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.