What to Do when Call Center Support Fails You

When Call Center Support is Non-Existant

Finally! You laid down some hard-earned cash for a new gadget you’ve had your eye on for a while and it just landed on your doorstep. Now it’s time to sit back and savor the moment as you gently unwrap it, skim the instruction manual and prepare to use it. But hold on a minute, right out of the box and it doesn’t work? As you scratch your head and simultaneously fumble for that now-very-important instruction manual, reality begins to set in. You’ve got a product that’s not working as expected. One last glance at the directions to find the call agents support number and you dial expecting help, but instead, you discover that it’s non-existent.

We’ve all been there before. Sitting on the other end of a customer support call that goes nowhere and leaves you even more frustrated than before. What can you do when call center best practice is lacking when you need help?

Here are 5 ways to get the help you need when call center support is non-existent:

Download an App

It’s a short trip to the app store! With a swipe here and a ‘download’ there you can arm yourself with an all-inclusive app that was specifically designed to handle issues just like this, such as Centriq.  With an ethos deeply rooted in empowering consumers and inspiring the DIY-er, the app “…is the fastest way to all the information you need to fix your stuff when it’s down and keep it running smoothly.” Simply snap a photo of your product or type in the model number and the Centriq app does the rest! Best of all, the Centriq app is the right choice for the lifetime of your product as well as everything else with an “on” switch in your home.

centriq-customer-support-fail-download-an-appImage Credit: Pixabay

 

 

Visit an Online Support Forum

When it comes to online support forums, there are two kinds:

  • Company-Moderated
  • User-Moderated

Both of these types of online support forums have their own merits and drawbacks. For company-moderated forums, you’ll find more technical information regarding the products it manufactures. However, you may run into hiccups if the product has been discontinued or is an older version that has been pushed to the wayside in favor of a newer model. You have no real way of knowing as it depends on where you purchased it from. As for user-moderated forums, here you’ll find more tangible user-experiences as well as real-time feedback that can be beneficial. However, the risk here is that you may fall prey to another forum user who offers advice but may not be as knowledgeable as they claim. As a result, you run the risk of being sent on a wild goose chase when trying to get your product to work.

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

 

Ask A Friend

Quite often, the best kind of advice you can get is from a trusted friend who owns the same product. That especially holds true if the friend recommended the product to you in the first place! There’s a big difference between asking a friend who owns the same product and a one-dimensional product review that was left for it online. For example, let’s say that both you and your friend own the exact same model of a single-brew coffee maker. The only difference is that yours isn’t working while your friend’s is working just fine. Here’s how your friend can help:

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

  • User Experience: User-experience is priceless and can often identify simple fixes that can make your product actually work. In the absence of call center support, a friend’s user experience is invaluable. You can explain the problem to your friend or even show him the unit to get his feedback.
  • Troubleshooting Experience: There is a chance that your friend may have run into a similar problem with the same product and found a solution through troubleshooting or even trial-and-error. Your friend can offer firsthand troubleshooting experience and what worked for him. In addition, since your friend is more experienced with the product then you are, he might be able to personally troubleshoot your unit to find a solution.
  • Offers Support: It’s very disheartening to purchase a new product only to discover that it doesn’t work as anticipated. The letdown is even worse if you saved up to buy it or spent beyond your means to acquire it. A friend can offer much-needed support and a shoulder to lean on as you contemplate your next move.

 

 

Ask An Expert

When in doubt, ask an expert for professional advice and insights in regards to your non-functioning product. It can be expensive to contact an expert, such as an electrician or computer tech, to help determine why your product isn’t working. And most of the time, calling in an expert might be more expensive than the product itself. The good news is that many experts, from various fields, can be found online in Facebook Groups  dedicated to their area of expertise. All you have to do is join and wait for your membership to be approved. Once approved, you can request help tips and strategies to get your product working.

Image Credit: Pixabay

 

 

Return the Item

If you’ve made it all the way through the above steps, and still come up empty-handed, it’s time to throw in the towel. You’ve finally run out of options and returning the product is your only option. To avoid adding further insult to injury, opt for the easiest method to return it. The only caveat is that you have to repack it and ensure that you include everything that came with it (including the instruction manual!).

Image Credit: Pixabay

  • In-Store Return: If you purchased the product in a store, then returning it is as easy as taking it back along with the receipt to get a cash refund. However, if you lost the receipt, you will only be able to get a gift card for the same store.
  • Online Return: If the item was purchased online, you’ll have to go through the process of requesting a refund and schedule a time for UPS to pick it up. Alternatively, you can print the shipping label and send it back yourself. In some instances, you might have to pay the shipping fees to return it.

Don’t let a negative experience with a product or its’ call center support discourage you from giving a similar product, from another company, a chance. The odds are in your favor that you’ll be able to find an equal or better product than the one that didn’t work. Ahead of your next purchase, try to do more research into product reviews for it to uncover potential problems before you swipe your credit card at the cash register.

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