Monday, October 31, 2005

Scary Customer Service Tales : Attack Of "The Waygoner": Bad Customer Service w/ Wegener Media: An Apple Upgrade & Repair Business in South Carolina



This is the story of one of the worst customer service experiences I've ever experienced.

I purchased a PowerBook G3 Pismo G4 550 Upgrade from Wegener Media in September 2005.

First, I'll provide a review of the upgrade:

(As I posted on XLR8YOURMAC):

Date Submitted: 9/17/2005
Rating (1 to 10): 4
Manufacturer: Other Brand
Rated Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): G4 / 550 Mhz
Max Speed (CPU/Cache MHz): (not cpu speed adjustable)
Cache Size: 1MB L2
Mac Type: Powerbook G3 2000 / 400Mhz

Comments: I bought a PowerBook Pismo upgrade from Wegener Media in my home state of South Carolina last week. Previously, I had purchased upgrades with success from FasterMac and directly from PowerLogix.

This was my 3rd separate ownership of my most favorite computer made by Apple - The Pismo.

Before the upgrade, I was actually very pleased with the 400Mhz G3 speed in both Panther 10.3.9 and Tiger 10.4.2 (all updates applied)

Performance in 9.2.2 was always very good and this system played Virtual Game Station perfectly.

I had all the other premium upgrades as well with 1GB of low density, heatshielded PC133 RAM and a 7200RPM 16MB cache Hitachi Travelstar Enterprise Edition 2.5" hard drive (consumer drives have 8MB cache)

I also had a custom DVD+/-RW slot loading bay drive.

Before the upgrade, with XBench, I scored an average of 88.

After the upgrade, I scored an average of 45. (Yes - a decrease) I think this was related to the nature of the upgrade, as I did not realize a noticeable speed decrease, in fact most things like iTunes decoding, etc were MUCH faster.

But, I have to be honest - this upgrade was disappointing ... it's hard to know whether this was just 10.4.2 hanging on me or what because I upgraded to both right around the same time - but after about 20 minutes of use I would get freezes and beachballs just doing routine stuff like uploading on websites, and opening folders on the desktop, etc.

After 5 weeks of having the upgrade; it finally failed on me.

I am a certified Apple Tech and I actually took extra precautions to cool this processor (by having a fan in place of the modem card) - but this processor and the process and means to cool it were insufficient. Other companies - such as PowerLogix - provide a more elegant system of cooling. These companies should all use thermal pads instead of making end users use CPU thermal paste.

My "new" heatsink provided was very sloppily soldered and was insufficient cooling for the hotter upgrade.

Maybe I just got a bum processor, but as I said - I've had several of these upgrades and performed several upgrades similar for clients - this is the first I had bought from Wegener Media because the price of $199.99 was impossible to beat.


_____________________________________________
I obviously wanted my money back and wished to return the processor.
_____________________________________________


Philip,

I just received a call back from our credit card manager. They'll run the refund on it, though it will take about 36hrs to go thru. So you should see it soon!

Thanks,
David


*** NOTE: NO MENTION OF RESTOCKING FEE***


"Please don't assume that this is our fault. We have a dozen people who work hard to provide support for people around the world, and in this case we worked much more than normal due to your lack of properly labelling your package.

Your refund will be processed shortly, now that we're able to connect the purchase with your name. However, since it has been over 60 days, there may be a delay on the refund--credit card systems usually don't allow a refund after 60 days. Because of this it will probably have to be processed manually and a check will be sent. This will take a few more days before you receive your payment."


Thanks,
David


*** NOTE: NO MENTION OF RESTOCKING FEE***


[NOTES] I want to note, I did NOT pay with a credit card. This was a bogus excuse to delay this transaction as much as possible. I paid with a PayPal balance payment. I was in one of the VERY FIRST 100,000 to sign up for Paypal. I taught "How To Use eBaY" at a local technical college and I'm often applauded for the vast knowledge and inner workings I have of eBay and the Paypal payment system. Paypal payments and Paypal based shopping carts (such as Wegener Media's online shopping cart) have NOTHING to do with credit card companies. I made sure that I called Paypal to see if my balance had been reversed through a credit card in some manner. Nope.

