Is That You Peggy?

As previously reported, I sent my eMachines PC off to the Acer Service Center in Texas to give them one last chance to solve it’s freezing up problem before the warranty ran out. Sadly, after my amazement of having it returned to me just in time for Christmas, I found that they had once again failed to fix the problem. But the (very brief) repair report taped to the unit said that the repair work was covered by a 90 day parts and labor warranty. It also said that I should “retain this letter as your proof of repair should your unit require service for the same issue.” It also provided a number I should call “should I need further assistance.”

So naturally I called the number. It connected into the same automatic answering system I’d connected with so many times before, which requires me to enter my unit’s SNID number before proceeding. This time however, after I did as requested, the system said that my warranty had expired and that I should go to the companies web site to look at the variety of service option offered there. Knowing what a joke their on-line connections are from previous experience (most are of the “pay to proceed” variety), I called the number again and tried everything I could think of to talk to a live person without success. So it was off to the net I went, where the only support avenue that would let me proceed on my SNID number alone (no pre-arranged payment) was their chat line.

The following is what I copied and pasted from the chat window before closing it, edited only for privacy purposes and easier reading. Please keep in mind that I was in grave fear of having my PC freeze up on me the whole time.

Support: Hi, my name is Support. How may I help you?

Support: From the serial number you have provided I see that the computer is out of warranty. As a one time best effort, I can provide you with some information or self help links to fix the issue.

Customer: Got my PC back from service on Friday. Still broke. Paper says 90 day warranty. Denied by auto phone.

Support: Okay.

Customer: Does the 90 day waranty apply as the paper says?

Support: I understand that you are experiencing an issue with 90 day warranty.

Customer: The paper that was taped to my returned PC said that the repairs are covered by a 90 day warranty.

Customer: It also said that if I have problems I should call the number on the paper.

Support: Okay.

Customer: I called the number, and the computer wouldn’t put me through.

Support: Okay.

Customer: I want to know if eMachines is going to fix my PC. It’s been going on for a whole year.

Support: Robert, I can understand hoe you feel.

Customer: Is there a 90 day warranty for the failed repair or not?

Support: Yes, there is a 90 day service warranty.

Customer: Thank you. How do I make use of it?

Support: Could you please be online for two minutes while I research the issue for you?

Customer: It has frozen up on me 12 times since Friday! I can’t continue chat for long!

Support: Okay.

Customer: Can you give me a phone number I can get through on?

Customer: Just in case, can you email the number?

Support: Robert, we have got a voice technical support team, but since your computer is out of warranty, I am not sure if you will be able to contact them.

Support: I will provide you the number.

Customer: The 866-586-2237 number already rejected me twice.

Support: Okay.

Support: That is only voice support number we have.

Customer: I need to talk to someone on a phone. Can you have a supervisor call me at xxx-xxx-xxxx?

Customer: If I can’t talk to someone, then there isn’t really a warranty is there?

Support: Robert,I can understand how you feel.

Customer: That is no help.

Customer: Don’t you have a boss?

Support: No.

Support: You may please contact the voice support later again.

Customer: How, if it’s just going to reject my SNID?

Customer: Do you have a number that will work?

Support: I definitely know that this could be frustrating. I can understand how you feel.

Customer: Again, that is no help!

I honestly can’t say what it was that inspired me to copy this stuff out. Maybe I just wanted to be able to show it to my son who has, after all, given me the system as as Christmas present the year before. Maybe I thought it might be useful if I were to make some kind of complaint about the poor service later. But when my rage finally wound down to where I could think beyond possible acts of domestic terrorism, the humor of it hit home at last. And that’s when I realized just how familiar this situation felt to me:

I want ice water.

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18 thoughts on “Is That You Peggy?

    • So true Poch! But getting their attention only goes so far. They need to be afraid, of losing their job – which requires a boss that makes them do their job, or of getting punched – which requires a face-to-face encounter. As long as the company doesn’t follow up, a service tech isolated from his customers by a remote connection has no incentive to do a good job beyond his/her own good character.

