Friday, February 17, 2006

Scary Customer Service Tales: Attack Of The Waygoner II: The Return ...

I received an email last night that contained the following [edited for condensing & identifiers]:

I just read your piece about Wegener Media on your website. I have had a very similar experience with these people. Twenty-two months ago, while looking for a replacement DVD drive (mine had broken) I stumbled across Wegener's website and decided to purchase instead a superdrive upgrade for my pismo. They charged me $320 for the product. It shipped with no instructions and never worked. Wegener blamed my laptop (I checked on my wife's machine too same problems),my system software (I did three clean installs) ... I wanted a replacement. After 19 months of emailing (most ignored), and expensive phone calls (I live in the UK), they grudgingly agreed to replace the unit - although I had to pay the return postage for the old one. The new drive, when it arrived, similarly had NO documentation with it at all and furthermore, the moulded plastic bezel they supplied with the drive was so crudely fashioned that it would not fit in my drive bay.

After a bit of forcing, I got the thing in there - and again, didn't work. This time, I contacted them asking for my money back. They said they cannot refund me as the drive is nearly two years old - even though the only reason I accepted the replacement was on the grounds that if this one didn't work they would refund me the full amount for the drive. They have failed to offer me a full refund - instead offering me $89 - which is the price they buy the drives for. I doubt if they will even refund me this - and they refuse to cover post and packing as they promised to do. So, it's not worth me bothering. I have lost $319. In talking to these people on the phone David Wegener actually put me on hold, mid sentance, claiming that I was interrupting him and would only resume dialogue with me if I promised never to interrupt him again. He knows there is very little I can do, as I live in the UK. [Jackwhispers: I live in the same state and wasn't able to do much either, that's why I posted the article]

... Wegener Media seems to make a habit of treating their customers badly, customers who are by nature often in a tight spot and faced with little choice for spares or repair of their older Macs. I personally think that their service has been a disgrace and bordering on fraudulent. It sounds like you have been treated in a similar manner to myself and feel similarly frustrated and outraged. [Thank you for] exposing the scam of these shady companies that supposedly refurbish / upgrade Macs and charge an awful lot of money for a whole lot of nothing. [Your] article would is a useful warning to people like us to steer clear of people like Wegener.

This is after reading this BLOG earlier this month.

If you recall ... I brought you the story Attack Of the Waygoner in October of 2005 where I detailed the deception and impropriety of Wegener Media. Wegener Media also was "released" of a bad BBB report from me because they mentioned that they wanted to litigate.

Wegener Media's BBB report has almost 20 such marks on it's record, but you have to subpoena the record in order to learn that. Wegener Media moves frequently and has, I believe, 4 different reports for the Columbia South Carolina BBB. They are currently located in Cayce SC.

Here is information from that report:

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

As I stated, Wegener Media actually has had 20 complaints processed, but sometimes the BBB cannot process a report ... especially if there is litigation involved.

Lastly, I wanted to address an advertisement that I have seen for Wegener Media on Macsurfer:

Remember from my story? David Wegener said that he wrote for ... he doesn't. Here's an excerpt from my previous story:

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.

Well, David Wegener and Wegener Media didn't create the process for this upgrade either ... as with many things ... Wegener stole this idea and upgrade from an article on XLR8YourMac. Wegener Media also discovered me on XLR8YourMac because I'm a regular contributor there. He stole several of the ideas from my commerce site and sells them on his site.


Anonymous said...

I had a similar bad experience with them in 2004. I had previously gotten some Powerbooks from them without any big problems (a missing modem dongle was sent promptly after I called them). Then I ordered a G3 iMac for my niece to take to college. The box arrived with lots of damage. Inside with the iMac were various types of inferior packing materials (some foam from some other packages, some peanuts, some molded paperboard and some newspapers) but the case was cracked and dozens of foam peanuts were inside the translucent shell. I tried to refuse delivery, but the shipper said it was insured and he could not take it back.
I imediately called Wegener Media and they said they'd cross-ship another one to me and pick up the damaged one. I called every couple of days and they kept saying it was on its way. After two weeks and no iMac, I called again and they said they didn't do cross-shipping and that I had to buy another iMac and pay to return the broken one (my niece had already found another computer and left for college by that point, so I didn't even want the iMac anymore). I had a fit, so the guy passed me on to his manager who checked on my order and noticed I had recieved the broken iMac 15 days he proceeded to tell me they would not accept the return of the broken iMac since insurance claims need to be made within 14 days. I asked about the 30 day return policy and he said they would not accept return of a broken item. I've been badmouthing ever since. As for the iMac, I disassembed the unit, removed the foam, superglued the case, installed an 80GB hard drive and now use it as a media server on my home network.

FYT said...

Thanks for the report ... I've processed a dozen or so since October directly through email. The internet is littered with bad experiences.

The most concerning thing to me though is the lies.

Writes for XLR8YourMac
Invented PBG4 Hinge Repair?
Claims litigation to avoid a bad BBB reports

Anonymous said...

Maybe I am one of the lucky few - if I am it would be a first for me:)) I got a Blue and White G3 from Wegener media a couple of months ago. I had no problems with ordering - paying - shipping or the product. The computer came as ordered in the stated time frame. It has been up and running 24 hours a day 7 days a week since i got it. I am very happy with the service and product I recieved.

FYT said...

Well, they couldn't stay in business if everything was bad ...

But, I can say this ... the BBB report and the deception are worth noting for anyone considering doing business with them.

Anonymous said...

Hi guys. I'm in South Africa and have been browsing the web for a replacement screen and back panel for my G4 Laptop. Living in Africa with a Mac you have two choices and that is... cough up blood to have your computer repaired through an approved repair shop or browse the web. This is what I did and like all of you found Wegener Media's web page. I was thrilled to say the least (a potential saving of over 50%). I sent an email right away to make further enquiries as there was no price listing for the back panel and also find out exactly what was included in their DIY screen replacement kit. First email - no reply. Second email a little more urgent - no reply. At this point I am growing a little dubious and frustrated. Sent a miffy email requesting a reply. And I got a reply saying my email had been replied three times. Nothing wrong with my email... hmm. Cut a long story short, despite the five or seven hour difference in time, I eventually spoke to Dave who said he would send me an email quotation/proforma on the requested items. I am still waiting. Anyway - I'm glad I have seen all your comments (thanks for the web site) and would like to say thanks for saving me the money and frustration. Based on your experiences and mine, I will definately not be running after them for my business. Anyone have any ideas of where I could get a replacement screen?

Anonymous said...

have you tried the

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip. Will do!

Anonymous said...

Wegener Media f***ing sucks! I am having a lot of the same customer service issues that others have had (leaving you on hold, then hanging up. Not returning calls). I would tell my story but they still have my mac.