escape (escap1974) wrote in bad_service,

Vizio customer service fails horribly.

In June of 2009, I purchased a Visio 37" 1080p LCD television.   On Tuesday, February 2nd, I was watching the television, it made a large popping noise and went black.  The power was on, but it had no picture, no sound.   Here's  the roller coaster of crap service that I've been on since then.

It's been 3 weeks, so I apologize for the longevity of this.

Vizio CS reps are condescending, rude and assume you're stupid.  They put the price of a brand new television on hold on my CC so they could send me a recertified one and I'd return the broken piece of crap I originally purchased 7 months ago.  I'm not too happy.

Feb 3: I called to start a claim.  I was given a case number.  I explained what happened to the TV and was met by a lukewarm, "We need proof of purchase."
Feb 4: As soon as Vizio opened on the west coast, I faxed my receipt.  I waited until that afternoon and called in to let them know to expect it.  "When did you fax it?"  I told them that morning.  "Well, it should be in the system by now, BUT it can take from 24-48 hours."  Okay, fine.   I had to relate my entire "popping noise" story again, because the first guy had something else in the computer.  "Maybe he was confused as to what you were explaining."  Okay, sure.
Feb 5: I called that evening.  I was told they couldn't find it, and advised me to fax again.  I'd already done so twice.  I was told to call back on Saturday.  I was also told that it "sounded like a problem with the power source."
Feb 6: I called in again.  Still no fax.  While they were searching for it, the fire alarm went off in the building.  The person on the phone SAID they would call me back when they could come back in the building.  Okay. 
Feb 6: I received no return call.  I called again.  I had to tell the story about how it died AGAIN.  "Well, it sounds like the backlight is your problem."  Okay, but why is the TV turning itself off after about 30 seconds?  No answer for this. I was told to call Mon afternoon because the fax should be in the system by then.  "That department doesn't work on weekends."  Okay, fine.  I was also told that after the receipt was in place, it would be a minimum of FIVE DAYS before someone would be at my home.
Feb 8th:  I got a phone call from Vizio saying they finally had my receipt.  Then the guy on the phone proceeded to tell me that my I probably "accidentally put my TV in RGB (computer moniter) mode" and that's why it's turning off... it can't find a computer.  Explained that, no, the remote was nowhere near me when this happened and that I use my TiVo remote.  He proceeds to talk to me like a freaking child and says they are going to send "parts" to the contracted repair firm and that they repair people would call me to set up an appointment AFTER the parts came in.  That'll be in approximately 3-5 days.  

@Viziosupport on Twitter asked for my case number and proceeded to send me these messages: 
VIZIOsupport First call was made on the 3rd, POP sent in on the 4th, posted POP to case on the 7th, called you next business day... set up the repair. I do not see where you would be given varying "answers" as it looks like most calls were about POP.

My replies were not exactly calm at the time.
VIZIOsupport every call to support had me re-explaining what was wrong with my television. Every tech person had a new explanation.
VIZIOsupport tech who called today was convinced I put my TV in RGB and that's why it won't turn on. That's what they said they'd send...
VIZIOsupport... parts for. And no one will call me for 3-5 days to even set up a service call? My TV is 6 months old. No one seems to..
VIZIOsupport... care much that it takes this long. I repeat: NO REPAIR HAS BEEN SET UP. I WAS TOLD TO WAIT 3-5 DAYS BEFORE THEY CALL.
VIZIOsupport Your information is not right. So if you're going to get defensive and imply I'm lying, do it elsewhere, please.

Added 09Feb:

Got a phone call from HD Repair today about fixing my television.   They called me to basically verify my address and then told me that they cannot work on my television because it's over the fireplace and they are "not allowed" by Vizio to work on anything over 5 feet.  They "aren't allowed" to help me take it down, either. 
Also?  That phone call was for nothing.  They informed me that "when the parts come in from Vizio, we'll call you to schedule an appointment."  

Vizio is trying to be all "We document everything and we're super fast for an electronics corporation!" on Twitter.   Whatever guys, you had your chance.
 - My information is the case file, we document every call. For the parts to be sent out a repair case had to have been set up. 
- 3-5 business days from date of set up to the repair is rather quick for large electronics repair industry.
- going by the information i have and implied nothing. If you want a discussion about your service its hard with 140 characters
- with such limitations in responses its difficult to fully express oneself. Best to discuss this with customer service phone... 

