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My Horrible, Wretched, Ongoing Experience with Archos Support (USA RMA replacement)
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ninjaduck

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2013/03/01 - 01:09
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Well I've been patient with them long enough, time to tell the tale.

My tablet (Arnova 7 G3; I'm the guy who figured out how to backup and restore proper firmware to it with some key help from others) stopped charging.  I created an RMA and sent it off.

Archos Support (tims-support.com in USA, whois registered to ron.janusz@support-techs.com) received my tablet on January 10 and the automated system said it would be processed in 10-15 business days.

15 business days later (Jan 31), I asked for a status update.  No response.

I send another followup asking why they can't be bothered to give me an update five business days later (Feb 7), and received the following response:

"Thank you for contacting technical support. I am very sorry for the poor experience and response times you have encountered with Archos.
Currently we are waiting on back order to fulfill your RMA request. We are working to fulfill the RMA as soon as possible. If further assistance is needed, please contact Customer Service at 866-489-4718. 
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
Best regards,
Rob
Archos Technical Support"
 
My immediate response:  "That's not an acceptable response.  Maybe somebody could have contacted me WEEKS ago to tell me this?!  Or maybe extend the courtesy of offering a replacement product?  I'll be in touch via phone.  Clearly emails can't trouble Archos to give a damn about their customers."
 
Their response the next day (now from "RMA Escalations"):  "Your replacement should ship out within the next 10 business days .
Thank you for your request.
Thank you,
Yolanda R 
Tech Support"
 
Part of my immediate response:
"With all due respect, that is what your automated system said a month ago.
From your own warranty terms:
'ARNOVA will work within a 'best effort' framework to send out your repaired product within 10 working days from the reception of your product at its repair center.'
Most consumers would consider "best effort" to include being updated on the status of the repair, including being told in advance of any backlog -- rather than have to repeatedly pester RMA Fulfillment for a response via email (nevermind customer support phone line or online chat -- it seems nobody will pick up)."
 
At this point I've alerted TigerDirect (origin of purchase) to the problems I'm having and asked if they can step in.  So far, "stepping in" seems to only involve forwarding my emails to the same people that don't care about my RMA.  I've still got patience with them -- they didn't cause the mess.
 
Two days later comes the following response:
"There is currently a delay on all RMAs. Your RMA is still being processed.
For status updates on your RMA, please use the following link:  (link pulled)"
 
After practically harassing them in the most polite way possible, a tablet is finally shipped to me on February 21.  That's thirty-five (35) business days.
 
It arrived yesterday and I immediately knew something was wrong.  The box was too big, and it was too heavy.
 
I had purchased an Arnova 7 G3.  My key considerations: 7"  5-point multitouch capacitive screen, USB OTG support, mini-HDMI output.
They sent me an Arnova 10b G3. TWO-point capacitive screen.  No USB OTG support. No mini-HDMI output.  And not a 7" screen (already have a 10" called an 'iPad') making my awesome Targus leather case useless.
 
I immediately made these issues known to both TigerDirect and Archos Support (this is not a superior product to the one I purchased by any reasonable expectations -- it's just bigger).  TigerDirect's immediate response was to forward my email to Archos Support and ask them to address the matter.
 
That was all yesterday.  Today is a full business day later, and nobody's bothered to contact me.
 
The saga continues.
 
Suggestions for a solution?  Somebody provide me with either an Arnova 7 G3 or a tablet (even if it's from a different manufacturer!) that has these features.  I really don't care who has to eat the cost.  Archos should absolutely cancel their relationship with "Support-techs.com" and "tims-support.com" as clearly this third-party company is detrimental to their brand image and customer experience.
 
Updates will be provided as soon as I receive new information.  This process has been god-awful ridiculous, and I absolutely won't buy or let friends/family buy another Archos/Arnova product while they utilize this company for their warranty fulfillment.

The following users say thank you to ninjaduck for this useful post:

admin, LowiePete
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admin

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2013/03/01 - 10:39
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Thanks for your detailed debriefing ninjaduck.

Unfortunately I think the low support level may not be only attributable to tims-support / Support-techs. 

I've read about similar experiences with Archos in Europe and France with users sending their tablet for a RMA, getting a product back very late (weeks / months) sometimes having it replaced by a random product that has nothing to do with the specs of the defective device.

Well, good luck with your replacement, I hope this saga will end soon. 

 

Other users with similar RMA / customer service troubles, feel free to post here.

Cheers.

If you like our web site, applications and firmwares, feel free to support our site. Donations are used to pay the bills for our server hosting costs, development tools and purchase new tablets to support.

