HTC – sadly horrible customer service

In the interest of fairness and so this post does not come off as my being an unreasonable disgruntled customer, let me say that I believe overall, HTC to be a good company that makes in most cases high quality products.

I went on Twitter several times to get help from HTC and I received a few responses asking if I had done a soft reset, yes many, many times.  Then they asked if I had spoken with their customer service team.  It is only after I spoke with their customer service team and received ridiculous advice, that I once again went to Twitter to rail against the company for their lack of service and all I wanted was to get someone high enough up the food chain that would at the very least be willing to listen and hopefully have some constructive recommendations.  I was told on February 7 via Twitter that they would escalate my issue and someone would reach to me.  As of this date March 29, I have not heard from anyone.

This is why I decided to first write this blog, then I will do something else fun, that I will describe at the end of the blog.  The response I received from their crack customer service team was a suggestion that I Google to see if/when there would be a software update for my phone.

Really HTC?  I mean really, this is your idea of customer service? Fabulous, cause I certainly am not bright enough to find this Google thing you speak of on my own. Sheesh! It gets more amusing, while on the phone with this fantastically trained rep, I found this new fangled Google thing and discovered that Ice Cream Sandwich update was in fact imminent.  So I had to inform him of this fact.  After clearly getting nowhere with this well meaning, but clearly poorly trained individual I hung up.

About 15 minutes later my phone rings, and god bless him, it’s the same rep to tell me that he has now confirmed what I already told him that ICS is coming via Verizon! So the total extent of service I received from HTC was to be told to Google for a remedy and then being informed of publically available information 15 minutes after I disclosed it to the HTC rep.  Clearly something is broken with HTC’s idea of customer service.

Unfortunately my second experience with one of their products has been an ever increasing nightmare that has reached a point where I felt strongly that I need to send HTC a very clear message regarding their terrible lack of care and customer service.  That is what this post is about, the fact that sadly for many companies customer service is not important since they have gotten so large and frankly don’t care if they lose a customer here or there.  Therefore it is incumbent upon us as consumers to take companies’ to task when they fail us.

Again in the interest of fairness let me say that my first experience with an HTC product was fantastic!  I had the original Droid Incredible and it worked flawlessly and I loved it.  I am an early adopter of technology and always have been.  These days I don’t have much money so not as much but when I can I try and get the latest stuff.

My problem begins when I purchased the Thunderbolt, at full retail I might add, since I was in the middle of my contract and was not able to buy the phone subsidized.  Now, keep in mind that when the Thunderbolt was released it was also highly praised as the hottest phone available.  It was the first phone to utilize Verizon’s 4G network and was also the first phone capable of simultaneously making calls while still using the internet.

I was very excited to get the phone, and was quickly disappointed.  It had problems from the very beginning, primarily that it would reboot often during the day including while using it.  HTC and Verizon both acknowledged a problem and promised a software update that would resolve the issue.  To their credit while very late from when they promised it would be available, they did in fact release the update and it did makes things better.  The phone worked pretty well for a few months.

Then the problems began again, and it got progressively worse.  After the update to ICS the phone works much, much worse. It reboots on average 6-8 times per day, sometimes at the most inopportune times, like doing something unimportant like making a phone call, or use the Google Maps app.  The worst part though is since the update it’s almost impossible to answer the phone, so I end up having to call the person back.

Also the lag time from when I kindly, gently and politely ask the phone do some silly task, like oh, I dunno, say make a phone call for example, the phone will decide to carry out this task anywhere from 2-3 minutes after my request or sometimes much, much longer.

The reality is, that this phone at this point is really become a doorstop.  All I wanted from HTC is to at least have someone high enough up the food chain and knowledgeable enough to attempt to help me.  Show they actually care and want to make an attempt to keep me as a customer.  To date this has not happened.

So now to the fun thing I will do with my new phone and to my old phone.  At this point I have narrowed it down to probably the Samsung Note II, Galaxy S3 or S4 as my replacement phone.

I don’t yet have the money to buy the new phone since I have to pay full retail unless Samsung wants a fun marketing opportunity and wants to comp me a phone in exchange for the footage.

I plan to have someone video me as I take a sledge hammer to the HTC Thunderbolt and smash it in to little, itty bitty pieces to ensure that no one else has to put up with a phone that in my opinion was not ready for primetime.  Once the video is complete then it will posted up on YouTube.

If I can’t use it as a phone anymore I may as well have some fun with it.

Carpe Diem

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