The Nielsen Company — My ongoing nightmare with Nielsen
In late October of 2010, I had the unfortunate opportunity to meet with a Mr. Tony Hennies who was going from door to door in my neighborhood attempting to find a family who would be interested in becoming a "Nielsen Household". After a brief explanation of what this would entail, my wife and I agreed to sign on. As it was explained to me, we would receive a $50. cheque as well as a monthly payment of $1.00 for each component Nielsen monitored.
As we have a fairly substantial home entertainment system, I was under the impression payment would be made for two VCR's, a DVD player, a surround sound system, our DirecTV HD DVR as well as our large 60" television. We also have a second smaller television in our bedroom that was to be monitored. In total, there are seven components that Nielsen has "wired" into their system for monitoring.
The nightmare began the day of the installation. From their brochure, they advised that the components would be wired into their system which could then be "neatly" placed and hidden behind our television. My wife and I incorrectly assumed a small box or boxes (perhaps the size of a clock radio) would be used to monitor our system. We could not have been MORE WRONG!
The installation was started at 10:00 a.m. and unfortunately, I was out of town leaving my wife to oversee this procedure. I must have gotten at least 10 calls from her that day advising how "ugly" things were getting. They virtually had EVERY single component of our system in pieces on the floor while performing their connections. What we assumed would take an hour or two ended up being an all day affair with the technicians finally leaving at around 6:00 p.m. that day. What they left behind was ANYTHING but "neatly" hidden. The devices used for monitoring look like something out of Frankenstein's lab with literally 20+ wires coming out of them and hooking into my components. The actual monitor box is about the size of large box of cereal. To "conceal" these boxes, our rep went to a local craft store and bought a couple of wicker baskets to place over the top of them. To say the least, these baskets were "tacky" - not to mention had no relation to our already existing decor.
At the time of our last phone call, my wife advised that the technician had "done something" to our television which was now producing a slight shadow on all of the screen images. Now, we're not talking about a small, inexpensive television here. This was a $5, 000 Sony Grand WEGA that we purchased not long after they became available. To date, the only thing we had ever done to the television was replace the LCD bulb which blew just before our third year. The replacement bulb has been in the system for over four or five years now and we still have a back-up which was purchased to ensure we would not be without the television if this second bulb ever went bad.
Our Nielsen rep assured us that they would take care of the problem and apologized profusely for this error by their technician that caused the "shadowing". Upon my return from my business trip, I noted several other items that were damaged during the installation process. One was they had broken a "tab" off of the cover door for my Sony Betamax VCR. Yes, you read that right - we still have a fully operational Beta VCR. Not a big problem - I was able to repair the tab with some superglue. But when I turned the unit on, I discovered that the sound and tracking lights were no longer operating, which they were prior to this installation. I also noted a "chip" in the glass on the bottom shelf of our television stand.
Tony and Adam returned early the following week with a television technician named Rusty. At that time, they advised they would take care of replacing the glass as well as would take the Betamax for repair which was supposed to take a week or less. Rusty also attempted to adjust the balance of the television via our remote to rid it of these new shadows however, due to the complexity, he needed to research the system and remote to see exactly what he would need to do to make these adjustments. He was to call us back and make another appointment to come back within the next day or so. As has been the case with just about everyone involved with Nielsen, we never did receive a return call.
I finally ended up contacting their corporate offices and was transferred to their field office here in Cincinnati at which time I spoke to a supervisor named Mimi. She apologized for all of the delays and assured me that everything would be taken care of. I finally did hear back from the technician the following day and he made a second visit the day after that only to advise that the shadows could not be repaired via the remote and there was an internal part that would need to be replaced. He advised he would forward this information onto Adam and Tony and they would get back to me. Again, the better part of another week went by before I had to contact Mimi.
This takes us to last week and although I spoke to Mimi on both Monday and Tuesday, she doubted that she would be able to get anything done or any answers due to the holiday however, she was to call me back today. It also appears that Nielsen may be "waffling" on their promise to repair our television as they are now advising that they have researched our particular model and its has been known and documented that the part that is causing the shadow problem has been defective and nothing that they did during the installation would have caused it to go bad.
This is TOTAL B.S. Nielsen came into my home, completely dismantled every component, including my $5, 000. television and in the process, moved and bounced this television around so it could be accessed for their wiring. From what I understand, the part has something to do with an "internal balance" and I don't see anyway in the world how this piece could just suddenly go bad after seven or eight years. They are contending that the part could have gone bad at any time and it just happened to do so on the day of their installation. I contend that may be POSSIBLE, but it is also COMPLETELY possible that the part would have NEVER gone bad had they not been moving and dismantling the set.
I did a little research myself and while I did find some complaints regarding our particular television, most of them had to do with a completely DIFFERENT part which was causing completely different screen and image problems as compared to ours. Not to mention that while there may have been hundreds or maybe even thousands of complaints, I didn't see even ONE that matched what has happened to our television. And even if the complaints ARE in the thousands - Sony probably produced 10 to 100 times as many of these units. That would put their complaint level somewhere between one and ten percent. Isn't that just about average for MOST products?
Nielsen has yet to make a decision on what they are going to do to rectify this situation. My last conversation with Mimi has led me to believe that they are going to take the stance that "it was nothing they did" and based on the contract we signed for them, they would only be responsible for half of the $1, 200. repair. If this is the case, I will CERTAINLY be hiring an attorney.
To date, I still have a broken piece of glass (Mimi has advised that they have the replacement however are awaiting the Betamax repair to be completed before they return so both can be reinstalled at the same time) as well as the aforementioned missing VCR (I have no idea where they took it to be repaired, nor did they offer me any type of receipt or compensation for the time it has been gone).
To top it all off - we finally received our $50. sign-up cheque last week, but our six month advance for the component monitoring was only for $12., which would consist strictly of the two televisions. When I spoke to Mimi about this, she advised that we would only be paid for the two televisions and two VCR's. I advised that if every component was being monitored, then we should certainly be compensated accordingly and not only that, we didn't even receive compensation for the two VCR's. She advised they would only monitor the televisions and VCR's, but I have proof otherwise as there are wires from their monitoring system going into every one of the previously mentioned components. She was to get back to me on that.
At this point, we have advised Nielsen that once everything is "back to normal" we will be demanding that their systems be removed from our home. I would certainly advise anyone and everyone that if they are considering allowing Nielsen to invade their homes and systems that they seriously review this complaint and see what they might be in for.
More The Nielsen Company Complaints & Reviews
- Scarborough Research - Rude service 
- Scarborough Research - unethical practices 
- Scarborough Research - Harassing Phone Calls 
- Scarborough Research - Privacy breach 
- Scarborough Research - Whole company, data mining for Obama/Democratic Party 
- Nielsen Research Group - You will find yourself paying more for this BS than if you had robbed a bank 
- The Nielsen Company - nielsen tv ratings
- Scarborough Research - Harassment
- Scarborough Research - survey
- Nielsen - rogue collections email when I don't have an account with you!