My Vizio support experience (Updated with a positive outcome!)

This post is more than 2 years old.

Be sure to read the PS below. My experience turned from crap to gold as far as I'm concerned.

So - I just twittered this a little while ago, but I wanted to give a bit more context and frankly - the more I think about it the more pissed I get. I purchased a Vizio right before Christmas. I used to consider their products pretty poorly, but they seem to have come a long way while still being cheap. I needed a nice TV for the bedroom so I wasn't looking for anything top of the line anyway. I got the TV - hung it up (well, a friend did, I stood around and looked dumb) - and discovered that the remote didn't work. I also discovered that while the Vizio had a hardware button for the menu, it was only for the quick menu, a subset of their full menu. Basically, without a working remote, you can't fully setup the TV.

Ok - so fine. I hooked up my Google TV, set the volume to a good enough level, and we were able to watch Netflix. I called tech support and was told a new remote would be sent to me.

Yesterday I got the remote and immediately tried it. Still no go. I called Vizio back and they said that most likely the IR sensor was wonky. They made an appointment for Friday to have a tech come out and take a look at it.

Great. I can wait two days. So tonight I get a phone call from Vizio. I assumed it was just to finalize the appointment for tomorrow. Imagine my surprise though when they said that it was policy to wait 5 business days before sending out a tech.

"Ok, but you made the appointment for tomorrow anyway - can't the guy just come out?" I said. To which Vizio replied with:

"We already cancelled the appointment."

W.T.F. So I can understand they have a policy. But in this case their own support staff messed up. In this case I've been waiting nearly two weeks anyway. (To be fair, I can still use the TV.) But instead of just accepting their own mistake they decide to screw me over and push back my appointment till next Wednesday.

I'm kinda sad. With Vizio's recent CES announcements I was kind of excited about them. But if this is how their support is run I'll never be buying from them again.

p.s. Please read this comment. Great turnaround on this.

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Archived Comments

Comment 1 by Scott P posted on 1/7/2011 at 6:28 AM

Sounds like a pita, I guess exchanging it at the store not an option?

Comment 2 by Greg Nilsen posted on 1/7/2011 at 6:55 AM

We got a small Insignia for our bedroom a few years ago and have been very happy with it. I actually expected it to be overly basic, but it has a solid feature set, and I have recommended their products to others in the past.

Comment 3 by Sam Spade posted on 1/7/2011 at 6:58 AM

Could you just use/barrow a universal remote till you get the replacement?

Comment 4 by Raymond Camden posted on 1/7/2011 at 7:06 AM

@Scott: I think it is exchange only - which means I'd just get another Vizio.

@Sam: It's not the remote. They sent me a new one and it didn't work. (If I didn't say that above, than I must have been so upset I wasn't thinking. ;) I also tried 2 different universal remotes.

Comment 5 by Bill posted on 1/7/2011 at 7:12 AM

I'm on my 3rd Vizio and love them (we keep moving them to other rooms each time we buy a bigger one. Once, when I thought I had a display issue, I got help via their twitter account (@viziosupport).
If you bought it at Costco, you should be able to return it to them if it is within 3 months of your date of purchase. Also Costco's Concierge line (866-861-0450) might be able to help.

Comment 6 by Raymond Camden posted on 1/7/2011 at 7:19 AM

@Bill: I bought it at Walmart. I'll try a shoutout to their Twitter support.

Comment 7 by Scott P posted on 1/7/2011 at 7:44 AM

Ray - load it up and take back. They should be able to pull it using credit/debit/check and the serial number. Unless you used cash should be painless exchange. Might be easier than waiting on them to show up.

Comment 8 by Kerr posted on 1/7/2011 at 11:15 AM

Very nice customer service. :/

I'm with Scott, I'd load it up and take it back since it was faulty upon arrival... unless you're going to run into trouble with removal from the wall.

Comment 9 by richard posted on 1/7/2011 at 11:42 AM

LIke the man said - "Please a customer, and they'll tell some of their friends. Piss them off, and they'll tell everyone". Volvo Customer Service have a great approach - they love it when their cars go wrong because they can demonstrate how good their customer service is, and they reckon they retain more customers by the quality of their service than by the quality of their cars....

Comment 10 by Bobby posted on 1/7/2011 at 7:04 PM

You should put the batteries in the right way :-p

I have had 5 vizio LCDs. Never had a single problem (other than they were so awesome that someone stole two of them)

As a matter of fact, I just hung a 55 inch Vizio on the wall yesterday.

Also, I only buy TVs (and most electronics) from Costco where the warranty is automatically extended 2 years and I never have a problem returning anything.

Comment 11 by Raymond Camden posted on 1/7/2011 at 7:20 PM

I'm going to give them the chance on Wednesday to fix it simply because I don't want to hang another TV (and by "I" I mean I don't want to bug my friend).

Comment 12 by Raymond Camden posted on 1/7/2011 at 7:28 PM

So @VizioSupport just responded:

"@cfjedimaster I apologize for any inconvenience this is causing for you, the problem is that we have to send out parts to your local repair."

And then:

"@cfjedimaster These shops do not generally carry part on hand. Once again i apologize for any misleading of when the repair would be done."

Now frankly, I think this is a perfectly reasonable response. This is absolutely _not_ what the support person said on the phone. She basically acted like she could care less.

Nice that they responded. I'm only half mad now. ;) I'll post comments as this progresses though.

Comment 13 by Bobby posted on 1/7/2011 at 8:23 PM

Sounds like you got the bad apple initially. Vizio support is generally pretty great.

If you have their name, you should file a complaint. They obviously aren't the type of person Vizio wants working with customers.

Good luck with the repair!

Comment 14 by Raymond Camden posted on 1/7/2011 at 9:17 PM

I just got off the phone with Scott Patten, director of Tech Support for Vizio. He apologized both for the tech who didn't check the schedule _and_ for the tech who didn't explain things to me last night. He was very helpful, nice, etc, and gave me his contact info in case I had further issues.

After the call last night I was pretty pissed, but I'm happy with Scott's response, and Vizio in general now. I'm still hoping the fix is quick and easy on Wednesday.

I hate it when folks complain about something and never mention the positive so I'm hoping this update clears things up. (Going to edit the blog entry itself too to ensure folks read this comment.)

Comment 15 by Raymond Camden posted on 1/7/2011 at 9:18 PM

Oh, and because I have no shame, I also asked if they could send out one of their new CES-released tablets. That didn't work. ;)

Comment 16 by Bill posted on 1/7/2011 at 9:23 PM

Glad to read that @VizioSupport got you on the road to satisfaction (hopefully). It's kinda weird to get better customer service from an 'impromptu' environment like twitter than from their actual customer service center. But this seems to be the trend (at least for me). With Comcast, I always get more rapid and satisfactory responses from the great Comcast folks (e.g. @ComcastBill, et al) who monitor twitter than I do from my local call center.

Comment 17 by Raymond Camden posted on 1/7/2011 at 9:25 PM

Twitter does seem more useful, which is why I tried hard to tweet the positive as well. Only fair.

Comment 18 by Tom Chiverton posted on 1/12/2011 at 9:40 PM

Strange, but the norm. I get much better service from Zen and Vodafone over Twitter than from the phone (or even email in Zen's case !).

Comment 19 by Raymond Camden posted on 1/12/2011 at 9:42 PM

Support guy was just here and everything is now kosher. Turns out the wire was not connected to the IR sensor. Looks like a simple factory mistake. Was fixed in less time then it took to disconnect the back from the unit.