I am posting because as I indicated to the Philips Technical Support supervisor I spoke with today, "I feel morally obligated to inform other PVR customers about my [terrible] experience with Philips." When considering a PVR and perhaps any electronic device purchase I now believe consumers should take into consideration the company's technical support. This is my first PVR purchase and I didn't realize how much it would change my TV viewing habits, nor how would I feel being told I would be without the device for 4 weeks.
The saga began on March 14th, when I called Philips and indicated that my device (an HDRW720/17) would power on as normal for 30 seconds and then it would power off with the red light around the DVD drive, white TV guide light and the red recording light all on at the same time. I had followed the instructions in the manual to reset it, and to factory reset it, but neither had worked. The customer service rep I spoke with put me on hold and then told me that the device would need to be RMAed. He also indicated that the RMA process can take 4 weeks (shipping time included) and that somebody from "Philips would be calling me today or tomorrow with the RMA information". I was shocked, not only would it take 4 weeks but I had to wait at least another day to ship it off because they couldn't generate an RMA number on the spot. On March 15th I was eagerly expecting a call from Philips that never came. Naturally I called when I got home from work, after 5 PST and Philips customer support which is in Atlanta, 8 EST. I spoke to another representative who put me on hold while he setup the RMA. What was the first rep talking about then? I wondered and still wonder. I shipped the device on the 16th.
Today, while on vacation, I called Philips to check on the status of the RMA. This seemed like a reasonable thing to me. I spoke with a representative who said they need the UPS tracking number, I guess the case / RS number and RMA number weren't enough. I indicated that I didn't have that with me and he said he would have somebody check on the status and call me back within the hour. Philips met my expectations and I did not receive a call back from anyone. I called back 2 hours later and spoke with a different representative, with the same name I believe, who gave me the number for the "exchange desk" and told me to call them to find out the info. I asked to speak to a supervisor because I felt like I had been misinformed if not lied to twice. He put me on hold while he talked to a supervisor for me. He started talking about how I could call the exchange desk but they wouldn't be much help without the tracking number. I told him I didn't want him to talk to the supervisor for me, I wanted to do it myself.
I've worked in tech support and we had something called penalty hold to allow customers to cool off. I must have been on penalty hold for about 30 minutes and it almost worked. I started telling the supervisor about my experience with people (I named names as I have been keeping track of them) misinforming me and my dissapointment in the length of the RMA process. He indicated he would look into it from an administrative stand point and that the RMA process usually takes 10 business days after receiving the device. He said he has seen it take up to a month. I asked about the 12 month warranty and how my RMA effects it. He said it didn't, I responded by asking him if I bought a device with an 11 month warranty, and he said in this case "technically yes". We also had some discussion about what happens next, specifically whether or not I would be notified when the device shipped to me. Basically the message was to "wait 10 business days" and if the device doesn't show up call back. I told him how I felt "morally obligated to tell people about my experience" and he stuck with the wait 10 business days thing.
So here I am sharing my experience with their support or lack there of. There have only been 2 other times where I have felt like I was lied to so much and just screwed. Once was by my Marine Corps recruiter and the other was by Bowflex. At least Bowflex had the decency to cross-ship my replacement parts.
While I know this is the most visited place for information on AVS products, where else should I post about my experience? Naturally, I will let you all know what happens at the end of 10 business days.
BTW, I have called Philips before I setup the RMA and that experience wasn't much better.