Battery Farm

A man buys a phone from an online shop. The phone is dispatched and arrives promptly. The power supply is low energy, the packaging is recyclable, and it’s easy to set up. The man feels good about his purchase.

One day after setting the phone up, the man notices that one of the handsets isn’t working. He calls the helpline who very helpfully, help him to work out that the handset is fine; it’s the batteries that aren’t working (blush). The helpline doesn’t keep batteries but they know someone who does, and they give the man a phone number.

Our man phones the number – no sorry we can’t help but we know someone who can. Repeat x 3. The man gets nowhere so abandons this line of enquiry before unnecessary rage sets in.

Next the man tries email. He writes to the shop. They reply saying that if he believes the item to be faulty he must return it, in its entirety and the shop will test it and if it is faulty (because there is a chance the man is just making all this up for a laugh) they will send a replacement. The man points out (again) that the phone is not faulty it just needs a set of batteries that work. Seven email exchanges follow as various excuses why said batteries can’t be swapped are trotted out. Online vouchers are offered as part of this exchange – trouble is the shop where the vouchers are valid doesn’t sell the batteries! The man goes onto Twitter and tweets about this lousy experience.

Then the shop email with another phone number. You can call this number and get the batteries replaced. Hoorah! The man calls the number and yes, the person on this line can replace the batteries….for only £10.99. The man puts the phone down and writes another email to the shop. Far as I know – he’s still waiting.

I’m guessing there will eventually be a conclusion to this tale of how to turn a feel good into a feel bad. I can’t be certain though.

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

4 thoughts on “Battery Farm”

  1. This is not the first time i have heard a story like this, a guy in my office has similar story, except in his case he was offered new batteries if he would try a different set himself first, but that would have meant buying them..

    like we all have spare rechargeable batteries lying around

  2. Hi Lee – you mean you don’t carry a spare set 🙂 Latest in the tale of woe is send the whole kit/kaboodle back and we’ll replace it. Conservative estimate I’d say that means no phone for about a week…interesting

  3. I know why this happens but there is no real excuse for it – it isn’t the customers fault so why inconvenience them?

    Here’s another example though. i bought a patio heater online and when it arrived it was damaged. So rang the company I bought it from who said they would contact the supplier who would replace it. Five days / 3 emails later a replacement arrives ……. damaged. So the supplier suggests that I take some bits off the first one and put it on the second one and then I’ll have one that is OK! Hmmm … ok (as I like taking things to bits anyway) and at least I get 4 spare bulbs but since when has self-repair been part of the purchase experience for a £120 piece of kit?

  4. Fabulous! You couldn’t make it up. I take it your self repair assembly worked OK? No explosions 🙂

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