15Feb: The repairman came to work on the television.  Switched the parts out, lickety split.  STILL DOES NOT WORK.   He spent three hours trying to figure out what the problem was, but determined he could not fix it.  Now I have to wait for Vizio to call me and tell me whether they're just going to replace it or not.

Man, what I wouldn't give to just be done with all of this and never have to deal with Vizio again. 

17Feb: I got a call from Vizio.  The woman I spoke to was nice and said that they were going to replace my television.  Yay, right?  Well, maybe not so much.  So she goes through this whole thing about how they'll send me a new TV and when I receive it, I need to package the old one in the same box and send it back.  No worries, they'll pay for all the shipping.  Oh, but just one little thing... they need a credit card so that they can put a hold on it, in case I don't return the broken TV.  I was in a meeting at the time and needed to get back, so I said I'd call back the next day when I had access to my cards.

18Feb:  I called back and spoke to another very nice woman.  We went through the whole thing again and I grudgingly gave up my credit card information.  She promised it would be released as soon as they received the old TV back... and the amount they were putting on hold was only what I'd originally paid for the TV.  Seems reasonable, since they're sending me a new one, right?  Oh, wait.  Hold the phone.  What I'm getting is a "recertified" television.  She explained to me that they were just overstock that were sent back or whatnot, but that Vizio certifies them a second time when they come back.  "Never been sold and it's not a refurbished TV." she promised.    So, we're good to go.... I thought.

After getting off the phone, I decided to look up recertified.  Know what?  That whole "never been sold" thing is untrue!  If someone bought a television and brought it back "undamaged and not in need of repair" within the 30-90 days that returns are allowed, then it's still considered "new".  Um, no.

At this point, I'm a little upset.  I called Vizio back and was told by a pretty condescending rep that "maybe I didn't understand the definition of recertified" and that they would escalate me to the next level up.  Okay, sure.  The next man I spoke with did confirm that the television I was getting wasn't necessarily one that had never been sold.  You know, I'm not sure I'm okay with that... and that's what I told him.  Why is it, that if I bought a NEW television and it didn't even make it to the end of the 1 year warranty, I was being sent a USED one?  He explained that "anything after the 90 day return window was considered used".   Since my TV is past that, it's considered used and they cannot replace a used TV with a new one.   So, since they're sending me a used one, they're going to extend the warranty on that for a year, right?  NO.  The warranty from the original, crap-ass television stands.  They were sure to point out that they'd be happy to sell me an extended warranty.  I'll bet.  When I asked if there was anything that could be done to get an actual, honest to God, NEW television, he said that I could PAY FOR AN UPGRADE.  Yes, you read that right.  I buy a television, seven months later it completely stops working and they'll replace it with a "recertified" model, OR I can pay them TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS and "upgrade" to a NEW television.   Seriously?  Why would I want to spend more money on something that probably won't work a freaking year from now when I already spent money on a brand new television that they weren't really standing behind?   He (pretty snottily) told me that they were standing behind the product... they were replacing it, weren't they?  Oh, for crying out loud.  It's obvious that there's no way they're going to do anything else for me... and it's also obvious that they don't really care if I'm upset.   

I've just decided to leave this alone.  They don't care enough for the customer base to really try to work with me on this, so there's not anything I can do.   I am going to draft a letter to Vizio about the whole situation and Consumer Reports as well as The Consumerist will be receiving copies.

Oh, and I'll never, EVER buy another of their products again.  Nor will I be able to ever recommend them to others.

So, here's the question on my mind now.  If they're sending me a "recertified" television, how is it okay for them to put a hold on my credit card for THE ORIGINAL PURCHASE PRICE OF MY TELEVISION?   Basically, if I get their "recertified" television and never send back the broken one, they're going to charge my card for the price of a new TV?  Yeah, that's fair.

(I'm a consultant, so customer service is pretty important to me.  I don't always expect everything to go my way, but I do expect a CS rep to at least not be condescending, rude, or assume that I'm stupid.  I'd like to note that, even though I was upset, I never raised my voice to reps or was rude to them.  Sometimes, all you need is someone to tell you that they understand your frustration and that they will do everything they can to help.)


So, basically, the customer service center doesn't really care if a customer is upset or not... they pretty much expect you to just take whatever they decide to hand you.


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