Can forums like this be a good way to help avoid 'bad luck' consumer rip off?

By drpepper55
May 28, 2009
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  1. Hello all,

    My reasons for posting and for asking a question are few and quite simple, 1) to see if these forums are a good way of disseminating customer information to each other, 2) doing a public service in the process by sharing and inviting like information from others, and 3) uniting to create a better response from companies to customer problems and complaints. My guess is that yes, sharing and expressing these sentiments and telling each other of particular problems with specific companies and products can save others the same or like problems by alerting each other and hopefully deterring others from those problem companies who are only interested in a quick buck, don't care about the customer, and don't back or stand behind their products very well or not at all.

    Since I'm starting this thread and since I'm wanting to see if others agree with me that this forum can be helpful in helping each other, I will start with my first example of a case of customer neglect and customer abuse by a company that sells electronics and fails to stand behind their product after the product is but a mere few (8) months old. So, here goes...

    To all electronics consumers:

    This is a consumer “BEWARE ALERT” about Apex Digital Inc. products. Stay away from them as they are of inferior, very inferior quality and the company does not stand behind them very well, probably for that very same reason, their product's inferior quality of which they are aware and don't accept responsibility for. I purchased an Apex television and before it was even a few months old first the sound on it was going out and becoming very distorted and then it lost the picture completely and then would not even come on at all and hasn't now for over a month. I contacted Apex Digital tech support via the phone number in the manual about a month ago and since then it has been nothing but a series of excuses, run-arounds, delays and general lack of support and lack of accepting responsibility for their product. They come down to expecting the customer/consumer to throw good money after bad, as the saying goes, and expect the customer to pay to ship the item and pay a labor repair fee in advance to repair a television that in my opinion should not be needing any repair of any kind in its short 8 month old life. Why should a customer even be thinking of repair to an item that is only 8 months old and then one has to ask oneself-Is this just one symptom of other failures to come and more money and more repairs? Also, I live in San Antonio, Texas and cannot believe that in all of a city the size of San Antonio-a million plus population-there is not anyone that the company has here to repair or at least examine the tv. Then again I should not be surprised at this if the Apex products are of such poor and inferior quality such that no one wants to carry them and the company itself stands so poorly behind them. The moral of the story: stay away from Apex Digital products as they spell problems and will only give you grief as even the company itself-Apex Digital-does not believe in them or intend to stand behind them.

    Please respond to my question about whether sharing this type of information with each other helps us all be better informed and better protected against suffering like fate and be victims to companies that only want to make a quick buck not care about customer satisfaction once they've gotten our money. Please share your story, as I'm sure everyone out there has at least one similar story to tell of having been taken advantage of and tell of how you dealt with it and what was the end result; Thanks guys.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,412   +281

    I had a 3 disc Apex dvd player back in the day (probably about 1999 or 2000) and it was not only cheaper than almost any other SINGLE disc player then, it also played VCDs and SVCDs. Then on top of that, it also had karoke features. That thing lasted about 5 years. Name any other product that came out in the late 90s with those features with a longer life for any price under $200 and I'll be impressed.

    Philips also makes dvd players that play divx and xvid while the more expensive competition doesn't. Maybe they don't last as long, but I've not had any real problems with them. My only complaint with my early Philips xvid player is that I can hear it spinning the disk.

    So I'm going to want to see some real data before I submit to bashing a company on a public forum.

    I had a Sharp Aquos 46" LCD with the backlight banding issue, its even a known issue, but it happens on so few of them that it isn't worth throwing a big fit on a forum that isn't already discussing it. I returned it and got a Sony Bravia and paid the premium for it.

    For the most part you do get what you pay for, but there are some real steals out there with the cheap brands, but you need to understand that 'risk' and also acknowledge when your multi thousand dollar equipment fails too. And they do fail, everything has a failure rate, its just that very few people actually post about it, and when you are dealing with multi thousand dollar equipment the people that buy it are few, so by default you have an even fewer amount that actually post about it anywhere that people read.
  3. drpepper55

    drpepper55 TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 67

    I appreciate your reply SNG, but just as well my point is that a product that you spend $300 for should last you more than 8 months and you'd certainly expect the company to show some appreciation and consideration to a customer for their having purchased their product in the first place and give a better accounting for themselves and for backing their product than they have shown. How else is a company to build a customer following, loyalty, and word of mouth to spread the word if they don't stand behind their product? I wouldn't recommend their product for a door stop at this point to be quite honest and their attitude on the failure of their product makes the whole experience even more pathetic and more sorry I have to tell you.

