HTC Customer Service Problems…

Before I start, may I say that I don’t typically complain about a corporation’s conduct in public. I’m not Roger Cook. I prefer to rectify any issues in swift, courteous and private manner. However, HTC have proven on numerous occasions they are not swift, not particularly courteous and way too private in my opinion. This post will be a truncated version of an email I sent to HTC last week (mid December 2010) and will contain humour. The why I am putting my musings out in public is to make smartphone buyers aware of the practices that some in the HTC may employ if things do go wrong and you need to speak to their customer services.

HTC (formerly Hong-Ta Corporation) are a Taiwanese smartphone manufacturer who were founded in 1997. They originally specialised in Windows Mobile devices but now have branched out into the Android platform, most famously with the HTC Hero and the HTC Desire.

To give you all a very brief overview of what has happened to get to this point- I bought a HTC Legend smartphone from Play.com in April and it developed a fault with the battery and motherboard earlier this month (December 2010). After much grandstanding, quarreling and general tomfoolery from both sides HTC decided to repair the phone and send it back to me. With four scratches on the aluminum casing.

The first concern of mine regarding HTC’s customer service may sound trivial. HTC have a policy of not allowing customers to know the second name and/or rank of their agents. These actions remind me of the title of a certain house music ditty from earlier this year featuring three Swedes, one American rapper and a terrible beard: –

Joking aside, this tactic is rather annoying as it leads to the customer being lead around in circles by HTC with no one taking control of their case in my experience. So for example, if you wish to speak to a certain agent in customer services you look automatically like a fool as you are immediately asked questions along the lines of “What is their second name” and “What rank do they hold in HTC”- information that you the customer are not privy to. This would be funny (and make a cracking comedy sketch) if you were ringing a freephone number, but you are not, you are paying national rate to compound the issue of look liking a chump from the off. HTC has stated all agents do give out their rank/first name when prompted but in my experience it varies from agent to agent and is an unnecessary annoyance to customers who already may be less than happy with the company.

My second concern is regarding the conduct of those higher up in the hierarchy of HTC, especially management. HTC (to the best of my knowledge) operate one call centre in Bournemouth with their Head Office in Slough not fielding any customer queries. This can lead to (putting it politely) issues with manager’s egos perhaps getting a tad inflated. In two conversations with an escalations manager who I shall call “Mr. X”, as obviously I don’t know his second name, he stated to me: –

*He did not care about my opinion and that what I did in my free time, implying anything (true or false) that I posted on Twitter/Facebook/Blogs about HTC would not matter, a statement HTC have later distanced themselves from. Ironically he then stated that I would not be “fair” to him on this blog if I were to post anything about him on it. You can’t have you cake and eat it can you?

*That if I were to write/email the CEO of HTC (Peter Chou) any complaint would come back to him, effectively meaning he had a monopoly on their mailboxes. I find this hard to believe as HTC deals with customers from around the world and I doubt they would have one man monitoring this massive task. His conduct reminded me of this gem from 1993: –

Cracking record. Anyway, “Mr. X” was posturing much like Batman- only his jurisdiction wasn’t Gotham City, it was Bournemouth. And he wasn’t a crimefighter, he was (somehow) an escalations manager for HTC.

*All complaints about staff came through him meaning he effectively regulated himself, a practice that HTC actually have not denied as of yet. “Mr. X” therefore was not only Batman, he was Robocop as well. Ray Mallon must be quaking in his boots.

*That he had wiped one of the telephone conversations that had taken place between us, HTC dismiss as “impossible” because of the tapes being sealed off to managers. Either HTC or “Mr. X” are telling lies here, to be honest I don’t know who to believe. HTC has stated it does not have a formal policy on the taping of conversations which I see as a bit of a cop out and slightly worrying from a data accountability standpoint.

*He would deny me access to those higher up in hierarchy simply because I spoke too much. I will admit that I do chunter away sometimes (hence the length of this blog post), but this is no valid reason to deny me access to higher ups in the company is it? Being a man who loves a good chunt isn’t illegal in my book.

My two poor conversations with “Mr. X” were not isolated incidents however, it seems as though the majority of managers at the Bournemouth call centre are incapable of being even slightly receptive to customer’s needs. Their arrogance reminds me the character portrayed in this video: –

That’s right, they reminded me of Craig Boombastic, a respected and revered member of the community;). If you do not encounter arrogance you’ll probably encounter the fact they do not answer the question in a way that would make David Cameron/Ed Miliband/Nick Clegg proud. I do get the impression HTC’s customer service training process doesn’t errmm actually include a lot of customer service training.

