I could have actually done this post a few weeks ago. Or at least started the process then. Instead, I wanted to allow some time for the whole process to flesh out before I tried to fly too much off the handle. With each passing day I realized that things were not going to end well. Even though it's still ongoing, it's far enough progressed that I can safely speak on how shady Microsoft Zune truly is.
It all started while I was on my flight to DC. The plane had just taken off and I had my Zune going to keep me occupied. After playing a few cuts, it inexplicably stopped workng mid-song while I was listening. I didn't think much of it since it's happened before. It would normally be because I forgot to charge it fully so it had run out of juice. That wasn't the case this time. There was a message on the screen that said "Contact Zune Support". I had never seen that one before. Even doing a hard reset didn't cause it to go away.
I knew I wouldn't have much use for my Zune player once I got to DC so I still wasn't that hung up on it. I waited until I returned home to get on the phone with Zune Support. I was hoping they would give me some fix to do over the phone that would have it up and running again. Nope. It would have to be sent in for repair. And this is where it started to get interesting...
The customer support guy promptly informed me that my warranty had run out. It apparently expired one week prior. So basically, their product conveniently decided to malfunction a week after the warranty expired. Their product which relies heavily on their software to even function because songs can only be loaded onto it using their application. I can't remove OR put songs on it without connecting to their network. A brotha was livid. I raised holy hell until the guy talked to a supervisor and agreed to fix it free of charge.
He provided the address of where I needed to send the player. I half-listened. I didn't see the need to record the address since it would be on the box they were sending me. Then it occurred to me that they had no intention of sending a box. They were counting on me providing my own shipping means to get it to them. That was not happening. I told them they need to send me the box to ship it in as I shouldn't have to bear that expense. He promptly agreed to that too. He didn't need the supervisor for that one.
So the box comes days later and I send in my Zune. I'm expecting the turnaround time to be fairly short. Whenever I had to send the laptop in, it seemed like a matter of days before I got a message my lappy was on its way back. Not so much here. I was tracking my order on their website. It took them over a week before they even received my Zune. That was already shady. I seriously doubt UPS took that long to deliver it. I'm guessing it was a delay on Zune's end of updating their site.
I finally get an e-mail July 9th saying it's been repaired and is on its way back to me. They even provided a UPS shipping number so I could track the progress with them. One problem: when I checked said number I received a message that no such tracking number existed. Either they gave me an incorrect shipping number or they just flat out didn't ship it. So I call customer service back today. Guess which one it was? Yep...it hadn't even been shipped yet. It was still sitting in their processing center waiting for UPS to pick it up. Even though the email clearly said it was on its way. When I ask the guy how long before I get it, his reply was it should take approximately 10 - 15 days. That was the final straw.
I very coolly explained to the Zune people that the entire process, once it's all said and done, would have taken 30 days. That is entirely unacceptable. Furthermore, I informed them if that is their policy for timeframes than it was VERY poor customer service. Turnaround time for an mp3 player should NOT take twice as long as laptop repair. An apology wasn't enough. I demanded to be compensated by getting credit for a free month of Zune Pass. It was only fair since I could not use my Zune for an entire month. Of course he had to escalate the call since he didn't have the authority to do that.
Naturally, the supervisor wouldn't appease my request either. Even after I explained to her that this whole ordeal has soured me thoroughly on the Zune product. Even after telling her that I will NEVER recommend their product to anyone. Even after telling her that if they don't compensate me with the free month that I would not be renewing my membership and they would lost a customer. None of that mattered. They were good with all that. So let it be known that Microsoft Zune is evil. If you are looking for an mp3 player do NOT go that route. They will make sure they use NO vaseline.