How to fail at customer service, starring JVC (a continuing saga in timeline form)

January 5 (Day 0) – TV/Monitor dies. I can still see very bright images, but only dimly. The TV was purchased less than a year before from Costco, and is under both Costco and JVC’s warranties. 

January 6 (Day 1) – Call Costco concierge service, which files a support ticket with JVC. Told by JVC that there’s a wait time of 3-5 business days just to schedule an appointment, but also told that I’ll be called with an update by week’s end. No call ever comes. First Tweet at @JVC_USA, the only verified Twitter account I can find for the company. No response.

January 7 (Day 2) – I buy an RCA TV from Fry’s as a short-term replacement. Second tweet to @JVC_USA. No response.

January 12 (Day 7) – Third Tweet to @JVC_USA. No reply that day.

January 13 (Day 8) – I call Costco back to inquire about status. They contact JVC again, and I’m told that a part has been ordered and after it arrives, someone will call to schedule an appointment. 

January 13 (Day 8) – Reply comes a day later from @JVC_USA saying that unverified account @JVCHDTV is a separate organization (but connected), and who I need to deal with. Told that @JVCHDTV would get back to me if I DM case info to @JVC_USA. Have to remind @JVC_USA that I can’t DM them if they don’t follow me. Followed the next day, told @JVCHDTV will follow up. No reply comes. 

January 15 (Day 10) – Independent technician calls to schedule an appointment. He is otherwise totally unaffiliated with JVC. 

January 16 (Day 11) – Appointment. Technician replaces part but this doesn’t fix the television. Told it will be 3-5 business days before JVC contacts me again. 

January 16 (Day 11) – I call JVC, ask about status since repair failed. Told that the technician hasn’t reported in yet (understandable), but I would receive a call “within 24 hours” with an update. No call ever comes. 

January 16 (Day 11) – Tweet at @JVC_USA and @JVCHDTV expressing dismay. No replies. @JVCHDTV hasn’t tweeted anything, to anyone, since January 12.

January 19 (Day 14) – I call JVC and ask about status. Told again that the technician hasn’t reported in yet, but that the case is being escalated. Told I would receive a call “today” with a status update. No call ever comes. Told also that if the repair is impossible, I would receive a new television, but I must give my credit card number for a hold in case I don’t send back the broken one. 

January 19 (Day 14) – This timeline created. Both Twitter accounts mentioned in Tweet about this post. We’re up to three promised phone calls unreturned.

January 20 (Day 15) – @JVC_USA PMs me on Twitter to remind me that they’re not connected to @JVCHDTV. Further research shows that all JVC TVs are “manufactured, distributed, serviced and warranted by AmTRAN Video Corporation under brand license by JVC KENWOOD Corporation.” AmTRAN’s website doesn’t list any televisions in their products at all.

January 20 (Day 15) – Finally receive my first callback from customer service, confirming that my TV is unrepairable, and that they’ll be shipping me a new (refurbished) unit in 3-5 days (it’s always “3-5 days” with these guys). I had to provide a credit card number for them to place a hold against (I didn’t feel like fighting that, or asking what happens if I didn’t have a credit card), but hopefully it won’t cause any issues. Promised a call back with a tracking number when it’s available.

January 21 (Day 16) – The new TV arrived. No call with a tracking number ever came, but “luckily” the company forgot to put my condo unit number on the mailing information, so FedEx had to call me this morning to ask about it, tipping me off that it would be arriving today. The “new” refurb is larger than my last TV (a 39″ instead of a 37″), but I haven’t checked it for features yet.

January 21 (Day 16) – UPDATE: Upon setting up the new TV, I noticed a small crack in the glass part of the screen. Sucks, but I was willing to live with it. However, when I turned the TV on, I was presented with this:

Broken replacement television.

Broken replacement television.

I called customer service again, and proceeded to email them pictures of the TV and box (from all angles). I was promised a phone call today.

January 22 (Day 17) – I called JVC/AmTRAN’s customer service back again (not having received a phone call yesterday), and was told “we’ve received your email proof of damage, and are waiting to hear back from the manufacturer”. I assume this means that this is a outsourced tech support company. I’m told, once again, that someone will get back to me in “3-5 business days”. Called Costco’s concierge service again, but since AmTRAN is responding at all (albeit slowly), there’s nothing they can do on their end.

January 23 (Day 18) – Persistence pays off – communicating with @JVC_USA, they were able to push things through on their end, and I received a phone call this morning telling me to return the broken replacement, and that they’ll send out a box for the original broken TV, as well as a new replacement. No hard time frame, but it seems like there’s fire burning under them now.

January 26 (Day 21) – After 21 days, a working replacement television has arrived at my home.

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