First, I checked their web site and could not find an email address or a web form that was an obvious fit for problems with warranty repairs, so I tried to submit the letter below via the general inquiry web form:
Dear Sir or Madam, I cannot find a proper support area on your web page so I hope that this form submission will find its way to the proper department. In November of last year a fault developed in my Polaroid 2601 TV while it was still under the manufacturer's original warranty. I took it to the official warranty repair shop in our area ("American TV appliance", 1 800 482 4491) for repair. After one false start, they were able to confirm the problem (loss of picture when using DVI or S/Video inputs after the TV has been on for some length of time) and they undertook to repair it. I have checked up on them continuously since last November and they have never effected the repair. It was lucky that I had kept my glass tube TV which I have been able to use while waiting. The reason they state is that their requests for parts have gone unanswered, and that they have no direct or telephone contact with Polaroid - that all their support contacts are via a web system. This is now almost six months later and they tell me that they are giving up, and that my only recourse is to contact the manufacturer myself. This is really not acceptable. I would hope that Polaroid can remedy this situation and if you cannot repair my television, then please replace it with something compatible (specifically with a DVI input, usable as a computer monitor to an MCE system) - if you cannot supply a new set, then at the least please offer a refurb in excellent condition. (My TV is in perfect physical condition; no scratches or marks at all; it looks like new.) I'm very frustrated with Polaroid's service center over this issue - they really have made no effort to resolve the problems at all - and I hope that your corporate HQ can do better. Thank you, Graham Toal PS I have a copy of the documentation (PO #65074WJP) from American TV from when it was submitted, noting that they need part #667L2346-56RWell, guess what... couldn't cut & paste this into the form as it only allows you to enter 500 characters. OK, I say to myself, I can work around this problem. So I put the letter on this web page, and submitted the following short request that someone read the web page in order to listen to my problem:
I have written a letter describing my support issue, which I'm unable to submit it here due to size. So here is the letter hosted at my home web site: http://www.gtoal.com/polaroid/ Thank you, Graham ToalWell, that at least elicited an email response. Unfortunately, the response was clearly from a book of stock answers, and whoever sent it did not read my letter above, because I checked the web logs and no-one had accessed the page except myself. This is the letter I received:
On 4/30/07, PettersInquiry@scsoem.comBy this point, I was getting a little annoyed and replied to the email with the message below. Perhaps I could have been more tactful, but you can appreciate my frustration:
wrote: > Hello, > > Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding your Polaroid product. > > In order to resolve the problem you are having, we need some more > information. Please contact us at one of the following numbers so > that we can do additional troubleshooting. Please have your product > and a copy of your original sales receipt available when you call.
Guess what. Seconds later I got an automated response referring me back to the original form (with the limit of 500 characters, which makes it impossible to describe any problem in depth...):
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 16:45:56 -0500 From: "Graham Toal"
To: "PettersInquiry@scsoem.com" Subject: Re: Polaroid Electronics: Response to your inquiry Cc: email@example.com In-Reply-To: <002c01c78b5e$1814c6f0$bd5c0608@DGT1X2B1> MIME-Version: 1.0 Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1; format=flowed Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit Bcc: "Anne Toal" Content-Disposition: inline References: <002c01c78b5e$1814c6f0$bd5c0608@DGT1X2B1> Delivered-To: firstname.lastname@example.org On 4/30/07, PettersInquiry@scsoem.com wrote: > Hello, > > Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding your Polaroid product. > > In order to resolve the problem you are having, we need some more > information. Please contact us at one of the following numbers so > that we can do additional troubleshooting. Please have your product > and a copy of your original sales receipt available when you call. I can't have my 'product' available because it is currently in Polaroid's local warranty repair center, presumably in pieces on a shelf somewhere. There is no point in 'troubleshooting' as it has already been diagnosed by an official polaroid warranty service center and they have been unable to repair it without parts from Polaroid which have not been forthcoming. When I submitted the TV for repair last *November*, I was able to get a copy of the receipt from Circuit City where I bought it, and clearly they would not have taken the item on for a warranty repair if I did not have the proof of date of purchase. So it is not necessary to supply