    Now as to my actual first question, do forums like this help us to become better informed on products enough so that we may be a little smarter purchasers to where we use this information to be smarter in avoiding ripoffs that have occured to others and helping avoid these pitfalls ourselves. I think so, and I myself respect someone speaking out and trying to alert others about companies who are not as honorable in their dealings with customers to where they only make the quick buck and run and disappear when it's time for them to support their product and not only before the sale, and not be as supportive after they've made the sale. Could it be said that maybe this same attitude is part of the cause of the problems that we are having bwith the American car manufacturers, mismanagement that has been perpetuated by poor quality and lack of support of their poor quality product for far too long and problems just being run away from and instead sweeping them under the proverbial carpet instead of facing them head on and taking responsibility for them? I certainly think that this is a big part of it and why many of us have lost faith in the domestic car market and have come to prefer foreign, for the quality, the durability, and the far better value. We've lost pride and honor in our business dealing and sacrificed them for the quick buck and for the 'take the money and run attitude' if you will and it has caught up to us I'm sad to say.
  4. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,412   +281

    Well, I appriciate your opinion, that is what drives discussion. Unfortunately I don't really know how to respond to your commentes tonight. I want to respond, and I think I can do and force an intelligent debate, but at the moment I'm flying in from out of country so I'm out of sorts mentally right now.
  5. drpepper55

    drpepper55 TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 67

    Again SNG, thanks for your reply and let me say I agree with you and I appreciate your opinion on engaging in discussion as it makes all of us more open to others' opinions and in turn more likely to have better and more varied options available to us that we may not heve considered before I believe. What better way to consider these than by sharing them on an open public forum? At the same time this can lend itself to the fact that we all share a common characteristic and that is that we are all consumers of like goods and we usually too have common issues when it comes to being consumers. It is with this in mind that I offer that we can help each other in steering others away from bad products and bad companies and toward the better ones if we will only relate our experiences on the products we buy. I submit that the benefits far outweigh the burden of relating same. Much as companies commonly do nowadays in inviting ratings and comments on products, what we do and can do on these forums can offer much good and save other fellow consumers much grief on getting burned by a less than fair value by companies who are not too intent on backing their products as I have experienced more times than I care to remember and am going through with Apex Digital Inc. and I do not want to continue to just let companies like this to continue to burn customer after customer with no consequence. So I will at least make the effort bto warn others and hope at least a few will be saved the grief and spend their money on someone other than a company who refuses to stand behind their products. I can only hopr you can see the value in that as well...Best to you...
  6. drpepper55

    drpepper55 TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 67

    As a follow-up to my previous post I am posting this clip from a very successful resolution to a like consumer ripoff issue that I had with AT&T and it is from that successful effort that I was prompted to share these experiences with others here in hopes of helping others who I'm sure have also had cases where they too have been ripped off and felt powerless in dealings with these companies. I believe that through these forums we can gain valuable ammunition and learn from each other on how to deal with these companies from a stronger position and hopefully avoid putting ourselves at their mercy in the first place. I post this example with my situation with AT&T because as I dealt with them I came to be blown away and schocked to find out just how many people have complaints and have been ripped off by false promises by this behemoth of a company and what is widely considered an American business icon. I would not be at all surprised to find that more than a few of the readers of this forum are also victims of this company, And so here goes from text from one of many complaint boards against AT&T out there on the net...

    "I posted my like complaint as all of you have here on this board about 3 weeks ago. I'm happy to report that since then I read about a site called 'the consumerist' that lists email addresses and even phone #s for presidents & CEOs of companies--google for it, it is worth your while as you will see--and found the direct email address for the President of AT&T. I figured I had nothing to lose and so I emailed him about a week and a half ago and told him of my complaint and about the fact of the many complaints like mine on this and on many boards from people taken for a ride by AT & T. I'm now also very happy to report that last week as a result of this email, I got a call from the executive secretary for AT & T's president looking to resolve this matter and intended to resolve it that week. She assigned one of her assistants to it and after a minimal amount of research verified what I was claiming and credited my account for the rebate that I had been promised to me and that I had coming to me and that I had been given the runaround about for over a year. She also apologized for AT & T having dropped the ball on it and for having caused me this problem. (Long story short) My point is that if you skip all these do nothings, promise you the world underlings and go straight to the top that hopefully you too will get what you were promised and what you have been shorted.

    I also want to share this method of leading to a successful resolution with all my fellow complainees so here is the email addreses of the AT & T president:

    randall.stephenson@att.com

    rs2982@att.com

    I'd email your complaint to both addresses as I did and I hope you will all have the same successful and prompt results as I did. Good luck to all."

    This above is just one example of what can happen if you'll persist and not lay down for companies who feel they can get away with customer neglect and that they'll wear you down,,,not if we will share these stories with each other and we follow through with refusing to take it...best to you all...
  7. drpepper55

    drpepper55 TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 67

    Just thought I'd post a link for 'the consumerist' which is worth a look or at least a visit by everyone as everyone has been burned at least once by a business or manufacturer and if you haven't, believe me, at some time you will be. So hopefully with as much information under your belt as you can get will keep the sting of it from being so bad. Best to all...

    http://consumerist.com/


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