Little things that drive you crazy

nokia_n95_zoom.jpgOne of my friends says that I don’t have good luck when it comes with electronic products. I agree with him. Remember the Nokia N95 that I purchased a few months ago? Well, there is a rattle noise coming from the headset. Ok, so it is under warranty. I sent it to Nokia USA for repairs, some place in that proud southern state of Alabama. So what happens? After two weeks wait, it comes back….exactly the same. All the repair service did was to upgrade the software! I could have done it myself. The repair service center ignored my detailed note. When I called the customer service department, the representative stated that it may be a normal behavior. However, my friend also has a N95 and his does not have a rattle noise. So, back to Alabama it goes. I think I should start buying FedEx stock. At least I should profit from my own mailings.

I think I will put Nokia on my list of blacklisted companies. Another one is HP. That is actually a little horror story with Mumbai connections. Last year I purchased a HP laptop from its online site. Overall, I like the features of the computer and it is actually quite good for the price paid. However, a couple of run-ins with its service department made determined to boycott any future computer purchases from HP. The first run-in dealt with the docking station that I ordered with the computer. It has a headphone/microphone outlet. However, the microphone somehow did not work. I called HP India and after learning Hindu-English, and going through the whole checklist procedure over a couple of months, both the docking station and the computer’s motherboard were exchanged. Still, the microphone did not work. So what happened next? My friend started playing with the computer and opened the control panel. He then started looking under sound and audio devices. By chance he double clicked on the volume slider icon. Guess what? It opened a panel with a check mark slot for external microphone. Of course, it was unchecked. That’s it. Checked that box and the microphone outlet started to work. Who designed the software?

Another run in with HP Mumbai happened when the infrared receiver for the TV remote control stopped working. No matter how many times I called HP Mumbai, they kept sending me the wrong part. I thought it may be my accent, so I enlisted my friend with the perfect American broadcast English. Nope. Still being sent the wrong part. So, I ended up buying the item from EBay.

I wonder how much do corporations lose in goodwill and future lost sales. They do not seem to care about warranty service anymore. They hide under masses of firewalls: customers being directed to websites, automatic phone services, customer representatives that are not train to listen to the customers but just to follow a script.

I think from now onwards, I will just purchase electronic items from local stores. At least there is someone to meet face to face when something goes wrong.


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