Poor customer service
In mid. Dec 2008, i signed up my elderly mother for LifeWatch USA, after checking them out online and talking to them multiple times on the phone. The customer service has been very disappointing!
1) I was never told in multiple calls that i would need a DSL filter (she has cable TV and internet); When i finally was told about this DSL filter right when i ordered, i had to actually delay my return home to drive into town (far) where my mom lives to buy the DSL filter
from Radio Shack (good thing she had a Radio Shack in town!)
2) The equipment arrived 3 days later than i was told it would.
3) Upon receipt of the box, there was an equipment-return fee that had NEVER been mentioned in phone conversations or on website;
4) There was a photo-copied HAND-DRAWN sketch of how to hook up the unit, and NO mention or instructions on how to use the supposedly required DSL filter;
5) Different places on the website gave different promises of how far the unit "reached" in capability, and how long the battery back up would last. The girl i was talking with said they hadn't updated the website yet.
6) When i called someone about all this when my mom had finally received the unit, the first 2 people i talked to had no answers for me about these issues. I was assured the "supervisor would call me back on Monday." No one ever called. Then came multiple health
crises for 2 sets of parents and the holidays, and i set these concerns aside.
7) I phoned there again recently when my mom was in hospital very ill; i wanted to notify them; customer service ends at 5 PM! I left my name and number, and no one called back.
8)On Wednesday (Jan. 14), i called again. Pam the customer service rep was very dismissive of my questions and
suggestions, saying they were "petty"; she constantly interrupted me, was obviously eating during the call, and made little attempt to respond to my complaints. She did apologize for no one calling me back.
She said the bottom line is that my mom has the emergency system 24/7. I said that there are many companies that can do this, but what would make a company stand out is the quality of their customer service, and as far as i was concerned, they were batting zero with me right now. She said, "Other companies have a very high rate of complaints, and we charge less. Happy New year." ... and rang off.
So then I posted an email about all this directly on their website, and have never heard back from any company rep.
Here is the company's defensive response, and what i replied to them:
"by Lifewatch Management:
So what is the complaint? Are you still a customer? Did you ever ask to speak to Pams boss? You only need DSL with DSL on telephone. Maybe you didn't explain clearly what kind of phone you have. They also offer to mail one for free if you really needed it. The customer service is opened to 6pm but arrangements can be made for a call at anytime. They use UPS ground for free. If you needed it on specific day i am sure for a fee they would have guaranteed it.
The range of button is 1500feet and a five day battery back up clearly stated.
The photo copied instrction sheet is designed to be simple. They could do a complicated book with fancy print and raise the price. Is that necessary? I think simple is always better.
The first two people who answered were live receptionist and not a voice mail. You have to ask for the right person to speak to when you call a company. The first people that answer are usually not the problem solvers. much better than voicemail.
Why would Pam be eating on the phone? Maybe it was just your opinion.
Also what Pam said is true. There is only so much a company can do in respect to internet customer service. i feel lifewatch is trying really hard and is doing a great Job considering they have been in business for 28 years and this is the first complaint.
Check competitors and compare."
What is my complaint? I have stated my complaints clearly, but will try again for your sake and for that of the readers, and answer your responses one by one.
1) I repeatedly told LifeWatch what sort of computer and phone system we had, and was told i absolutely needed the DSL filter, despite having cable TV and phone. I am an experienced technology user, and the fiasco over this DSL filter was not a lack on my part.
2) There was NEVER any offer of sending a free one.
3) Customer Service might state they are open until 6 PM, but on Fridays, it's only 4 PM, and one never receives a call back when a number is left. This has happened now to me 4x. All i ever get is voice mail.
4) The range and battery back up were stated differently on different pages of the website. The rep with whom i was speaking acknowledged this, but said they had not updated the website yet. So your answer ignores the data i supplied. As of today, (almost 5 months later), your website STILL has contradictory information on separate pages.
5) The HAND-DRAWN clumsy instruction sheet DID NOT INCLUDE anything about the supposedly required DSL filter.
6) If the person i am talking with is a receptionist, it is incumbent upon HER to switch me to the right person; I, the customer, do not know who to ask for. I state my need, and she should get me the correct person to answer that need.
7) Pam was indeed eating or drinking while on the phone with me. Come now; don't be puerile. Do you think this is not possible?
8) Your many month's delayed answer online, with NO answer directly to me, even though i have emailed and called repeatedly and left my number, is indicative of your customer "service."
9) You do not leave a name nor number by which i could contact you.
Today, April 21, 2009 at 11:30 AM CST, i phoned AGAIN to LifeWatch with a need, and neither the Customer Service nor the Operator were available, which is typical of anytime i call in. They did call back within an hour, but could not take my information update over the phone. She told me to NOT use the online email form: she gave me a separate email address. So i had to call, leave a message, get called back, and then email in the information.
Am i still a customer? Yes -- Because my mom and gram have been in constant medical crises for the past 6 months, i have not yet changed companies. Next time i am at my mom's, it is likely that i will change."
In June 2009, here is what the CEO said:
"Lifewatch has answered this complaint.
We have been helping senior citizens for over 29 years. We are referred by many hospitals and healthcare orgs.
The complaint above is not related to our job of saving lives when seniors press their button, which is our main priority.
As far as customer service the CEO, Evan Sirlin can be reached directly at evan AT lifewatch.net. His policy is the customer is always right and customer satisfaction is number one.
From: Message Author
Date: Tuesday, 16-Jun-09 22:58:40 CDT"
My response to that:
The CEO has not apologized for the extremely poor customer service. Before complaints.com removed them, there were other postings that indicated the same sort of complaints about this company. My original complaint was titled "Poor customer service" -- and that has NOT been addressed.
June, 2010: Here is what the CEO says now:
"Complaints board did ask us to contact you and see if you still have a complaint? if you still are a client etc..
We have improved in all areas you mentioned a year ago. We apologize and have learned alot of lessons. Look at all the comments that came after your complaint. We continue to grow and improve our customer service. Evan AT lifewatch.net"
My reply: I am not a customer anymore because my mom passed away. The website is updated now, as of 2010. Altho this happened some while ago, i would encourage others to use caution when dealing with this company. I myself would be very hesitant to use them again.
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