Friday, November 6, 2009

Polaroid--Worst Customer Service EVER

I try really hard to find the positive in most things but this time I just really can't find it in me to be understanding. A few years ago my sweet husband purchased an awesome very durable portable DVD player with a great 10 inch screen. This thing is great! We've taken it everywhere! In nearly four years of use, we've had no problems until....the AC power adapter cord took all the abuse it could handle. It looks as if the cord got pinched or crimped in one place. The wires inside must have broken. Without the AC adapter the DVD player does not work. So I tried to get another power cord. Unfortunately Polaroid has made sure that you cannot get an adapter without the Polaroid brand on it to fit its DVD player. So I went to armed with my DVD user guide so I could locate my exact model of DVD player. Not listed anywhere on the site as if they have never before heard of the item. hmmmm....kay....what to do? Well, I called 1 800 POLAROID--the number listed on the site. Ummmm......disconnected....well, okay....frustrating.....I found the customer service number listed in my user guide and called it.

Sol answered and immediately misunderstood every other syllable I uttered. I asked if he was having difficulty hearing me since he kept interuppting to misquote something I said.
Maybe we have a bad connection and I should call back?
No, I'll just push through it best I can.
[Weird because suddenly I actually had his attention and he could hear me.] I need a new AC adaptor for my DVD player.
What happened to the other one?
Well it's broken.
Then we go through the rigamarole of me giving him the model number and serial number of the DVD, he puts me on hold and he comes back
Does your AC adapter have a cord that plugs into it?
No it's one piece.
It's one piece? [He says like he can't believe it.]  Is there a box on it?
Yes there is a box.
Well then there must be a cord that connects the box to the DVD player.
Yes there is and it is all one piece. If you start at the DVD player connection the cord runs to the box and from there the cord runs out of the box to the prongs that you plug into the wall. None of it comes apart at least I don't think.
It doesn't? [incredulous]
So I start pulling to see if anything will come undone and quickly flip through my book to see if I'm supposed to take it apart.
Um, there's nothing in the book about it coming apart or putting it together. Wouldn't that be in the book?Hmm...hang on. [I'm put on hold for a bit] I think I found one that might work.
Think? Might work? Does that sound promising to you? Then I actually say, "would it help you if I read you the part number off my AC adapter?"
I read the part number. He sounds perplexed and says um okay hang on......comes back again and says okay well I've got one like that. that? And I say out loud, Is it the same part?
Oh yeah, it's that part. Oh, okay, great! I'd like to order it.
Well, okay but first you have to agree to our terms of sales...."All sales are final. If the part does not fix your tv, we are not held responsible. Accessories carry a thirty day warranty. There is no warranty on parts." Huh? Wait a minute. If you send me the wrong part, the sale is still final?
Ma'am [in tone of exasperation] I'm not going to send you the wrong part.
So you are 100% positive that the part you are sending me is the right replacement.
Ma'am you told me the part number and I got one of those.
Well, okay.
Okay ma'am I am going to transfer you to order processing.
Then order processing takes over, takes all my information, and does not ask me what shipping option I'd like and then says okay here's your transaction number do you have any questions?
Oh yes how long will it take for the part to arrive?
Oh 10-12 business days Ma'am.
Huh? Oh well can I pay extra and have it shipped a little faster?
No ma'am.
So I get off the phone and decide there's got to be something faster. I googled the specific part number and guess what? I can get in 2-3 business days from another company. Great. I'll just cancel the Polaroid order. It's been less than 10 mintues since I ordered. First I spoke to Michelle who reminded that I agreed to their non-return policy.
Um yes but I have not received the part and would like to cancel the order within 10 minutes of placing it.
Sorry ma'am. We don't cancel orders.
Wait a minute. You did not bother to tell me that I would have to wait three weeks to get my part until after I placed my order and even then only when I asked.
Too bad.
No  I don't think so. You can't have someone agree to something prior to telling them all the terms which includes how long it takes to ship.
Ma'am we don't know for sure it will be three weeks. It could be less. It could be longer. It just depends on how many orders we get that day.
What?!!? Look it's been less than 10 minutes, please just cancel my order.
Uh, you're gonna have to hold.....Ma'am we won't cancel your order. We don't do that.
[My head is about to explode.] May I speak to a supervsior?
You can but he won't cancel it either.
Well I would still like to try.
Ma'am he's not going to cancel your order.
Um, okay but go ahead and get him.
Well, okay, you're gonna have to hold.
Next up is Hans.
Ma'am I am a supervisor and we do not cancel orders. You agreed to our policy.
Yes, but that was before anyone told me that it would be three weeks before I got my order.
Ma'am, noone said three weeks.
No, she said 10-12 business days and the holidays are coming and in real time that turns out to be about three weeks.
Ma'am you might have your product faster.
Well, I have found another place that I can order it from and they will actually tell me when I can expect to receive it and it's more like 2-3 days.
Ma'am it takes 24 hours to process your credit card alone and we can't do anything with your order until we receive the funds from your credit card.
Great! Since it had been less than 10 minutes between my order placing and my calling back you have not processed my credit card so there's been no sale so please just cancel the order.
You just said that you will not process my order for at least 24 hours. Since it's been much less than that, you should be able to easily cancel the order.
Look, you told me that you don't process the credit card for 24 hours, right?
Well it has not been 24 hours. Please cancel the order.
Fine, I'll cancel the order but you're going to be back.
Why do you say that?
You'll see.
Do you know something about the part I'm buying?
Well, you'll find out. I've cancelled your order. Goodbye.
Wait a minute. Can you tell me why you would say that?
Oh you will see.
Um, that's kind of rude.
I'm not being rude. I cancelled your order. Goodbye.
I asked to speak to his supervisor about his parting comments but he claimed that he did not have one. Dave told me to just leave it alone so I hung up.
I'm telling everybody I know. Polaroid products are good but their customer, not well trained....overworked...bad policies...just lots of problems there.

