out has a horrible reputation. They kept a monitor I paid them to repair for a year and a half and only gave it back to me when I stood in their store, threatened to call the BBB and/or the police and refused to leave. They were holding my monitor hostage, for crying out loud! I told Sony that this place was worthless and that I wanted a different company. I was told that it wasn't my choice, too bad, so sad. Then they told me it would be two weeks before they could even get the guy out here. I informed them of their warranty that promised a visit within a week. I was told "Sorry, this is the earliest they can come out." Fine. So I waited. The guy finally shows up 2 weeks later - a couple of hours late - and tears my new TV apart. He sits there for an hour and bangs on the tubes with the backend of a screwdriver, "trying to get it to reproduce the problem." I told him I had already determined the problem: I went through the service manual, figured out how to run a diagnostic on the set, and the set itself indicated a failure in one of the boards. Even indicated which board. I explained this to the serviceman. I asked if he had a service manual for the set and he told me, "These sets are too new. They haven't made service manuals for them yet."
I printed out the troubleshooting section of the manual I had downloaded and handed it to him. He just sat there like an idiot. Then he told me he was going to order a new green picture tube, and I reminded him that the set's diagnostics said board A-1 (or whatever board it was) was the problem, not a tube. He didn't care. He was determined to order a new green tube, and it was going to take at least two more weeks to get it in. Not to mention that it wouldn't have fixed the problem.
I called Sony back. I told them I wanted a new TV, as stated by their warranty. They flat out refused! The lady said, "I don't have a new TV to give you, sir." I said, "So, you're not going to honor your legally binding warranty?" She wouldn't answer the question, only saying, "What am I supposed to do? I can't send you a new TV. There's nothing I can do to help you."
Note that every time I called Sony, I sat on hold for more than an hour. Every single time.
Screw Sony. I called Best Buy and told them to come get this piece of **** out of my house and cancel the order for the new one. By this time I had my eye on a more expensive Toshiba TW-65X81 65" 16:9 set, and was kicking myself for not going 16:9 in the first place. So I called Toshiba. Whadda ya know, they answered within just a couple of minutes, instead of an hour. I politely explained to the lady that I had a Toshiba TW-65X81 (even though I didn't) that was having problems, and asked how quick they could fix it and who they would send. She told me the place, and it was the same idiots that Sony uses. Apparently this is the only place that fixes electronics around here. I told her that was unacceptable, explained how horrible that place is, and asked what my options were. You know what she said? "Well, we have service centers in (gives me a list of various towns around mine). If you want to call and talk to each of them, figure out which one you are comfortable with and we'll pay them to drive or fly out to fix your set." (!!!!!)
Wow, she had my attention. I then told her the real story, told her what happened with my Sony, and told her that she just helped sell a new Toshiba. I then went to Best Buy and plunked down more money than I spent on my car for a TV set.
I'll never again buy a big ticket Sony item. I know the failure of the TV was just bad luck. Shit happens, and it's nobody's fault. But their customer service people were some of the rudest people I've ever had to deal with, and not honoring their warranty... well, they're lucky I didn't have an excessive amount of time and money on my hands, because I had plenty of grounds for a lawsuit. You know, I'm going to be a real bastard when I'm old and retired. With nothing to do, I'll have plenty of time to make sure people don't get away with that kind of crap.
I can think of a couple that really pissed me off....
First was at Vin's TV in Shrewsbury, MA. This was about 5 years ago. I brought in my Sony Hi-Fi VCR for cleaning (this was when a good VCR was still in the $500-$600 range). When I went to pick it up, I find out that they'd changed some part that they said was "broken" and wanted to charge me $100 for it. I never gave them permission to do anything other than clean it, so I refused. Big argument insued and they insisted that I pay or they'd put the "broken" part back in (it worked just fine before, but the picture was getting a bit snowey which is why I brought it in). Anyway, by the time I got the VCR back, it was so out of whack that it would put a crease in any tape that I played in it. Their loss though... I know many people who were going to buy things from there that I personally pursuaded them not to. I'm not sure how many thousands of dollars in business it cost them, but it's not trivial. I should have pusued it legally with them since what they did was illegal.
