Monday, August 12, 2013

So Long, TCW Computer Systems. Never again.

I've been on the receiving end of some pretty shoddy customer service in my day, but today... today the golden award of incredibly horrendous service was shoveled my way, and although I paid the money, I'm getting it off my chest.
In the past 5 years we've had all of the business and household computers repaired at TCW (Manheim PA) several times, and even purchased equipment from them.  It's convenient.  They're right around the corner.  Along the way there have been several issues, at one point even prompting me to ask in all seriousness, "Am I in the wrong place?  Do you only want large business customers?"  But I was assured that it was just a series of miscommunications and that they very much wanted my business.
So we continued to go there.
Three months ago, the letters on my four month old laptop keyboard began to wear off.  Having purchased it there, I called to ask about whether they would replace it since it was so new.  The technician took the make and model number of the laptop, and told me that there would be no charge and that he would order the part.  I specifically asked if there would be a charge.  I was specifically told that there would be NO charge.
Weeks pass (3), and I call again.  "Oh, didn't anyone call you?" the receptionist said.  "That part is no longer available, so we have to order something similar.  We'll order that in.  It will take about a month and we'll call you."  No mention of a price.
Miraculously, they did call.  To tell me that it would be another month.  At that point I started to wonder if we were just running out the clock.  No mention of a price.
The part came in a couple of weeks early, and I took it in last Friday about 2 pm.  The technician said it would be about 1/2 hour, and he'd call me to pick it up.  Around 5:30 I realized the computer would be away for the weekend.  No mention of a price.

Imagine my surprise when I was presented with a bill for $92.17 today!

When I said that I specifically was told that there would be no charge, the answer was that they aren't authorized to work on warranty work for HP, so they couldn't possibly do it without charge, and that I should have taken it to an HP shop.  AND I WOULD KNOW THAT, HOW??? Perhaps the technician who told me it wouldn't cost anything might have mentioned that detail?  Oh, and by the way, she said, the keyboard wasn't *really* defective, it still worked.  She would take off the $31.95 in labor.  She said that it was an unfortunate "miscommunication."  Well see, I have a problem with that.  Where I come from, a miscommunication means that one person says something, and the other person hears something else.  That didn't happen.  So as far as I'm concerned - it was a lie, not a miscommunication.  In the meantime, she was holding the laptop behind the desk, out of my reach.  There was no way I was getting that equipment without paying for it.  I told her I would never be back, though never raised my voice or anything like that.  She ignored me, and ran my card through.
For $58.30, they turned away a lifetime of possible business from me, my family, and anyone I get a chance to tell.
I've spent years in customer service, working for others and now in self employment.  I hope I never get so busy and have so much business that I'm willing to scam a customer out $50.  I need and respect my customers far too much to scramble for change.

1 comment:

Cyndia said...

Oh where did real customer service go??? The way of the dodo, it seems!
I totally feel your pain. We have had Comcast for over 15 years, paying over $100 a month each month for Internet and cable. The last couple of years, service has dropped in and out, sometimes for a day or two at a time. We would occasionally call and they'd credit us for the time we were offline.
In May, we lost cable and Internet service for 5 days. During that time, I called for someone to come out for a service call. During said call, the technician said it was their equipment, and he would replace it with no charge to us for his time or the equipment. I didn't pay attention, so it wasn't until Juky that I realized we had been billed $60 for a service call, AND they had started double billing us for a cable modem! I called, and called, and explained until I was blue in the face. Finally I was told that the matter was sent to conflict resolution and I would be called back with their findings on a specific day. That day came and went with no call. I called back; still a runaround. At that point, we decided to cancel our service for someone new. It took over an hour and talking to FIVE people to cancel our service, and to inform them I was expecting a full refund for what I had already paid and the credit due us. That was a week ago. Hubby just checked tonight and the service is still connected, despite the equipment being returned and promises that it would be stopped that evening.
I have worked in customer service in one form or another for over 35 years. That was by far the worst customer service I have ever been exposed to. Is this now the new norm???