Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Bell: Strike 2 - One more, and I'm out.


I know some of you are wondering how things turned out from when I said below that I would be going to the store to fight to get a warranty, but I figured that it's pretty much a fruitless exercise because it's their policy and even after I called support later that evening, again, I knew I wasn't going to get anywhere.


August 20th Update:

My phone started acting weird this morning. It was doing all sorts of things which I will spare all of you from since most of it wouldn't make much sense unless you owned one. The point is, the screen was acting up *again*.

Fully aware that my warranty was a couple weeks from expiring, I phoned Tech support to see what could be done. In the end, they were unable to do too much because it was phone related and not network related. This would mean that I would, again, have to go back to the store and have a repair order placed.

The one useful tidbit I found out, thanks to a more knowledgeable agent, was that any repairs done had, in and of itself, a 3 month warranty, mutually exclusive from the manufacture's warranty. FINALLY, SOME GOOD NEWS!

Sooo...now I have to go into the store, see if they can actually do anything without having my phone sent out...AGAIN. Oh, and don't worry, I'll be sure to let them know about their repair warranty policy.



Original Post:

I'm sure most of you are well acquainted with my nightmare of a story when I had my phone upgraded a year ago. If not, read this first.

Before reading on, it's important to know the following:
  • I now do all my business with the Oakridge Mall location
  • That when I was forced to switch my upgrade from the HTC Dual Touch to the Samsung Instinct, at no extra cost to myself, I was not offered the extended warranty. You can probably see where this is going.

So let's fast forward to today, August 18, 2009. I had just received some much needed repairs to my Samsung - namely the touchscreen just randomly stopped working. On the work order that came back from the repair company noted the following:
  1. Replaced major component part
  2. Full software upgrade/prl & phone reset
  3. Replaced touch panel/tpanel tape
In the past couple of weeks, while my phone was in for repairs, I searched the forums to see if anyone else had the same problem and if there was a work-around or fix for it - no such luck. The most common response was to get it repaired/replaced.

When I went to the store to pick up my phone, I asked what my recourse was, in the event that my touchscreen randomly died on me again. The associate said that it would be covered so long as the manufacture or my extended warranty was still valid, otherwise I would have to incur the entire cost. My mouth dropped. Then I told him that I didn't know there was extended warranty for the phone and asked if I could get one now.

He said, "Oh. Um. When did you get the phone?"
I told him, "Almost a year ago..."
He replied, "Uh. Well. There's....no...way of.....buying one now."
I looked at him with disbelief and then said, "But, it wasn't even offered to me. Now you're telling me your hands are tied and I'll be in the red if my phone flubs up again?"
He paused.
Then I said, "I know you're not aware of the hell I was put through with this other associate, but understand me when I say that his mistakes were so epic that your company ended up giving me close to $500 in features - for free - to apologize."
His eyes widened. He then said, "I'm really sorry, I don't have the ability to add this on unless it's a new purchase. If you've had a previous issue stemming from this other associate, I would suggest calling our customer service support and they can better asses your situation."

In their store, a landline is available in case customers need to contact the customer service support. Unfortunately, someone else was already using it and my phone was losing battery life, so I decided to just call when I got home.

When I finally called, the guy on the other end flat out told me that getting an extended warranty now was impossible. I explained my entire nightmare to this guy and he felt bad but still told me that nothing was possible because it would be considered insurance fraud. I then told him that I needed to know who I could speak with to file a complaint. He put me on hold and I soon found out that I was transferred to the Billing department.

I had to re-explain the reason I was calling, only to have the lady on the other end tell me that she was unaware of the policy for warranties and that I'd need to go to the store, speak to them, and if they were unable to do anything for me, to have them call their help desk support. I told her that I had just come from there and they had told me to call customer support and that I didn't want to waste gas. She told me that she was unable to add the warranty to my account and that it would need to be dealt with in-store.

And so, now I wait until the store opens tomorrow to get this figured out.

At this point, in the event that my phone dies, and it's after September 7, 2009, and I'm unable to get an extended warranty - I'll bite the bullet and cancel my contract. Because either way, I'll have to pay to have a functioning cell phone and I rather it be with a different provider with a better reputation who can give me a free phone with a contract.

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