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Why Don't Product Reviews Include Information About Customer Service?

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  • May 7th, 2015 10:30 pm
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[OP]
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Dec 7, 2014
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Burrowborough

Why Don't Product Reviews Include Information About Customer Service?

Here is an article from Brian X. Chen of the NY Times that makes for interesting reading for the informed consumer. Here is an excerpt from the article (and here is the link to the whole thing)..

[QUOTE]PRODUCT reviews are broken. They are great at telling you about the speed of a computer or the brightness of a screen. But there’s a big gaping hole in evaluations of most products, from phones to computers to televisions.

The product evaluations neglect to mention the quality of a company’s customer service, which becomes the most important factor of all when problems or questions related to the product come up.

I learned this lesson from a bizarre experience with a Samsung oven that I bought last year. This was no impulse purchase — I researched brands and appliances for days. But even that didn’t help.

Less than a year after I bought it, the oven made a violent grinding noise because of a defective fan. Samsung sent a technician who, over the course of seven visits, concluded that not only was the fan irreplaceable because of a defect, but that the oven also had a heat leak. The leak posed a fire hazard and had melted the side of a brand-new kitchen cabinet, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

After seven visits by a technician, Samsung agreed to give the reporter a partial refund for his defective oven. Credit Brian Chen/The New York Times
At that moment, all that mattered was the speed and ease in which Samsung’s service department dealt with my problem. But rather than rush to remove this troubled oven from my life, Samsung’s support center dragged out this entire process for five months.

The entire experience made me realize that I had been blindsided. How, in my many hours of reading product reviews on websites, had I missed the part about service? I searched far and wide on the web and realized it was practically impossible to reliably research a company’s customer service quality. So I contacted some product ratings companies themselves..

..

As for my Samsung oven, toward the second half of this five-month episode, the company’s support representatives repeatedly rejected my requests to exchange the unit and pay for the damages to my home, refusing to let me speak to a higher supervisor along the way. It instead opted to keep sending the technician back to my house to try to fix the unit again and again, even after he reported to Samsung that the oven was defective and at fault for the burn.

After I made at least a dozen phone calls and wrote a couple of emails to Samsung’s office of the president, Samsung’s support staff agreed to give me a partial refund (not a full one, because the oven was out of warranty by the time the company conceded). It also agreed to cover all the damages to my kitchen.

But here’s the kicker: Samsung said that to process my refund, I had to destroy the power cable for the oven and send a picture of the severed wire to prove I was no longer using the unit. The next day, a customer service representative called to clarify I actually did not have to destroy the cord.

After Samsung agreed to pay the damages and partial refund, I contacted Samsung’s communications department, identified myself as a reporter and shared my experience. In response, the company said in a statement that it takes customer satisfaction and safety seriously, and my customer service experience, while rare, “is not acceptable to Samsung.”

“We are taking this opportunity to thoroughly review and improve our customer service process,” the company said.

But who will ever be able to know whether those improvements are made?[/QUOTE]
5 replies
Jr. Member
Jul 20, 2014
110 posts
32 upvotes
Mississauga, ON
I would say because it's a review of the product itself. But I have noticed some where they mention CS. Unfortunately it's up to the consumer to review the product as well as the company they are purchasing from.
Deal Addict
Jan 19, 2006
4122 posts
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Vancouver, BC
JuvenileJay wrote:
May 7th, 2015 6:49 am
I would say because it's a review of the product itself. But I have noticed some where they mention CS.
In some instances, reviews that mention CS are deleted because it's not about the product in a product review... unless of course the reviewer had a good CS experience...
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2006
21595 posts
7510 upvotes
dmxlite wrote:
May 7th, 2015 3:11 pm
In some instances, reviews that mention CS are deleted because it's not about the product in a product review... unless of course the reviewer had a good CS experience...
Yup. Lots of retailers get flack for things out of their control.
"Shipping speed sucked! 1 star!" "CS sucks! 1 star"
Has nothing to do with the product but it gets unfairly rated down.
If you want a review of the retailer or the manufacturer I'm sure you could go to someone like resellerratings or BBB which deals directly with the company.
Deal Guru
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Aug 20, 2005
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Nowhere
A product review is a review of the product so it makes sense that customer service is not mentioned. However, I have read plenty of reviews especially on places like Amazon that discuss customer service, both Amazon's and the manufacturers. I have chosen not to buy products based on reviews of service and I have also chosen to purchase products when I've seen the manufacturer respond to negative reviews and make the situation right.

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