It blows...it sucks...it reeks
April 16, 2013
NOTE: My apologies for the blatant overuse of ALL CAPS in this piece. When I get this angry, the most juvenile version of me shows up.Like any self-respecting tech fan, I love Samsung products. So it makes me sad to bring you the report I bring you today. Why the heck am I talking about Samsung in my column about gaming, you may ask? Well, think about it: Samsung makes monitors for our computers, televisions, smart phones, and pads. ALL of which we play games on, right? I LOVE my 24 inch Samsung computer monitor and I mostly love my 55-inch 3D LED Samsung flat screen HD television. Games and movies look uh-mazing on it. If you’re reading this, the chances are not small that you own at least one of Samsung’s excellent electronic products. And you may very well play games on them.But for anyone currently considering an investment in a new gadget, I must offer you the following warning: SAMSUNG CUSTOMER SERVICE SUCKS. Actually, it blows. AND sucks. And reeks. And very very much…. disappoints.Listen, if you dare, to my sad tale of being stuck in Samsung Customer Service Hell.I have been wasting most of my week trying to get two problems fixed on my Smart Television.I recently noticed two problems with my Samsung television. Since I could not find a phone number for Customer Service, I filled out one of those email forms on their webpage. In a couple of days I received a boilerplate response which was utterly unresponsive to my actual problem. I next contacted Best Buy, who (bless them) gave me a phone number for Samsung. Naïve, trusting lamb that I am, I picked up the phone and called Samsung Customer Service. BIG MISTAKE! Because, you see, I am not on Samsung’s payroll. So little did I know that I would waste half of my week getting nowhere with these clowns. In addition to the utter inability of any of their customer service team to actually solve my problems, it enrages me that SO much of my time been wasted. Let's review: I've been lied to and hung up on REPEATEDLY, for a start. You heard me correctly. I was PROMISED a call back from Tier 2 Technical Support. The call finally came SIX DAYS LATER and to the WRONG PHONE number. The biggest problem, however, is your HORRIBLE Tech Support Protocol. Here's what I mean. I have two problems which (clearly) cannot be solved by Tier 1 Support. But EVERY TIME I CALL IN (and I have to keep calling in because the Tier 1 geniuses keep disconnecting my calls) I have to START OVER and endure the Tier 1 person's ENTIRE LIST OF TIER 1 PROTOCOLS before we can do anything else. Even though I have a case number, they REFUSE to simply transfer me. This wastes HOURS of my time. (Of course, directly calling Tier 2 is out of the question.)Finally, last Friday night, I had some friends over who were asking me about my problem. After the Kurosawa movie we were watching was over, we decided to dig in to my problem just to see if we could make any headway with our hive mind. After an hour or two, we came upon the very elementary solution: (Hint: Make sure the software is running properly on the PC you’re trying to connect to!)At first I felt stupid for not thinking of this problem earlier, but one of my friends said, “No, Samsung’s Tier 1 Supportpeople should have thought of it.And none of them did. Quelle surprise.During my several days of anger over this issue, I actually contacted Samsung Public Relations to see if they had any comment about the desperate state of customer service in their otherwise fine company. A very nice woman actually called me back (that’s one for the Plus Column, anyway) and eventually provided me with this pleasant boilerplate quote:"Samsung is committed to offering consumers the highest level of customer satisfaction and support. We respond to and investigate all consumer inquiries and work to resolve complaints to every consumer’s satisfaction."Unfortunately, unlike in personal gift-giving, in business, it’s NOT the thought that counts. I encourage Samsung to work harder to make the above quote represent reality more closely than it does now (which is, to say, not at all). Honestly, Samsung should study the customer service models of the two leaders in American business on this front: Amazon.com and Enterprise Rent-a-Car. They know how to do customer service. The Force is strong with them. Samsung could learn a lot.By the way, the nice lady from Public Relations has a super-cool name which I wish I could share with you, but she asked to remain anonymous. Honestly, can you blame her?