I initiated this "refund process" at exactly 30 days past purchase - while the processor was freezing (Before a total failure) - hoping to remain within warranty.

I called Wegener Media to set up an RMA. The secretary (who's name was Kandi) told me that management (Dave Wegener) handles RMAs and that he would call me back later THAT DAY!

No call.

(One week passed.)

I called again. I was told the same thing again.

(One week passed.) (Now at 44 days past purchase)

I called insistently asking to set up the refund. I managed to speak at length with Mr. Wegener. During this conversation, I mentioned that I had placed an unfavorable review at XLR8YourMac.COM.

He commented,
"I used to write for them!"


As far as I am aware, XLR8YOURMAC has always been run by ONE person. Mike Breeden.

This was a lie I picked up on immediately.

Here is the REAL REASON my refund wasn't provided in 60 days.

This is what Mr. Wegener was SUPPOSE to do for the refund; by just making two clicks:



Anyway, after another week of dilly dally from Wegener, I finally was able to set up an RMA. I mailed the package back first class with delivery confirmation, my name, address, phone number, and RMA number on the outside of the package, it reached Wegener the next business day which was a Monday. (Now at 54 days).

9 days passed. (Now at 63 days)

I called to check if they received the package - which I knew they had.

Wegener Media made a really big deal out of me not labelling the package right. Well ... that would be a valid complaint had we not thoroughly discussed my email address and business name. Honestly, I must have cleared this up with the secretary for a good five minutes. Besides, is Wegener having SO MANY returns that they don't know who is sending them what? If they issued me an RMA (with a specific #) shouldn't they be expecting an RMA (with a specific #) from me? We're talking about a VERY small South Carolina company here; not a corporate giant.

I get the "refund through credit card in 36 hours" email (above). Refund came 4 days (75 hours later).

Let me back up for a moment. Mr. Wegener told me in a recorded phone conversation that if he could not process the refund in 36 hours, that I would just get a FULL REFUND via a paypal payment directly. I even agreed to accept the 2.75% deduction Paypal would charge me for processing the payment.

Was this the end? Nope

I was charged a 25% restocking fee on $199; which is what the processor cost. Original price was $349 - the price before I returned the processor core to Wegener Media. So, my refund was $49.84 short. Which is actually a weird 25.06%!! I guess he rounded up a few cents!

Mr. Wegener made note of his lengthy and VERY wordy policy page. Located here

He made the statement that he was following policy.

Here is the completely unintelligible policy:

We refund the purchase price of items returned 1. with authorization, 2. in good working condition, 3. delivered according to our policy stated, minus a 15% restocking fee. We do not refund shipping charges, insurance, or other fees. Customized installations or customized projects are eligible for refund ONLY at our discretion, and at a rate of our discretion. Non-defective product returns of in-stock items may be accepted for store credit within 20 days of purchase only at seller's discretion, and are subject to a 20% restocking fee ($20 minimum). Under extraordinadary circumstances, non-defective product returns of in-stock items may be accepted for cash refunds within 7 days of purchase at seller's discretion only, and are subject to a 30% restocking fee ($30 minimum). Items which are returned as defective but found to be non-defective are subject to a 20% bench test fee ($20 minimum) and all shipping charges.


Did you get that?

Mr. Wegener has referred me to his attorney to collect the $49.84 in small claims court. Which is exactly where I plan to take this. I just wanted to publish my "research associated with this case" here for your reading pleasure.

[UPDATE] * Two years later on May 9 2007, Wegener Media refunded my $49.84 with interest to make ammends, I accepted the refund.


Better Business Bureau Report For Wegener Media



Owner: Mr. Dave Wegener
Business Classification: Computers-Dealers

Customer Experience:

Based on BBB files, this company has an unsatisfactory record with the Bureau due to unanswered and unresolved complaints. The company has resolved some complaints presented by the Bureau, however, the company did not respond to other complaints.

The Bureau processed a total of 10 complaints about this company in the last 36 months, our standard reporting period. Of the total of 10 complaints closed in 36 months.

