I recently dealt with a company, well known for its strict warranty policies and had success in procuring a replacement battery for my notebook even though it was 3 months out of warranty. I wanted to share my experience with you with the hope that my suggestions might make your future calls to tech support less frustrating and more productive.
My notebook battery no longer holds a charge. I’ve had it for about 15 months and I didn’t purchase the extended warranty. After doing a bit of research, I learned these batteries are supposed to be good for at least 300 cycles and mine was only at 216. I called the company’s support department and spoke with a really friendly rep, but she told me there really wasn’t anything they could do.
Here’s what I said:
“…Just to be clear, before I hang up with you, I want to make sure I understand exactly what your company’s position is related to my defective battery. You’re telling me that my battery, which you have acknowledged should last more than 300 cycles and which is now failing before that, is not covered because I am three months outside of my warranty period. Did I summarize that correctly?”
Here’s what I think were the important components of my summary statement:
- Earlier in the call, the rep agreed the product was not operating within its spec. Since we both agree the product is defective, the only issue to tackle now is that of the warranty.
- I elevated the issue. Instead of it being the rep’s position, I asked her if that was the official position of her Company. Most support reps are not spokespeople for the company. When asked about an official position of the company, I put her in an uncomfortable position. This is an especially useful tactic when the company DOES NOT have an official position.
Since the rep I was speaking with was not comfortable giving me the answer I was looking for (a simple yes or no), she offered to connect me with a product specialist. You can listen to the edited version of my phone call with the specialist but I essentially pressed for the same answer to my question about the company’s policy on this subject. By forcing a position that requires a yes or no (1:34), you have a really good chance the situation will play in your favour (1:47).
Often, during a call with a support representative, after hearing “there isn’t really anything we can do” you have three options:
- Raise your voice, threaten, yell, argue until you get what you want.
- Thank the rep for their time and hang up, dejected.
- Be pragmatic, recount the facts and force a Yes or No answer about the official position of the Company.
I hope you didn’t think #1 was the way to go. I included it for completeness and although it might achieve success on occasion, it often serves to frustrate all parties involved and has the potential to blow up in your face. Plus, it’s just bad Karma, don’t do it. I used to be the #2 guy until I tired of feeling like I was Charlie Brown always trying to kick the football, only to have Lucy pull the ball away at the last minute.
Sometimes, during a support call, there can be a lot of talking. Everybody gets tired, there’s confusion and often, the customer hangs up, dejected. If you take my advice and succinctly summarize your concern and force a one word answer (if they dance around the subject, repeat the question again), I promise you’ll have much better success when calling tech support.