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Panasonic customer service...

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lukas.ballo

New Member
I recently bought a 640x400 Matsushita graphical display (Allelectronics.com - $4.50) however the included specs sheet had very poor quality so I ended up calling Panasonic (formerly Matsushita) in order to find a better datasheet. After talking to a computer voice and going through series of steps specifying my problem and acknowledging me about the fact that my phone call may be recorder I finally got to talk to someone human. After a series of formal questions and thanking me for calling, I have carefully explained my problem and emphasized that I'm talking about an electronic part. Since the part number on my specs sheet could not be found in the operator's database I was asked to look at the back of the television and give another number. After I emphasized again that I'm not talking about a television, I was asked to look at the back of the plasma this time. When I explained my problem again, I was asked to look at the back of the television again and tell whether it's connected. (If I knew how to connect and interface it, I wouldn't call the customer service but this apparently exceeds the operator's range of understanding). The final nail for his confusion was when I told him that it has a 20-pin data interface with upper and lower bits + 2 wires for backlight. This was already third time I had to explain my whole problem and I was getting pretty mad. So did the operator but following his guidelines, he did not forget to thank me for bothering him (not literally). After about 20 minutes of phone call, however, the operator finally realized: Oh, it's an electronic part! (DUH!! - And what was I talking about the last 20 minutes?!) Now, I was told that I'm calling the wrong customer service number (the only one Panasonic has on the website but that probably doesn't matter) and I have received another number. After thanking me again for calling, I was directed to a survey - that operator I was talking to prabably wouldn't want me to participate (after this experience). I have called the other number right away however the line was out of order... So much for that, I thought - customer service for electronic parts is definitely not a strength of Panasonic.

Did you have similar experience with customer service?
If yes, feel free to share your stories...
 
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Sceadwian

Banned
Regular customer service is just about completely useless for requests like that, the first thing you should do if you get someone on the phone in customer service is explain repeatedly that you need to talk to a supervisor, explain to THEM what's going on and there's a slim chance you might get your phone call heard by someone that knows what they're dong but I wouldn't bet on it... You are not technically a 'customer' what you're looking for is vendor support.
 
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tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Years ago I had to put a new starter on my dads pick up. Its a stock ford F-150 with a 5.8 L engine. I went to the local Napa and asked for the lowest price ford two bolt type starter they had.
The parts guy said I needed the $120 starter for the pickup because its FWD and the lower priced one does not fit. Loads of starter clearance on the actual pickup by the way!
I said the cheap one fits just fine, the 2 bolt ford starters are all the same. He said they are not.
I told him to prove it. So he went and got the $58 starter and the $120 starter.
They both came in the same box with the same manufactures stock number on them! Different Napa stock numbers though.
He said that does not mean anything. SO we opened the boxes and both starters had the same part numbers stamped into their motor and nose casings.
He still claimed that does not mean they are the same inside.
I asked him if he has a rebuild kit listed for each of them. He did. He looked them up and in fact the rebuild kits come from the same company that the starters are manufactured by. The rebuild kit for each starter was the same too!
I walked out with a $58 starter. And proved I knew more about the interchangability of ford parts than the parts guy that sells them! :)

Ive done this so many times with so many parts that now the Napa guys just get me what I want and dont ask for details unless I tell them! :)
 

HiTech

Well-Known Member
Interesting - hmmm - the NAPA stores in my town are honest and helpful -- and they carry quality parts over the other auto parts stores. BTW, NAPA Gold/ WIX oil filters are documented, top notch filters.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I recently bought a 640x400 Matsushita graphical display (Allelectronics.com - $4.50) however the included specs sheet had very poor quality so I ended up calling Panasonic (formerly Matsushita) in order to find a better datasheet. After talking to a computer voice and going through series of steps specifying my problem and acknowledging me about the fact that my phone call may be recorder I finally got to talk to someone human. After a series of formal questions and thanking me for calling, I have carefully explained my problem and emphasized that I'm talking about an electronic part. Since the part number on my specs sheet could not be found in the operator's database I was asked to look at the back of the television and give another number. After I emphasized again that I'm not talking about a television, I was asked to look at the back of the plasma this time. When I explained my problem again, I was asked to look at the back of the television again and tell whether it's connected. (If I knew how to connect and interface it, I wouldn't call the customer service but this apparently exceeds the operator's range of understanding). The final nail for his confusion was when I told him that it has a 20-pin data interface with upper and lower bits + 2 wires for backlight. This was already third time I had to explain my whole problem and I was getting pretty mad. So did the operator but following his guidelines, he did not forget to thank me for bothering him (not literally). After about 20 minutes of phone call, however, the operator finally realized: Oh, it's an electronic part! (DUH!! - And what was I talking about the last 20 minutes?!) Now, I was told that I'm calling the wrong customer service number (the only one Panasonic has on the website but that probably doesn't matter) and I have received another number. After thanking me again for calling, I was directed to a survey - that operator I was talking to prabably wouldn't want me to participate (after this experience). I have called the other number right away however the line was out of order... So much for that, I thought - customer service for electronic parts is definitely not a strength of Panasonic.

Did you have similar experience with customer service?
If yes, feel free to share your stories...
You ring the completely wrong division of a company, and then complain when they can't help you? - why ring customer support for TV's for something completely unrelated to them?.

There probably isn't anywhere you could find to ring, it's a commercial component, and all support will be unavailable apart from to their registered commercial customers.

Your source of data is where you bought the part from, they 'should' be able to source correct data from their suppliers, and so on down the line.
 

lukas.ballo

New Member
I understand that calling the regular customer service was not very good idea since the problems they usually solve are about plugging the right video cable into the right connector on a TV. According to the Panasonic website, however, it was the only customer service they have and I thought that the automated system will direct me to the right operator. I have also e-mailed the vendor and by now I already have all necessary information from the datasheet. I just thought that this story was worth sharing...
 

