Sam's Club — extended warranty &exceptional service&
I purchased a 42" plasma 1080p Eyefi television a little over a year ago... Along with a 3-year in home extended warranty/service program. The TV performed marvelously during this time. Beautiful picture. But last weekend it just died. I'm guessing the power supply went... No power light. I tried different power cords, different outlets. Nothing.
I called Sam's Club to make use of the extended warranty ("how may I give you excellent service?"), was told I'd get a call Monday or Tuesday to arrange in home service. They looked up my records and said I had an LCD TV. I corrected them, advising them it was a plasma TV. They asked for the model number and I gave it to them.
After 5 pm Tuesday, having heard nothing, I called again ("how may I provide excellent service?"). I was told I was given inaccurate information on my first call, that the service department has 72 hours to call back, and was told to call back if I haven't heard from them by Wednesday evening. There was no attempt to help me, just advice to call back yet again if I didn't get a call a day later than I was originally told.
You guessed it. Wednesday 5pm rolled around and no contact from Sam's Club service. I called a third time. ("How may I provide excellent service?). I run it down again. I'm told they're having trouble finding a service firm in my area to handle the repair of an LCD TV. Why didn't they tell me that the day before when I called? I could have set them straight then... As I did the previous weekend... That I have a plasma TV, not a LCD TV. Now that they know I have a plasma, not an LCD, they'll have to start over looking for a local service technician... Start that 72 hour clock again. I ask why start over when I plainly informed them last weekend that it was a plasma. They apologized but said they'd call me when they found someone.
Thursday, no contact.
Friday, no contact. So I call Friday evening. (How may I provide excellent service?") I explain. They're sorry no one called but they have located a local service center, they give me the name and phone number, but advise me that they're closed this late on Friday and are NOT OPEN on Saturday and Sunday. I'm advised to call the local service center on Monday, more than a week after I first reported the problem. And I have to call them, they don't have to call me? And that's no doubt to set up an appointment for even later in the week. Never mind that I'm traveling on business next week and not home to let them in. So it'll be 2-3 weeks before they provide that excellent service for which I paid a few hundred dollars for that extended warranty/service contract.
Guess what I think about Sam's Club's "excellent service"? False repetitive claim with no substance, not even a good faith attempt to make good after making repeated mistakes and missteps. No wonder Costco outperforms Sam's Club in just about every survey out there. No wonder Wal Mart Co. is suffering an image problem.
Great story in the paper this week about how Wal Mart Co. is growing its sales of electronics and flat screen tvs, but you can bet I'll do my shopping at Best Buy and Circuit City from now on (there's no Costco here).
I guess just because they're big, huge even, they can blow off customer service.