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gobruce

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2013/03/02 - 04:54
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I bought my 7G3 in Sept 2012, right away realized the P.C. Richards (in NY) had sold me a used, re-shrinkwrapped tablet that still had the previous users data on it, and the battery didn't seem to last very long, perhaps due to the original owner not doing a full first-time charge. I complained and sent it in, even though I only had it a week. After 3 weeks I was told that it would be replaced, not repaired. I jusr really wanted a new battery installed, there really wasn't anything else wrong. I don't think that they actually repair these tablets and issue replacements only, and Another week later I was told that they'd finally got a new shipment of 7G3s in stock, and I had my replacement tablet a few days later, and battery performance is way better, 6 hours compared to the originals 3 hours.

  I think it's possible that they just didn't have any replacement 7G3s in stock and weren't expecting to have any delivered in the near future, so they sent you the 10b thinking the average user wouldn't realize the difference and think they got upgraded, because bigger must be better, right? 

  That sounds like the most plausible explanation to me. 

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ninjaduck

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2013/03/02 - 17:14
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I have no doubt that was exactly their line of thinking.  The problem is, they have made mistakes and missteps at every possible chance to do so!

 

TELL people there's a backlog on RMAs.  Offer them options.  If you're giving them something different, GET THEIR APPROVAL!

 

And sadly this does seem to be an ongoing problem that nobody with Archos seems to care about.

 

It's sad, their products do show great design and typically have good build quality.... but this is no way to run a company, and if they insist on total disregard for their customers, I won't be surprised when they eventually have financial troubles and "brilliant" executives can't figure out where it all went wrong.

Here.  It went wrong here, and anyone with a bachelor's degree in business, marketing, or even sociology can see this behavior is a company's path to ruin.


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ninjaduck

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2013/03/04 - 19:39
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First update is a good-news-from-bad-news update!

 

My patience with TigerDirect (retail source of tablet) has definitely been justified.

They reported to me (EARLY!) this morning that they too can't get tims-support/supporttechs / archos to respond to them.  Their product manager has been made aware of the perpetual lack of response and they're trying to figure out a workable solution.  No idea what that entails, but I totally appreciate that they're expending the effort.

 

So all you Euro-types, when you come to the States, feel free to support TigerDirect (online and brick/mortar) for your consumer electronics needs.  I have been buying items from them for the past 15 years, no exaggeration, and have always found them responsive to questions and issues, and for the most part their employees have more than a passing familiarity with just about everything they sell.  They just keep doing things to keep bringing me back.

 

Archos?  Jury remains out.

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ninjaduck

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2013/03/06 - 01:37
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Update time!!!

 

I received a call from the TigerDirect rep a few hours ago.  She told me that the manufacturer, per their policy, provided me with an "upgraded" model.  I reminded her of the ways in which it is not.  She offered to conference call "Nancy" with Archos (not sure if actually Archos or SupportTechs) to explain it to her.

So we're talking, I explain that no sane person could consider this an upgrade in features. She tells me she can re-issue the RMA, mark it hold ONLY for a 7 G3, but that they're not sure when (if) they will be getting more in.  I think we all know they won't, even if she doesn't realize this.  It was a rebranded Hyundai A7, and I'm sure they didn't hold much quantity back for potential warranty replacements.  I'm annoyed, and ask if there's some way they can coordinate with TigerDirect to refund my purchase price. TigerDirect rep instantly absolves herself of any obligations (I am aware they have none in this matter), and Archos rep tells me it's not company policy and there's no way to implement that.  So I give up, tell her to restart the RMA, and we'll see how this goes.  And could she PLEASE mark it to have someone keep in contact with me.  She has to send an email to do that, which means at the most it ends up as a post-it note on a desk to 'occasionally contact with update RMA so-and-so'

I say thanks and hang up.  By now I'm starting to have steam sublimate from my blood through every pore, I'm so rage-induced.  I calm down and set to looking up warranty laws, warranty remedies, etc.  But hold on... let's see what the warranty's actual text says.

From Arnovatech.com's statement of limited warranty:

"If ARNOVA receives, during the applicable Warranty Period, notice of a defect in any hardware product, which is covered by ARNOVA' warranty, ARNOVA will either repair the product using new or refurbished replacement parts or replace the defective product with new or like-new product of the same model with the same functionality as the original unit. If ARNOVA is unable to repair or replace the defective product, the customer will either be offered a comparable model* (if available) or will be refunded the purchase price of the defective product. When a product is exchanged, any replacement item becomes the property of the customer and the replaced item becomes ARNOVA' property. (* whose functionality is at least equal to that of the product being replaced.)"

Armed with new information that seems to assure a path to victory, I ask the TigerDirect rep to forward the following to the Archos rep (since I still don't have actual contact information).  Text of email:

"Noteworthy terms in bold.  Please note that I was never offered the option of a replacement model.  As we have discussed, the Arnova 10b G3 is not "at least equal"  in functionality to the Arnova 7 G3: instead of five-point multi-touch, the 10b G3 offers two-point; it lacks any kind of video out (Arnova 7 G3 had mini-HDMI); it also does not appear to support the USB OTG protocol as the Arnova 7 G3 did (I will not test to verify, as attempting on a non-supported device is likely to destroy it).  For these reasons, it does not seem as if Arnova is in compliance with their own statement of limited warranty.

