I never would have known bullshit customer service is even a thing in 2016. Of course, I’m exaggerating. Great customer service is hard to find these days.
So here I am, sharing my experiences dealing with HTC. A company with the slogan – quietly brilliant.
Well, there’s nothing brilliant about mistreating your customers.
Now let’s get into the facts….
How it all began
Back in July, between the 25-27th, my phone decided not to charge anymore. The battery fucked up for no good reason.
I tried charging it, resetting the phone, and every other trick in the book but it was useless. None of it worked.
So I thought -“I better contact HTC and get it repaired”. That’s exactly what I did the next day.
I was told to attach the shipping label by UPS to the box, and attach my proof of purchase along with my phone in the package. Which I did. And once it reached their warehouse, that’s when the problems started to surface….
Nothing but lies on top of lies
After a few days I rechecked the tracking number that allows you to check the status of the repair. And I noticed it said I’d have to pay to have my phone repaired. What? I thought.
If my phone is in warranty, then WTF is this BS I’m seeing on my computer screen? So I got in touch with HTC….
I was told the damage is beyond repair. And that’s why I had to pay for it to be repaired, because it’s “out of their warranty”.
HTC followed that statement up with – “we have pictures that show water damage, so you’ll have to pay to get it fixed.”
That was the FIRST lie. Remember, my phone just stopped working by itself. A fault obviously with the company.
It hadn’t even been near or touched water. So how could it be water damaged? Clearly BS. (There are many complaints like this online)
The second lie came when I was told to send them proof of purchase. Huh?
I already sent proof of purchase with the UPS package. Are you telling me you’re actually running a business, and yet you were unable to see the proof of purchase within the package? What are you running, a circus?
Those were my thoughts. And on top of that, to make all this happen I had to “escalate the case to their escalation team”.
They claimed it takes up to 3 days. But no, it took almost 7 days before I was told anything whatsoever. And that’s only because I got in touch with them personally.
By this point I’d been without my phone for 2 and a half weeks.
The time I’d been without the phone weren’t the problem. The painful, slow, disrespectful, tedious service I dealt with was the problem.
Here’s one of the conversations between me and one of their reps via live chat. (This was before I got a response after 7 days)
Still haven’t received a response. What’s the point of me having a phone If I can’t even use it because you’ve yet to repair it after almost 2 weeks.
Thank you for contacting HTC. My name is Peaches. I’ll be more than happy to assist you.
I haven’t received a response yet about an escalation last week and my phone has yet to be repaired. I’m disappointed in HTC.
Can you tell me what’s going on.
Have you tried checking this (they sent me a tracking link).
Yes, and last week they tried saying I have to pay £70 for a problem that’s HTC’S fault, not mine. Which is why I escalated and then was told I’d get a call back after 3 days. I’ve had no response.
Can you tell me what’s going on because I’m getting sick of it.
(They respond after 3 minutes)
Thank you for patiently waiting.
According to our escalation team, they are requesting a photo of the device where he can check the damage with our repair center.
Once he got a feedback from the repair center they will call you.
I’ve been told that since last week.
I was then told that yesterday.
I do apologize Theo. But this the message that I have from your escalation team.
And why do they need a photo to check the damage? I’ve already mentioned the problem with the phone, which is the battery won’t charge.
Can you give me their phone number so I can speak to them myself.
(No response until 5 minutes later)
I’m sorry but we don’t have a direct contact number of our escalation team. However I already request a callback from them to you.
Do you have their email address? What other method of contact do you have.
Can you stop ignoring me and answer my question. What kind of customer service do you call this?
What other method of contact do you have for the escalation team?
(They respond after 12 MINUTES. Clearly were ignoring me)
You may contact us through our hotline and you ask for the case manager who is handling your case just provide the Ticket number that you have. However, they can talk to you if they are available.
After that the conversation ended. I only wish I saved ALL the chats I had with HTC. Why? because the other live chats make this one look good, even though it’s not.
Not to mention the phone conversations, and everything in between.
What happened next
After 2 and a half weeks of fucking around with HTC, a guy named Chris is put on the line. He tells me why I can’t get it repaired because the warranty isn’t valid (I bought it this year in May).
And his bad attitude didn’t help either. It almost felt as if he intentionally tried to mock me. And when I asked “why” out of curiosity in response to the jargon he spurted out, he gave me the typical “it’s our policy” bullshit.
And that’s not even the worst of it….
I was then told If I want them to send my phone back to me, I’d have to pay them to send it back. Why? Because of so called “maintenance fees”.
If I refused, then they’d dispose of the phone and get rid of it.
I will never buy a HTC smartphone ever again
I had no problem with the fact that they wouldn’t repair my phone. That didn’t bother me. What did bother me though was #1 – the awful customer service I experienced throughout the 2 and a half weeks.
I’ve never in my life dealt with such terrible customer service. Especially not with a phone company. Here’s why their customer service is flawed:
- They make you wait for ridiculous amounts of time to let you know what’s going on.
- They weren’t true to their word. They over promised and severely under delivered.
- They made up lie after lie from beginning until end. Claiming water damage is a cheap way to make your customers pay for something that isn’t their problem. And there’s an unbelievable amount of customer complaints online that reflect this experience. Some of it dates back to 2011-2012.
One thing I find interesting is when I did some research, HTC has been losing money for some years now. Why do I bring that up? Because in defense of losing money, their strategy is to cut costs and save money.
Anybody with knowledge of business knows this is a tactic with short term results. But that’s not my point. My point is this:
They’ve put so much focus into cutting costs, their customer service has suffered because of it.
It seems obvious to me why this is true. Once you add up their financial losses + their focus on cutting costs, it’s easy to see why their customer service is nonexistent.
I’m sure that’s not the only reason, but it’s a damn good reason.
When I dealt with Sony earlier this year and last year, I had a great experience with warranties and repairs. Same with Microsoft and other companies.
But since I’ve had such a crappy experience with HTC’s service:
I will never buy a HTC smartphone ever again.
I don’t care about how good your product is, I care about how you treat me. Principles make the difference. And I won’t deal with any company who doesn’t care about principles or standards.
THAT is the bottom line.