2 Followups On Negative Customer Service Issues; eBay And AT&T

I’m big on customer service. When it’s good I’ll point it out; when it’s bad, I’m also going to talk about it. I’ve had a couple of negative things occur lately, so to speak, and I’m going to talk about the aftermath of both of them; neither has ended well.


by Piez

Let’s start with the tale that I told on this blog about buying something used on eBay. The overview is that I bought something, a Palm T/X, it didn’t work right, sent it back, guy fixed that issue, something else immediately broke, I sent it back again, and then I hadn’t received anything, ever. Guy wouldn’t return either phone calls or email; very irritated. And the thing is I knew he wasn’t going to fix it, and he wouldn’t even think about just sending me a different one.

Here’s the aftermath, since I wrote that post on 10/5. I wrote the guy 2 more times and left a phone message once more; nothing. I kind of outed the guy on Facebook by mentioning his name, but I never pursued it, as I knew it wasn’t going anywhere, and my heart really wasn’t in it to go that route. Finally last week I talked to a lawyer about my options; it was a quick down and dirty thing. He said I really didn’t have any. Sure, I’d paid m money and I had a registered note saying he got it, but if I wanted to file a small claims suit against him I’d have to go to his state, which was Michigan, and for the $151 it cost me I’d lose more money than I’d get back.

Knowing that, I figured I’d write him one more time. In that letter, I threw in that I had spoken to a lawyer, which I had, and that it was recommended that I try to work it out with him, which was kind of true. That letter got a response, and the guy said he thought he’d sent it back months ago; yeah, right! He mentioned in the letter that it bothered him that I went to a lawyer. I wrote back that all I wanted was my Palm back and asked what he’d have done if he’d been in my shoes and hadn’t received his product in almost 4 months.

That didn’t get a response, but today, finally, I did get my Palm back in the mail. The alarm still doesn’t work, but everything else does, and man, I really have found that I need my database and my calendar with me, even without the alarm. That plus it can connect to the internet if need be, plus I can use it as a reader and for a host of other things; I’ll deal with it. So I have it back, but I really still can’t say it all ended well.

The next story is new to some of you, especially if you don’t read my business blog. It involves the negative process of trying to get a replacement phone from AT&T, then finding out that we had insurance where my wife could have gotten that replacement instead, and how the processes for everything were very long and convoluted. I complained that in this day and age it shouldn’t take an hour just to set up on a new plan, or, after I learned about the insurance, to put in a claim. If you want to see more of the setup, go to that link.

Here’s the follow up. My wife and I started thinking about all of this and we got irked. It cost us $50 to replace her phone after I’d been paying insurance on both her phone and my phone for more than 2 1/2 years. At $5 a pop, that’s around $300. The replacement phone they sent her looked nice, a Samsung Propel, but when I looked it up it was a 2-year old phone that they don’t make anymore; and it was refurbished! Come on, they couldn’t send her a new phone after all these years for what I’d been paying for insurance, even after spending another $50 for it? All for the privilege of not having to sign a new 2-year plan?

And that’s not all. My wife loved the look of the phone and loves the keyboard, but it’s a power hog. We thought that the phone was brand new, and it still might be, but the battery wasn’t holding a charge. So I spent another $20 to buy a new battery from a local battery company, only to see that the new battery also won’t hold the charge. That means it’s the phone; sheesh!

At this point there’s no recourse for that, so we’re stuck with it for at least a little while. I did call and cancel the insurance, and I told the guy why. I mean, if we’d just stuck with the new phone after the rebate it would have only cost $20 and it would be working great. Turns out phone insurance is a joke, and that’s irksome. Turns out you can just keep buying new phones, even if your plan isn’t completed, as long as you’re ready to sign a new one, but you can still keep whatever you had on your old plan; that’s what I have now. So, I feel like an idiot of sorts, but what can you do, right?

So, nothing else on eBay that I can see, and I’m going to have to think about my association with AT&T after 15 years when I’m ready for a new phone and a new plan, since I figure the next time around I’m probably going to have to get a new plan anyway. Kicking and dragging into the new technology; thy name is Mitch!


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Is Your Tech Failing You?

I have an Epson Photo R200 printer. I like this printer a lot, so much so that I bought my wife one, and I even recommended it to my mother and a friend of mine, both of whom bought the same thing.

I do have a problem with it, though. It doesn’t like to print envelopes. Actually, the printing part is fine; it’s the feeding the envelopes through the printer part that it won’t do. I have to literally push the envelope into the feeder and hope that it takes it to get envelopes printed. If I’m only doing one envelope at a time it’s not such a big deal. But when I’m doing some of my marketing and I’m pushing through between 20 and 40 envelopes, it’s very irritating.

As I started to think back on it, I realized that every printer I’ve ever owned has been an Epson, and I’ve always had the same problems. That’s over 20 years of envelope problems, yet I keep buying the same thing. I know I’m the loyal type, but I’m thinking that’s a bit ridiculous in retrospect.

Then I started thinking about other tech things as it relates to my computing, or in some way interacts with my computer, and things I’ve tolerated over the years. For instance, I’ve had a Palm of some type since 2002. For the most part they’ve all worked pretty well. But every one of them invariably had an issue. And, oddly enough, I realized that at some point I sent each of them back to the company because something had failed; how weird is that? I love the fact that I can carry all my addresses and passwords and music and calendar and the like with me easily enough; but have I really gotten my money’s worth and had my time be really efficient in the long run with some of the technical issues I’ve had to deal with?

And then there’s my computer itself. Some of you remember my tale about getting my old computer fixed by the computer guy and the subsequent story the next day. The computer I had before that one was a terror as well. As a matter of fact, for all the complaints I’ve had about Vista, the truth is that this is still the best running computer I’ve had since the very first computer I ever had, my double floppy special back in 1987 that I never wanted, and look at all the trouble it’s led to in my life. 🙂 And I have had a few problems with this computer that I’m not sure are Vista related that makes me wonder what it is with tech companies to begin with.

I mean, is it that they’re all following what we know as the Microsoft Principle, which means put it out there even if it’s not perfect and we’ll try to make it better as it goes along? Yeah, I know, nothing’s perfect, but is there anything that any of us have bought that we can truthfully say we’ve never had even one little glitch with it?

I’ve had to replace my scanner four times. I’ve had to replace the battery pack to my laptop twice, and the hard drive once. My GPS unit just won’t update itself online through this computer, even though it’s supposed to, which means that was a waste of $65 to update the maps. I tried to update the software for the transfer of files between my cell and the computer and ended up losing access to my computer for a few hours until I figured out how to get back into it and do a system restore; thank goodness I could do that. I had to buy a USB headset because my previous headset and my microphone suddenly wouldn’t work. One of my external hard drives has bit the dust, and it was considered a highly ranked enclosure when I bought it. I can’t count how many hard drives I’ve lost over the years. And I’ve had to replace two monitors in my lifetime.

Am I expecting too much in my tech, or do many of you feel the same way? And, not that I’m going to change all that immediately, but is there a printer out there that’s not a HP (let’s not even go into why I’m not buying a HP) that will easily load envelopes so I can remove that bit of minor stress from my life in the future, that also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?

SeeThru Hard Shell Case for BlackBerry Storm - Red

SeeThru Hard Shell Case for BlackBerry Storm – Red

Price – $25.99


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