Archive for the ‘Thoughts’ Category
Back in early June, I posted this post about my experience with sending in my HTC Diamond in for repair. Then 2 weeks later, I posted this after finding out that my Diamond had been misdirected by Fed Ex. Now, over 3 months later, I have a replacement Diamond from HTC and I can move on with my life. Unfortunately, the road to get to this point has not been easy, and I wanted to share the details of what a horrific experience this has been. For the sake of privacy, all names have been changed, and no personal details will be shared.
As I mentioned in my June 3rd post, Starting in the fall of 2008, I began having issues with my HTC Touch Diamond not staying connected to Wi-Fi. Multiple ROM updates, hard resets, and self-diagnosis of the issue yielded no resolution. At the CTIA conference in Las Vegas on April 1st, 2009 I spoke with an HTC representative (we’ll call him Joe) about my issue. He stated that if I sent him an email, he would forward my information on and help me get resolution.
On April 10th, I sent him this email:
It was great meeting you at last week’s CTIA, and thanks for taking the time to speak to me on the side about things. Just a reminder, I am still having issues with my Euro-Asian version of the HTC Diamond, and the Wi-Fi not connecting. I have done multiple hard resets, and 2 software updates with HTC’s provided ROM’s and still no dice. Could you put me in touch with someone that may be able to assist with this?
After receiving no response, I emailed him again on April 16th:
Any idea who I may contact? Could this be run through the warranty department?
This time, he did reply, just a few hours later:
Mickey, I’ve forwarded your description to our support team. I hope you and I hear back from them on this shortly. I’ve moved it up the priority chain.
The next day, I received the following email from someone at HTC (who we’ll call Mark) who references another HTC employee (who we’ll call Mary).:
Do you have a number I can call you? Sounds like we will need to have you send it in for repair, can I get your IMEI and part number (P/N) on the back of the device?
We might need to send this device to you for repair.
Mary the responds:
Once you get the customer information if you could let me know?
I chime in:
Mark and Mary,
I am out of the office today, but will get you the imei and s/n of the
device in the next day. Thanks for your assistance!
Then, the next day, April 18th, I sent them this email, with a picture of the back side of the device:
To ensure there are no errors in the transposing of the numbers, attached is a photo of the info on my diamond. I think I mentioned this to Joe, but this is the Diamond that was provided following an event in May of last year, but I don’t know if that matters.
My contact information is below, and thanks to everyone for your help! I love this device, but with the lack of 3G support in the US and now no Wi-Fi, it makes it difficult to use for data.
A week later, April 23rd, I had yet to hear anything, so I sent a follup email:
Any word on this, or when I might hear from someone?
Mary then called, and after some phone tag, we set up a time to chat. Ultimately, Mary sent this email as a followup to this discussion:
Thank you for returning my call.
If you would please send in your device to the address listed and provide the address so that I can return the device once repaired back to you.
And include the issue you are experiencing with your device so that are technician can duplicate the issues and correct the issue.
On May 4th, I packed up the Diamond and sent it to Mary, and followed it up with this email on May 6th:
This was shipped to your attention on Monday.
Thanks for your assistance.
Mary kindly reponds:
Thank you for providing the information
1 week passes and due to an error on my part, the phone is returned to me. On May 12th, I try to send the device again. On May 23rd, I haven’t heard anything from HTC, so I send this email to Mary:
Did it arrive? Anything you can tell me about service on the device
at this point?
3 days later, on May 26th, Mary responds:
It has arrived and currently having the phone repaired will inform you update once available.
4 days later, on May 30th after no response and no phone, I send this email:
I didn’t hear from you this week on this, so i am assuming it is still being repaired. Not to be a nag about it, but do you think I can expect to have it back in the next 3 weeks? I have an international trip coming up, and I am really hoping to have the phone back by then.
At this point, I am starting to get nervous. It has now been a couple weeks since I had originally sent the phone, and the communication was not as good as I would like. However, to my delight, on June 1st, this email came in from Mary:
Your unit was repaired and shipped on 5/29 here is the tracking #410169370491
Great I thought, the phone should be here in a few days, and I can move on with my life. This is where things started to go from inconvenient to painful. The tracking number was one from FedEx, which allowed me to follow the package’s every move. I noticed that strangely, the package had gone overseas. Here was the information from the FedEx site:
Jun 3, 2009 11:30 AM
Int’l shipment release
Jun 3, 2009 11:00 AM
Package available for clearance
Jun 2, 2009 10:54 AM
At dest sort facility
May 31, 2009 8:44 PM
Arrived at FedEx location
May 31, 2009 4:59 PM
Departed FedEx location
May 30, 2009 4:16 PM
May 30, 2009 9:39 AM
Arrived at FedEx location
May 29, 2009 9:10 PM
Left FedEx origin facility
May 29, 2009 6:53 PM
Looking at the locations, I was very confused as to where Baku, AZ was. AZ is the abbreviation for Arizona, but is apparently also the one for Azerbaijan, a country north of Iran! A little panicked, I emailed Mary on June 10th:
I noticed that the phone is now in Baku, AZ which appears to be the
country of Azerbijan, just north of Iran. It shows an arrival date of
the 18th of June to me, but it seems odd that it would take 3 weeks to
get to me, and go through there.
