Fighting for consumer rights

I’m a big fan of The Consumerist (although sometimes the commenters are somewhat rabidly against the consumer – what on Earth are they doing at a site called The Consumerist?), but seeing as they didn’t post my great experience with Netgear, I’ll post it here. The long and the short of it is that when my phone was playing up and regular support wasn’t helpful, a well placed email to the executives at Netgear did wonders. They could have just ignored me, but I can’t praise them enough for listening to a frustrated consumer and going to such lengths to sort out my problem.

I just had an interesting experience with Netgear. I bought a Skype phone (SPH200D) from them a year ago and it’s been somewhat buggy since I got it. I spoke with an engineer soon after getting it about the problems I was having, and this initial contact was a great experience and we resolved things well enough with workarounds.

Fast forward to last month and the phone was having call quality issues as well as the bugs. I tried to contact Netgear to resolve it and went through customer support hell – people not reading my requests properly and sending out template responses that weren’t relevant (my biggest pet hate of customer support), support tickets getting ignored, and on top of that a repair/replacement program that I had to pay for, which would leave me without a home phone for 2 weeks.

Using tips from the Consumerist of emailing the executive team, I sent an email to the Senior VP of Worldwide Sales and Support yesterday, simply stating what had happened. I wasn’t trying to get a “freebie” or “compensation”, I just wanted to let him know there were problems with their support program. Ultimately it ‘worked’ and I was getting a replacement phone but the process was very frustrating and did not get any initial resolvement.

Today I received a call from an engineer at their Santa Clara headquarters. He apologised for the difficulties and discussed all the problems with me. He then organised an immediate replacement, with free shipping directly to him so he could analyse the problems first hand. This is a great response. I didn’t expect anything, so to get priority replacement treatment was nice, but the best part was that they actually listened to my problem and *are trying to fix it*. It’s very rare that companies will pay such close attention to a product a year old. Kudos Netgear.

One thought on “Fighting for consumer rights

  1. Pingback: The blog of all and sundry » Blog Archive » Turn your iPhone into a wifi Skype phone

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