that proof again. I can only presume that this is a standard form-letter response, and that no-one actually read the letter which I had tried to submit via the web form. (Indeed, checking my web logs, I see you completely ignored the reference to the longer explanation that I had put online on my web site for you to download.) I attach the original letter below to save you the bother of clicking on the link. Perhaps this will supply the details that you are missing. Next time please have someone from Polaroid answer this mail, and not a phone-wallah in New Delhi reading from a FAQ file. I am extremely frustrated with Polaroid's support after your local office having kept my TV for almost 6 months, and support-droid responses like yours are doing nothing to improve my opinion of the company. Please have someone who actually cares about customer support (and who is in a position to authorize a replacement when the warranty repair company fails to repair a unit that is under warranty) contact me by email at this address. My original letter describing the problem is attached below. Graham Toal > United States 866-289-5168 > > Canada 866-301-7922 > > Mexico 01-800-400-2443 > > Our customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. > > Thank you for your business and we appreciate the opportunity to help you. > Sincerely, > > PCB Customer Service > > > --------------------- > Graham Toal > On 04/30/2007 you asked: > > I have written a letter describing my support issue, which I'm unable to submit it here due to size. So here is the letter hosted at my home web site: > > http://www.gtoal.com/polaroid/ > > Thank you, > > Graham Toal > > > Please do not reply to this email. If you need further assistance please contact us at http://www.scsoem.com/PolaroidAcc/contactus.htm > >
Return-Path:Well, by now I was just plain pissed off, and I submitted the following via the web page:
Received: from mail.scsoem.com (DGT1X2B1.redplaid.com [18.104.22.168]) by mx.google.com with ESMTP id 20si16417538nzp.2007.04.30.14.46.55; Mon, 30 Apr 2007 14:46:56 -0700 (PDT) Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2007 17:46:43 -0400 Subject: Your Recent Email From: email@example.com Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Message-ID: This is an unmanned email address we cannot answer your inquiries. If you = need further assistance, please contact us at http://www.scsoem.com/Polaroi= dAcc/contactus.htm
This is unbelievable. I submitted a request via this form, and because it only allows 500 chars, I included a URL pointing to a web page where I posted the full text of my letter. You emailed me without having read the letter (confirmed by my web logs) so I replied with the text in an email instead. Only to be told that your customer support rejects emails and referring me back to this form! PLEASE CLICK ON THIS LINK AND READ THE LETTER: http://www.gtoal.com/polaroid/
The reply from the above just arrived:
From: <PettersInquiry@scsoem.com> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Polaroid Electronics: Response to your inquiry Date: Tue, 1 May 2007 08:07:57 -0400 Hello, Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding your Polaroid product. In order to resolve the problem you are having, we need some more information. Please contact us at one of the following numbers so that we can do additional troubleshooting. Please have your product and a copy of your original sales receipt available when you call. United States 866-289-5168 Canada 866-301-7922 Mexico 01-800-400-2443 Our customer service representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help you. Thank you for your business and we appreciate the opportunity to help you. Sincerely, PCB Customer ServiceWell, the word is in. It's official. Polaroid's web-based support is a fake, it's just a bot that bounces people to the phone lines. I'ld better start practicing my Hindi for the phone call...
What sort of a support operation doesn't publish an email address, bounces mail to any email address you get your hands on, and even has a web support option that's so restricted that you can't even describe your problem properly in the space available (and doesn' listen to what you're saying anyway)?
I've started documenting my exchanges with the company in this web page, which I may end up publishing on a few influential consumer sites if there is no satisfactory outcome.
I still have the fun of trying the phone number ahead of me, but I know how that is going to go. They're going to want the TV in front of me (I can't, it's in the repair shop) for the serial number and for pathetic attempts to debug it by phone; and they're going to want the original sales receipt which I no longer have (though I *might* be able to get a duplicate issued from Circuit City again, like I did when I submitted it in November) but that too is guaranteed to cause confusion with the phone droids, because the warranty has expired during the 6 months that the local repair center has been sitting on my television.
And even if Polaroid do get their act together and offer a replacement, we have the problem that they've moved from DVI to HDMI, and I need DVI because it's the only output I have in high-def from my MCE.
Life is seldom simple nowadays :-(