Thursday, November 15, 2018

Technology Doesn't Make Up for Bad Customer Service

by Stephanie Michele (writer), Venice, December 29, 2006


At the beginning of this month I started a new job. Taking advantage of this reason to pursue newness in other areas of my life, I turned in my Blackberry to my old employer and purchased a Samsung Blackjack through Cingular. I was so excited about this purchase. The phone is a camera, camcorder, and PDA and MP3 player. It is able to do wireless syncs to my contacts and calendar on my laptop. I can receive emails from both my work and personal accounts on the phone. I can access the internet. The phone is incredibly light and thin. It is useful tool for an on-the-go lifestyle.

For the first two weeks I was in complete gadget love with my new friend, however the honeymoon period did not last long. In fact it ended exactly 20 days after my purchase. Today is day 23 and I am trying desperately to repair our relationship.

Here is how my little friend and I went wrong. When I purchased the phone, I was determined to protect my investment in our relationship. I told my sales consultant at Cingular I was interested in buying a case for the phone. He told me they were out of them and could not tell me for sure when they would be getting them in. I committed to checking back in with the store and left excited with my new purchase. I invested hours of time programming the phone. I spent several other hours showing it off over the holidays and exploring all its functions.

On Tuesday, Dec 26th the alarm on my phone woke me up. I got up, showered, dressed and prepared to leave for work. I took my phone off the charger, answered a text from the night past and then put the phone in the patch pocket of my coat. I gathered my other belongings and drove to work. I parked my car in the garage. I placed my keys in the pocket where my phone was and rode the elevator to my floor. I got to my office, put my jacket over my chair and removed my phone from my pocket to place it on my desk. In pure shock, I stared at the flaw that ended our harmonious honeymoon. In the corner of my Blackjack’s 2” screen was a cross-shaped crack!! I could not believe it. I had no idea my new little friend was this sensitive. It was in a soft pocket. It was not dropped; it did not experience any kind of impact. The only realistic explanation is the keys to my Volvo (my last NEW favorite thing) in a jealous rage punched my little Blackjack in it’s perfect little screen while I rode the elevator completely oblivious to the fight. This act of violence saddens me to no end however, I could not get the same sympathy from either the mother (Samsung) who birthed my little friend or the hospital in which he was delivered in. (Cingular)

After a trip to the store where I purchased the phone and several calls to Cingular and Samsung the best “care” scenario is to send my little friend to Samsung for a repair that will leave me without it for TWO WEEKS. Keep in mind this repair solution came only after I was given the complete run around from both Samsung and Cingular. Cingular told me the store would replace my phone because it was less than 30 days from the purchase. The store told me they could not replace the phone because it had “physical damage” which means it voided the warranty. They actual insisted I purchase a brand new phone. By the way, you should also know Cingular does not sell insurance on their “more expensive” phones. I also inquired about that when I purchased the phone.

Samsung has yet to decide if the warranty is voided or not. If they agree with the store, I pay $70 to get it fixed and have to deal with the additional hassle of turning on a replacement phone in its absence. I have also learned there are no authorized local repair stores for the phone and even if there were, Samsung does not sell the parts. I was even told cases for the Blackjack were not available at all by a representative from Samsung. No matter how you look at it, someone in the customer service jungle has lied to me in the last couple of days and I am on my own in figuring out the best solution for repairing my relationship with my new friend.

For me, the most irritating thing about all of this is knowing the product was rushed to the market place just in time to capture holiday’s sales and I fell for it. Who cares if the product was released without supporting accessories, proper testing or a sound customer service info structure? In short, Cingular and Samsung enticed me with their marketing foreplay and I left my money on the nightstand. It doesn’t matter if I wanted more from the relationship with them; they were done with me when the receipt printed.

I am hesitating on sending my Blackjack back to the heartless mothership but I know if I want to protect our relationship and reestablish our love, I am left with no choice. I hope absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

About the Writer

Stephanie Michele is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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6 comments on Technology Doesn't Make Up for Bad Customer Service

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By Ariel on December 29, 2006 at 07:39 pm
You still want to stick with Cingular and Samsung after that? Why don't you switch back to a Blackberry?
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By Stephanie Michele on December 29, 2006 at 10:02 pm
I want to stick with them more than I want fork out another $300 plus for a new phone and fees for breaking the service contract....
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By Deanna Meiresonne on December 30, 2006 at 12:06 am
A lot of people I know, including my family and I, have Sprint. Nice phones, decent service, but HORRIBLE customer service. They have snuck in charges all over our bill, and we spends hours on the phone with them every month trying to argue our money back. REally awful...and if you say you want to cancel your service, you end up staying on hold and getting switched from person to person before anyone deals with you. It's like they're hoping you'll just get fed up and hung up. Horrible company, ruthless.
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By Ariel on December 30, 2006 at 02:16 pm
I have T-mobile and a pretty basic Samsung phone (e315). I don't really have any complaints about neither T-mobile nor the phone itself, but I sometimes wish they had better phones to upgrade to. Their choice of phone is too limited in my opinion.
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By Glenn on March 17, 2007 at 11:44 am
I have the same crack on my blackjack. (Front jeans pocket with car keys) I love my blackjack, and have no interested in changing phones. I couldn't live without for the two weeks they want it, nor am I willing to pay $70 (they told me that it might not cost me anything, but COULD be $70 as that is the minimum.. hmm sounds like pulling the handle on a slot machine). The Blackjack is awesome, but just really isn't being supported very well at this point.
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By herma88 on June 12, 2014 at 11:56 pm

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