“I'd rather regret the things that I have done than the things that I have not.”
― Lucille Ball

Sunday, April 22, 2012

LG Quality of Service

In December last year we bought our flat-screen 55 inch TV. We choose for LG as they had a nice offer for a smart TV including a wireless media box for free.

Only two months ago I connected the TV with an Ethernet cable to our central wireless router, as this has better quality than a wireless dongle connection. So far so good, all works fine.

However, a couple of weeks ago I wanted to connect the wireless media box, but it failed to connect to the TV. The media box is a kind of concentrator for the TV, so you can connect all kind of video (+audio) sources to the box, like a video player, karaoke set, satellite set-top box, etc. The box connects wirelessly to the TV, so you can even have your equipment in another place in the room and still play all on your TV, by selecting the source on the front panel of the box.

Here begins my story. Let me tell you that I am NOT unsatisfied with my purchase and also not with the final solution, but I am amazed how the LG service organisation(s) in this area is organized, or may be they are not, and about the money they are probably wasting!

First event was that I went to the shop were I purchased the equipment in Urdaneta. Unfortunately I didn't have the purchase receipt anymore, but the manager of the shop is married to a family member of my wife, so he produced from his purchasing application a print-out with the purchased articles, prices and date. That was what I would need to claim my guarantee with the LG service organisation. I also got the address of the service organisation, which was in Calasiao.

So next day I went there and explained my problem. I showed them the media box, but they really didn't understand it and I believe they had never seen such a box. As they said they could not test it without the TV, they wanted to send some people to "investigate" the problem at my premises with the TV. The "service office" was not more than a small dark dirty space of 4by 5 meters I guess, with a couple of chairs for customers, a lady for the reception/administration and some young guys, doing nothing. They would come next day. I should have been more cared, as this could almost not be THE service center.

Indeed next day two guys arrived in a tricycle, the only thing they carried was a book with service forms. After explaining what the problem was, they tried again what I showed them, and I explained again what the problem was. They wanted to see the user manual, but I told them already that the manual only shows how to connect the cables, but not how to configure it (if possible) and how to operate it. They didn't know what to do and I am sure they had never seen the media box. So the solution they came-up with was to load the media box and all accessories in a bag and bring it to their service center, so what I did already the previous day already. And off they went.

Surprisingly next day two other gays came from LG service with a service van with a LG logo on the van. They were from the LG service center in Dagupan, which is a professional service center I found out later. These guys were also professional. They knew what to do and they showed me with a dedicated (service) remote controller that there is a special configuration item in the TV to be set in case of using a media box. I don't remember what the initial setting was, but anyway they couldn't test anything because the media box was not in home anymore, but in Calasiao. They couldn't tell me what was going on.

I am sure that if the media box was still there they could fix the problem.

Next day a lady from LG service center called me and told me that the problem was dispatched to LG Manila and they would come with a solution next week. The solution they finally proposed was to replace the TV set and the media box. I was quite surprised as I still was convinced that it was only a configuration item. Anyway, arguing is not something you should do in the Philippines and I agreed. This was just before Holy week, so in the week after Holy week I got the message that after a week, everything would be delivered in the same shop were I bought it, in Urdaneta. And I had to pick up from there and sign some documents. Of course I didn't agree with it, they should bring everything in my house and install it. "Oh, sir but then you have to pay delivery costs, its 450 pesos". But I didn't accept the price and finally we agreed on 300 pesos.

When the boys from Urdaneta delivered the equipment I managed to install the wireless dongle for the media box, before they hang the new TV on the wall. After installing all cables, the media box seemed to work with my video player, but it was not possible to switch to my satellite receiver, so still a problem. At the same time I called service to tell them that it was still not working as it should and that I wanted to have TECHNICIANS here to solve it.She agreed to send them next day. After an hour even my video player didn't work anymore on the TV.

Next day two guys came again, but NOT the technicians I had requested, but the two with the tricycle. They looked at the equipment and tried to change some cables, but of course that was not the problem as I told them. These guys are probably installing new equipment and configure it for customers, but are not LG technicians. I was very upset and called again for the TECHNICIANS and now she promised me that they would come next day.

Indeed next day they came, but unfortunately I was not home when they arrived and gone already when I came back home. But, we had brief contact by phone and he told me that the problem was solved and everything is working now. Indeed when I came home, it was working well.

I believe that - as I said before - that replacing the TV was not necessary, so it cost LG all the service costs, new equipment, transport cost, etc. And what's in for me: I have now a new TV again, with a new warranty (period) and a working media box.

So I guess if their after sales service would be better organised they could save costs and have even more happier customers.


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