Hardware

ViewSonic customer support redeems itself -- A follow-up story

Have you ever given up on a vendor or supplier because of a bad experience with their customer support, but they later came through and redeemed themselves? Here's an instance of that very thing happening.

Have you ever given up on a vendor or supplier because of a bad experience with their customer support, but they later came through and redeemed themselves? Here's an instance of that very thing happening.

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A while back, I wrote a blog piece about customer service called "Customer Service Isn't Just One Thing, It's the Only Thing," and I described three companies that each scored differently for me. On the good end of the scale, I described my experiences with one company, Indra's Net, that's provided outstanding customer support for me, and I actually recommended their services (something I've never done before). On the other end of the scale, I described my experiences with another company, ViewSonic, that actually led me to remove them from my list of acceptable suppliers for my monitors, and it was all because of a bad customer support experience.

At the time, I described my experience like this:

I used to buy nothing but ViewSonic monitors. For years I'd come to rely on the great quality of the product, and regardless of price, I'd always select the ViewSonic model of the day that provided the best bang for my buck. Whenever I did have a CRT monitor fail, which wasn't very often, ViewSonic Customer service was always quick, friendly, and accommodating to repair or replace the defective unit.

Fast forward to the day of the LCD monitor, and I naturally stuck with my preferred brand. But unlike their CRT predecessor, I seemed to have a very high failure rate with their LCD screens. They did carry a three-year warranty, but I had some instances in which I'd send the same monitor back three or four times. I even went so far as to request (later demand) a different model. Only once did they agree to accommodate that request. It almost became a joke around the office, because I was sending so many monitors back for warranty repair. And when the telephone hold time with their customer service started to be measured in hours rather than minutes, and when letters of complaint fell upon deaf ears ........ well, I'm sure gonna’ miss that neat-looking Toucan logo.

I must say, I wasn't expecting what happened as a result of that piece.

A few weeks after that blog was posted, I received a phone call from a representative at ViewSonic asking me to elaborate on what I experienced. I went into more detail describing how I thought this one particular model was a lemon and how it wasn't as reliable as I've come to expect from ViewSonic. I further explained the series of events that led me to my conclusion to simply give up on that company. This ViewSonic representative was very nice, extremely professional, and was genuinely willing to make things right with me.

Although I'm not a huge customer, one who might buy hundreds of monitors a year, I'm not a one-time customer either. As such, I was pretty impressed with the solution this person suggested. He offered to replace all of those particular models of monitors (about eight of them) with a similar, but different model, and he even gave me a couple of options from which to choose. Moreover, he was also quite interested in hearing about the delays in phone support and such, and I got the distinct impression that they would pay heed to the feedback I provided.

Anyway, I thought I should post an update telling folks who read my blog that ViewSonic is back on my list. Having said that, I think I should add this as a disclosure: the monitor replacement offer was not, in any way, conditional or contingent on me writing this update. In fact, the subject never even came up, which further led me to believe that it was a genuine attempt to satisfy a small, but long-standing customer.

I suppose all companies experience problems from time to time, and ViewSonic is no different. I think this is an illustration of the following notion: it's not just the fact that a problem arises that defines a company but rather how they deal with the problem and solve it to the customer's satisfaction that's the real measure. I must say that this one was certainly handled in the best way possible.

Kudos to ViewSonic -- and especially to that particular representative who resolved my issue. I guess in the future I'll be seeing more of that neat-looking Toucan logo after all.

What about you? Have you had any similar experiences?

30 comments
butkus
butkus

I bought some ViewSonic CRT's in 2005 (?), they would never have a straight screen. This, on multiple computers makes. No matter what I did the screen edges would be crooked. I did buy a number of their LCD projectors over the years, then I got a VidewSonic PJ 551D DPL projector. Terrible, would change display setting whenever it wanted. Color was washed out, no matter what settings. They send a replacement and that took care of the display changes. But the color is still washed out, but not as bad.

butkus
butkus

I purchased a Gateway FPD2185W for some $599 (?) a few years back. Just under a year and the GW Logo shows on the screen for a full minute when turned on or from sleep. A call, they send a new one and back goes the old one. Just over 6 months and again, same problem. Gateway is sorry, yes it's over a year since the original purchase but they ship a new one (no refurb) and they pay shipping back. A little more then a year after that ... it's back. Search the net and find it's a big problem. Heat from a transformer is toasting capacitors. There is a user fix with bit of time removing parts and soldering. I happen to find a temporary fix by hitting a side button three times. It removes the logo instantly. So for a few months I hit this side button and the logo goes away. I happen to search the net again and find that if you "unplug" the monitor for 30 seconds, that fixes it for a few months ! So every few months I have to unplug the monitor. It is such a nice screen, even with Vista, I hated to give it up. But two Samsung SyncMasters were bought two years ago with $100 rebate that Samsumg came through with, beating Gateway's price for their "updated" model. So Gateway did come through but not all the way.