And last year Best Buy (Framingham, MA) really ticked me off... they had just started their online site where you can buy online and pick up at the store. So I ordered a DVD... and only AFTER ordering it was I told that it wasn't available at the store (none in stock). I had to go to the store anyway for something else and when I get there, there's racks of the DVD that I'd ordered. So I get in the customer service line with printouts of my online order in hand. "Sorry, we can't help.". I asked for the manager. After about 20 min. I finally talk to the manager. "Sorry, our system doesn't work that way." WHAT? When the customer is standing there in front of you, you do whatever you can to make the situation right. Period. They choose not to. As a result, I've avoided buying things there and I've urged other family and friends to do the same. I'm sure the business they've loss due to that incident was far greater than the cost of a $20 DVD.
OK, am I the only one who was eagerly awaiting Ryan Wright's response to this thread?
This has nothing to do with electronics. My wife and I went to Long John Silver's after church. We went in, and they took our order. I payed, and then noticed a handwritten sign that said "No Hushpuppies". This is Sunday afternoon , the height of the after church rush, but I figured "ok, I can do without hushpuppies.".
I ordered slaw instead of fries. The next person behind me got told "Were out of slaw". Mind you, they had not made my meal yet. I looked in the bin and there was a full container of slaw. What's up with that?
A young girl employee then writes a sign that says "Sorry, Drive Thru is closed", and places it on the window of the drive thru. Not the speaker area by the menu, but the window. Apparently, about 10 cars were stuck in the drive thru because the first person sat there waiting for someone to come on the speaker to take their order. A lady came in and chewed the butt of the employee behind the counter for not having a sign by the speaker. (Mind you, I have no idea why the drive thru was closed. It wasn't that busy, and the speaker system worked fine). The employee shrugged, and walked away.
After 14 minutes (I looked at the screen on the order board), we finally got our food. No hushpuppies, but I did get slaw. Warm slaw. Old warm slaw. We went to the drink stand, and the diet coke came out clear. We told the employee, he shrugged and walked away.
So, I at my chicken planks, drank a sprite, and left. My wife went to Long John's website, and wrote them about our experiences in their comments section. No response. My guess is that whoever read it just shrugged and walked away.
NORTHWEST AIRLINES (Comcast is a close second)
I used to travel regularly and could write a 10,000 word description of different NWA screw ups and still have stories left to tell. However I shall spare you the grief and limit it to this (rather lengthy) one:
About five years ago my wife and I scheduled a long weekend to Vancouver. She was standing up in a friend's wedding so we needed to arrive within a specific time frame. We attempted to use our frequent flier miles to get tickets to no avail. We then decided to purchase the tickets and upgrade to first class using some of my miles (seemed wise at the time considering we had a long flight from Detroit.)
When we received the coach tickets, my wife called NWA and proceeded to upgrade the tickets to first class. She was told by the customer rep that we would have to send the coach tickets to them and that the first class tickets would be issued and sent back to us. I told her I had never heard of this, usually I was given a confirmation number and kept my original tickets, so she called them back. A second rep confirmed that we would have to send the ticktes in so we did so via FedEx.
Approximately six to eight weeks went by and my wife, who was growing nervous as the travel date approached, called NWA. She was reassured that the tickets were in the mail. Sure enough, several days later we received a piece of mail from NWA. I opened it to find what appeared to be an itinerary without any tickets! She knew I loathed NWA so my wife decided to call the service center. Having dealt with these shitheads on numerous occassions, I told her to write down the name of the service rep and the time of the call, which she did. She was told that what NWA had sent was an E-Ticket and we simply needed to present that at the counter. She told me this and, not believing it, I called NWA myself. I was told, by a different rep, that we had received an E-Ticket.
On our departure date, we arrived at the airport 2 1/2 hours early. The line was hundreds of people long! After standing in line for over an hour, they announced that all international passengers needed to go to the International Terminal for check in. I didn't budge until a young rep came by and asked for our destination. We told her Vancouver and we were told to go to the International Terminal. I asked if she was sure and told her I had flown to Canada several times and NEVER went to the I.T. She checked with her supervisor and was told we had to go to the I.T. We walked to the I.T. to discover another huge line. After waiting for nearly an hour in this line, a different rep came buy and started asking people for their destinations. Upon hearing ours she told us that we had to proceed to the regular terminal. When we told her that we had been sent to the I.T. by another rep and manager, she became indignant and told us very harshly that we were mistaken!
Having less than 30 minutes before departure we ran back to the other terminal and I proceeded to go to the front of the line and spoke with the first available agent. I told her what had happened and she simply rolled her eyes and asked for our tickets. When I gave her our "E-Tickets" she took one look and said "THIS is an itinerary, I need your TICKETS..." I explained what had happened with the upgrade and she responded "Listen, I don't care what happened, if you don't have tickets you don't get on the plane!" I again tried to explain but she then held up her hand (the "Talk to the hand" pose) and began yelling AT me!
