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US Customer Service?

US Customer Service?

Old Jul 28th 2005, 10:55 pm
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Default US Customer Service?

My digital camera developed a fault and an independent company said the image sensor needed to be replaced and the cost would be $150! Of course, the camera is just a couple of months out of warranty!

Not being sure whether the cost estimated was correct or not I contacted Fuji by phone ... was on hold for 10 minutes, someone answered and then put me on hold for another 10 minutes, someone else answered and then put me on hold for another 15 minutes .... then someone finally talked to me and said the cost of repair would be between $70 and $150. Couldn't they give me a more exact costing ... no!

So, I email their customer service dept and get a really quick response from their UK division confirming exact cost, etc ... but of course, that costing doesn't apply over here. Back I go to the USA division ... three emails later and I finally get a response, which only says to call their customer service dept. At this point I'm rather irritated, but I call and wait on hold and then am told that the repair will be between $100 and $200?

I ask why they can't give an exact cost to replace the image sensor if their UK division can, they reply "We need to diagnose the fault here." I say, "Ok, so you get the camera and diagnose that the image sensor needs to be replaced, so what will you tell me then? Surely you won't be calling and telling me that you will fix it and the cost will be anything between $100 and $200 ... you must know the exact cost for this particular replacement part?" Fuji customer service response, "The cost will be between $100 and $200."

I give up ... so how come the UK division is super efficient and can quote to replace the image sensor without any problem, but the US division can't? My husband's response to my frustration was "Welcome to America!"
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Old Jul 28th 2005, 10:59 pm
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Buy Canon? Had to send my daughter's camera back because she jammed the memory card in it. They diagnosed the problem and true to form it wasn't covered by warranty (didn't expect it to.) It was going to cost $100 to fix. Spoke to the repair person and they fixed it with no cost to us....Welcome to America. I guess it just depends on who you're dealing with.
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Old Jul 28th 2005, 11:22 pm
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Don't think it's as much to do with customer service (politeness, attentiveness etc) as with the "disposable" mentality -- you'll be buying the latest and greatest camera in a couple of years anyway, right? heck a better model might have come out in the last month, spend your $100 repair on that instead!

I hate that consumer goods are being *produced* as disposable. It's hard to find quality goods to buy even if you are willing to pay. "Planned obsolescence" was long the auto industry standard until foreign automakers forced the US companies to quit building total lemons.
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Old Jul 28th 2005, 11:30 pm
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Originally Posted by snowbunny
Don't think it's as much to do with customer service (politeness, attentiveness etc) as with the "disposable" mentality -- you'll be buying the latest and greatest camera in a couple of years anyway, right? heck a better model might have come out in the last month, spend your $100 repair on that instead!

I hate that consumer goods are being *produced* as disposable. It's hard to find quality goods to buy even if you are willing to pay. "Planned obsolescence" was long the auto industry standard until foreign automakers forced the US companies to quit building total lemons.
I know what you mean, but this particular camera cost me $450 and it's only just over a year old. I did check to see what is now available, but nothing compares to the camera I have in the $150 range available ... so I guess I will just have to pay for the repair and be done with it. I just can't see why Fuji USA can't give the same level of customer service as Fuji UK!
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Old Jul 28th 2005, 11:32 pm
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Customer care is a bit random and often shite, though have you tried getting a quote from a third party repair place? there's a few of them, and they tend to be cheap, certainly for parts, and as out of warranty, have nothing to lose by it.
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Old Jul 28th 2005, 11:36 pm
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Originally Posted by Guelder Rose
I know what you mean, but this particular camera cost me $450 and it's only just over a year old. I did check to see what is now available, but nothing compares to the camera I have in the $150 range available ... so I guess I will just have to pay for the repair and be done with it. I just can't see why Fuji USA can't give the same level of customer service as Fuji UK!
Have you tried asking for a supervisor? Sounds as if their process is broken but the 'droid you're dealing with isn't willing to try and take sensible action. I'd just keep asking for the supervisor/manager/director/VP until someone gives you a better answer. A $450 camera shouldn't have a major failure like that in such a short time.
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Old Jul 28th 2005, 11:40 pm
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Originally Posted by Bob
Customer care is a bit random and often shite, though have you tried getting a quote from a third party repair place? there's a few of them, and they tend to be cheap, certainly for parts, and as out of warranty, have nothing to lose by it.
The guy who quoted $150 is independent ... I just wanted to make sure that he wasn't overcharging, that's why I went direct to Fuji once I knew what the fault was. Anyway, seeing as Fuji cannot tell me what the cost of a new image sensor will be I will let the other guy repair it ... just a shame it had to cost $150 ... especially when the repair estimate for our A/C was confirmed this morning at $425 ... expensive week!
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Old Jul 28th 2005, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Originally Posted by Philgr
Have you tried asking for a supervisor? Sounds as if their process is broken but the 'droid you're dealing with isn't willing to try and take sensible action. I'd just keep asking for the supervisor/manager/director/VP until someone gives you a better answer. A $450 camera shouldn't have a major failure like that in such a short time.
I've spoken to two people at Fuji USA and both gave a similar response ... get the impression that they haven't a clue and just read off text book answers. Mind you, I may well try and contact someone higher, because I am a bit miffed that I get a $150 repair bill when the camera is only a couple of months out of warranty ... probably just my bad luck though!
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Old Jul 28th 2005, 11:51 pm
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