blackepyon01
blackepyon01

Sometimes you just need to squak in the right direction to get the "higher-ups" to listen. I've come to know from experience dealing with customer support that the guys you talk to on the phone most likely don't even know a thing about the product they claim to support, and a lot of them are outsourced anyways. But the rare chance that you do actually get to meet/talk with the higher ups or the actuall technicians, you can get things done cause these guys actually know what they're doing.

jmbrasfield
jmbrasfield

In my twenty plus years of dealing with hardware manufacturers and ten years of dealing with online suppliers, I can say with all honesty that I've had good experiences with only a handful of reputable companies, APC and Corsair topping my list with their no questions asked policy of the customer is always right. It's cheaper to just replace the item and keep the customer than to argue or point fingers and lose that customer. I have yet to have a pleasant experience with any motherboard or graphics card maker. Getting them to do something, assuming they respond to your e-mail, is like pulling teeth from a shark, which I guess is what they are. Are you listening ASUS, any ATI supplier, AMD, NEWEGG? (not even on any list, good or bad, any more) What happened to you? Once, all of you topped my lists of the best that was out there. Now I won't ever, ever, ever use your stuff again. I do have to admit, your competition is barely any better and that is just plain sad.

mrobrahn
mrobrahn

Viewsonic is off my vendor list permanently after they took several months to replace an bad LCD monitor with a three year warranty. We sent it in and they lost not only the monitor but paperwork as well. We kept hearing excuses about new tracking systems, moves to new facilities, etc. It was a nightmare. We bought 16 of these monitors. I hope another one never fails!

dhb911
dhb911

I was a long time user of ViewSonic products. But their customer support sucks. Starting in September, I spent hours and what turned into months last year trying to get a monitor back from customer support. No one there knew anything. I tried many ways letters, emails, and phone calls and never got a response. Each time they never receieved either monitor but I had Delivery Confirmation from Fed Ex. They never called me. They hung up on me many times. After waiting for hours to talk to someone it was start over. They would then hang up. They gave me numbers to call which were just recordings. They was nowhere to complain. They never ever responded. But a week after Christmas another model monitor just showed up. It was two inches bigger than the old. I never received any info on what happened. NO ONE EVER CALLED ME. Despite repeated requests. By them ignoring me and then calling you. Only confirms that they do not care about customers anymore. Have you ever tried to call the President of that company? "VIEWSONIC SUCKS" DO YOU GUYS REALISE YOUR SUPPORT PEOPLE JUST HANG UP ON YOU WTIH NO EXPLANATION. AND THAT AFTER WAITING 40-60 minutes TO TALK TO SOMEONE. THEY WOULD JUST HANG UP. THANKS A LOT VIEWSONIC. WHAT IS VIEWSONIC GOING TO DO FOR ME? NOTHING... -Dennis

kzot
kzot

I am sure that their willingness to assist you, a writer for TechRepublic whose articles and blogs may reach thousands of potential ViewSonic customers any given day of the week, was in no way, shape, or form contingent on you providing an update that redeems them in your eyes. I just wonder how many other people endured your scenario that will not be receiving that phone call from the extremely concerned and very sympathetic customer representative. It's just extremely lucky that they knew where to get in touch with you. Oh yeah, you write for a substantial tech industry website, you are easy to find.

seanferd
seanferd

It sounds like somebody in authority finally got the message, and he wasn't satisfied either. Good for ViewSonic. And good for you. It is unfortunate that sometimes it takes an independent source to reach those in a company who care about their products and customers. Sometimes, there is a wall or filter between customer support (or any other department) and the upper management. Waterloo? Actually, I loved my ViewSonic CRT, but it just died. Wouldn't display anything one morning. I'll miss it. It was one of the best (and biggest) monitors I've had the pleasure to own. So I think it is good that the company is not totally going downhill.

jyoung
jyoung

The "higher-ups" know what they're doing and they can feel when the person they are talking to knows what they're doing. I can usually get a good response because I have already performed the appropriate troubleshooting steps. I was surprised when I spoke with the Viewsonic tech/rep only stating I was experiencing the same issues as everyone else. He never asked for any other info.

jyoung
jyoung

I'll have to admit, I have been dealing with Newegg for many years and have never had a problem. They have always come through.

