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DIY customer service

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
This is what customer service is coming to:

I bought a new laptop about two months ago and started having problems with the caps lock function. customer service had me reinstall the keyboard device driver. That didn't work. On a second online chat with customer service, the tech support person authorized a replacement keyboard, which will be sent direct to me so that I can install it myself.

Now, I've had a laptop apart, and I don't think replacing a keyboard is a task suited for the average person. This is something you'd normally take the computer in to a warranty service center. But this just points up what customer service is trending to:

First, the live telephone support was replaced with online FAQs, knowledgebases, and web-page help tickets. If you have a problem, find out the solution yourself. Now it appears the DIY trend has overtaken equipment repair. They send you the part and an instruction sheet, and you fix it yourself.

Anybody else have this experience, too?
post #2 of 19
Personally I would love it if people would send me the part and let me fix it myself than sending my computer away, but I agree, for the average person that is not a great solution
post #3 of 19
I'm shocked anytime I experience the "olden days" type of customer service. I think before long it will be gone for good. My electronics store of preference is Circuit City and it is because they still have *real* customer service. I go there even though they don't always have best price.
post #4 of 19
Ok, now, I may be confused, but you're talking about a whole new keyboard right? Where you just have to unhook the first one and hook up the new one. I'm not sure how that is bad customer service. I mean, they didn't come to your home to hook up the computer for you in the first place, right? So, if you could hook it up the first time, why couldn't you switch out keyboards on your own?

Now, if you're talking a component that goes IN the computer, that is something else. I'm basically computer illiterate (which is why I'm asking you to verify) but even I know how to change keyboards, hook up a computer, etc.

But, I agree. For the most part you have to troubleshoot on your own anymore.
post #5 of 19
I think he's talking about a laptop.

There is no such thing as customer service anymore. People are lazy and have no incentive to be nice to the customer, let alone go by the old adage of "the customer is always right".
post #6 of 19
Um, any response that would require me to actually take a screwdriver to fix a brand new laptop would be followed by "And what service center will you be paying to install this for me?" That is utterly ridiculous! What if you were physically unable to? Good grief!
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
There is no such thing as customer service anymore. People are lazy and have no incentive to be nice to the customer, let alone go by the old adage of "the customer is always right".
I agree 100%

People are lazy, when it comes to computers you were probably talking to someone in a different country who said his name is "Sam", so he can't come to your house and help you. Plus there are waaaaayy to many people in customer service that shouldn't be, but thanks to this economy are.

Good luck, I've replaced laptop keyboards and they were a pain in my rear.
post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
I'm shocked anytime I experience the "olden days" type of customer service. I think before long it will be gone for good. My electronics store of preference is Circuit City and it is because they still have *real* customer service. I go there even though they don't always have best price.
There are those who say the little store can't compete with Best Buy, Wal-Mart, etc.

Hooey. People have shown they are willing to pay more for better service.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I think he's talking about a laptop.

There is no such thing as customer service anymore. People are lazy and have no incentive to be nice to the customer, let alone go by the old adage of "the customer is always right".
Though I place this firmly in the upper management's responsibilities. They're the ones who think customer service is expendable. Their policies force the direct customer contacts to be quick and on to the next call immediately. And if someone does try to help past the minimum, he is penalized. It isn't the quality of the care, but how quickly and cheaply they can do it.
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
I think he's talking about a laptop.
Oops....sorry. I missed that part. In that case, I wouldn't touch it with a 10 ft pole! See, I told you I was computer illiterate!! I have problems figuring out how to even OPEN my mom's old laptop!
post #11 of 19
I would have said
"so if I mess up while following your instructions, you'll send me a brand-new laptop right?"
post #12 of 19
I know this is pathetic, but I actually complimented someone the other day because she actually counted change back to me properly instead of handing me a wad of bills and change like 99% of cashiers.

I think that customer service has disappeared with the huge corporations. If you have a mom and pop store, they depend on customers coming to that one store, so they are polite and nice and have good service (mostly). If you have a company like Home Depot or Wal-Mart that has thousands of stores and zillions of customers, what does it matter if they alienate a customer or two with lack of service. It won't hurt them to lose customers like it would hurt a local mom and pop store.
post #13 of 19
Living in a small town I get GREAT CS here but hate having to go to the city nearby cause I know I wont
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cata_mint View Post
I would have said
"so if I mess up while following your instructions, you'll send me a brand-new laptop right?"
Actually, I did ask if the warranty would be voided, and I was told no, which really surprised me. I suppose over the long term, it's cheaper to just replace the occasional computer someone wrecks than to have to pay for them to be sent in to a service center, repaired, and shipped back.
post #15 of 19
Really? Well I guess they couldn't ask you to do something that would void the warranty. Will you give it a go?
post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 
Sure, why not? I like taking stuff apart. And if I'm not too good at putting it back together, why, then it's their problem. They told me to do it.
post #17 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well, I got the new keyboard installed. It was an interesting experience. But first off, I should say that I was pleasantly surprised at customer service at this (unnamed) computer company. I communicated via the online chat, and each time I used the chat support, I was number one or two in the queue, didn't wait more than a couple minutes, and the support techs were knowledgeable and helpful.

The keyboard arrived about a week after it was ordered. It was minus the instructions, so I had to go back to support to get a link to download the pdf. The instructions were clear and easy to follow. Except there was one extra screw holding the keyboard that they didn't mention.

It's incredible how tiny everything is in there. Maybe they NEED to be made in China. American fingers are too big and clumsy. And even with reading glasses, it was a strain. Getting the old keyboard out wasn't too hard, though I could see some parts getting broken in the process if you don't understand how these things snap together. Getting the new keyboard in was a bit dicier. I broke the motherboard socket the keyboard cable clips into. There's a tiny little retaining clip on the socket that came out, and when I tried to put it back in, the little flanges on both ends of the socket that hold the clip broke off. Those big clumsy American fingers!! I almost gave up at this point, but with a little more patience, and a small strip of black electrical tape, I got the cable into the socket and stuck in place with the tape. I wonder how long that's going to hold -- probably until the day after the warranty expires.

Anyway, the end of the story is that the new keyboard is in and it works fine. I was pleased with the communication end of customer support, but still have mixed feelings on the D-I-Y end of repair service. What surprises me is that apparently they're now designing these things so they can be customer repairable. The instructions I downloaded also covered replacing the hard drive, the DVD drive, memory modules, and the wireless module. Evidently it's cheaper to just ship out parts that can be replaced by the end user against the chance of an occasional broken socket or something that requires a trip to the repair shop.
post #18 of 19
I'm glad to hear you got that straightened out! I find the DIY repairs, etc., really frustrating, and am so glad I have a whole "pool" of teenagers/twentysomethings to turn to when I can't figure it out myself.
post #19 of 19
Thread Starter 
I've never minded fixing things myself in the past, but what I find frustrating now is that even with my reading glasses, I can't get really good detail close up. And it's only downhill from here. I feel like a fool, but I actually had to get out a magnifying glass to look at that thing and figure out how it worked.
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