I've found that customer service is atrocious, no matter what the product. As mentioned the person you initially get is a complete droid, but I also don't rate the supervisor or the manger. It's all just varying levels of mongness. Pathetic.
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Old Jul 28th 2005, 11:53 pm
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Originally Posted by AmerLisa
Buy Canon? Had to send my daughter's camera back because she jammed the memory card in it. They diagnosed the problem and true to form it wasn't covered by warranty (didn't expect it to.) It was going to cost $100 to fix. Spoke to the repair person and they fixed it with no cost to us....Welcome to America. I guess it just depends on who you're dealing with.
Had a similar issue with canon in the US

They were great, fixed issue with minimal cost
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Old Jul 28th 2005, 11:55 pm
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Originally Posted by Guelder Rose
I've spoken to two people at Fuji USA and both gave a similar response ... get the impression that they haven't a clue and just read off text book answers. Mind you, I may well try and contact someone higher, because I am a bit miffed that I get a $150 repair bill when the camera is only a couple of months out of warranty ... probably just my bad luck though!
is the camera covered by credit card warennt extension?
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Old Jul 29th 2005, 4:45 am
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

I bet they told you to have a nice day though!

That kills me every time, especially when you are clearly frustrated and they haven't been able (or are not willing because of their "rules") to help you and you get some robot saying "I trust I have exceeded your expectations in customer service, have a wonderful day".... Aaargh!

I know for one, that when people call us for quotes on fees - its pretty much a set scale for our part of things every time - but I am told to not give out quotes and to merely give a price range and tell them it will be between such and such. Why? Cos they are covering their backs for when you come back and say but you told me it would only be $150.

I think generally, the only service I would say that is superior here, is in restaurants and only then cos they want a good tip.

Originally Posted by Guelder Rose
My digital camera developed a fault and an independent company said the image sensor needed to be replaced and the cost would be $150! Of course, the camera is just a couple of months out of warranty!

Not being sure whether the cost estimated was correct or not I contacted Fuji by phone ... was on hold for 10 minutes, someone answered and then put me on hold for another 10 minutes, someone else answered and then put me on hold for another 15 minutes .... then someone finally talked to me and said the cost of repair would be between $70 and $150. Couldn't they give me a more exact costing ... no!

So, I email their customer service dept and get a really quick response from their UK division confirming exact cost, etc ... but of course, that costing doesn't apply over here. Back I go to the USA division ... three emails later and I finally get a response, which only says to call their customer service dept. At this point I'm rather irritated, but I call and wait on hold and then am told that the repair will be between $100 and $200?

I ask why they can't give an exact cost to replace the image sensor if their UK division can, they reply "We need to diagnose the fault here." I say, "Ok, so you get the camera and diagnose that the image sensor needs to be replaced, so what will you tell me then? Surely you won't be calling and telling me that you will fix it and the cost will be anything between $100 and $200 ... you must know the exact cost for this particular replacement part?" Fuji customer service response, "The cost will be between $100 and $200."