My third concern is with a communication aspect of HTC. Sometimes they do ring you back granted, but it’s usually only if they have a tale of woe to tell you or a higher power has forced them to do so. An example of this is when I was trying to get some sort of apology for the utter bunkum that “Mr. X” spouted. A manager lower down the food chain promised me a call back one Monday to rectify the situation as I had rang late on Friday. I was not contacted on Monday by anyone from HTC despite this. I rang HTC again to see what was going on, and was told a “Mr. Y” (remember a second name is too much to ask with HTC) would ring the next day which he didn’t. In fact “Mr. Y” did not ring me on Wednesday either, only sheepishly responding/apologising on Thursday after I had filled out a customer survey in which I vented my dissatisfaction. “Mr. Y” stated that he was the highest power a complaint could go to in the UK, effectively trying to claim the title of Batman/Robocop/He-Man from “Mr. X”. To sum up, in my experience if you have an issue with HTC you will have to try to get in contact with someone at their Head Office in Slough. This may sound easy enough, but given HTC have a habit of rarely picking up their phones in their Head Office getting anyone in a supervisory role to hear your frustrations is about as easy as tracking down The A-Team in the year 2011. If you fancy trying your luck the number is 01753 218960.

Confusingly, I believe the commenter on this thread who goes by the name of “MR X” is in fact “Mr. Y” at HTC for those keeping score at home.

I’m sure there are customer service agents who work for HTC UK that are reputable but they seem to be confined to the lower reaches of the organization. As I’m a kind soul I shall give some recommendations to improve customer services to round off this rant positively (if anyone from HTC is reading this): –

*Allow customers to know agents’ second names, to make communication easier and quicker.
*Accept that HTC on occasion may not always be correct, even at management level.
*Do not give out time scales for callbacks unless you are positive you can fulfill them.
*Have two customer call centres so customers and management know there isn’t a farcical culture of self regulation at HTC.
*Answer their phones promptly at their Head Office in Slough- it is their European headquarters after all.

From a customer service perspective HTC UK have proved to me they are not “Quietly Brilliant”, they are “Quietly Incompetent”.

UPDATE- The matter has been (somewhat) resolved via HTC giving me a refund directly actioned by big cheese Jeff Chou. This is after a “Mr Z” at HTC said they would not be giving me a refund “under any circumstances”. I would advise anyone reading this to think long and hard about buying a HTC handset, especially in the Android realm given the stiff competition from Motorola, Samsung, ZTE and LG. HTC are in my opinion the Lancia of smartphone manufacturers, great products but sadly lacking in PR/customer service.

FINAL UPDATE- After a “Mr M” (a ravishing young gentleman called Ed Mayes) took it upon himself to gain an apology for HTC’s conduct this week, he was successful. HTC Head Office apologised to myself and have put an a very comprehensive apology in writing.

This was after HTC’s Bournemouth Office decided (in my opinion) that they could not contact their own Head Office for a reason that is still unknown to myself. This whole issue reminds me of the this classic moment from Alan Partridge: –

I’m not sure what was in the metaphorical drawer to make the HTC Bournemouth Office not want to contact their own Head Office, but I would hope it was in slightly better taste than Alan’s collection of Top Gear magazines;). Joking aside, I am baffled as to why it has taken around ten relatively intelligent people in an office six weeks to use a telephone to ring their peers.

I shall reiterate my opinion that HTC need to reform their customer services to two dedicated call centres to avoid a culture of self regulation which I believe to be rife in the Bournemouth Office at managerial level. I shall also state HTC need to train their managers better to avoid such cases as mine, apologising quickly instead of backing their peers in their office at length and constantly stalling.

I have offered to take down this blog post but bizarrely HTC lead me to believe that “any publicity is good publicity” with their constant idiotic/silent/bait and switch tactics in the past few weeks. Therefore I am keeping this blog post online for perpetuity as I believe customers signing up to lengthy two year contracts need to know what type of customer service they may encounter in the unlikely event of their HTC smartphone needing repair.

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47 Responses to “HTC Customer Service Problems…”

  1. I am going through similar woes with HTC US…is there an email to you can direct me to for someone higher as well?

  2. christopher dillon Says:

    i could not agree more, they took my phone to the repair center in May 2010, and i still have not had a suitable solution, i would not buy another phone from HTC as long i live they are a bunch of idiots selling phones that they cant fix, to us the bigger idiots for buying them, their customer support is abosute rubbish, they have not got a clue, i could fill twenty pages oo the exsperience i have had with them, if you call Jeff Chou at slough he can get things done but the idiots that work for him are a waste of space.

