Panasonic / Cordless Drill Batteries / Terrible quality product!
I purchsed a cordless drill made by Panasonic because I had other Panasonic products that I liked, and because Consumer Reports recommended a similar Panasonic product. The drill was not very powerful --really it was weak compared to other cordless drills that I have used over a period of many years -- and the batteries failed after a year with light use. Based on my experience with much older and nominally less-powerful Bosch cordless drills, I felt strongly that Panasonic should replace the batteries. I had three very detailed conversations over bad long-distance connections with Panasonic’s customer service in the Phillipines. All very unsatisfactory, all I got was arguments. I then found a note in the product manual suggesting that anyone dissatisfied with customer service could write to the the US headquarters of Panasonic in New Jersey. I wrote a long letter detailing my light use and careful use of the tool, my 20-plus years using other similar tools, and restating my firm belief that the batteries were poor and should be replaced by the manufacturer. This time there were no arguments. There was nothing. No reply at all. I waited two months and wrote another letter --enclosing a copy of my original letter to customer service -- this time to the chief executive at Panasonic headquarters in NJ. I wrote that Panasonic would have to address my problem if I was to ever buy another Panasonic product. No reply again. I had been planning on buying a large-screen Panasonic plasma TV, and I mentioned that fact. Strictly legally, Panasonic was within their rights because I did not make my complaint within the one-year warranty period. But good companies will usually choose to maintain their reputation rather than stick the letter of the law when there are legitimate problems. Apparently Panasonic doesn’t care if it loses a few customers and their goodwill. The end of my story was not so bad however. It happened that I had purchased the tool using a Visa card which gives extended warranties on products. This paid my cost to have the cells of the batteries replaced at a local battery repair shop.
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