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Old 23rd October 2018
Lives for gear
norfolk martin's Avatar

What you have pointed out is sadly typical of modern customer service for anything electronic. I spent more than 20 years in electronic service, and my dad was a radio and TV engineer all his life. It seems that sometime in the 90s the Harvard Business School types started on this “post-sale customer service is a cost center” crap, and, according to their MBA training, cost centers are to be eliminated.

I remember in my business (medical diagnostic equipment) we got a lecture around 95 about the great “new service paradigm.” Essentially they thought that the entire skill of a field engineer could be reduced to a flowchart that would allow an unskilled call center employee to “diagnose” the problem. Then the equipment would all be modularized so it was interchangeable. Problem solved! An operator diagnoses your problem module from the flowchart,and the replaceable module is sent to the customer to fit in the instrument. We really don’t need those expensive skilled engineers to keep things running.

There results of a beta test of this system were quite disastrous in my business, and it was abandoned. However it did become the new mode of customer service in general electronics. Unless you kick up a holy fuss, you will never get to speak to anyone that is actually competent to diagnose your problem. If you do things properly and explain all your pre-call troubleshooting, it will be ignored because the flowchart starts at “is it plugged in.”

Often, the only place to get real help is on user forums where some helpful unpaid person will do the support work the manufacturer won’t do.