So, my parents got this TV from me around November 2007. Just less than 7 months later, the screen of the TV is broken. So, knowing that they still had the one-year warranty, they call customer support by phone.
Everything sounds good, but it so happens that the customer support by phone does not offer a Spanish option in their menu. If you are thinking my parents are illegal immigrants, they are not. They are legal US citizens who just don't feel comfortable speaking the language when it comes to technical stuff like this. The person who answered the phone told them there was no one to speak to them in Spanish. I feel for those who don't have anyone to speak for them. My parents were told someone would get back to them, but surprise, surprise, no one did.
My parents were going to let it go and pay for the repair themselves, but I offered to help them out. This is where the ordeal begins...
I called and told this person what the issue with the TV was. She was nice enough to provide with information about my options. She said I could take the TV to an authorized repair center in my area, but I would have to pay for the labor, which we didn't really mind. The company would send the broken part to this center and they would repair for us, getting us the TV ASAP.
The second option was to have the company repair it for us. We were to fax a copy of the receipt with specific and contact information to them, wait 12-24 hours to confirm it, box the unit and tape a $50 money order on it for the service. The company would schedule a pick-up date "at our convenience," and we would get the unit back within 6-8 weeks.
Sounds easy, right? Not really.
So after a hurricane hit us the next day after this phone call, we waited a couple of days and took the unit to the authorized repair center. The authorized center laughed and told us they could look at the problem, but that they already knew they couldn't do anything. They were also nice enough to tell us that these TV's "had a manufacturing issue," and that we were better off sending the unit to the company directly.
So much for an authorized repair center.
Immediately after this we called the corporation again, telling them what the repair center had said. They further guided us to send the unit to them. They asked me to clarify the unit model and size, and I wrote down every requirement step-by-step. After about an hour of conversing with the customer support agent, we headed to a store to fax in the information. This fax was sent on a Friday around noon.
Even though they said 12-24 hours, and they work on the weekends, I called the Monday after the fax was sent at around 6 P.M. To my luck, the fax was not there. I asked the person to check it again, but they just said that if it was not in the system, it meant it wasn't there yet. I was nice and decided to call back on Tuesday.
I called back on Tuesday and of course the fax is not there. By this time I am getting annoyed, and the agent's attitude is not helping much either. He said he would "take my word for it," and starts reluctantly making the order. While he is doing this, he states that the money order should be $60, instead of the $50 the other TWO agents had said. I feel this is a misunderstanding and tell him what the other two agents said. He says, like 5 times, that the model is a 20 inch, so the fee is $60.
Please keep in mind that I had already bought a box, stuffed and taped the money order to the TV like they had told me to do.
My reaction is to try and reason with the guy. Why would these two agents tell me one thing and then this one another? He becomes rude so I ask for a supervisor.
I speak with the supervisor and explain my case, to which she says she can't do anything and that I should speak to a manager. I am placed on hold and after 20 minutes she gets back to me saying all managers are busy.
She tells me they will call me ASAP, so I wait patiently for the call. 24 hours later I call them and finally speak to a manager.
Did things change? Not really.
The manager sounds like a broken recorder apologizing (I know he doesn't mean to, he is just told to say that). I am still missing ten dollars from the fee, my TV is still broken, and I have wasted a week with these people.
Is it above 10 dollars? No.
It's about the 66% of the people who I spoke to that gave me one information that wasn't accurate. If they had given me the correct information from the start I would have not mind the $60 fee. Why don't companies take responsibility for their agents? They lied to me TWICE! What was the big deal in waiving the $10 fee and not making me un-tape the box, add another money order and re-taping it back again.
They didn't start on the right end of me with the whole "English-only" policy, and they only continue to aggravate me. Did my parents not deserve to be helped because they didn't speak the language. For the land of the free, Funai Corporation is very restricted on which customers they want to help.
Is it a major issue? Probably not, but the knowledge of them getting away with their mistake, and becoming accountable for it, and the fact that no one can ever do anything about it is enough for me to make a report.
Now I have a useless TV sitting in my living room.
Thank you, corporate nation.