missing info

Ever have this happen to you…?

August 4, 2014 by Leave a comment
Desktop with 3 monitors

A snapshot of my new desktop system

Ahhhh... After being forced to work on a decade old computer system for the better part of 6 months because my main system died, cutting into my income because the old system couldn't do all that I needed it to do, unboxing and setting up a brand new, high end system was something rather exciting to do over the weekend.

After about a half hour into it, I started to feel something amiss. I had 3 monitors, but only 2 DVI connectors. I had assumed that, based off the description of the computer on the website and the conversation I had with the sales rep over the phone, I would have gotten some type of adapter to hook up all 3 monitors.

I figured no big deal for the time being, I can use the HDMI connection to hook up the 3rd monitor and call them on Monday. Unfortunately, no matter what I tried to do, I could only get 2 of the 3 monitors working. Now the system itself could SEE all 3, but it would only show a display on only 2 at a time. I could get the system to switch which monitors were active, but never all 3 at the same time.

I spent the better part of the weekend trying to find information on the company website to try and figure out what I was missing. Having been a computer tech for almost 15 years, I knew it was something simple. I just assumed it was because of them not sending me an adapter and the video card could only power 2 of the displays, software-wise, without the adapter.

That Monday, I called their tech support. After explaining my issue, the rep was at a loss for words. They took over my computer and spent almost an hour going through the same steps I had already tried several times over the weekend, with the same results.

“What about an adapter, which I specifically asked for when I ordered this system?” I asked.

“Oh, we don't have those types of adapters.” was the reply.

“Well, so what you're saying is, when someone orders a system from you with more than 2 monitors, your standard reply is, 'Oh, so sorry, we don't provide you all the equipment needed to run the system you just spent over $1,000 on'? I find that hard to believe.”

With that, I got kicked up to a 'supervisor'. After another 15 minutes of back and forth, I was told that I needed to talk to another department for said adapter. I asked the supervisor that, since they'd already wasted over an hour of my time, could they contact the other department for me to get the adapter, I was advised it was no problem.

That was over a week ago, and no response. Also, absolutely no information on the site for how to hook up more than 2 monitors, even though the site shows that the video card I paid extra for could run up to 6 monitors.

It took me actually looking up the video card manufacturer and emailing them directly that I was able to find out how to run all 3 of my monitors. It did require an adapter, but not the one I had originally thought I needed. I was able to get the adapter locally for just under $25.

Why is all this important? Quite simply, even though I've been a loyal customer of this company for over a decade, having bought 4 or 5 systems over that time-frame from them, quite honestly, I don't know if I'd ever buy another system from them again.

Some of the other stuff I left out of this story was how, on the day I wanted to purchase the system, their entire site was down for upgrades, so I was forced to call them up to order the system. Also, it took 3 tries to get the order to flow through the system. Honestly, the first time was because of my bank trying to protect me from theft/fraud since it's not every day I drop $1,300+ on a computer system, so I'm not holding that against them.

Since they weren't able to accept my card, they offered me the option to pay via PayPal® with the assurance that I'd get an email within 3 hours to allow me to pay, giving me enough time to call my back to lift the block. That email never came but I was able to call back and order the system over the phone.

All this mess could have been avoided if they had made sure of 3 very simple things. If they had done these 3 things, I wouldn't have had any reason not to purchase from them again, even if I had run into the same issues of missing adapters.

  1. Make sure the business site has all the information that might be asked. If they had provided the same information that the video card vendor had provided me, I would have been able to ask for that bit specifically when I ordered. If they had advised me that they didn't carry that cable, I could have ordered it from a 3rd party vendor to have it at my house at the same time I got my new system.

  2. Make sure your tech support have accurate information. I had told the rep exactly what the problem was, even showing them the issue on the screen when they took over my system. The rep completely ignored me and kept trying to do other things that had absolutely nothing to do with the issue, and at one point, almost made it worse when I took control back to stop them.

  3. Especially after having me spend as much money as I had with them, own up to your mistake and try to make it right. If that supervisor had just said, “No problem, I'll get you that cable or at least find out what type of cable you need if we don't carry it,” I would have been satisfied. I had actually tried to find the adapter I needed before I had contacted tech support, but had gotten the wrong one, getting me frustrated because I had expected the adapter to come with the system to start with.

If those 3 things had been done, I'd still be singing the praises of that company. Now that I have the adapter, I love the system itself, but I can't trust the company to support me if I have an issue in the future. I also know their site's going to be worthless when it comes to getting technical help as well. I can't imagine what would have happened to someone who wasn't tech savvy in the same situation. They probably would have boxed it back up and sent it back for a refund on the premise that, if you can't provide what I asked for, nor can you support what you sell adequately, then I need to go somewhere else.

So you need to ask yourself, do you have good information on your site for all the products and services you offer, or do you assume they'll be able to fill in the blanks? I can assure you, some of your visitors will have the motivation to do it, but not the majority. If they have to struggle to find the information they're looking for, they're going to go somewhere else.

The same goes for your staff, or at least the ones that come in contact with your customers. Do they know enough to answer most questions a customer might ask them? Most customers will understand if the rep doesn't know all the answers, but the rep should make the customer feel comfortable in the fact that the rep is going to take ownership of the issue and track down the information for them.

As the saying goes, if you don't take care of the customer, someone else will.

So have you ever had this type of issue before with a company, either because they had inadequate information on their site or because their reps weren't trained well enough? Let me know in the comments below.

Click here to continue reading...
Published in General Post