These complaints concerned:

2 Sales Practice Issues
1 Delivery Issues
1 Product Issues
1 Refund or Exchange Issues
2 Customer Service Issues
3 Service or Repair Issues

They were closed as:

2 Resolved
8 No Response

This report is actually worse than it appears here as Wegener Media has moved twice since the first complaint was filed (of the 10 listed) Wegener Media actually has (3) separate reports at the BBB of South Carolina website with a total of 11 complaints that are known. The BBB only has a (3) year reporting period. Wegener Media claims to have been in business since 1990.

There's not much you have to do to appease the BBB. Having any unresolved or no-response complaints at the BBB is beyond irresponsible; it's almost criminal, in my mind.

Apparently, I'm not the only one who's had a bad experience. Google is littered with comments [such as below] in forums, reviews, and BLOGs (only searching the terms "Wegener Media")

Neither of these two experiences (below) are part of the BBB report:

Before I purchased, they got back to me within the half-hour. after they got my money, they ignored 4 emails and 2 phone calls :mad: take your chances


" ... it has been a disaster. I wouldn't do business with Wegener Media. Their quality control is disastrous (they could easily have checked all three of these problems before sending the laptop back); they are unwilling to have re-repairs shipped under the same terms as the original (if you pay for rush shipping on the first repair, then necessary re-repairs should also get rush shipping, but they insist on ground). They do not keep promises about when they’ll call back; repeatedly saying what they’ll do and then doing something slower and not saying anything until I call.


This is also found in the Apple forums:

"To add insult to injury, I found a company I thought sounded reputable (Wegener Media, www.wegenermedia.com) and sent my PowerBook to them to repair.

They sent back my PowerBook with a new screen, but totally f-ed up the case, bent up the side around the DVI port, and stripped out the case screws. It also won't sleep/wake anymore when I close the lid; this worked fine before and was not related to the accident. They also sent it back in a loose box of mixed peanuts and bits of trash; I'd sent it to them in a clean box with solid foam.


Now, I want to touch on something that has been bothering me for over a year about this company. Theft! I have reason to believe that Wegener Media has purchased the two items from me below, only to offer them on their own website. I have had these items on my site for almost 4 years.



There is ONE notable difference about MY drive upgrades though. My bezels have been original (for the most part) - making the PowerBook look original. Whereas Wegener Media's pictures try to hide the fact that the bezel looks like CRAP on their upgrades.

[UPDATE] May 9 2007: I no longer offer the Pismo upgrade on my site.

Here is a better example of what an upgrade from Wegener Media looks like:



As for the mouse, I originally found this as an "alternative product" to Jack Campbell's The Mouse.

I called it the ProMouse Plus.



One issue Mr. Wegener has made: I recorded our phone conversation without his consent and therefore broke the law.

Before, you as a business owner, accuse anyone of breaking ANY law, be aware of what the law actually says. In the case of recording phone calls, these laws vary state by state. Here is the law in my state, found in the FixYourThinking Reference Section in the right hand column:

Simply; one party notification. This means, in a court of law, that only one person (the callee or the caller) has to know the conversation is being recorded.

THE END ... hopefully ... well ... it seems people keep posting comments ... keep 'em coming ...

40 comments:

Middle-agedman said...

I don't understand some business owners desire to verbally defend themselves so rigorously when a customer complains. A complaining customer is a non-returning customer, people. They're also a TALKING customer, talking to other potential customers to NOT frequent their business.

Even if a customer is WRONG in their complaints, a smart business owner will do what they can to make that customer happy. Some customers make this very difficult but they are an extreme minority. I would say a customer like that is no more than one in one hundred, more likely a much higher number. If a business cannot afford to take a hit to make one of these one-percenters a return customer, they are cutting it too close.

In the game of chess, smart opponents will often sacrifice a piece or two, perhaps even a queen to get to the ultimate experience: checkmate. Sometimes winning involves sacrifice and a smart business owner will make smart sacrifices to prevent a bigger loss later.

In life, you're going to get scratched. If you aggravate the scratch by picking at it, said scratch will get worse and turn into a very serious infection. If however you take some time to bandage that scratch and let it heal, that sacrifice of time and material will prevent a much larger problem from cropping up in the future. Yes, I am the king of analogy (heh,heh)

fixyourthinking said...