  3. I work for a call centre and we only give our First name because in these days of facebook an twitter and other sites like this would allow us to harrased and pestered out side of work when we our just doing our job

    • eljmayes Says:

      I understand where you are coming from “Mr X” however there has to be some accountability- if I were in a senior managerial role I would fully be prepared to give my second name if prompted by the customer.

      No other “major” company in the UK uses the tactic of not giving out second names to customers throughout their hierarchy to my knowledge. I genuinely do not understand HTC’s reluctance to make their staff accountable in the same way other companies do.

      As for the harassment issue, the UK has some of the strongest laws on the subject and it is quite simple to protect yourself from online harm by ramping up your security settings inside Facebook etc.

      I have redacted the names of those involved in this case as not to impact on their future prospects.

  4. Fakeerson Says:

    This is the price that customers pay when HTC decide to outsource their Customer Support……

  5. Alan Dobson Says:

    Here`s another mug being treated like something HTC have stepped in. I`ve rung them countless times and had a whole range of pitiful and unconvincing excuses as to where my phone is, what the current status is and when I can expect to see it back. I expect to see the sun burn out before I get my HTC Desire back. HTC`s customer server is utterly clueless and totally unfit for purpose.

  6. Nick Mathews Says:

    I have had similar issues, they fixed my phone (I hope) and snet it back without the battery or battery cover. Apparantly they can’t just send another one out, they have to involve an escalation team for some reason. It has been a week since it was escalated and I need to wait for them to call me before waiting two further weeks for delivery. In the mean time I can’t even see if my phone works. Also, the reason they don’t give out their names is because they KNOW their service is terrible. It was the same with my old company. Used to get in to all kinds of issues with trading standards to the point where they came in and lectured us on Distance selling regulations. HTC don’t realise how many people will be supporting their competitors and Google don’t realise how many people are turning away from Android.

  7. inge oppenheimer Says:

    just a word of thanks – your article encouraged me to send a complaint to htc corporate headquarters about their customer “service”. it won’t do any good, but i feel better 🙂

  8. Conor Tohill Says:

    Similay problems, im offended they even call it customer service as far as i can see the only service is to waist my time ringing them time and again to no avail. If you saw my phone bill you would know its an expensive service too. Dont buy a HTC ever. They have had my phone for 3 months now and i have been told i now have to wait for them to get a refurbishment lol. I have e-mailed them saying i just want my broken phone sent back to me, just had enough! Never ever again!

  9. Can you please let me know their customer service email id, i plan to spam the hell out of their mail box regarding my issues with the f***** up phone..thanks..

    • Although I understand your frustration I cannot condone spamming or cyber disruption.

      I’d recommend ringing their head office or emailing them through their website.

      • Hey Ed. I have a lonnnnng story regarding HTC and the customer service they provided me. Basically I am having my phone held ransom by HTC, and forced to pay them or they won’t return my phone. The details are long, but I would like to share my story and ask that you feature it on your site and help me achieve justice. I KNOW if I could just speak with one of their execs they would wave an arm and approve my phone being returned to me, but because I have to deal with lower level employees who refuse to escalate me, I am stuck. Please please help the little guy out

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  13. Steve William Says:

    I was considering buying an HTC Sensation XE . Ten minutes prior to confirming my purchase with Amazon, I decided to Google ‘HTC Customer Service’. What I found, sent me running to the nearest phone retailer. The first Google result was a BBC television program called ‘Watchdog’ , (a consumer affairs program with an excellent unbiased and honest reputation). For HTC to get a prime spot on a TV program with this pedigree suggests HTC have serious issues. The next two Google pages were littered with negative customer experiences of HTC.

    We have HTC phones within the office. To date, none of them have developed faults and required the use of HTC customer services. Nothing manufactured is perfect and I expect things can go wrong once in a while. But its how the companies CS deal with the issue that interests me. HTC don’t appear to have the tools, training or the will to provide a decent level of CS. Hence, I now own a different brand of phone .

  14. Ross Perry Says:

    After numerous phone calls and having my mobile for 52 days!! i call htc after 2 weeks after sending my phone off only to here its not been delivered. now i have called up for them to pay for my phone bill while they had the phone which cost roughly £76.94 only to be told the most we can give is £50 in HTC website accessory vouchers :/ that was after around 33 (no exaggeration and several tweets to them)! they wouldnt even disclose the name of their CEO to me! Im now in the process of issuing a claim at the small claims court against them regarding the money for my phone bill. This has to be the worst example of customer service i have ever been faced with. if it was up to me, i would have sacked the lot of them a long time ago!!