sammiew
sammiew

I had a problem with my monitor going to sleep and indicating loss of signal. Well, my new HP pc was at fault but they kept trying to blame the monitor as failing. When I tried to explain to them that the monitor was simply doing it's function properly they insisted I call Viewsonic. I did and after a lengthy discussion with two very friendly support persons who consulted with their engineering department they concluded (as I knew already) that the monitor was not at fault. It was the pc failing to provide the digital signal. I fought this problem for approximately 6 months with HP finally sending someone to change the video card to no avail. Finally one day we lost power to the house during inclement weather for a full day. I never turn my pc off and may have found this earlier if I did but after being off and totally without power for almost 14 hours when it came back on, lo' and behold, it worked, provided a digital signal and was operating correctly. As a result I have renewed faith in Viewsonic as I always have had (owned many VS monitors) and my faith in HP products is sort of on the bottom of list. I'll think long and hard before buying another HP product. I've already decided to never own another HP printer, their support and supplies are simply outrageous! Thanks Viewsonic for excellent products and service.

jyoung
jyoung

I have 2 19" models which have a known flaw. I have about 2 more months on the warranty. I was going to have them recycled as the prior news about their bad service made me think I would just be spinning wheels. I'll report back about what happens with my case.

seanferd
seanferd

know how to get ViewSonic's attention. :D

CSR-TECH
CSR-TECH

So what is the contact info for this guy at Viewsonic who supposedly cares about all these customer care problems? I'm in the middle of a 3 month long warranty issue now and could sure use some horsepower where it helps.

franks
franks

Four months ago I had a Viewsonic(VP2030b) fail in our production area. I still haven't received the replacement. I've called them several times about it and each call seems to only indicate they're working on it... You'd think they were hand making these replacements from scratch. Yesterday, after less than 6 month another monitor failed(VP2130b). They refused to cross ship even after the delay on the other panel... And yes, we have many monitors here, and I expect failures. I just can't understand why they're being such cocks about replacing it. It's WAAAAAY cheaper to replace it than loose me as a customer for life, and any techs I bump into.... All this coming from a longtime viewsonic fan; I, sadly am not anymore.. This blog only proved that viewsonic cares if someone with a big enough soapbox complains. If only I worked for a newspaper.. Oh wait I do ;P

jyoung
jyoung

I called the 800# and got a tech immediately. I gave him the 2nd RMA # and he confirmed it had lapsed. They cancel a RMA after 45 days. He issued a new RMA #. I'll ship off the second monitor today. So far, so good.

jyoung
jyoung

800-688-6688 - I spoke to Patrick.

jyoung
jyoung

The 2nd VX922 has been returned to me and it performs as it should. Total cost of shipping both monitors to Viewsonic for repairs: $52.59. Both monitors repaired and returned within 3 weeks each. No other troubleshooting was required by Viewsonic techs. RMAs assigned without question. After this experience, I would have to say I am pleased with their service. I will purchase their products in the future. Jay

jyoung
jyoung

And the waiting begins again.

jyoung
jyoung

I ran the repaired VX922 for 2 days and even left the shade open with the sun shining on it to make sure it heated up and it performed as it should. I was able to switch between analog and digital without it getting confused with the blinking green power indicator. I also switched resolutions numerous times and had no problem. I performed these test before and after installing the drivers. Now I'll ship off the second VX922. I still have the RMA number given to me when I first called. I'll contact Viewsonic support to make sure the RMA is still valid.

jyoung
jyoung

It arrived today. The turn around was supposed to be 2 weeks, but, it actually was 3. As soon as I get home I'll unbox it to see if they replaced or repaired it. More tomorrow.

jyoung
jyoung

I called the 800# I had to Google to find (800-688-6688). I could not find it on the site, even after going through the ?Online? support. After negotiating the automated phone system (3 choices to go through) I was on hold for about 30 seconds when the system told me a possible wait up to 15 minutes. I spoke with "Patrick" for about 10 minutes. The only thing I said about the problem was it was ?the same everyone else is having.? After giving my information with a couple of quick holds I had RMA#s for both monitors. I'll have to pay shipping to them, they pay for it coming back. He stated it would probably be a repair, which is fine as long as it fixes the problem. I read posts on a forum about a few folks who actually disassembled their monitors to diag the issue as bad capacitors, undoubtably from those few years ago when the market was flooded with them. I have no desire to go this route. Here is a link to this forum: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/247964-33-viewsonic-vx922-monitor-black-screen-green-power-light-flashes So, that was my first foray into Viewsonic's support. At this moment, it was painless. Now we'll see what happens after their solution and return of the product. I'll keep you informed. Jay

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