Monday, April 9, 2012

This is Why People Hate Cell Phone Companies

Recently I read that cell phone companies had replaced car salesmen as the most hated retail experience in the world.  I am getting the idea that this was well-deserved.

I am the proud owner of a Samsung 10.1 Tablet.  I really like this device.  And the device really liked me, right up until last week, when it started taking forever to charge, then stopped working entirely.

No problem, thought I... I'll just call T-Mobile service.

No problem my buttocks.

T-Mobile service gets me to a person who asked good questions then promised to transfer me to a specialist who could deal with the issue.  Apparently if you say tablet, it throws service people into a tizzy.

Specialist mulls over the situation then informs me that T-Mobile is only responsible for the data service - not the hardware.  They'd need to transfer me to Samsung to deal with the problem.

They transferred me and Samsung promptly hung up on me, as if they knew who I was.  So I called back and got a tech whose computer refused to stay operational for any amount of time (he must have been using Windows).  He kept putting me on hold while he rebooted then put me on hold while he researched.  When I came off hold (temporarily), he asked me to boot up, pushing the power button while holding the Tractor Beam Button and standing on my left leg only.

It was at this point that I decided to stop being a mindless customer and start driving a little.  I asked how I was expected to boot up using the Tractor Beam Button if the device refused to boot up using the POWER button.

Oh.  So it's not working at all.

Yes, pretty much as I said when I first called.
[if there were a sound for eyes rolling, he would have heard it]

So my friendly Samsung tech told me what he was going to do for me (because I'm special, you know).  He was going to have me ship the device to Samsung.


Ship the device to Samsung.

But it's under two months old.

Yes, ship the device to Samsung.  Allow seven business days for shipping to Samsung, twenty two business days for the repair, then five and a half business days for shipping back to the customer (me).

Ummmmm, no.   Have a nice day and all that.
I was slightly concerned about getting a visit from the FBI, in case Samsung had taken personally my suggestion to apply explosives to the device.

Several people around the office were watching the show with interest; perhaps due to my colorful language or the way the phone shot across the room when I hung it up.  Someone helpfully suggested getting in touch with the T-Mobile rep.

Ah, the T-Mobile rep.  I like her.  The woman understands the meaning of service.  So I emailed her and she sent back an 800 number for T-Mobile service.

The only problem was that the 800 number was no longer in service.  I told her so.
She suggested that perhaps I misdialed.  I'm not proud, so I tried again.  The number continued to be out of service, perhaps deliberately.  They did reference another number, which I called.

The Other Number took me straight to Sales, without an option for service.  When I asked the helpful person for service, he thought I meant phone service, not repair of the device.  Once that got straightened out, he sent me right to another Specialist.

And yes, the Specialist informed me that I needed to ship the tablet back to Samsung.

So I re-emailed my rep, stating that the number was indeed out of service.  Undaunted, she used her special powers to somehow make the line work and asked me for a ticket number so she could intervene on my behalf (Yay T-Mobile!).

You know what this means, right?  It means I have to call Samsung again, endure what they refer to as troubleshooting again, then agree to ship the device away until Two and a Half Men stops production.  So I did, carefully copying down my ticket number, which I sent to my rep.

The rep was thrilled that Samsung was going to exchange the defective tablet until I informed her that they were only repairing it - replacement was T-Mobile's job, according to Samsung.

I am not positive but I thought I heard the sound of a gunshot from the vicinity of my email.


  1. Guess I won't be buyin' one a' those bloody things any time soon!

  2. I don't want to damn the entire run because I had a problem. Stay tuned for updates, as I get them.

    While it was running, it was flawless.