And this scratch was less than a doctor's visit too ... only $49.84

Wegener would have avoided this whole story by letting me have a bad experience and refunding my money in full AS AGREED (NO MENTION OF RESTOCKING FEE) - especially since this processor was defective.

Anonymous said...

I concur wholeheartedly with your review of Wegener Media. Stay away, people!. I didn't get my ibook back for 2.5 months! Incorrect information on their part. Told me that it had shipped three different times; never did. Same BS about packaging. Inccorect tallying of my repairs/costs....

After not getting my ibook fixed/back for 2 months, I did a google search and found this review! Finally, playing it nice, it was sent back.

Marieke Verbiesen said...

Hi There, i have the same disastrous experience with wegenermedia. I am located in europe and ordered for 500 dollars in hardware from them, not only did it take half a year to get there, also it was delivered to the wrong adress. The goods were returned to them and i was promised a full refund by an employee called greg (who now no longer works there). However, i never got my refund, i have had about a hundred -overseas and expensive- phoneconversations with Dave Wegener and dito amount of emails. However, dave who allways promises me "to look at it" hasnt made any effort to process the refund that i got promised. Varying a range of dumbass excuses like "oh im really busy" to "my wife had a baby". Dave even conviniently hangs up the phone when i make another equiry about my refund. And its been way over a year now since the first phonecall. Please let me know where i can make an official complaint about this company in the U.S.A. , since i am located in the Netherlands.

fixyourthinking said...

Your best bet would be to file a BBB report with the state of SC.

This is the one for Wegener Media

Better Business Bureau, Inc.
WWW: http://www.columbia.bbb.org
Email: info@columbia.bbb.org
Phone: (803)254-2525
Fax: (803)779-3117
PO Box 8326
Columbia, SC 29202

Another option is to contact the SC Attorney General's Office and ask what some options are.

That number is:

+1-803-734-3970

I would also recommend recording a call to Wegener and getting another promise. Mailing this recorded phone call on a CD may help your case.

I'm not an attorney ... so you may want to seek some legal advice.

marieke Verbiesen said...

Yeah well right now when i call them, Dave Wegener himself just conviently hangs up the phone when asked about the 500 USD that im supposed to get in refund, can you believe that?
I have never in my life experienced any company like this, insane! But i will make an official complaint, thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

I've had a similar disappointing experience with Wegener's service. Contact before the service - awesome. Contact after the service - nada. I bought their Pismo slot-loading superdrive for the Pismo. First of all, their "fitted" faceplate is CRAP! It does not match the Pismo's curvature or color. To get it to fit into the caddy, I had to file it down a little on the bottom. The right side of the drive protrudes out with two sharp edges, so I'm having to be careful with it every time I stick it into my laptop wallet because it snags. I've taken to leaving it out of the expansion bay for the most part and putting it in only when I have to burn a cd, which it does terribly...

Wegener advertises that this is a 8x DVD Dual-Layer / 24x CD burner. I've only seen max speeds of 8X cd burning. So I called them for advice. The person who answered the phone said his name was David, and he was very nice and as helpful as he could be. Unfortunately, he said that he was the "warehouse guy" and that he could leave a message for technical support to contact me after their lunch. He also said that if technical support does not call, to email David Wegener -- he gave me the email address. Tech support didn't call so I emailed. And emailed again. Nothing. After two months I've given up. I am stuck with a $200 "upgrade" for my Powerbook Pismo that doesn't even fit right and burns cds just as fast as my trusty VST 6-year old external burner.

I am never buying anything from Wegener media again, and to the extent that I can, I'm making sure no one else does either. Buying any kind of upgrade from Wegener Media is just asking for a headache.

fixyourthinking said...

You should definitely post a report to the BBB ... make sure you file the report at the right bureau though ... they have moved a number of times in last few years.

TancredoWatch said...

I have to say my experience with Wegener Media in August 2006 was 100% positive. My iBook needed a new hinge and DVD-ROM drive. Wegener responded quickly to my request (within 1 day), sent me a DHL shipping box quickly, and gave me incredibly fast turnaround. Everything was fixed exactly as promised. Dave Wegener himself talked with me and was helpful and friendly. (And no, I have no connection before or since with this company.)

fixyourthinking said...

