Will posts up on his experiences with Indian tech support in relation to a dead hard drive; I figured an interesting post might be to chronicle the various times (in the past decade, roughly) I’ve dealt with customer service, where they were from, and how happy I was with them.
- IBM Aptiva, dead monitor /CD-Rom drive, Best Buy warranty. Call centers: American. Eventual result: mixed. The hardware was a dog (blew monitor twice and CD-Rom drive 4 times over life of warranty, plus had overheat issues I solved by opening the case and sticking a room fan next to it).
- George Foreman Double KO grill, “lifetime warranty” on plastics. Call center: Deseret. Eventual result: very happy - the replacement part (clip for bunwarmer lid) showed up 3 days later.
- X-Arcade Joystick, lifetime warranty. Call center: American. Eventual result: EXTREMELY impressed - they not only sent out the replacement keyswitch, but an extra joystick switch AND two extra button switches so that I have them on hand should another go out.
- IBM Deskstar hard drive (through Hitachi). Call center: India. Eventual result: extremely unhappy - not only were they no help diagnosing the failure mode (eventually sorted that out on my own and retrieved all but two files from the drive), they were as unhelpful as possible with getting the RMA process started.
- Toshiba television. First call center: Toshiba support (India). Secondary call centers: Conn’s (America). Eventual result: extreme disappointment with Indian group (no help whatsoever), mixed disappointment with American group. They had service techs out very promptly each time, but it took 5 repairs before they recognized that the unit had a fundamental flaw and they acceded to my post-third-failure request to exercise the “replacement” clause in the warranty.
- Microsoft, on no less than 6 occasions (related to “Genuine Windows XP product activation” nightmare helping people with computer rebuilds). Call centers: India 5, America 1. Result: India is a nightmare. Having an Indian read you a product reactivation key over the phone is like being read Vogon poetry. Seriously.
- Xbox customer service. Twice on original Xbox, no less than FOUR times for Xbox360. Xbox servicing, once American once Indian. Xbox360, three Indian and once Deseret. Was advised (un-prompted) by Deseret service of a very specific call-time window where they knew they were online, so that I would not have to deal with Indians again. End result: very happy with Americans (who could understand problem and troubleshooting steps). Nightmare even getting service out of Indians, who routinely mistyped my name, address, serial number (continually telling me “that is not in system” or “your warranty appears to be out”), and were no help at all getting the problem result. Extra negative-points, alas, for MS not having an “advance replacement” option so that people get a replacement unit quicker. A month without a working Xbox360 is annoying to say the least.
- Nintendo of America (Gamecube, bad disc drive motor). Call center: American. End result: VERY prompt service, reference number to local repair shop (”nintendo authorized repair center”) for free warranty servicing. Unit fixed and returned within 48 hours. Very impressed.
- AOpen motherboard, bad chipset fan. Call center: India. Result: such a nightmare I said “screw it” and went off to just buy a new motherboard. Last time I ever dealt with AOpen, who I had previously (3 computers in a row) been very happy with.
- Bank. Call centers: India, American (local bank), and Deseret. End result: Banking should NEVER be allowed to be outsourced to India. Never. Never. Never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever! If I get someone with an Indian accent from now on, and get a “I can’t tell you that” when I ask where their call center is located (American law requires them to say, Indian requires them not to), I hang up and call back another time. One time having my account details screwed up by India is enough - my finances are too important for that.
Addendum: One minor peeve I have is support/service lines where, rather than having “on hold” music, they repeatedly annoy you about “did you know you can check our website” or even run ads for their other “services” at you. If I’m calling for help, chances are (a) I have already checked the website and (B) I’m not happy enough with my existing services to want to give them even more of my money.