I recently bought a TV on Amazon and the experience didn’t go to well — until it went great. I thought I’d share a little bit about what happened because it’s interesting in it’s own right and I’m sure there’s someone out there who could benefit from what happened to me if they ever run into a similar situation. Either way, there are 2 pretty mind-blowing facts I’d like to point out:
- I spent a total of 4 hours chatting with Amazon support about this debacle.
- That led to Amazon eventually giving me in the neighborhood of $400 to upgrade to a better TV than the one I had originally ordered.
Before you get any further, I actually made a video of the whole matter (which is basically identical to this article, but which you might prefer to watch over reading any further). Here it is:
Here are the facts of the matter:
- Amazon sold me a lemon of a tv: it wouldn’t connect to the internet
- It wasn’t a Prime item so I had to wait 2 weeks to get the lemon in the first place
- When it arrived the box was so damaged that the people who delivered it said they had to open it to make sure the screen wasn’t damaged (which isn’t good for a tech reviewer since I couldn’t do an unboxing then)
- I spent 4-5 hours on the phone with Samsung support and they couldn’t fix the issue
- Samsung scheduled someone to come out and fix it but that support ticket was canceled after two days and I had to call to find out the company Samsung was contracting with didn’t serve my area
- So I contacted Amazon and they wouldn’t let me exchange the tv; they wouldn’t give me a gift card; they would only offer a refund which takes a long time because it’s days before the money goes back on your card and you have to wait for Amazon to get the tv back before they even issue the refund… it’s the worst scenario for an item like a big TV
- So long story short I kept asking to speak to a supervisor whenever I ran into a brick wall; eventually I ended up speaking to a supervisor’s supervisor, I think… (so at least 3 levels of support deep)
- And along the way one supervisor got disconnected and I was also transferred no a non-supervisor, so both of those things made the process even longer
- And every time I’d ask for a supervisor they would inevitably tell me the supervisor couldn’t do anything different to fix things
- But that was a huge lie even though the lower level support people probably didn’t realize it
- And here is the big lesson which has always held true for me in practice: a high-level t-mobile support representative once told me that the lower level support reps aren’t told what the higher level supervisors are actually capable of doing to resolve an issue (probably so the company won’t be dishing out gobs of money it would rather keep)
- So if you are persistent and keep asking to speak to a supervisor there is hope, depending on the company, that you will find a better resolution — the only question is how long are you willing (or able) to keep at it
This all wrapped up with a nice person named Carly doing what I originally wanted: facilitating an exchange. She gave me an Amazon gift card to help me avoid the hassle of a return (which meant I didn’t have to wait and wait for the money to go back on my card) and the amount was for the difference between the original TV I purchased, which had subsequently sold out, and a newer, better TV (the next closest thing). She also overnighted the new TV to me so I wouldn’t have to wait any longer to have something working in the house — and that was the icing on the cake.
So, to summarize, the customer service experience was long and horrible until the very end; the first 3 or 4 reps that I talked to didn’t understand what I wanted (which was just a quick exchange) but, because I stuck with it for so long, I finally got a very helpful rep that understood the issues and the pain I had endured with the first lemon of a TV and made everything more than right.
It was a pretty incredible 50/50 experience: I was really upset with Amazon at first but ended up being pretty awestruck by how well the whole situation turned out.
As a footnote, I can definitely recommend the Samsung 8 Series TV I ended up with! It works great.