Saturday, June 28, 2008

Good service - bad service

Case 1

Not long before we came to Spain I decided to change my hi-fi system that had roots back in the 1970s. The new CD/radio/amplifier worked fine here for the first two and half years and then simply packed in. Whether it was the constant electricity cuts, the variations in voltage or just faulting component inside the unit, it just stopped working.

I contacted the company that assembled the unit in Scotland to seek their assistance. By reply they told me that they had an official distributor in Barcelona who would be able to help. I emailed the distributor who again replied promptly. They were only to happy to help but pointed out that unfortunately, since my unit was out of warranty, I would have to pay for the work.

I sent the unit off and within a couple of days got an estimate for the repair. A week later, the unit was delivered back to me; repaired and tested and working better than new. I'd paid for the labour but the distributor provided the replacement parts free of charge.

I was so pleased that I wrote to the company in Scotland and told them what excellent service both they and their distributor in Spain provided. I think they are using my email as a testimonial on their web site.

Case 2

A neighbour of mine recently bought a computer from the large PC superstore near Alicante. It's the one affiliated to a similarly named chain in England.

He didn't go for a cheap 'own brand' box but bought a computer from one of the top reputable manufacturers. The technicians at the shop converted Windows Vista from having Spanish to English menus for him and so all seemed well.

When he set it up at home, it wouldn't print from Internet Explorer. So, he took the computer all the way back to Alicante. Three weeks later, after several phone calls, he got his computer back. The store claimed to have re-installed the operating system and thus taken it back to square one. However, it still wouldn't print from IE. They'd also turned off the smart Aero features that he'd enjoyed and failed to change the menus from Spanish to English.

No matter, he managed to change the menus and installed Firefox which it would print from. At least he'd got a working computer again. That was until the other day when the darned thing failed to recognise the DVD drive.

So, he's had to take it back to Alicante again and is wondering how long and how many phone calls it will take before his computer is returned. More to the point; will it still refuse to print from IE and will it still be missing the Aero features.

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