D-Link(ed) customer support

Some time ago I bought a D-Link DI-524 to use at the local DemoCamp I organize.

First time out the thing wouldn’t work. No wireless connection! No LAN connection! It wasn’t because of lack of trying or expertise, as we had a room full of network engineers. I should have returned it to Futureshop then and there. I didn’t and that was my first mistake. 

Last night in preparation for another event I dug it out to configure it so we wouldn’t have the same problem. It was toast!

And that’s when I learned what D-Link Canada calls customer support – and I call “D-Linked customer support” because it seems designed to D-Link the customer from the support.

First, calling the technician. I’m not sure if it’s possible to spend less on phone lines and call center infrastructure but doubt it. Almost every statement had to be repeated several times to heard through the fog of dropped packets on the VoIP connection and over the the background din of the calling room.

Having tried first line support I was transferred to second level support – and promptly disconnected. (A Google search indicates this is common)

Call back and get to second level support – and an ALR number to be told that Customer service would call me in an hour – so sit around and wait. No thanks – so I get to make my 3d support call the next morning – and that’s when the fun really starts.

Fax or email us the receipt and your shipping address. Great I think – they’ll send me a new router and I’ll send back the old one in the same box.

NO! Not with D-link. They’ll eventually send me an RMA number. Which I can write on the outside of the box when I send a router that was DOA back to them. Only when they’ve received it – processed it, and dugout my shipping info do they send me a new router. 

This could take 3 – 4 weeks and cost me five bucks in shipping on top of the purchase price. 

What could they do? Start by understanding that I bought their product, and it doesn’t work. Getting me a new one ASAP is the fastest way to restore my confidence in my purchase decision, treating me to hassles and additional costs is not. In fact the longer I’m without a working unit the more my nose is rubbed in the fact that I made a bad purchase decision.  At a certian point that’s what I remember – D-Link = a bad buying experience. All to save a few bucks when a unit fails.

3 calls, one email, a $5.00 shipping charge and 3 – 4 weeks delay doesn’t cut it in my mind and isn’t customer service – and is something to factor in if you’re considering buying a D-Link product.

 UpDate: I got an RMA with the following terms:

2. D-Link Products that are being returned to D-Link Networks must be properly packed and sent to D-Link Networks with the assigned RMA number clearly written on the outside of the package and/or shipping manifest.
3. The customer is responsible for all shipping costs and proof of delivery when sending any items to D-Link Networks.  
4. If there is physical damage to unit, there will be a service charge regardless of the purchased date.
5. Replacement products will be reconditioned (refurbished) or NEW (only if unit was purchased within 30 days)

I’ve decided not to send good money after bad – especially when the RMA includes open ended billing rights and the replacement unit was previously busted.

3 thoughts on “D-Link(ed) customer support

  1. I have the same unit for my place. Hasn’t given me any issues but I can’t say its performance has been all that good either.

    Ians Linksys worked but can’t say i’m a cisco fan 🙂

  2. D-Link… Linksys… NetGear… nothing really stands out. But then it seems all these brands are heavily discounted and available in grocery stores…

    How about your very own Muni-Wifi from Belair Networks?? Hydro pole not included.

  3. I would take good customer support over a cheaper or even more reliable product any day. Its good to know if there’s an issue, it won’t be a hassle.

    Dell for example is amazing. My laptop had a problem, within 10 minutes on the phone they told me they would ship me a box to send it to them in. I had it two days later, shipped them my laptop. They fixed it and had it back to me with 5 business days. Oh ya. And they didn’t wipe out all my data with the default tech support “Please put in the restore disc before we’ll even talk to you solution.”

    Same with Nintendo, but believe it or not even faster. From 1st phone call to fixed unit took from a monday morning call to a Thursday afternoon pickup at a Purolator. Amazing!

    Unfortunately my DOA macbook(bought from apple online) had to make a trip back to China. That was 3 weeks that pissed me off.

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