Thanks for the comment ... if EVERYTHING he did was bad he wouldn't be in business. The point is ... we all have our haters ... some more than most.

The point of the alert isn't to avoid Wegener as a business ... it's more of an FYI to be aware of.

Anonymous said...

WOW...why would anyone pay money to ask for a nightmare. I would never buy online from a company without reputation. I myself buy apple products from B&H Photo. Good prices, great service. Most well known i New York.

fixyourthinking said...

B&H doesn't exactly have a good rep either ... Google for "B&H Photo problems"

Anonymous said...

Wegener Media shipped me a DEAD on Arrivel DVD burner via DHL. The box was dented, packing that loose, and of ccourse the drive dead. After three calls form Cailf.. to wegener I finally got Dave who said" We sent you a replacement drive But I have NOT tracking number to prove it"
if you don't hear back from me in one hour Please call me back'
I just found out that NOT only will my G4 400 not burn DVD's but that Wegener media has a very bad service & return process.

fixyourthinking said...

You can get a drive from macsales.com and easily install it yourself.

I welcome any other reponses ... positive or negative about Wegener Media

Anonymous said...

Dave at Wegener Media took some time
(about two weeks) to discover that my drive had not been shipped as they thought.
Once I got a shipper tracking number my drive arrived in several days.
Turns out that I could have bought a NEW DVD for the same as the used one. So much for price comparing
shopping

brams said...

Wow, I'm surprised at all the poor comments, thanks for sharing them. I bought a Pimso G4 550 from them and the only thing I thought was poor was the heatsink as you mentioned and also the crappy heatsink paste (supplied in a cut and taped straw). But other than that it has performed wonderfully.

Anonymous said...

Wow!
Couple of years back I purchased a pair of Airport cards and a Airport base station for my home.
I mistakenly ordered an Airport Extreme for my clamshell iBook, called WegenerMedia, asked to return it for refund and received an RMA. So far so good!
In the meantime I ordered a regular Airport card (while discussing the return) so as to go wireless as quickly as possible. This was charged to my CC and sent to me without incident.
Long story short..never received the refund for the returned card after many calls (this amounted to $90.00+). I got the impression they could not care less and did not wish to be bothered at all.
They claimed to have never received the returned airport Extreme card.
I foolishly did not purchase a USPS delivery confirmation when I mailed it to Wegener.
Be wary of this crew!
Will never do again business with WegenerMedia.

kris said...

My initial purchase of a PRAM battery for my Wallstreet was uneventful so I felt secure in further purchases.

However I then purchased a used Pismo as well as an upgrade processor for a Lombard from them. The Pismo had a defective DVD drive as well as kernel panics which could not be resolved when X was installed. The Lombard processor ordered was supposed to be a 400 mhz but they sent a 333. When I called them they said they would send out another 400. That also arrived as a 333. After many calls they finally admitted all their processors had been mislabeled and they didn't have any 400s.
So I packed everything up and sent it back, insured, etc. and enlisted my credit card company to dispute the charges which was successful.

Very poor/almost nonexistent communication when problems were encountered.

fixyourthinking said...

This seems to be the consensus with Wegener Media - excellent until problems.

Were you charged a restocking fee?

kris said...

No, I didn't give them a chance to try. My return package included a very explicit letter warning of protracted unpleasant public exposure on our Mac help site if they dared to assess me a restocking fee. In any case, the products were defective or not what I ordered so they didn't have a leg to stand on in that respect.

I wonder how many other people had similar problems but never complained to the BBB. I didn't, so those figures posted probably only represent a small percentage of disgruntled customers. I am glad to see I wasn't alone in being worked over, not that it is much of a consolation for any of us. ;-)

fixyourthinking said...

That's why the BBB is pretty much a joke. (And [wink] sites like this are here) What site do you run?

kris said...

