Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Customer support issues and how to resolve them

This morning I got a call and the person on the other end said: "We received one of your Y-sustain boards and man, (chuckles) it ain't gonna work this way!".

Then he explained that they received a board serviced from us - it was a Y sustain 6871QYH039A or similar - and when they powered the TV it had popped out as those sustain boards usually do.

He said he then looked at the board and he has never seen such a bad job in his 30 years of electronics servicing experience. He has, in fact, brought in other technicians and, I quote, "they had all laughed".

Now, a little note from my end before I present the question I am actually writing this about.

On my end I know the board that he received was most certainly tested before it was sent out. It was not extensively tested and I would agree that the repair technique used is not one recommended in official LG service bulletines. After all, there is only so much you get for your money.

I do claim, however, that the board was functional and that the way it was made functional is reliable enough. I have several arguments for that claim, starting with the fact that tens of other customers use such boards, even though they are not serviced by the book.

It is very much like the way my close buddy the other day replaced the lower left arm of my Volvo without following the official dealership procedure for doing it. The car still drives great and I he saved me tons of money. I am aware he used a hammer to get somethign out when he could have used a machine, but I trust his experience and I believe I made a good deal by choosing him over Volvo dealership.

Frankly, I have no idea what did the technicians laughed at. I am actually about to call back in a minute ( I was driving before ) and ask what was there to laugh at. They may want to chime in here.

I myself avoid laughing at people with 30 years experience in anything. I just wonder how come they had to rely on my service at all.

I sell the parts for the board and I make it clear everyone is welcome to try the repair themselves.

Now to the point: bad feelings aside, let's try to analyze the situation. You do a remote service job, you test your product. Customer tells you it fails on furst use. Let's assume all he says is true and he's not trying to trick me.

Let's face it, it is possible for that to happen. Unlikely, but possible. It may be due to cold solder on your end, due to malfunctioning component - be it replacement or another.

It may also be due to improper installation. Customer, of course, would rule that out in the same fashion in which I'd rule out the possibility of a tested board to blow on its first use after the test, but the fact remains - it is possible.

Sustain boards , in particular, produce sharp voltage changes resulting in all possible harmonics. Resonances are possible and it is essential that the board is well affixed to the body to avoid them.

So it could have been anyone's fault.

My question is - what would you do if you were the vendor?

What would you do if you were the customer?


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