Lies Companies Tell: A Twitter Story

by Barry Moltz on April 7, 2010

This guest post is by Christopher S. Daley and was originally posted at his site.

“This has not been my week for buying stuff. I keep picking items that end up being a major pain in the ass. I have spent more time on the phone with customer service reps in the last few days than all of last year. What I have discovered is that big business doesn’t like us.

They pretend they do. They act all nice and sweet, whispering into our ears about the wonderful stuff their products do. They make pretty Web sites that are really just like the cake in Alice in Wonderland. It says eat me and it looks delicious but usually bad things happen.

I bought the Vizio Sound bar (VSB210WS) this week. I bought it because the Vizio Web site said you could hook up 3 SRS wireless headphones to it. This is a big deal. We have early sleepers in my house (that’s code for my wife). I don’t want to be waking her up while I am blasting away at zombies.

When I got the sound bar home, the manual did not explain how to sync the headphones. I looked online, nothing. I called customer service. This was very productive. The guy I talked to said that they didn’t support their own product and said I should go to Best Buy to get help. My annoyance level rose. I emailed them, they still have never answered my email.

I clicked on the Twitter icon and sent a note to the Twitter tech. He told me it couldn’t be done. I wrote him back and said that their own Web site said it could. He responded in such a manner that it looked like he hadn’t read my original note. I got a little sarcastic in my reply back. He responded to my sarcasm with his own. This really annoyed me. I shouldn’t have been sarcastic but his job was to support their product.

We began to exchange Twitter messages where he basically called me a liar and I asked him if he thought he was effectively doing his job by frustrating me. I believe one of my Twitter notes about making the situation worse and hoping his boss was reading his Tweets made an impact. I suddenly received a call from Vizio. The man I talked to tried to make me understand that it was all a big misunderstanding. He promised to get back to me on Monday with the name of the headphones that would sync to the sound bar.

On Monday the call came. It started off really weird. He started talking about his last few hours stuck in traffic. Like I wanted to hear about his damn traffic problems. We aren’t friends. I am not coming over for drinks later. When he finally got around to telling me what I wanted to hear I was shocked. He said that he checked with the designers of the sound bar and that it was impossible to sync headphones to the bar. He had no idea why THEIR OWN Web site said it could.

He then told me he would understand if I had to return it and hung up (Gee thanks, so glad I have your permission). No we are sorry. No offer to try to make my headache right. Basically he flipped me the middle finger and went on his merry way.

I checked the Web site and they had removed all references to the headphones. However, they still have links to reviews that say wireless headphones work with the sound bar (which shows you how much reviewers are actually testing products. A blog for another time).

My anger over this was pretty extreme. Mostly because they didn’t care that they were rude, that they lied, that their Web site lied, that the reviews on their Web site lied. They never said they were sorry and it was fairly apparent my business meant nothing to them. Do yourself a favor and stay away from this company. They don’t deserve your money.

I wish this was the end of my horrific customer service week but today I actually managed to find a deal that didn’t exist on Amazon even though it was on their web page. After spending a half an hour on the phone with Amazon (who kept trying to get me to call Audible because it wasn’t their deal. Audible by the way is an Amazon company) I called Audible. Audible informed me that the Amazon Web site was mistaken and that they would have someone correct it immediately. She was at least polite to me.

I think I am going to hire myself out as a Web site detective. Need to find out if your Web site has false advertising on it, call me. For my next trick I shall find a needle in a haystack.”

Christopher S. Daley is a school teacher who still wants to be a published writer when he grows up.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Bradford Shimp April 7, 2010 at 9:45 am

Its all about attention to detail. These big companies have too many people doing too many things. Plus, it sounds like the have not created a culture of caring. Another reason to try to work with smaller businesses, though that is not always possible.

In an ideal world, you would have been awarded for pointing out false information on a businesses website. If I were them, I would take the time to thank you and offer you a reimbursement on your product. What a different story you would be telling if they actually cared.

Barry Moltz April 7, 2010 at 4:46 pm

unfortunately, the depts are always passing the buck and there are no unifying principles at most companies

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