Info & Answers
Tell Us Your Horrific Customer Service Story
Have you ever hired an installer and received a raw deal? We want to know.
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March 13, 2009 by Tom LeBlanc

We all know the stereotypes:

1. The kids who work at big-box retail electronics stores are ignorant and lazy.

2. The men who work for electronic system design firms (ESDs) are knowledgeable and professional.

However, these labels don’t always hold true. Sometimes, the more sophisticated the electronics firm, the more horrific the customer service nightmare.

In some ways, “I would have been better off to go to a retailer,” says one frustrated client of highly-respected ESD. “At least they are honest about availability and compatibility of products and features.”

This electronics enthusiast with a limited budget says he was up-sold into a Crestron control system unnecessarily. It was his choice, of course, and it would have been fine — if he got what he paid for.

“The system worked after the initial installation, but not all the features were ready and/or installed at that time. The Crestron iPod dock and LCD control panel were not available at the time of installation,” he says.

“The plan was for [the ESD] to install as much of the agreed-upon system as possible and then come back and finish the install once the missing parts became available. I was told that it would only be a few weeks. I was billed and paid for the equipment upon completion of the initial installation.”

The system was completed 14 excruciating months and an additional $900 later.

This client’s ordeal, while frustrating, isn’t unique. If you have a similarly exasperating custom electronics installation story, post it in the comments section (leaving out the name of the offending company).

Tom LeBlanc, senior writer for Electronic House’s sister publication CE Pro, is compiling customer service nightmare stories. In this recessionary time, customer service is king. Consumers want maximum service for their hard-earned dollars. Companies, meanwhile, should be held accountable for falling short on promises. If you’re willing to go on the record, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) (after you post your story in the comments section).

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