Customer Support--the good and the bad


There are often 2 sides to every customer support story, maybe even 3!  Some companies will appear in both lists.  Here are some of my experiences:  (NOTE: You should know that I usually try to fix problems myself before turning to customer support.) Do you have any good or bad customer support items that you would like to post?  Click below to leave a comment.

Any links to software, companies, anything I post on my website has been evaluated not only for how it works, but also for how easy it is to work with customer service.

The good:

ATT Uverse and DSL: My email wasn't working after the DSL was installed.  I had to call and tell AT&T to open port 25.  They did so right away.  Second experience:  my DVR and other boxes weren't working.  I called and was very quickly shifted to a high level of support.  The person I spoke with found the error to be with their system in the region, told me that there was, at that time, no time he could give me when it would be fixed, but said he would personally call me when it was.   An hour or 2 later, he called and had me check the DVR and the other box to make sure both were working.  Wonderful support

Newegg: Whenever I have had any problem, they have fixed it beyond my satisfaction.  A true customer service based company.

Dell:  I have always ended up with a good result from Dell customer support, but see below for the bad.

Lowes: Again, their support people have gone beyond what I expected.

Microsoft Business Critical Support: I once spent 9 productive hours on the phone with their tech support moving sensitive files for Exchange Server.  their tech support was wonderful.  I could pretty much turn off my brain and just do as I was told with no worries.

Crucial:(note: this links to the crucial memory finder.)  Crucial never has a problem with returns.  They are easy to communicate with.

The bad:

Clintonville Electric: You can read about my experience on my blog archive:  here

Affordable Custom Floors: Neither affordable, nor custom.  Completely messed up our hardwood floors which we had to have redone by another company.  I should have known that they did not know what they were doing when they started considering my suggestions.  Showed no sympathy for our pain; turned us over to a collection agency.  They continue to send us flyers.

HP:  This is why I do not recommend HP personal computers.  Their business computers have a very good reputation.  On the personal computer side, however, one client had a bad keyboard on a 2-week old computer.  After about 45 minutes on the phone trying to convince them to replace it, I told the client to just buy a new keyboard.  A keyboard costs HP about $1.  How hard would it be for them just to send a new one.  This was just petty.

Gateway:  One client had a bad modem.  This is probably about $1 for gateway.  They sent her a new one in the mail, expected her to remove the old one, install the new one and mail the old one back.  This is too much to expect for a cheap but difficult to install part on a home computer!  Also petty.

Another client had a bad DVD drive.  She just got the runaround from Gateway support.  She finally contacted the president of the company and did get a new (refurbished) laptop from Gateway after that.

Dell: Like Gateway, Dell has often expected home clients to install everything from motherboards to video cards to hard drives.  This is ridiculous!  I sometimes have to argue with them if the computer is under warranty to send out a tech to do it.  And, if it's not under warranty, I do it.  Note: this never happens with Dell business support which is why I recommend clients, home and business, buy Dell's business line of desktops, the Vostro.

Westinghouse:  I bought a Westinghouse HDTV for the bedroom because they come well-rated and are cheaper.  I bought one for us and one for my mom when I saw how well ours worked.  However, when I needed tech support, it was bad.  I needed it after we had used the TV for less than a month.  I had to send the TV to the west coast ($40).  They have now had it since April 16 (over a month and a half) with no communication.  I called last week and they said they were going to ship it out and would call me Wednesday with a tracking number. I said, "Why not email it, you have our email address."  He said "We don't do that."   No call Wed or Thursday.  I call Friday and am told that it is in the final step of the process and might be shipped on Monday, Tues, or Wed,  and they would email me that tracking number.  We'll see.

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