Mary responded the next day:
I do not know why Fed Ex would have your package transit this long if you do not get it on the due date please let me know.
Great, I am going to need to wait another 3 weeks before I get my repaired phone because of a FedEx mistake. As I thought about the timing, I had a trip coming up, and really wanted to have the phone with me. Hoping that it would help speed things up, I emailed Mary with a daytime address to hopefully mitigate the issue of a signature required conflict if it was shipped to my house:
Here is the shipping address that I will need the package changed to for a signature required.
Mary wrote me right back:
I did contact fed ex and inform them of the change of address since signature is required for delivery, and Fed ex is inquiry if the new address is a business or residents address? And Fed Ex is not sure as to why package went international.
Fed ex will be calling me in the next few days to confirm business/residents address and estimate of delivery.
5 days later, June 16th, I hadn’t heard anything so I reached out to Mary:
Hi again Mary.
I checked again on the FedEx tracking page, and it still hasn’t been updated since last June 3rd. With the delivery date slated for this Thursday, I don’t thin it is going to make it. Have your heard anything back from Fed Ex about rerouting?
Like I mentioned on May 30th, i am leaving for an international trip next Thursday, and was really hoping to have this phone back by then so I could use it for Wi-Fi, GPS and whatnot with an international SIM. Any thoughts on what we can do?
Was informed by fed ex that since me changing the address would delay the package
And even fed ex isn’t sure why your package went international?
Again, I asked the question:
Is there anything we can do in the meantime? Is there any way I can get a loaner device to use for the next few weeks until it arrives?
I spoke with Fed Ex once again and your device is on its way to you. When I made the adjustment from your residence to business address it had caused a delay. But you will be receiving device soon. A loaner phone is not applicable since our policy requires repairs only not a loaner phone.
At this point, I did realize that the situation was a FedEx problem, but I really hoped that HTC was going to help me out. Wanting to get some help, I reached out to my original contact Joe on June 19th:
I don’t know if you read this string yet, but this response is a bit frustrating. I understand that Mary is just trying to get me resolution, but if you go check out the fedex page (http://www.fedex.com/Tracking?action=track&tracknumbers=410169370491) you’ll see that it is still stuck in Azerbaijan, and there is no update on when it will be released. In fact, the estimated shipping date is now completely removed.
I realize that this isn’t HTC’s fault, and I understand why things have happened the way they are, but I wanted to reach out to you for some help. When i started this process over 2 months ago, i didn’t think it would take this long to get resolution, and wouldn’t have sent in the device at the time. I am headed on an international trip next week, and was hoping to rely on the Diamond to take care of my communication needs. At this point, it doesn’t look like it will make it back to me by next Wednesday (if ever) and so i am wondering if you have any way to send out a loaner device for me to use until mine returns.
As Mary says, this is not part of the process, but this is not a typical request. This Diamond that I sent back was from a conference last year, and provided as a review device. That is how i am hoping you’ll look at a potential loaner device as well. As simply a loaner phone…
If not, I understand, but would hope that based on the circumstances, we may be able to work together.
Thanks for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.
In June 21st, Joe responds:
Mickey, I realize that you would like a Diamond back now, however there is little I can do to make up for the shipping accident. I am already in London preparing for our next launch, and the repair center does not keep a stock of loaner phones. I am sorry that you will have to head overseas with whatever phone you are currently using should the diamond not get back to you in time.
Please understand that typically our review process last 2 weeks. We allowed attendees of the Diamond launch to keep their phones and do with them what they wish, however we considered the review period over quite some time ago. Of course that doesn’t mean we won’t honor the warranty of the phone, we have done everything possible to keep your device running.
I will check back this week to see if your phone made it to you in time.
Realizing his rational explanation, I concede, and respond:
Great point Joe, thanks.
Have a great launch in London this week. I am actually going to be in London, but not until the 26th.
At this point, I left for my 9 day international trip. I returned on July 6th with still no phone, and sent Mary another email:
Have you heard anything about the Diamond? I still have not received it.
I had mentioned to you previously due to changing address and package was shipped international –the package would be delayed.
After going to Fed Ex website your package had cleared the international therefore with the tracking number you will be able to monitor package as it is being returned to the US and will be going to your address that you had provided.
Tracking# Tracking no.: 410169370491
What??? Why would it be delayed another 3 weeks for a simple address change? This didn’t sound right, so I decided to call FedEx myself. After this conversation, I had confirmation from FedEx that they had most likely lost the package, and would need to start a claim. I relayed this to Mary on July 7th:
I just contacted FedEx, and spoke to 2 different people about the shipment. They both confiirmed that due to the length of time since it was shipped, the package is most likely lost, and will need HTC to file a claim with FedEx for the lost package. I would of course be happy to do this, but unfortunately they do require that the shipper do so. It can be done by calling 1800-Go FedEx and asking for a representative.