A group of us have been running Techsurvivors for over 6 years. We're not big but have a very loyal membership who appreciate our friendly and free advice. Stop by if you get a chance. :-)

http://www.techsurvivors.net

Anonymous said...

i wish i would have read all of this before i placed an order three weeks ago. i had ordered one of the white macbooks from them. three weeks go by and still have never received my order. called many times and each time i called they would lie to me and say it was shipping the next day. i called about 10 in the three weeks. i had to call because they would never respond to any email i sent them. just called to cancel my order and they said i had to email someone to cancel. seeing my previous track record with their emails i hope to god i get my money back soon. i need to order the dang laptop from somewhere else asap. needless to say they won't be getting my business ever again.

Max Magliaro said...

Add me to the list of extremely angry and dissatisfied Wegener Media customers. I bought a G3/400 upgrade card from them in 2005 for my old Wallstreet PowerBook. It came with no heat sink paste. I used my own. It lasted 16 mos, burned up from heat. They said it was over the 12 mo warranty so I was entitled to nothing. I bought a 2nd one (fool that I was, I guess). The second one came with heat sink paste, and a goofy two metal shims bonded to the top of the CPU where the screw-on aluminum Apple disc normally goes. I called and asked and they said to REMOVE the thermal pad on the heat sink cover and just use paste and let it have metal-to-metal contact.

Both CPU replacements, incidentally, did run cooler than the original CPU (about 134 at idle vs about 150 before, and 150 or so when used heavily).

Anyway, after 16 mos, the second one has failed from heat again (brown/burned heat sink paste).

I put in a 250 G3 CPU I had from Ebay and the machine works fine.

They againwill not replace the part because it's over warranty, even though this has happened twice. Within their policy? Sure. But the whole product, goofy heat sinks and all, reeks of something that has a heat problem that they KNOW about and they are not making it right with their customers when it fails.

They said they would take it back, examine it, and "see what they could do" (Dave Wegener, himself, via email). He said he would send me an RMA number so I could return it. That was 10 days ago, and after repeated email reminders, he has not sent it.

The card works great WHEN IT WORKS, but like many of you have said, service when something fails is non-existent.

I deeply regret this, and I'll never use Wegener for anything ever again. I should have spent more money and bought a Sonnet upgrade CPU for my Wallstreet. Now, Sonnet cards are unavailable.

fixyourthinking said...

When last I spoke concerning David Wegener - his attorney bribed me to remove this artcle. I made a concession and altered the ending slightly. He filed a police report on me - A FALSE police report - I coulda responded to that but I have other things to do than sit a stew like he apparently does.

Rod said...

I recently purchased an iBook screen from Wegener.
I ordered the wrong screen and had to return it. The screen was damaged (insured) upon return. The proper screen was promptly shipped to me. Dave documented and photographed the damaged package and has been responding to Canada Post inquiries on my behalf.
For every disgruntled customer there are 100 happy ones. You only hear from the complainers.
I am a small business owner and understand that on occasion things happen that are out of your control.
I would be happy to deal with Wegener again.

fixyourthinking said...

I agree - you only hear from the complainers ... however - it sounds like you were partially out of pocket. I wouldn't be too happy about that.

Also, this is a pretty big "collection of complaints" here - on the Better Business Bureau report and evidenced on 3 other websites that I know of - including the Apple Message boards.

Patrick said...

I hope this isn't a double-post, but it will make me feel better to know it is posted.

I am posting the text of a letter I have written to PayPal about Wegener Media. Let me assure you, this guy is trouble. If you order something from him, you are taking your chances--not that everything he sends is broken, but he is obviously willing to send out used things "as is" and live with unhappy customers. Hey, he's got your cash by the time you find out!

Here's the letter:
I have a VERY SERIOUS problem with Wegener Media.

Let me explain the situation:
I was visiting the US back in April, but I am in Germany right now. At that time I bought a used iBook for my Mother to do two things, surf the internet, and do email.

About a month later, my parents said the machine would no longer boot, and they described the problem to me. I asked my parents to contact Wegener Media to let them know while it was still under warranty. After some time, Wegener responded to them and said they should try a machine reset (hold the command-shift-option to reset the Power Management Unit on the motherboard). I know this as an Apple Certified Technician. I also know it solves firmware or hardware issues, NOT system software issues). The procedure worked temporarily. A week later, my Mom said that she was having to do this "fix" more often, so I contacted Wegener Media and simply asked for a replacement unit. After several delays, he finally agreed to send an RMA. I had my parents send back the machine.