  15. My HTC Desire HD has been broken since December 13th. It has been with HTC for “repair” 4 times. 3 times for the initial problem (would not read any SD card) and now, it’s in for the 4th time because any even slight pressure on the phone will make it instantly reboot. I will NEVER buy a HTC device again. The customer support is absolutely atrocious!!!

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  17. I was very happy to get a new HTC smartphone (it was Desire).
    It was really good, till it was broken.
    After 9 months it stopped working and since then I have a NIGHTMARE contacts to HTC support and service center.
    Till now (3 months) I am without smartphone, and HTC staff are VERY unconcerned and relaxed about this fact.
    The service is AWFUL.
    Last time I bought HTC.

  18. HTC still non existent customer service. the only comms I get are how did we do never an actual reply. What a sham pretence of customer service. I will not be buying HTC next time.

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  20. JIJU KOTTARAM Says:

    my set is an HTC explore,,,,just removed my memory card,,and last most of my apps,,,including my dekstp screen theam,,,kindly suggest a way 2 get back ,,

  21. Hye I have a htc window mobile but with this a problem showing Unable To Initialize Camera / Failed To Set Up Camera sir plzzz solve my problem

  22. mr mcguinness Says:

    My g1 dream used to turn itself off all the Time now it won’t turn on. When you plug in the charger the little light to say its charging,doesn’tloght up either.
    I had battery tested its fine so what could be the problem
    If it has to be sent to be fixed could you give me an idear of the cost please. Don’t forget its four years old so I don’t want to be paying through my nose for it .

    • if your server is verizon wireless try getting help via their customer service. they have been very helpful in interceding with htc to get the help i’ve needed – quite a bit over the year or so that i’ve had the phone. as for htc customer service, it has been my experience that it essentially doesn’t exist.

  23. I have had a HTC Sensation for almost 8 months and it has never worked there is no signal on it.I have had it so called repaired 6 times and every time it comes back with the promise the fault has been found and of course its exactly the same.Im paying my contract each month and actually using a £20 phone that I had to buy as a stand in because my super dooper all singing and dancing phone is a useless piece of junk.I am at a loss what to do next I have a 2 year contract on a phone I cant use and nobody seems to be interested I feel well and truly ripped off.Thanks HTC you have excelled in bad service !!

  24. BUYING HTC READ ME! READ ME! READ ME!

    Hi All, So I am trying to find a solution to my problem.
    I purchased 2 of the HTC Jet Stream Tablets.
    One of which has stopped working! NO physical or water damage… just wouldn’t turn on… Any ways because its under a warranty I contact HTC.
    Here is what happened.

    First contact date : June 17th Spoke with Bobby
    — Went through troubleshooting procedures and said the would send out a return box for me.

    Second Contact date: July 7th spoke with Ryan
    –Said we are sorry we created the wrong order. He assured me that I should get the package in 4-5 days. No supervisor available.

    Third Time Contact Date: July 19th Spoke with Tylor
    — Still didn’t get anything… again sorry they created the wrong order. Promises this time I will get it. ** no supervisor available.

    Now it is July 24th Spoke with Veronica.
    Said she doesn’t know what is going on and they will have to contact a company futuretel to find out what is going on.
    After 45min on the account. I got to speak with Kim: Supervisor KIM! FINALLY!

    *** Spoke to KIM Who assured me that she would give me a call back in an hour… so I am a patient guy I waited 2… AND NOTHING.
    SHE also has no clue and doesn’t know what it going on.

    SO HTC… I HATE YOU AT THIS POINT… although its ironic that I have had to like the facebook page to leave this comment.

    1st thing KIM assumed was I was looking to get compensation which I definitely deserve at this point. But i corrected her and told her that all i am looking for is to get my device fixed for which I am paying monthly to have wireless data.

    I am super unhappy yet i have kept my cool with the untrained HTC customer service reps. Obviously there is a problem with the company procedures cause no one knows what is going on.

    SO FRUSTRATED! SHARE MY STORY!