***Update: I received a confirmation email today for a part that was not even the one I wanted to order. It has the nifty link to their terms and conditions website where it says "Once an order is submitted it can only be cancelled before it is processed and shipped. Please call Customer Support at the number listed below." Again it had only been 10 minutes since I placed my order when I called back and the manager acknowledged that it would not have been processed for another 24 hours. Goofy people don't know their own policies. Interesting though that the email did not come from Polaroid but Digital Support Desk. Subsidiary of Polaroid? Or maybe someone who Polaroid contracts to do non-support?


Matt said...

Wow, that's some classic poor service! Congrats, Polaroid! You won't be getting my business.

Incidentally, if you placed an order with a credit card and the business hassles you about canceling, replacing, refunding, or whatever, just call up your credit card company, explain the problem, and they'll remove the charge and take care of it.

Marie said...

Thanks for the info, Matt. I just did not want the whole hassle, you know?

Tony M said...

I agree on the "call your credit card company" thing. And maybe tell Polaroid you're going to file a complaint w/ the BBB.

I must admit, though, I think I got worse customer "service" (that is REALLY in quotes) from Magellan regarding a handheld GPS Receiver.

Tony M said...

PS: Sorry for your frustration. I fully understand!

Marie said...

Worse than that, Tony? Must have been bad. This kind of stuff really irks me but I think the best thing to do is tell as many people as I can about the experience just like I tell as many people as I can about good products and services. Word of mouth advertising. It can be good or bad.

Nicki said...

Looks like Polaroid got their CS training from Blue Cross Blue Shield or BellSloth (before being bought by AT&T of course).

I agree with Matt, anyone who does business like that would definitely NOT be getting my business.

Marie said...

Nicki, oh ugh, BCBS and Bellsouth? I guess I could give Polaroid props for actually answering the phone rather than keeping me on terminal hold!