      I worked as a shop/field/phone tech for years, and I always did my best to leave the customer satisfied. But I also worked for a small company where individuals mattered and didn’t have a huge system to be ignored by or get lost in.

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  1. I for one am glad you shared that transcript. I grok your pain!

    I’ve always hated those Peggy commercials. I view them as false advertising. If I was elected King for a day I’d require Discover to prove there is a competitor that operates out there, somewhat, in conditions remotely “similar” to as depicted in the commercials. But yeah, I get it that it’s overblown hyperbole to smash a point into our tiny little skulls.

    Now, after reading your chat, I have to admit that Peggy doesn’t seem quite so far fetched. Clearly the company you are dealing with does not care about you as their costumer. Their business model is apparently based on the “get the money then hopefully never interact with the customer again” approach. If the customer does dare to get back in their faces, then they obviously employee a bamboozle approach, mostly likely with a support team in a foreign country. No doubt many customers simply give up and the company “wins.” More profits! All your base belong to us.

    Buying their product simply traded American dollars for overseas jobs. In my mind that doesn’t make them likely candidates for caring too much.

    It’s hard to know what to do in a case like this, especially when it was a gift. These days I try to Google for horror stories like yours before deciding to buy from a company. If I don’t like how it sounds, I consider myself a “buyer beware” and move on to someone else, or simply forgo the product altogether.

    All companies will act like they care before they have your money but it’s only how they treat you after that really counts.

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    • Thanks for dropping by my friend!

      What I neglected to mention in my post was that everyone I’ve ever spoken to on the eMachines support line spoke with what sounded to me like an Indian accent. It really made communicating the nature of my problem very difficult, and I was never sure that they understood! From the name, I’d guess that the guy in the chat was Indian as well.

      Your “get the money then hopefully never interact with the customer again” comment is precisely why I jokingly suggested using “Peggy” as the spokesman for your “Share Nothing.com” site. “Give us all – Get nothing back!” 😀

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  2. Had a similar problem once. Mailed all reference data to the states attorney general. Got a reply from the state and a couple of days later got a call from the company straightening everything out to my satisfaction. Sometimes it takes a swift kick to get things rolling. You might try that.

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    • Thanks Jammer. That’s a damned good idea! I’ve looked up the attorney general sites for both my state and the state where the service center is located, but I’m not sure which one is appropriate. Also, although the system is registered through eMachines in my name, it was actually purchased by my son as a gift for me using one of his credit cards. I’d appreciate any thoughts you might have.

      By the way, I’m about to post a wonderful video on the relationship between nature and mathematics. Naturally, the first thing I thought of when I saw it was the fantastic Mandelbrot Odyssey video you posted a while back. Just in case my readers haven’t seen yours (which I intended to reblog), I’m going to include a link to your post in my new post. I hope that’s okay? 😀

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      • Thanks, Izaak. Awesome vireo and thanks for the ping.

        File in your state. Send photocopies of all the required data, especially showing the date of the last repair with the 90 day warranty. Also the original warranty. It doesn’t matter who bought it as long as it was a gift. You might include your son’s credit card statement. Just x out the number. That should help. Good luck. I hate having to wrangle what’s right, but fuck em. Make em do it..

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  3. Blahahahahahahahahhahaa I feel your pain IzaakMak. You would have to be a special breed of person to be able to say “I can understand your frustration” and then create friggin more of it !!!!

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  4. That has happened to me before as well — I actually don’t think they have a person chatting online at all on the other end, I swear it’s a computer generating automatic pre-formed responses. I mean, why else would they keep repeating themselves and answering so stupidly? It seems to pick up on what it thinks are the most important words in your chat and then responds with whatever preformed sentence structure they have available. I just don’t believe it’s a live person chatting. I really don’t. Uggh… so annoys me! Honestly, if we don’t get back to treating people -including customers-and each other better, we are going to keep digging ourselves in!

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    • The sad thing is that these idiots actually think doing business this way pads their bottom line, when even a child knows not to trust someone who treats them like that! Only a company looking to make a quick buck before escaping into the night would operate this way. Those looking to stay around wouldn’t dare!

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