Thursday, December 18, 2008

My letter to Philips

I don't usually beat a dead horse but this situation between Philips and myself has me angry. While I understand that some problems are beyond their control, I strongly feel the situation with my webcam problem was poorly handled and totally botched. So, I'm going to beat a dead horse and I'm contacting corporate over the issue. Here's a copy of the email I just sent them. Yes, it will be followed up by a call. The camera was only $80 but I still feel that as a customer, I deserve better. What are your opinions?

"Dear Philips,

I'm writing to express both my frustration and my disappointment with Philips Corp.

On 12/17 I purchased a Philips SPC-1300NC webcam from my local Walmart. I went through the installation process on my desktop computer and everything worked fine. Once I rebooted my PC and plugged the cam in, things went wrong. Windows detected the device (audio, video, etc) but then displayed an error message saying something went wrong and the device couldn't be used. I uninstalled and reinstalled the driver several times with the exact same results.

I then went to another PC (a laptop) and attempted to install the camera. While the camera worked, it continually turned on and off and so I decided to call customer support.

The three people I spoke to in three different calls were absolutely no help at all. They told me to reinstall the software, reinstall the driver, uninstall my anti-virus, all of which I did to absolutely no avail. Finally, I was told 'you have a bad camera' and headed back to Walmart to exchange it.

The next TWO SPC-1300NC's did the exact same thing so I was convinced it was NOT a hardware problem - and it wasn't.

The problem (on the laptop with the camera turning on and off) was caused by the automatic camera management feature of the software. When I disabled it, the camera worked fine. Problem solved. An annoyance I could live with.

The desktop installation, however, did not go any more smoothly than before and, in utter frustration, I once again called customer support and spoke to Nancy.

All Nancy did was walk me through doing the EXACT same thing I'd done 5-9 times before: removing and reinstalling the driver. When it didn't work. she told me 'well, I don't know what else to do. All we do here is walk you through installing it once and that's it. Call Microsoft".

I am so angry about this lack of any kind of real tech support that I will not buy another Philips product for a long while. I am disappointed that my value as a customer is so little that nobody actually cares to solve my problem. Sure, I didn't buy a $2500 television from the company but I am a paying customer and I deserve better than 'sorry, call Microsoft'.

This is Philips hardware, not Microsoft's. It's Philips problem and Philips should fix it.

I can't say enough how disappointed I am in this company.

Anthony Papillion

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