I give up ... so how come the UK division is super efficient and can quote to replace the image sensor without any problem, but the US division can't? My husband's response to my frustration was "Welcome to America!"
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Old Jul 29th 2005, 5:13 am
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Originally Posted by BritGuyTN
Had a similar issue with canon in the US

They were great, fixed issue with minimal cost
My mum sent her 30-year old camera back to Canon for a repair. She got it back, fully fixed, with a note that said they were excited to see one of those models still in use, and so the repair was free of charge. That was the UK admittedly, but I think these things vary a lot from firm to firm. Canon has a good rep. Fuji - well, you just don't hear much.
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Old Jul 29th 2005, 6:23 am
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Default Re: US Customer Service?

Just my insight into this: I don't think it is customer service per se. It is really an atttitude of avoiding responsibility or being pinned down. They don't want to tell you a figure and have it go up. In fact, the more vague, the better, as far as they're concerned. Perhaps it is fear of lawsuits, or just getting in trouble with their superiors. If they tell you $120, and it ends up costing more due to technical reasons (an extra part, or more manhours) then you might get angry and write a letter. Or they might be forced to give you the cheaper cost and eat the rest -- some financial loss for their company won't look good for them. My name for this attitude is "corporate weaselhood". So everyone is afraid top commit to anything, and the result is a guarded and unhelpful attitude.

If the camera cost $450, and they want $200 to fix, I would buy a new one and never buy that company again. You can even write a letter explaining your decision. Send it to several departments up the chain. You might get lucky, and get some kind of offer to fix it cheap or free. This type of negotiation is very common in the US, although even this aspect of customer service might eventually disappear (corporate weaselhood's triumph)
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Old Jul 29th 2005, 11:39 am
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I agree that its not necessarily customer service, but the person you deal with. If someone peed in their wheaties that morning you are in a no win situation.

My best experience of customer service was before I came to the US to live. I was on vacation in GA and bought a bottle of Estee Lauder perfume that I has been wearing for years from Macy's in Atlanta. A few months after I got back to the UK I started using it and had a real bad allergic reaction to it. To cut a long story short after several calls to Estee Lauder UK and several attempts over a year to use it, I gave up. The following September, just over a year after I purchased the perfume. I made a return trip to Atlanta to visit friends and she suggested I take it back to Macy's and tell them the problem. I laughed and she said she was dead serious. I packed it up and on her advice took it back. They were very apologetic and gave me a full refund with no question.

Now the flip side of customer service is www.overrated.com. Or as they are publicly known, overstock.com. I ordered an expensive book from them and paid by paypal. After two weeks and it not arriving I emailed them. They had given me a USPS tracking number which I later found out from them was not an actual tracking number but a confirmation which you could check and see that it had been delivered. DUH. I was told they would have to look into its loss with the USPS and that it would take 15 days to complete the process. I was a little pissed since I had already waited two weeks for the book. The kid at customer service did have another suggestion, rather than wait the 15 days for them to complete their investigation, I should order and pay for another book which would then take 10 days to arrive. I declined his kind offer. Eventually I received notification that they had concluded their investigation and found that USPS never got it. Good old overrated then told me that they were not refunding me my money, but giving me an instore credit. Not the right answer.

I called customer service managed to speak to someone higher up who told me that their company is not geared up to give refunds to paypal. I suggested she send me a check, her response, they are not geared up to issue checks. I then asked to credit my ATM or credit card, no they can't do that, not geared up for it. At this point I blew a fuse and told the lady that I was not going to deal with them anymore and that I was going to contact the CEO of overstock that next day and tell him personally what I thought of his company. She then backed down and said she would see if it was possible to refund paypal but she would have to contact their paypal representative and find out if it was possible. She would call me back.

In the meantime, I tracked down the CEO got his phone number, email and fax number and compiled an email to him enclosing all the ones I had sent plus the responses. As it was in three days paypal notified me to say they had received a credit. I never did hear anymore from overrated although they still email details of their sales.

Overall I think customer service is a lot better here than the UK. If youi want outstanding customer service, buy your tyres at Coscto, their aftersales is second to none.

For camera sales I would highly recommebd B & H.
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