Can you please contact them, and let me know how it goes? I am really sorry that this who process has been such a mess. You’d think that sending a phone off for a simple repair wouldn’t be such a big deal! Thanks as always for your help.
I will have our customer care file a claim and will inform you once approval has been made
2 weeks later, July 22nd, no word from HTC so I reach out:
Just following up on this, any word on the claim?
Claim has been filed with Fed ex just waiting on Fed Ex end to provide if claim has been approved.
I called FedEx, and got a very different answer, I emailed Mary:
I just talked with Fed Ex, and they stated they are waiting to hear back from a “Jane Doe” that supposedly works for HTC on the contents contained in the shipment before they move forward. If you could pass this on to her, it would be appreciated.
No response from Mary. So, I tried to get in touch with “Jane” to see if I could get some resolution myself. Many attempts to email her all came back undeliverable as I was unable to figure out an email address for her. I called FedEx again, and they told me they were waiting still to hear from Jane to confirm what had been sent. Thankfully, FedEx talked with me, and I was able to provide them with the information they needed on the phone to begin the refund process. On August 5th, I again reached out to Mary:
I just got off the phone with FedEx, and they stated that they have approved the claim for the entire amount ($500) and will be refunding the shipping charges to the account. The check was cut on Friday, so whomever in HTC that handles these things should be getting it very soon.
So what are the next steps between us?
2 days later, August 7th still no response from Mary, so I reached out this time to Mark:
I haven’t heard back from Mary on the last few emails that I’ve sent. Can you assist? The email string is pretty long, but gives you a good history of what has happened. Also, is there a way you can get me in touch with Jane Doe, as she is the one that i believe is handling this directly now.
No response from Mark, but Mary finally emails me back on August 11th:
Been out of office and will follow up and will advice once our accounting department received check from Fed Ex
One week later, no follow-up from Mary. I again reach out, August 18th:
Any word from your accounting department? I just got off the phone with Fed Ex, and they said a check was indeed cut for $479 plus shipping on 8/11.
Just hoping to get this resolved, i certainly appreciate your help!!!
I am currently following up with accounting and our logistic department to have a unit out to you by end of week. And will include next day delivery once confirmed
9 days later, no word from Mary and no phone. My email on August 27th:
Maybe I misunderstood your email about having something by the end of last week, but i still haven’t received it. Do you have any update? What address are you going to send it to?
I apologize I did have it set for last week although I had to take off Friday and Monday for emergency matter. I am working on it today and really am trying to have it out to you my tomorrow please provide me the address you like to have it shipped to –will include next day delivery
I send Mary my address, and she replies:
Ok I will inform you before I ship device to confirm next day or 2nd day delivery
5 days later, nothing from Mary, so another email on September 1st:
I am traveling this Friday, and wonder if the phone will make it to me for the trip. Do you think it will get shipped today for delivery tomorrow or Thursday?
I will have an update for you tomorrow in regards of your device
Mary responds the next day as well:
Mickey your replacement is being shipped today and I have included over night delivery – I don’t have tracking # available at the moment but will provide that to you once available
Finally, on September 8th, I came into my office after being gone for a few days, and what is on my desk but a box from HTC! I quickly open the box, finally excited that I will have my phone back, only to have to send this email to Mary:
I just got back into the office this morning and the phone was here waiting for me. Thank you!
There is one problem though, when I sent you my original Diamond, it had the stylus, battery and back with it, and the one that was sent to me had none of these with it. Can you arrange to have these three items sent to me?
Unbelievable, after all this, the phone doesn’t have everything with it that I need to use it! Mary does respond right away:
I am out of office today but will ship out the needed accessories when i return to the office with next day delivery
But, after 3 more days, still nothing from them, so I email Mary on September 11th:
Just checking to see if you’ve had a chance to send out the
battery/cover/stylus, and when I should expect them.
I just got all your accessories late in the evening yesterday -therefore I am shipping it out today with 2nd day delivery so you should get it on Monday.
Monday September 14th came, but no package.
Thankfully, the accessories did arrive on Tuesday September 15th, 2009, and the Diamond is back in service.
After a total of 68 emails back and forth and 167 days (5.5 months) I have a fully functional replacement device. I know that this issue had little to do with HTC as it was a FedEx blunder, but the way it was handled seems quite poor. I was the one that was required to do all the followup. I was the one that was required to contact FedEx numerous times to find out what was going on. I was the one that needed to make all attempts to get this resolved. And for what; a phone that was given as a review device, of which I am supposed to use and talk about. Well guess what, in phone years, not having HTC’s device for nearly half a year is about 25% of its expected life. Add to the matter that a new version of the Diamond has since come out, and my original model is now obsolete. This situation should have been resolved timely by the company if they care about the people that they rely on to talk about their products. I sincerely hope this was an isolated incident, and hope HTC understands this is unacceptable customer care, and needs to be taken seriously.
Disclosure: Mickey Papillon is the creator and host of the industry leading podcast about cell phones, The Cell Phone Junkie. The HTC Diamond was provided by HTC as a review device.