Fri, 07 Sep 2007

Motorola: Terrible Customer Service

I sent the following email to the Motorola Complaint department this morning. It seems I'm not the only one who has suffered from Motorola's decision to completely isolate their customer service department from those in the company who do more than simply answer the phone. Pat Keene has set up a blog called Hello Moto. Where's my phone? detailing roughly the same experience I describe below. If your call center is in India, and your repair center is in Tennessee, it's not like the CSR can walk over to the shipping department or a technician to get an actual answer. I got the idea to copy Stu Reed from Pat.

Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2007 10:55:32 -0700
From: "Christian G. Warden" 
To: d2d001@motorola.com
Cc: stu.reed@motorola.com
Subject: Customer Service Breakdown (RMA #XXXXXXXXXX)

Sir or Madam,
I sent my Moto Q in for repair at the end of July with RMA #xxxxxxxxxx
(zip code xxxxx).  It was received by Motorola on July 31.  According to
the IDEN website, the replacement was sent back to me on August 17.  The
Fedex web site confirms that it received notification of a package
shipped Overnight Priority with tracking number xxxxxxxxxxxx, but has no
record of actually receiving the package.

Having not received the package after one week, I called customer
service at 1-800-453-0920 on Friday, August 24.  I was given case number
xxxxxxxx, and was told that I would receive a call back within 24 hours
from the repair facility.  I didn't receive a call until 3 days later,
on Monday, August 27, and I was told that it was a "courtesy call", that
the caller didn't have any information about my phone, and that I would
receive a call within 24 hours.  I never received that call.

I have since called the customer service number four or five more times.
Every time, I am told that I will receive a call within 24 hours, but I
have never received another call since the courtesy call.  During one
call, I was transfered to the voice mail at repair facility.  I left a
message, but alas, did not receive a call back.

On September 1, I submitted a request through your web site (Incident
#xxxxxx-xxxxxx) explaining my situation and my inability to get through
to someone regarding the whereabouts of my phone.  I received an email
response saying that I would receive a call back.  I didn't.

On Tuesday, September 4, I called 1-800-331-6456 as suggested in the
response to by online request.  I was transfered to same call center I
had spoken with on numerous occasions prior.  I explained the situation
and was given a new case number, xxxxxxxx, and once again told that I
would receive a call within 24 hours.  I didn't receive that call.

On September 5, I received an automated response that my online request
had been closed as "SOLVED".  I responded that it was indeed not solved,
and that I still needed someone to contact me.  I received an email
response, "Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience this delay may
cause you. You will be contacted back to the contact phone number you
provided for accurate assistance with your repair."

This morning I called customer service once again, explained the
situation, and was told that they would contact the repair facility to
have them contact me.  I explained that this process obviously does not
work because the repair facility never calls me.  I asked to speak to
someone at the repair facility, and was told that no phone number was
available.  I asked to speak to the person responsible to managing the
repair facility, and was told that no such person was available.  I
asked for the phone number of the Chief Operations Officer, or a person
of a similar role in your organization, and was told that such
information was not available.  Finally, I simply asked to speak with
the supervisor in the call center.  I was told that the supervisor,
whose name the CSR ("Nicole", #351359) refused to give me, was
preoccupied and would call me within 10 minutes.  I didn't receive that
call either.

Due to the malfunctioning phone, and inability to get it replaced in a timely
manner, I have been without a phone for about six weeks, and have continued to
incur charges from my carrier, Sprint, during this period.

Your assistance in resolving this issue would be greatly appreciated.

Regards,
Christian Warden
(temporary) mobile: 310.xxx.xxxx
home: 408.xxx.xxxx

Update (09/23/2007): After I sent the email above, I received a call from Dorothy Hodges in the consumer advocacy department. She was very pleasant and eager to resolve my problem. She ordered me another Q, but they weren't in stock so she sent me a RAZR2 as a loaner. She also sent me a bluetooth headset as a sorry-we-screwed-up consolation token.

Upon receiving the RAZR, I checked my voicemail, and I had two messages from the management of my apartment complex. It turns out the original replacement phone was devlivered, but that Fedex didn't leave a notice, and that the tracking number Motorola recorded was incorrect. So last Monday I called Sprint with Dorothy and activated the Q. She requested a credit on my behalf since I had been without a phone for six weeks while still paying the bill. I managed to get them from their original offer of 100 minutes to $10 to $30, at which point I accepted.

business | Comments | Permanent Link

Wed, 05 Sep 2007

Book News: News About Books on Your Wishlist

I've created a new site at http://bookne.ws that searches blogs and Google News for references to books in an Amazon Wishlist.

It uses Amazon's E-Commerce Web Service to find a wishlist by name or email address, and to retrieve the list of books on a wishlist. Then it uses Yahoo Pipes to search for news for each of the book titles and sort the results by date. Finally, it takes the results and replaces the book titles and authors with links to pages that will return results for an individual book or author. It also uses Freebase, a sort of structured Wikipedia, to retrieve a short description of on author pages where they exist. Every page also provides an RSS feed of the results that are returned.

For example, if you use my wishlist of mostly economics books (which also happens to be the default list used at the bookne.ws homepage), you might see an except and link to an article about Nassim Taleb's Fooled by Randomness, one of the books on my list.

misc | Comments | Permanent Link

The state is that great fiction by which everyone tries to live at the expense of everyone else. - Frederic Bastiat