May 6, 2010

Is customer service dead?

I recently converted from a PC to a Mac (and I love my Mac!).  My CPU is a Mac Mini, a tiny little thing with a lot of power.  I found the best price for it and bought it from Amazon.  While there, I saw a cool little Mac Mini mounting bracket with extra USB ports on it (the Mac Mini only has five USB ports).  If you want to look at it yourself, here it is: Mac Mini Hang With Mi.
While I found it on Amazon, I had to order it from Other World Computing (OWC).  It arrived quickly and I happily got out my drill, mounted it on my old ratty computer desk, stuck my Mac Mini in the bracket, and hooked up all my peripherals.  
Due to the touchy nature of my GSM "air" card - the gadget I use to connect to the Internet out here in the boonies - I planned to plug it into one of the USB ports on the front of the bracket.  The GSM card doesn't like being buried under the desk; it slows the connection down a lot.  So, after getting everything ready to go, I plugged the GSM card into one of the bracket USB ports.  Nada.  Nothing.  Nicht. 
I tried several other things, my trackball mouse, my keyboard, my camera cord - nothing worked in any of the USB ports on the bracket.  Grumbling, I sent it back to OWC for exchange for a working bracket. 
OWC contacted me and said their tech department had checked the bracket and that it was getting power, so they were sending it back to me as nothing was wrong with it.  They implied that I was too stupid to connect everything correctly and admonished me to make sure the power supply was plugged in.  When asked, OWC admitted that they had not actually plugged anything into the USB ports themselves to see if they worked.   They would not exchange the unit for a new one.  So I got a refund less a 15% restocking fee because I returned it (even though I really just wanted an exchange).  
Gee.  What do y'all think?  If you were OWC, would it have been better to send me a brand new working unit and thereby secure my loyalty through excellent customer service?  Or would you do what they did and lose me as a customer?  They have a really nice online store with a lot of products, but they won't get any more of my business. 


Janet/OK said...

and you just told a lot of people about their customer service! I sure won't be looking for anything from them.
(and they didn't even try the ports---(shaking my head)!)

Gloria said...

Interesting. OWC should have replaced the unit. I will be following your blog to see if they make this right.