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What a day!
Yesterday the Yamaha MusicCast Soundbar my dad purchased arrived c/o Costco and the nightmare began. I followed the instructions that were provided (slim pickings – it seems you need to download the official user guide online) and after hooking up the soundbar to my Amazon Element TV (via an HDMI cable), I set up the MusicCast app on my iphone (required) and was delighted to get sound from my iphone. Next I tried to set up the soundbar as the tv speaker but alas that is where my troubles truly began.
I get an error on my tv saying that there is no HDMI ARC cable connected. But actually there is! And now what!? I reset my TV to factor settings and still nothing. I reset the MusicCast app and try to setup the soundbar on the app again but this time nothing works! I cannot even get the wifi light to start blinking to connect the devices. I cannot even use the remote to turn on or off the soundbar. Things go from bad to worse.
This morning after letting the soundbar rest (unplugged) I try again and NADA.
And so begins my nightmare with customer service at Yamaha Music USA:
By now the customer service is available (7am-5pm PST) so I try the chat service first.
#1. Nameless guy (on chat) – Helpful.
The first guy (cannot recall his name) says he will set me up to have someone call me from technical support. This is about 7:30am and around 12 I start to wonder if they lost my name in the queue so I call and and am able to have a call back when the next operator is available (always a handy feature!).
#2. JOHN (on chat) – LEAVES THE CHAT!
In the meantime, I try contacting someone on chat again since it is apparently a long wait for an operator on the phone. I reach a guy named JOHN who copies and pastes into the window the spiel that you have to wait 24-48 hours for a technical support agent to help you. I ask him if he can help since I’m basically flying blind here and ready to spit b/c as far as I know my remote AND soundbar aren’t working. He says he isn’t trained to help. Fine.
Then things go from worse to terrible! He says that a guy (forgot his name) will help me. Okay – who is this guy? I ask. Is he someone who is going to jump on chat with us? Will I be getting a call from him? Does JOHN deem to answer my question? NO. (Later I find out that this guy is one of the two technical experts who can help.) I throw up my hands literally and type into chat my frustration and… He signs off. Yep. You read that correctly. HE SIGNED OFF!
#3. Corey (on the phone) – HANGS UP ON ME!
Now I’m REALLY ticked off and Corey calls from a 714 number and I’m expecting it’s the guy JOHN was talking about earlier. Nope. This is the agent responding to my request for a call earlier. Okay, that’s fine. I just need to talk to someone. I probably gave him a good earful about my frustrations with JOHN and the Yamaha Soundbar that was not working for me but this is a customer service call – not a social one. He sounds very defensive and tells me that this will work a lot better if I don’t interrupt him. (Gosh – not starting off well) I try hard not to interrupt but when I think he has asked a direct question I reply and again get the very snide reminder not to interrupt him. By now my blood is boiling. I try to explain to him that my issue is not just the wifi connection as he keeps repeating. But he is not listening and I am justt getting more and more frustrated. Finally I lose it and say something along the lines of “you’re being a real a$$” (WOW. I never cuss.) And he hangs up. #Ouch
#4. Dale (on the Phone) – SAVES THE DAY!
Now I want to really go over there and kick the stupid soundbar that is the reason for all this trouble. I call back to Yamaha’s 714 number and request a manager. Apparently he’s out to lunch. Well there’s got to be someone available to talk to. Nope. Apparently the other manager is in a meeting with Japan. I leave my number and ask for a call back. The guy who takes my message (Dale) asks if he can help me. I explain my situation (again) and confess that I’m up to here w/ frustration and ready to just ship the stupid soundbar back to Costco. He offers to try and help even though he is not a specialist and frankly I want to cry he is being so nice.
Tears of joy and gratitude. The first nice guy I’ve spoken to (since #1 online) and he is treating me with respect, courtesy and patience.
I shoot God a big thank you and Dale has me push the remote buttons while looking at it through the camera on my iPad. I see a light flashing (that I couldn’t see with the naked eye) and that means the remote works.
Next we try to setup the soundbar w/ the MusicCast app. Nada. We do a soft reset (nada) and a hard reset (nada).
Dale recommends that I return the soundbar because this is a rare lemon. He tells me they sell thousands of these soundbars and don’t get any complaints or troubleshooting problems. I am the rare one. Of course I’m that lucky. But because Dale is so nice, I truly believe him and almost am ready to go to Costco and do an exchange versus a return. I pour praise out on the guy and promise I will speak highly of him to his manager when he calls.
#5. Steve D. (manager on the phone) – Listens to Me.
A short while later I get another call from Steve D. at Yamaha. He introduces himself as a manager and I explain the situation to him. By now I’ve calmed down thanks to Dale’s wonderful service but I make sure the manager knows about John and Corey’s horrid customer service abilities and the way they treated me. He says the right things and promises to notify John and Corey’s supervisors who will review the transcripts. I don’t know if anything will come of it. Probably not but at least I got that off my chest and someone listened. Steve D. listened and I respect and appreciate that.
So will I ever buy another Yamaha production? I don’t know. If I do, I’ll be saying a million prayers that it will work right and I won’t have to go through this nightmare again. If I do need customer service, I will make sure I reach out to DALE on the phone and/or Steve D. because they both have been so kind and respectful.