  25. amir kavosh Says:

    Dear sir or madam,
    i am one of your costumer, I bought htc sensation xe type, your products are very famous and well-known and classy among my people, but there is a week point, none of your mobile has Persian language, it confronted us with lot of problem for sending Persian massage. What is the reason? Is it for political problem? If your answer is positive, please separate our people from our government and solve this problem
    Please response me
    Best regards

  26. Hi I am from Mauritius.

    I am getting lots of problems with my HTC Desire S. Took it to the local rep a few times. They are very arrogant and not professional. I being trying to get hold of an Email address for the HTC customer service director to voice my concern, but in vain

    Do you have any email address of someone at the HO

  27. I am going through almost the exact same problem, sent my One X away for repair and it came back with a crack in the case. May I ask who you emailed to attract the attention of the ‘Big Cheese’

    Regards
    Daven

  28. Thanks for sharing your info. I really appreciate your
    efforts and I will be waiting for your next write ups thank you
    once again.

  29. I have learn several just right stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting.
    I wonder how so much effort you put to make the sort of fantastic informative site.

  30. soumen das Says:

    whatever I download from market,everything gets disappeared automatically in my HTC explorer A310e in 3-5 days.can u help me why it is happening?

  31. Sorry to say . but i tried the email given above for mr Peter chou, very very unsatisfied with their service.i can understand electrical product can have faults but their service is sh….t…… and got my set repaired even was send a new phone this time. but with a fault. tired of complaining but i do want to address this complaint to the main head. can anybody give a legitimate contact for main head office in europe. and who would be the best person to address the problem with..
    thanks

  32. hi my name is Atalison from Cameroon,i have an htc android phone and out of a sudden,the front speaker stoped working but i can stil call or listen to music via headsets or the back speaker.please help me solve this problem.

  33. It’s awesome in favor of me to have a site, which is helpful in support of my experience. thanks admin

  34. Hello Mr. Chou,

    I am sending you this email as a last gasp effort. I brought a htc one and a little after 2 weeks, the htc one failed to recognise my SIM card. So I contacted htc customer service and they organised a courier to pick my broken htc one up, all going well so far. Well it all goes wrong from here. Mt phone has now been with htc uk repair centre for over 3 weeks now and he customer service has been appalling, just awful! I have been told 4 times I’d be getting a new phone within a couple of days, then a refurb model and then it’s going to get fixed, but htc uk have no parts for the htc one due to parts shortages. I have been lied too, neglected as a customer and completely ignored. I have been buying htc phones from 2007, my first phone being the amazing htc desire, sadly since then it’s been awful, my htc one x was horrendous, my wife’s htc one x+ has had nothing but problems and now my htc one, all this being said, the htc customer service has been nothing short then abysmal, and I can say this for sure with complete honesty, I nor my family will never be buying htc phones or tablets again, and I and my family send a lot over £1000 a year on htc products, not now. Htc have had plenty of chances.

    I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    Frustrating regards

    England htc customer

  35. can you give me email address of h.o. , i had given my htc cell for about 7 times and also got a replacement(which is actually worster than older). Please ?

  36. hts create worst problm i hope my phone also get propeer solution by seeing this comments finger crossed

  37. Mario Noronha Says:

    wish i had to do a survey before buying having a major problem with HTC

  38. Hi,i am not agree with totally why because some stores they were given good solution with in the time.some stores not respond that much even i gone to them for one problem they resolved but another problems accrued.There no perfectness in solution.

  39. Hey Ed. I have a lonnnnng story regarding HTC and the customer service they provided me. Basically I am having my phone held ransom by HTC, and forced to pay them or they won’t return my phone. The details are long, but I would like to share my story and ask that you feature it on your site and help me achieve justice. I KNOW if I could just speak with one of their execs they would wave an arm and approve my phone being returned to me, but because I have to deal with lower level employees who refuse to escalate me, I am stuck. Please please help the little guy out

  40. ritesh upadhyay Says:

    Dear Sir/ madam,

    i have submitted my device on 8 july 2013 to service centre but still now i have nor got my device. I have got many time commitment to receive your HTC device from customer support office.
    we are suffering from last 3 month but still you are not able to conclude the problem.
    This is my big mistake that i have selected HTC Brand.
    Perhaps you have forgotten that person have brought the mobile to use not to put in service center.
    I have called aprox more than 100 time to HTC customer care and every time i have got massage to received your device within 24 hrs but 3 month have got and result of HTC brand working tends to zero.

    Due to your fraud commitment , we have send my person 3 times from Rudrapur to Delhi ( Apro 350 KM).
    Now We are not able to followup with you. I am going to CONSUMER COURT. May be you will send details to him.

    Regards,
    Ritesh upadhyay
    8191821555

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