Good Customer Service
So I've done my share of complaining about the horrible customer service I've encountered with Samsung on multiple occasions, thought I'd actually post a few positive experiences as well. I try to be just as vocal about the good as I am about the bad.
I'll start with my most recent experience, with Oppo regarding my BDP-83. I sent them an email last week about an issue I'm having with my older 83 player, where sometimes the drawer doesn't open unless I tap on the top of the player. In the email I made it clear that I purchased the player several years ago, and that I'd purchased it used and as a result of both I knew there was no warranty on it. I told them what the issue was and asked for a repair estimate and timeline. They responded back with an RMA and said they'd fix it for free and even pay return shipping, all I had to do was get the player to them. I shipped it off last Friday, they got it yesterday and fixed it, now it's headed back to me. I wasn't expecting or even hoping for a free repair, I would've been fully content with sending it in and paying to have it fixed and would have still been a satisfied Oppo customer with no complaints. I'm sure it was a cheap easy fix for them, but the fact they did it for free when they could easily made an extra hundred bucks or so off me is going above and beyond. I even offered to pay the return shipping and they wouldn't hear of it.
I've had two identical experiences with them on an iPhone and an iPad, different years at different stores and got the exact same result. When the iPhone 4S came out I'd had the phone for a couple days before buying a case and dropped it on the pavement face down from about 5 ft in the air. Due to the mostly-glass design the screen was toast. I had no accident protection or insurance on it and didn't pay for the AppleCare thing. I went in the store to get a price and have the phone repaired, the guy looks at me and says "Oh that's awful I'm really sorry that happened" and then comes back two minutes later and hands me a brand new phone - so he basically apologizes for me dropping the phone and then replaces it free of charge. The same exact thing happened a few months ago with my wife's iPad Mini.
I was helping a friend a while back do some troubleshooting on his gaming PC and as part of the process loaned him a video card to test out. He ended up over-volting the video card and fried it. I sent an email to eVGA explaining what happened and asked if there was typically an easy fix or if the card was typically toast after something like that and I should just trash it. They sent me an RMA (again knowing the full story) and offered to replace the card free of charge. I didn't feel right having them pay for something that had occurred outside of my control and didn't take them up on it, but the fact that they offered it to begin with is what stuck with me. I have used their lifetime warranty a couple of times when I have had cards go bad on me and in those cases they have even cross-shipped me a new card so I wasn't down for a whole two weeks.
I've had lots of great experiences with Best Buy over the years. I know people complain about them alot, and I will admit I'm a Premiere Silver member and may get preferential treatment, but I'll relay one experience. I bought a Phillips Norelco razor at best Buy, one of the really expensive models and after a few months it failed on me. Obviously out of return window for Best Buy I contacted Phillips, and they said they'd send me a replacement but it was on backorder and would take about a month to receive. If I go a month without shaving I'm going to look like Grizzly Adams. So I decided to head back up to Best Buy and see if they could help out and somehow get a replacement from Phillips faster. They pulled up my receipt, saw that I was CLEARLY outside of my return window and exchanged the razor for a new one without even the slightest hint of hesitation.
Do I even need to mention Polk's CS? It's practically legendary. I'll mention a couple instances that come to mind. On one occasion they replaced an amplifier on a speaker that was several years old and well beyond it's warranty period. On another occasion I dropped a heavy glass bowl and broke off one of the binding posts, broke it right in half. I ended up contacting Ken (back when he was still running Polk CS), and he got me the new parts I needed and ended up walking me through the installation. Polk has gone way above and beyond for me on several occasions, and even though I currently only own one pair of their speakers, they're always my first recommendation to friends who are looking to get into audio.
Great customer service isn't always just about handing out freebies though. When I bought my first Mac the guy at the Apple store took my number and called me a couple days after the purchase just to check in and see how things were going and if I had any questions or issues. I bought a $500 Fender acoustic-electric guitar at Guitar Center a while back, a nice guitar but certainly not high end and I'm not a regular customer or anything. The guy I purchased from sends me an email a couple days later, asking me if everything was good and gave me his personal contact info in case I needed anything going forward. Hell, I could probably write a whole article on the Sewell car dealerships here and how well they treat customers and their take on how to sell a car, but I'll save it to say that I'll never buy a car from another dealer. Carl Sewell wrote a book called Customers For Life that every company should read.
I realize that not everyone is going to have the same experiences with the companies above, all I can do is relay my own personal experiences. I figured with all the bitching I've done about Samsung I thought it would be nice to bring some balance and talk about some of the positive experiences I've had.
Every once in a while a light shines through the clouds, what goes around comes around. The "screw em" companie won't last
I've had very similar experiances with Apple a couple of times. Great customer service does wonders for repeat business
+1 on Oppo, they're the cat's a$$ of customer service. When I grow up, I want to run a comapany like Oppo...
The Apple guy wanted you.............
Good stuff. Also had good CS with Apple and Oppo. SVS is another one, but not sure how they handle things since they changed over.
Samsung has been rock solid for me, used them about 3 times with no issues, even upgraded me to a more expensive monitor no charge.
Apple should do anything a customer says at the prices they charge consumers as they are the most profitable company in history...
Logitech on the other hand have not been very generous.
Sony just plain sucks asssss.
Good Stories. I've had excellent care from Apple as well. My 5 yo spilled water into the keyboard of my iBook that I purchased open box at Circuit City, a week after I purchased it. I took it to a local repair shop they sent it to apple and promised they would call me with an estimate. When they called me, they told me to pick up the machine. It was fixed free of charge. The next one was a 13" white Macbook. I dropped it getting out of my car. The hard drive was damaged and the machine was locking up. Apple replaced the hard drive, keyboard and Back of the screen that took the impact of the fall. FREE (Did I mention that was 3 mos. out of AppleCare?)
The last one is Sony. My PS3 is an early fat with backwards compatible chip. 1 year after the warranty, the machine stopped reading blu-ray media. So I sent it in to get the $100 service. They fixed the machine and I got it back within a week. About 20 days later, the machine begins to have hiccups. So I called CS and they asked me if I still had my box. I informed them that I did. The y emailed me a label for shipping and I shipped the box out the next day. Within the week, I had my PS3 with a new HD, free of charge. I was expecting to have to pay for the hard drive as the repair warranty only covered the media drive.
I am going to toss Abu Garcia in the mix. I have had no questions asked replacements shipped overnight to my hotel room. Not only do their products kick butt but they are Johnnie on the spot if and when you need them.
Say what they will about brick stores, you can't beat the CS dept at Amazon. Send it back, no problem. Sent me new product and shipping label for old one with apologies.
See, I disagree a little on Amazon. I don't call that good service, I call allowing me to return a product following your own policies and doing what you're obligated to do. Amazon customer service is fine, but they don't really do anything nowadays that a local retail store won't do. Now, the policy that they DID have in effect for the longest time where they would refund the price difference if something went on sale after you bought it, I would call that going above and beyond and label that as good customer service. However, they no longer do that, so it's a moot point here. In fact, I've tried that recently and they would literally rather me return the one I bought and buy another one, how dumb is that? I know they do that because they calculate that most people aren't going to go through the effort to do all that, and with me they were right. Best Buy, of all places, actually still has that practice in place, and I think there are other stores as well.
So while I find Amazon fine and buy an absurd amount of stuff from them every month, I don't find anything about their CS that really stands out, good or bad.