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Old 05-14-2009, 12:57 PM   #1
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Poor Customer Service from King Controls? You be the Judge...

I recently purchased a VuQube 1000 portable satellite antenna from Kingdom2.com. It is a refurbished unit that carries a 90 day factory warranty from King Controls. I normally shy away from refurb purchases, but the unit was $200 under retail, so I decided to go for it.

The unit was shipped directly from King Controls. It arrived three weeks after I made the purchase. Since it had only a 90 day warranty, I immediately hooked the thing up to the sat receiver in my MH to make sure it worked properly. I could not get the remote control to work more than 10 feet from the antenna, which meant that I could not control it from inside the RV as I had been told.

I called King Controls and requested the Tech Support Department. I was told that all their tech’s were helping other customers, but if I left my phone number someone would call me back. They called me back several hours later and I described the issue. The tech said the remote should work up to 50 feet from the antenna. He said that he was going to request the system be replaced and that someone else would call me back later to make the exchange arrangements. No one called.

The next day I called back and explained my situation. I was given the same line, all their tech’s were helping other customers, but if I left my phone number someone would call me back. A different tech called me back later that day and asked me to perform some tests on the unit. When he called me back, I was out running errands, so I was unable to test anything. I was miffed since the first guy I talked to already said he was going to arrange for an exchange. I was told to call back when I was home so that I could be talked through some tests.

I called when I got back home and once again was told, all their tech’s were helping other customers, but if I left my phone number someone would call me back. Thankfully this time, someone called me back within an hour. After going through several different tests, the tech said the same thing the first tech said.....he was going to request the system be replaced and that someone else would call me back later to make the exchange arrangements. Here we go again!

Once again, no one called me back that day, so I called the next day and explained the situation.....again. For the third time I was told that all techs were busy and that someone would call me back. I became very frustrated at this point.

A tech called me back later that day and told me that I needed to fax them a copy of my invoice before they would authorize an exchange. I asked why, since I was able to provide them with an order and invoice number. I was told "co. policy". I faxed over my invoice and waited for a phone call. Again, it came the next day.

Now a new twist...King Controls is only going to replace the remote, not the entire system. In addition, I was forced to give them a $125 credit card deposit on a new remote before they would send it out to me. Once the new remote arrives, I have to call them back, go through the remote testing all over again, to make sure the problem is in fact the remote, not the antenna. If the remote is the culprit, I send them back the defective remote and they eventually (God only knows how long) credit back the deposit. If the antenna is the culprit, I have to ship back the antenna and wait while they try and repair it. I asked the tech if the only reason I had to go through all of this was because I bought a refurb unit. He said no.

Needless to say, this entire ordeal has exhausted me, and it's far from being over. I have never had so many issues dealing with a defective product return. I just want something that works like it's supposed to.

You tell me, is this bad customer service? For me it is and this will be my last purchase of a King Controls product.

Sorry for being so long winded....I wanted to share the full account.

Craig
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:02 AM   #2
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Craig, yours is an all too familiar story. Never mind the company. I have several of my own with similar event chains and with what have been highly reputed companies. The only thing missing for your description is that the techs you spoke with could barely understand English.

Sometimes it is just the "luck of the draw" (I admit that you may have had consistently bad luck) in who you spoke with. For example, people report getting good service from DirecTV where I've had consistently bad luck in talking (sometimes multiple times in a day) with their representatives who could only read from the "playbook". The most disturbing part is of your situation is the lack of promised action. Most companies use call centers and have software which tracks contacts with customers. That software is supposed to trigger actions. Apparently King Controls has some kind of a parallel and perhaps manual system which isn't working properly. In those kinds of situations, the call center staff is accountable to no one about the actions that they promise and you are doing yourself a favor by never doing business with them again. They make promises just to get you off of the phone. Most of those companies also have strict rules about no escalations to management. That is my normal ploy on my second callback. I'm usually less than 50% successful with it but it can sometimes help.

I dont' envy you trying to get resolution to your situation. It sounds painful.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:56 AM   #3
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The stories above are why we charge everything. If we have a problem, we deny the charge, believe me, that gets you a quick response. If the response is not satisfactory, we refuse to pay until resolved. That way, I'm working on their dime, not mine. If I do not receive a product delivery before the credit card get's hit with the charge, I also deny the charge. The above practices, work the majority of the time. The credit card companies are great to work with!
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Old 05-15-2009, 09:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chasfm11 View Post
The only thing missing for your description is that the techs you spoke with could barely understand English.
Actually everyone I've spoken with seemed to be a U.S. citizen and spoke perfect English. They have all been very polite, some of them just not very thorough. It's not the individual tech that I have an issue with, it's the way their tech support & product return system is structured that I take exception to. The whole ordeal had made me feel like they couldn't care less.

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Old 05-15-2009, 11:09 PM   #5
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I have called King Controls on 3 occasions with very good success each time.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:13 AM   #6
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No problems with my refurb KingDome and the tech support folks were very helpful. And my DW will tell you I am NOT the easiest man in the world to keep happy.
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Old 06-11-2009, 04:53 PM   #7
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My experience was much like yours. Lots of empty promises and in the end NO resolution. I spent hours waiting for callbacks some of which never came. I spent (and was credited back after returning) $240 on a control to no avail. Ultimately I was told that there was nothing they could do that the dome was working. It seems it will find and lock on a satellite somewhere....just not a Directv satellite. Oh yeah, the signal strength shown on the setup screen goes as high as 92 but the Kingdome just keeps searching and stops elsewhere. This is the short version of the story but basically I would not recommend Kingdome to anyone...period.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:41 PM   #8
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Different subject but is the same topic...kinda. We just left for a six week trip with a freezer filled with steaks, pork and chicken to grill out. Thawed a t-bone last night and got the ole Weber gas grill out, do you think that sucker would light? Plenty of butane, just no flame. Disassembled and cleaned everything I thought could be cleaned. Nothing.

Called Weber "customer" service and told'em I was ready to throw it in the lake after messing around for over an hour. The polite nice man said now Mr...let me see how I can help you get your steak cooked tonight. Told him what I'd tried and he asked if I had one of the little, as I'd been using my 25# bottle, disposable bottles. Yep, had flame immediately. He asked where I would be next Monday or Tuesday and said he would ship at no charge a new hose. The hose was the problem.

We don't hear enough of the good "customer service" stories so I thought I would share. And yes, I used it this morning, again at lunch and tonight.
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Old 06-12-2009, 08:49 AM   #9
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UPDATE:

The new remote cured the problem. I didn't need to call King Controls again, the instructions that came with the replacement were sufficient.

As I figured, they're taking their own sweet time refunding my deposit. It may have something to do with my emailing a link to this thread to their customer service department.

I filed an on-line dispute with my credit card company this morning, providing them with the USPS tracking no. that shows the date that King Controls received the defective remote back in their possession.

Craig
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