When Wegener Media received the machine, they said it only had a software problem, and supposedly sent the machine back with new system software. The only problem was that they returned a machine WITH A DIFFERENT SERIAL NUMBER. When my parents asked about this, he (David Wegener) said the original machine had a cracked case, which was simply not true. I also inquired about the process, and Wegener himself responded saying the original machine did not work because my parents tampered with the system files. Again, I know this to be impossible because Mac OS X only has one "blessed" system, and this is not changeable by users. It simply could not have been the problem.

The second computer quickly exhibited the same problems as the first, which is when I contacted you at PayPal the first time. Wegener did agree to take back the second computer and refund part of my money, which didn't seem right, but I wanted to be done with the whole thing, so I agreed. Now Wegener sent an email to my parents saying he does not want to refund ANY money because they "tampered" with the machine. This opens a whole new range of issues. First and slightly beside the point, Wegener Medias definition of "tampering" means opening a part of the iBook which Apple considers customer operable. This is beside the point because my parents didn't open the computer or do anything to the machine--they would be too worried about breaking it!

The summary of the story is this. I purchased an iBook from Wegener Media for my parents. The first computer had problems which were temporarily fixed by firmware/hardware resets. The problems continued to the point where I had my parents send the machine back to Wegener. Wegener Media said the machine was OK and only had software problems (NOT TRUE based upon the above mentioned temporary fix). They then returned the machine since they said it only had software problems. The main issue here was that, based upon serial numbers reported by Wegener Media, they returned a DIFFERENT COMPUTER. When the new computer had the same problems, I decided that it would be best to return the computer to Wegener for a partial refund. He is now saying the computer was tampered with, and does not want to refund my money.

He is obviously trying to turn this into a game of "he said, she said," to avoid any responsibility in the matter. There are simply too many inconsistencies, story changes, and downright falsehoods to make ANYTHING Wegener Media says believable.

I don't have much hope that PayPal will want to be involved with this--I have already come to the conclusion that I will not get any money back. I do want to let you know about this unscrupulous character in case other people report any similar problems.

fixyourthinking said...

Thank you for your story.

Flashnick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
fixyourthinking said...

Linking to your blog will suffice - it won't build any more keyword searches.

I'm planning to do an update soon about how an attorney of Wegener tried to bribe me to take this article down and how David Wegener filed a false and libelous police report on me with the Cayce South Carolina Police Dept

Anonymous said...

Thank you, guys!

I was just about to order iBook from Wegener, but did a final check and found this blog. Not ordering now.

I live in Finland, so I knew was taking the risk of getting not-properly-working computer. Shipping a laptop worth of 170 USD back and forth overseas is not worth it.

Propably most of their stuff works fine, how big a percentage defected, that we don't know, but I really can't afford to take the risk of loosing time, money and patience.

Thanks for the warning,

Student
Helsinki, Finland

brandon said...

Wish I read this before sending in my wife's iBook G4 for repair. She had spilled wine on the keyboard - a logicboard replacement being the remedy. Good customer service, friendly staff. Took a bit longer than stated, but overall a positive experience. Out $350 for board and labor.

I asked on my way out about their policy if I take it home and experience more problems. I was told that while they don't guarantee repairs, the clerk had not ever seen the company not fix free of charge any issue within 30 days that was obviously related to their repair. Good enough.

Upon return, within a couple of days the machine starts to freeze up. I call back and they say it will be free to repair as long as their diagnostics check out properly, and that no user-induced problem caused the issue.

Well, turns out there is more corrosion on the motherboard! However, my wife has been extra careful not to even bring any type drink near the machine. I have no reason to doubt her, but also I don't have any reason to suspect Wegener, as they've been very professional in their explanations/so forth.

It just doesn't add up for me. I now am waiting a call back when it's ready to be picked up (I went in and examined both boards), but already declined the purchase of another board and install. They want another $50 for the diagnosis of their new board.