At this time I would like to request a refund of the purchase price from Arnova/Archos, if no supplies of the Arnova 7 G3 will be arriving in the next 14 days (or a 7" model that actually meets/exceeds the characteristics of what was purchased).  Per our conversation earlier, it seems clear that this is unlikely to happen in a timely fashion."

Please contact me at so-and-so, thanks again, and closed with thanks again to TigerDirect rep.

THE SAGA CONTINUES!!!

And I absolutely can't wait for the response. (partial sarcasm!)

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Patxi Espanol
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2013/06/16 - 10:05
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I suffer with you...

Customer service has gotten me in a Catch 22 situation.

A locked loop I cannot get out of.

In a month I transitioned from having a great looking tablet to a 13" paper weight!

Like you I am fuming...

And understanding the release valve of the forum...

Hang in there!

 

You're either with us, or (probably) against us. In other words: act or be responsible of apathy

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LowiePete
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2013/07/04 - 20:27
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admin said
I've read about similar experiences with Archos in Europe and France with users sending their tablet for a RMA, getting a product back very late (weeks / months) sometimes having it replaced by a random product that has nothing to do with the specs of the defective device.

Other users with similar RMA / customer service troubles, feel free to post here.

How can I resist? I too am not impressed Archos RMA support. Indeed, let 
me start off by issuing a challenge. Where on the Archos web site do you find
 an address, any address, to which you can address a complaint?

Come to that, how do you contact anyone in the company's management?
As far as I can tell, there are no managers! They are so far removed from
any customer contact so as to be utterly useless. Shame that they don't
acknowledge that their vastly inflated salaries actually come from us...

My Archos 80XS went into the system on 12th June. First off is acknowledgement
of receipt dated almost 10 days later. What did the GPO do with it as a First
Class parcel? Oh, pardon me, it wasn't their fault. 

Within minutes of that email, I'm informed  that information is missing. The
 instructions from Archos are very clear and were followed absolutely to the
letter. So, the 3 sheets of A4 bearing the signed RMA note and original receipt
have apparently vanished. I'm then wrongly accused of not enclosing them!

From subsequent conversations, I'm not so sure that this wasn't just a delaying
tactic. Not a very good one, but it did serve to delay matters. The email was
from a noreply address, which in the Yahoo Mail applet showed as being
 "archos.com". Quite why an email requesting a response can't bear its proper
 return address is beyond me. 

Eventually, having looked more closely at this, I then sent the requested information
within a concisely worded complaint - only to have this totally ignored and the
request made once more. Just what more could I do to avoid the thinly disguised
threat of having my device more or less confiscated from me?

In the meantime, I've requested that Techical Support arrange for a manager to
contact me urgently so this can be resolved. No prizes for guessing when that 
didn't take place. It was during one of those calls when information was gleaned
that probably threw a bit of truth into the mix. Apparently, there was a possibility
that no replacements were currently in the country with which to fulfil replacement
needs. Why oh why can no-one simply tell this truth as it is? 

I find that the most annoying aspect of the whole thing. It wasn't until a couple
of weeks _after_ I had despatched the unit that I learn of the probability of there
being 4 to 5 weeks delay. Note that I was informed of this in such a dead-pan
 manner that it was clear that I should accept this as normal. Not on your life!

During the same conversation the possibility of my asking for a refund was
discussed. I got the impression that this was quite enthusiastically received at
the other end. Then came the reality. What they proposed was sending the
dead unit back to me. I would then need to forward it to my supplier, who
would then send back it to, guess where? The idea that someone could not
simply issue a credit note without all that nonsense, was just far too simple!

On the face of it, I thought I'd bought a rather good unit for a fair and quite
reasonable price. Now I know different, and not only will I never purchase 
another Archos product, I'd dissuade anyone I come across from making the
same mistake. It's a shame!

Needless to say, I'm still waiting, and the progress messages from the RMA
system are about as useful as a chocolate teapot. My apologies for my first
post being so negative, but companies were more efficient than this back in
the 19th century, let alone the 21st!

Regards,
Steve

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kage00
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2013/11/28 - 13:26
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Looks like I'm pretty lucky in comparison then, I just got an email from Archos repair this morning. They said that they can't fix my tablet so they are sending me a new replacement, I'll post back here when I receive it :)

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navas
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2013/11/30 - 15:06
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it's not serious from Archos

 

__________________________________

http://galaxys-5.com

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kage00
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2013/12/03 - 16:50
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Got a brand new replacement archos 80 cobalt the other day from Archos, still in the plastic too.

I live in France so maybe that is why it was quite fast for me, pretty happy with getting a new replacement :)

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