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The Warranty Is Only A Little Expired

, , , , , | Right | May 16, 2021

Back in the early 2000s, I worked for a computer company as Level 2 support. Level 1 support would answer the calls and if they were stumped or had a difficult customer they would get a Level 2, to come and help them. As I was making my way around the office, one of the Level 1 support workers stopped me and asked for help.

Level 1: “[My Name], can you help me, please?”

Me: “Sure, what seems to be the problem?”

Level 1: “The customer is upset because I won’t warranty her computer. Her warranty expired over a year ago.”

Me: “What is the problem with her computer?”

Level 1: “Her CD-ROM isn’t working.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll take over the call from here.”

I looked through her information and verified that her warranty had indeed expired. I also saw that she was calling from a business.

Me: “Hello, ma’am, my name is [My Name]. How are you doing today?”

Customer: “Not so great; the other guy won’t help me out with my problem.”

Me: “[Level 1] was telling me that you are having some issues with your CD-ROM. What is it that he won’t do for you?”

Customer: “He won’t replace the CD-ROM for me. Mine doesn’t work, and I need a new one.”

Me: “Your warranty expired over a year ago so, unfortunately, we cannot send one out for you, but I can put you through to the sales department and they can set you up with a new CD-ROM.”

Customer: “That shouldn’t matter. I need it replaced. It’s not my fault it’s not working.”

Me: “I understand that, ma’am. But without a current warranty in place, we are unable to send out a new CD-ROM. I’d be happy to try some further troubleshooting with you if you are okay with that.”

Customer: “No, I don’t want to do any more troubleshooting. Just send me a new CD-ROM.”

Me: “Without a warranty, we can’t do that.”

Customer: “That’s stupid! Who cares about the warranty? Your product broke and you have to fix it.”

Me: “Ma’am, if you took your vehicle into the dealership and the warranty was expired, would you expect them to fix your vehicle for free?”

Customer: “No, of course, not. But this isn’t the same thing.”

Me: “This is the same situation, just with a different product.”

Customer: “But my warranty is only a little expired. So, you should honor my warranty.”

Me: “If your warranty was only expired by a month or so, I would send you a new CD-ROM, but yours is expired by over a year. I see that you are calling from your business. Is that correct?”

Customer: *Now getting a little exasperated* “Yeah.”

Me: “Do you offer warranties on your products?”

Customer: “Of course.”

Me: “If I came into your store and bought a product and then came back to get it fixed or replaced due to an issue, but the warranty had expired a year ago, would you honor that warranty?”

Customer: *Quite annoyed* “No, of course, I wouldn’t.”

Me: *Frustrated* “Then if you agree that a vehicle with an expired warranty shouldn’t be repaired for free, and you wouldn’t honor an expired warranty for your store’s products, why then should [Computer Company] honor an expired warranty for you? It doesn’t make any sense that we should honor an expired warranty.”

Customer: “Listen to me. You have to give me a new CD-ROM.”

Me: “No. No, I don’t need to give you a new CD-ROM.”

Customer: “If you don’t give me a new CD-ROM, I will be contacting my lawyers.”

We had been trained that if anyone ever mentioned anything about speaking to lawyers, we were to give them another number to call and let them know that we would be ending the call. Then, we were to tell our senior management.

Me: “Ma’am, here is another number to escalate this matter further. Due to you informing me that you are going to call your lawyers, I can no longer help you, and I will have to end this call.”

I then went to my senior management and told them about the call. They had no issues with it and said that the Level 1 support and I did the right thing. I went into the customer’s file about a month later to check and see if anything else had happened after our call. From other notes on her file, I saw that she had called in a few more times and each call was escalated to a Level 2 support, and each call except for one was ended due to her saying she would call her lawyers. The last note call was to the [Computer Company] sales department, where she ended up buying a new CD-ROM.

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