To me, I am just confounded on what to do next, as I offered to go half/half on the cost of a new board ($300), thinking this was reasonable. They countered with a price of $300 (board at $250 cost and $50 labor). I just can't justify putting $600 into this machine, and still am jolted by the fact that while everyone is confused about the cause of the new corrosion, there is no effort by Wegener to make it right (aside from the $50 cut in the board price).

I was not convinced of any malpractice on their part until doing some research online about the company, now it seems like the most likely cause. This despite the courtesy and professionalism displayed by the tech assigned, Joseph.

I just cannot think how this new corrosion happened.

I am going to walk out feeling screwed, and I feel like the company should avoid having me feel like that. What would anyone else here do?

fixyourthinking said...

At one point I had another story on this BLOG about Wegener ... it had 15 complaints - making a total of 40 complaints posted here, 5 within the Apple forums, and there's also a dedicated website about a problem with them. While there's no way they could remain in business if they didn't do something right, it's obvious this business isn't correcting any of the issues that have plagued them for more than 10 years since I've been paying attention to them.

brandon said...

Hey, would you mind removing my last post (12/31/07) about my issue with Wegener? They took care of my problem, so I'd prefer to not have my issue online anymore.

Thanks,
Brandon

fixyourthinking said...

I've asked David Wegener to review this article.

Your reply that the problem is resolved is good enough, but I'm going to leave your complaint because it's indicative of what hell everyone goes through with this company if they have a problem.

At this point, with their extremely bad BBB report and this blog post growing exponentially, I'm surprised there isn't a class action - I want this post to remain up with all the original comments so if any attorney is interested in such an action they can have it for reference.

How do I know this isn't David Wegener making this request?

Your complaint took WAY too long to resolve and may have been prompted to be resolved BECAUSE of this article.

Thank you.

Brent said...

I unfortunately had the experience that Dave would state that he would extend credit for the defective refurbished Mac that I returned with proof of delivery but after five months the credit never materialized. The SC Attorney General and the BBB all considered the complaint resolved even though I pointed out that I had never gotten credit. I had used a credit card and finally got the charge credited to my account after disputing it with the credit company. It should also be noted that Wegener Media installed OS 10.4 on the mac without supplying the media or license since the unit only originally had 10.3 on it.

Anonymous said...

I work for a large urban school district that has thousands of G4 iBooks that were purchased new in 2005. These came with an applecare plan -which does not cover accidental damage and problems due to misuse. Well I had two machines that were severely damaged due to a student dropping them onto the floor. I decided to use Wegener Media (this was in 2007) after finding them online.... I felt it was better to try to fix these machines than to have them sit broken in a closet. Maybe I was just one of the lucky ones, but my experience was positive. I shipped two machines to them at my cost and received two machines about a week later. Both are STILL working fine after having the cases, hinges, power connections, and LCD wiring replaced. While these repairs were not major ones, I was pleased with how inexpensive the labor charges were, and how promptly I received email responses through the course of the repairs. I paid less than $300 for everything and was extremely pleased. I found this blog today while doing some research on Wegener Media. I was going to recommend their services to another school - but now I am not sure if I should recommend them. My experience was fine, but I did not know that there were so many complaints floating around regarding their upgrade items. But in the end I felt that I should at least post my positive experience ;-)

fixyourthinking said...

If there weren't positive stories they wouldn't be in business. I wouldn't recommend them to anyone. This blog is the tip of a very large very nasty iceberg.

This blog just happens to be popular enough to make it high in the search engines ... just remember that only about 3% of customers who complain also take their complaint further (blogs, forums, BBB)

Also, keep in mind that a lot of people misspell Wegener Media (ie Wagoner).

Furthermore:

Take into account the complaints that either have been deleted, fallen off the charts as far as search engines go, or just aren't indexed because they are behind firewalls - such as Apple's own forums.

Kevin said...

I will never do business with that company. I sent them an email regarding their MacBook and PowerBook G4 selections, and they never responded. I later bought my MacBook directly from Apple for almost $400 more because I wasn't and am not willing to do business with a company known for ignoring customer complaints and questions.