Redefining the Meaning of Customer Service

November 29th, 2007

It seems that some companies namely LG here in Lebanon have taken upon themselves to redefine what customer service actually means. Like all stories lets start at the beginning.

A month and a half ago my new LG Mini Hi-Fi system which was purchased less than a year ago started going crazy on DVDs and would completely freeze. Usually these devices are covered by a 1 year warranty. And upon inspection of my warranty card, turned out it had expired 6 months ago. Now I’m no expert but a 6 month warranty is kind of ridiculous, especially when the paper itself clearly states a 1 year warranty for a product of this class. Confident that this was a mistake that could be rectified, I packed the system and headed to the LG service center, delivered the item, was promised that the warranty issue would looked into and that in 2 days time I would pass by and pick up the repaired unit. That was exactly 36 days ago.

During that time I haven’t received a single call from their customer service, despite repetitive assurances that I would be receiving one in a day, in 2 hour, and other varying times, with a lot of apologetic jargon that translates, at best, as lip service. Making the calls at my charge to follow-up on the repair progress, I made a total of 15 follow-up calls, of which three, to ask them to go ahead and repair the unit, because there was an incurred cost (as they said) since my 6 months warranty had expired. Instead of going ahead and fixing it they wait for you to confirm that you want it fixed, missing the point that thats the reason the unit was taken to them in the first place. What amused me most, in black comediesque way, about the entire ordeal was that to them this was absolutely normal, and left with the impression that they didn’t care at all if the customer was happy or serviced, not even a genuine apology was given to me when they handed me the repaired unit (which they banged and hit on narrow shelfs while getting it) not even for not calling. They even went so far as to declare that they were under a heavy workload because of the number of units tasked to be repaired, which in itself is quite indicative of the quality they make you pay top dollar for. In the end I submitted a verbal complaint, which wont be going anywhere, paid up and took my battered unit home, packed it in a box, and enjoyed my new Sony Mini-HiFi system, pledging never again to buy anything LG because of their awful customer service, and would go so far as to discourage anyone I know from buying it for just that reason.

I knew I should have stuck with a Sony from the beginning. Everyone strays from the path now and then. Sony rocks like.no.other!

Rollercoaster

September 29th, 2007

I have nerver personally experienced a real rollercoaster ride; or maybe that once in a small luna park. But as far life’s rollercoaster rides are concerned, I can safely say that for the past month I was on one of the longest (perhaps the longest) of my entire life. It started with a dive into career valley, followed by a sharp long turn (with lots of Gs) into thesis corner ending with a 360 degree turnpike in marriage loop, metaphoricaly speaking of course!

In short, lets just say that all the major tie in requirements of one’s life came to an abrupt conclusion and in other cases beginnings in less than thirty days. Now that must be the fastest rollercoaster ride I’ve ever seen.

So here’s to closures and new beginnings!

Potter Mania!

August 13th, 2007

I’ve just spent an entire weekend devouring J.K. Rowling’s “last” book of the Harry Potter saga [Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows], and I must say its Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsbeen a gripping roller coaster ride. I even went and re-read the previous book just to make sure that I refresh my memory and where we last left off. A gripping read for sure, and since rumors have been flying about the “untimely” death of our beloved wizarding hero, I must say it was also a pretty harrowing read as well. Final verdict: One hell of an ending for a story that has re-awakened the Fantasy genre and made us revel in magic we thought we had forsaken while growing up. Thank you J.K. Rowling for re-awakening the child sleeping within everyone of us!

Poetic sunset over the mediterranean sea

June 3rd, 2007

Yesterday evening Rana & I spent a wonderful afternoon at our good friends’ chalet in Batroun (Ali & Nathaly). We decide to to go up there with Wissam Y. since that was his last day in Lebanon before heading back to Scotland. To put the image in context imagine having a small house right on the sea front, and with just a few steps separating you from the water. And in the same view your field of vision would encompass the sea, a beautiful alcove, and an ancient wall dating back to the Phoenicians. Now imagine a sunset in that setting! “A picture is worth a thousand words”, that saying is very true for what I have just described!

Batroun Sunset

Ubuntu Feisty Fawn on a Toshiba 2410

May 12th, 2007

Well I must say that the installation of Ubuntu on my trusty old Toshiba 2410 went without a hitch, that is until of course it booted up for the very first time.

Cant complain much in terms of hardware support but getting my WG511T to work with my wireless router which doesn’t broadcast its ESSID did take a bit of surfing and forum readings. As for getting XGL to work on the built-in NVidia 420 Go well that took a little longer and a lot of praying before this one worked.

HowTo explaining all the details available here

Finally!

May 4th, 2007

After months of procrastination, my custom built panel is now finally finished! Just need to add a couple of aesthetic touches to it but the meat and bones are ready and working. Its kinda nice to know you can control your content.

I also finally got around upgrading my WordPress release so thats also deserves some kudos =).

Anyway its kind of nice to know that I now have time to spend thinking of such mundane issues. Its relaxing in it’s own way

Farewell P-Group

April 28th, 2007

Yesterday was officially my last day of work at P-Group. After 7 months of work there I’ve had to leave to finish up my studies!

I wish everyone including my successor the best of luck in all their endeavors and wish everyone the best of luck! =)

Check out facebook for the pictures!

On pacing one’s self

April 25th, 2007

I’ve recently made some slight alterations to my life style which, thankfully, have lead to a slightly less stressful day to day routine and quite a drop in the level of peptic acid in my stomach! Nothing remarkable happening; No sudden awakening or realizations, just an enjoyably paced life style. I give it a month before all hell breaks loose again and my blood pressure shoots through the roof! Cant have too much of a good thing now can we!

Back to Writing

April 21st, 2007

Well! its certainly been a while since I last posted on my Blog. Suffice to say that you can expect weekly posts – or sometimes daily – for highlights of events.

In the news … My good friend Wissam will be here in Beirut from Scotland next month so I’m sure he’ll have some contributions to make as well, given his rather noir sense of humor =) (* JAB *)

Beirut Traffic

October 7th, 2006

Driving should usually be a pleasant thing to do sometimes or at the very least an organized and uneventful (hopefully) every day act for those who commute to work.

I’ve recently started a new job which breaks my cushy 30 second walk to my old job from home, and turned it into a nerve wrecking adrenaline pumping, foul mouthed (I still got a couple of adjectives to add here but will abstain for the moment), almost surreal experience of driving in Lebanon. I guess after 4 years of walking to work one tends to forget just how frustrating it is driving here.

Just a side note (Skip if Lebanese or otherwise have driven in Lebanon) for those non-Lebanese who read this and dont know what its like driving in Lebanon they’re probably wondering: “Well! we have that too!”, you can trust me when I say you have to be in it to believe it and then its even worse than what you think!

Honking, cursing, turning, stopping in the middle of the road, silly traffic cops obnoxious cas with weird swerving routines that will leave you panting afterwards, road rage (and I dont mean a couple of people, like literaly everyone on the road, including myself – can you blame me!) stupid motoryclists that will jump in front of your moving car as if the riders had a constant death wish, all those things (and I’m sure I left out some) give driving in Lebanon a very particular and palpable taste: kind of tangy on the bitter side.

And people constantly ask themselves why this happens, not taking notice that they themsleves are the very cause of what has befallen them. Everyone’s the big honcho on road. Traffic lights, traffic signs, “Ha! They’re definetly not meant for us and who’s to tell us how to drive”.
Lebanese Phrase: “Zee7o min el darreb baddi sou2”