By now I was so irate that I was certain I was going to be arrested for causing a disturbance. I began yelling back at her at the top of my lungs which drew a lot of attention. Thankfully, before I could reach across the counter and pull her over it another rep showed up. She told the woman to go take her break. She listened to us, checked the roster and found out we weren't even listed as COACH passengers. She then proceeded to write us First Class tickets and ask that we speak with a rep as soon as we arrived in Vancouver! She wrote down the details and included her name and phone number if there were any questions. We made the plane only after I gave my wife my bag and ran (OJ style) through the airport and argued with the gate attendant to hold the aircraft.
Upon arrival in Vancouver, I proceeded to the NWA counter and asked to speak with the manager. I was told he wasn't there and the rep offered to help me. After telling her the story her only response was that the rep that had given us the passes to make our flight was in BIG trouble! I told her that regardless of the fact we needed our tickets home. When she said she could do nothing about it I asked for the manager again. I was told it would be a while before he was available and that we should call them the next day. The helpful rep in Detroit had warned us not to leave the airport without our return tickets and thankfully I heeded her warning. After arguing with the manager and his supervisor on the phone, we were given tickets back to Detroit.
I would like to say that I will never use Northwest again but the stranglehold they have on Detroit makes it impossible.
It all started when I needed a set of speakers for my new budget home theater system I am building. On UBid I got a Sherwood RD-7106 DD/DTS 100w receiver for $129 and a Sampo DVE-611 DVD player for $79. I then needed a 6pc speaker system and UBid had a set of TEACs for $119. I bid and won and waited and waited. After going back and forth several times with e-mail they finely said they made a mistake and did not have them in the wherehouse. this started First part of December and ended December 26th. In a way I am glad I did not get them. They would have worked out great for $119 but I could do alot better for of coarse more $$.
I decided to raise my budget to $349. I went to my local Best Buy and found a nice Cerwin Vega 6 pc system on sale for $289. These actually sounded pretty good and I was satisfied with the price. The salesman went over to his computer and searched and said they had 3 in stock. He went into the back and after about 30 minutes came back and said they did not actually have them. I asked if I could get a raincheck. He asked his manager and the manager said "We don't issue rainchecks for sale merchandise". After giving the manager a hard time about how they should keep better inventory on these expensive items and that I will not ever go into a Best Buy again I left.
This time I decided to really do my home work and many people liked the AR HC2 speaker system. My friend has an older AR home theater system and his sounded really nice. On one web page that does reviews had a little box that Etronics had this item in stock. This was December 27th. After going to Etronics web page it said "Item in Stock usually ships in 1 to 2 days". I was like...YES. There it is sitting on the store shelves. I ordered the speaker package. Etronics charged my credit card right away and I thought for sure it would be shipped on Friday the 28 and would get it by the end of next week. On Etronics they have little pictures that show you the status of your order. Mine made it all the way to "Packaging" and then stopped. I thought maybe they would ship out on Monday the 31st or no later then the 2nd but it never happened. All weekend long I continued to check availability and it said "Item in Stock usually ships in 1 to 2 days" all weekend long. On the 2nd I fired off an e-mail to customer service. Not more then 10 minutes later they credited my account and changed the availabity status to "Item currently not available". They never bothered to e-mail me telling me what is going on. All this from a company that advertises "up to the minute" availability information. Today I have tried to reach customer service by phone but it is always busy. I finely got thru and was told to call another 800 number only to find out that 800 number is busy. Tried to get thru 10 times now. At this point I called J&R to check and see if they had any HC2s in stock. The phone rang once I pressed a number for sales and a very nice person answered the phone not more then 1 second later. He briefed me on the current stock situation and when they expect some in. My first impression is J&R is not only cheaper but has better customer service as well. At this point I want to try and get a different brand for the same price but at this point I can't even get thru to customer service. I felt teased and cheated and feel they are under some obligation to satisfy me....yeah right not in todays e-comerce!!
DEALCAT.COM don't DEAL with them.
I placed an order with them in the beginning of August
2001 and today is Jan. 3, 2002. Still don't have all the
items I ordered, only got part of the shipment. Sent so
many emails I can't count them all. They have given me
every excuse you could think of. They removed their phone
number from the web site. They are located around Denver
Colo. It has finally come to the point that I am seeking
legal advice against them. The last email from them was on
If anyone knows of this place, please let me know. I am
coming after them.