Krumlink

New Member
I have a double sided story; pros and cons of incompetent client phone companies:
Con: Our internet went out, so I called up our ISP, and I got a heavily accented (guess the accent) woman. We spent an HOUR to determine something I already determined. She said that I did not have any connection to the server. I told her that I had already determined that, and she answered me to not get angry, she is just doing her job. I never raised my voice. After another hour, she said she would send out a crew to my house. 2 weeks later, I called them again and they said they will send out a crew. Finally it was fixed. The cable was damaged and they replaced it with a nicer one.

PRO: Internet went out (power outage) and I called them to report that my internet was not working after power was back on. They answered, and I told them that. They said that they were sorry for the inconvience (about 5 minutes of downtime) and they said they will give me free 10Mbps service for one year for free! It runs out this summer :D
 

Sceadwian

Banned
Lukas, just to clarify for future reference.. If you are not a person whom bought a commercial Panasonic display you are a vendor, NOT a customer.
 

mneary

New Member
[rant]

Lukas, you bought a SURPLUS display. It is unsupported. Panasonic or one of their suppliers decided that your display either was excess, didn't meet their quality standards, or wasn't worth the time to fix and put into product. If Panasonic or anyone else acknowledges that it even exists you are lucky.

Some manufacturers actually destroy product instead of releasing it to surplus for exactly this reason. Some have learned that the pennies they get from dealers aren't worth the hours of crap from buyers who don't understand the distinction between SURPLUS and Product. Hopefully our sources of surplus goodies won't dry up due to abuse from guys like you.

For $4.50 you weren't a Panasonic customer, and didn't buy any Customer Service.

[\rant]
 

bigkim100

Banned
I spent a couple of months in customer support for a company that mistakingly sent a defective product that was supposed to be distroyed, out to a surplus electronics shop, where it was sold for a few cents instead of the several hundred dollars that it was worth. The Surplus shop did specifically sell it as for "parts only", and that it was not manufactured correctly...but still our phone lines were clogged up for months with people insisting on customer support to try to get the item working...and most would not take no for an answer.
The couple of hundred dollars that was made from the sale of the items to surplus did not justify the many hundreds of hours we spent on the phone explaining to customers that the product that they bought was never going to work. It also didnt help that someone bought many of the units from the surplus place , and sold them at full price at a flea market as fully working units.
From that point on...all electronics were passed through a shredder before being sold to a recycler.
 
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bigkim100

Banned
"so I ended up calling Panasonic (formerly Matsushita) "

Not to beat a dead horse, but how long has it been since Panasonic ate up Matsushita, and the name has been defunct? I think that Matsushita hasnt been around for years...its a bit like calling up Ford customer service, and insisting on a new part for a Model-T.
Its pretty obvious that Customer Sevice is for people trying to figure out where to plug in the S-Vhs connector on the back of a TV...not about a long defunct part.
I actually feel sorry for the poor schmuck at Panasonic that you gave a hard time to.
 

tcmtech

Banned
Most Helpful Member
Ah being in customer service. :(
When I worked as a service tech at a local welding supply center I had a few customers come in with ancient machines (40-50 + year old machines) and wanted new parts. What a pain in the ass!:mad:

The original manufactures had been bought and sold so many times that the history was not clear on what present day manufacture would have been the great great great grand child of the original manufacturer.

But still, their argument was that they bought it new so why dont we keep any parts on hand for it? And why should they have to change over all of the cable sockets switches and everything else?
(because a retrofit is the only way its going to work again! Thats why!) :p

I got my nick name at that company as DR Frankenstein because of how often I took old, dead, and cobbled together machines and brought them back to life!

Still had to deal with the customers though. :(
 

bigkim100

Banned
along thelines of what TCM said, I worked for a few years in the Food equipment and Esspresso machine repair. People keep these macines for at least 20 years...or more...and are still looking for parts for them.
The one company that excells at this field is Hobart. You can actually order a part for a machine that was made in the 60's, and they will have it in stock, allong with every parts breakdown of every piece of equipment that they have ever manufactured. If they dont have the part, they will make one for you. This type of company is seldom seen as far as custommer service...but its also why you will pay $5000.00 for a dishwasher.
I now own a industrial cleaning company, and my vacuum supplier "Targus" includes a full parts list for each unit, along with the manual. I can actually order every single nut and bolt in the unit....but each vacuum costs around $500.00.
As long as consumers keep fighting for absolute rock bottom prices...service like this is the first to go.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
As long as consumers keep fighting for absolute rock bottom prices...service like this is the first to go.
Absolutely, the best portable radio's in the world were made by a firm called Hacker Radio - same sort of service, but people weren't prepared to pay for the quality so they went bust :(

The Radios :: Fotopic.Net

I still have a Hacker Herald RP35 - runs off 18V (2 x PP9), with a large eliptical speaker and a decent cabinet. The loudest portable radio I've ever seen.
 

picbits

Well-Known Member
When I was running my own IT business, I had a callout to a customer who was having problems getting his laser printer working. This was many years ago when laser printers were still plenty of money.

His installation disc was corrupt so I searched the internet for the driver - there wasn't a single hit on the printer model number. It was a windows based printer - dumb - you couldn't dump a dos listing to it.

I eventually rang up the manufacturer who told me it was one of 5 of these printers in the world and they had the other 4. This one had gone missing from a computer exhibition.

I had to go back to the customer to let him know it was a stolen printer and the manufacturer wanted it back. He was most unimpressed.
 
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