A “customer support” story...
On July the 18th, 2012, I placed an order (number 100361948) with Pandawill. The order contained only one item, a 7 inch tablet. This was not the first tablet I had purchased from them, as there had been several other purchases before this one, out of which came more sad stories (in brief: there has been a bad pixel in one of the other tablets and another tablet was behaving like crazy before it eventually died -> Pandawill customer support offered me a generous 2USD coupon for the dead pixel and refunded 50% of the price for the second one as it was out of production and could not be repaired!). OK, there have also been good, fully working devices that arrived in a perfect condition in the rest of the purchases.
A month later, on August the 19th, 2012, I received the specific order in a package that had been slightly damaged, probably in the mail. When I opened it, I found out that my new tablet had arrived with a cracked touchscreen! I thought that it was damaged in the mail along with the packaging! I have immediately sent pandawill (their so called “customer service”) an email, told them about the problem and they asked for a picture to verify it. I did then send them a picture and on August the 21st, I received a reply in which I was offered a selection of the following:
1. Accept a 3.00 USD compensation
2. Accept that a new touchscreen was sent out to me (free shipping)
3. Send the unit back to them, but pay for the shipping myself
I ignored the first option after having considered it a bad joke and since I am an IT specialist, I chose to go with the second option of accepting a replacement touchscreen to be sent to me. I have replaced LCDs, mainboards, touchscreens etc several times in the past and thought that I would have no problem replacing this one. To be on the safe side though, I did ask for disassembling and installation instructions when I informed them of my decision.
In reply to that, I received a very confusing message from another Pandawill representative, who wanted to know what happened and promised to reply to me, after they knew all the details. Some explaining later, I was promised by the new representative to be sent a replacement touchscreen. This took place on the 23rd of August and until then I had NOT been told (not even once) that by accepting the replacement touchscreen, I was voiding my device’s guarantee...
After SEVERAL emails sent back and forth, after several excuses they came up with (we don't have it in stock these days, we are on holiday, we will ship it out as soon as possible, etc) they finally did ship a replacement touchscreen out on October the 11th! Yes, that is right! Action was finally taken a full month and a half after their intention notification to me on the 23rd of August!
After another month of waiting the replacement screen got to me in the mail. This time the packaging was excellent and the screen got to me in one piece - not damaged at all! There was no installation instruction in the box and even though I asked for it several times, I wasn’t sent any in an email, so I decided to look online for a disassembling guide. I wanted to go by the book and make sure I do not damage anything! I did manage to find their own disassembling guide (yes, a video guide that shows how to get the device opened the right way, all made by Pandawill), therefore, I started working on replacing the screen!
I very carefully and with the right tools (remember, I am an IT specialist and have access to all I needed) opened the device, got to the touchscreen, removed it (without breaking it any further, it's still in one piece) and installed the new one! I put the LCD, mainboard, etc back to the device and tested it before I reinstalled the back cover. The tablet was at that time working properly and I was eventually happy! I moved on to the next step of putting the back cover on the device and at last start properly using it, after all the hassle and waiting.
I gently put the back cover on the device, back where it belongs to and turned it over to finally use it! All to my surprise, there was a new crack on the touchscreen, at the EXACT SAME SPOT as the previous one! Not as big of a crack as the previous one, but a crack! I was very disappointed as this... I tried to switch the device on and it wouldn't do that! It wouldn't even turn on! I am confident that I have done everything the way I was supposed to and what a result! The only explanation is that there must be some sort of factory defect on this device that causes all this. It doesn't otherwise make any sense...
At this stage I decided to not open the device again and fiddle about with it. I shouldn't even have to replace the screen myself in the first place! I had paid for a NEW, FULLY WORKING device and I should have been sent one! Not a problematic one that I had to fix myself! What if I didn’t have the technical background to it? I felt so bad for having spent so much time and effort in something I shouldn’t have to do so. I decided to and finally sent Pandawill "customer support" a new message, where I explained what happened. Since then, there has been no real communication between me and Pandawill “customer support” and therefore, no support at all!
In detail, I had to send every message to them 2 or 3 times before I could get a reply from their representative. I was eventually offered a compensation of 8.00 USD in the form of a coupon that I could spend on their online store (as if I am going to buy from them again)! I was even told that now that the device has been dismantled, they cannot send it to the factory for repair. The representative also said that I have voided my guarantee by having opened the device!!! Sorry Pandawill, but I am not familiar with any magical ways of replacing a touchscreen without opening the device first!!! When I asked for instructions, maybe you should have sent me the right spell for the touchscreen replacement! Maybe you should have told me that I would be voiding my guarantee by not using your secretly kept magical spell!!!
I considered the 8.00 USD compensation to be once again a bad joke and of course did not accept it! Instead, I asked for a new, fully working device to be sent to me. That is what I had paid for in the first place! This time I also accepted to pay the shipping for the bad device to return to them. What I got in return (after asking for a reply several times) is "you have dismantled the device, you are on your own"! I asked SEVERAL times why I was offered this option of the replacement touchscreen and without having been told that it would void my guarantee in the first place and I am getting no response! I have asked for an email address (or email addresses), where I can file in an official complain report and I am getting no response to that too! All I am getting from them is "if you couldn't install the touchscreen you should have asked us" and "the guarantee is available only when the item hasn't been dismantled".
I have finally come to the conclusion that it has been both a waste of money and time dealing with these guys! I have decided that I should spend some more time though and put this bit of text together, upload it where ever I can, so that people are notified and potential buyers know what they might have to deal with if something goes wrong with their order!
In the meantime (between August and now) I have ordered from other online shops and I have had excellent customer support, when that was needed! Guys, just think twice before you proceed with your purchase with these guys. If it all goes well, all went well. If there is a problem, well... ...you should have an idea of what to expect by reading this far!
Last but not least, I have kept all relevant messages and am able to come up with further details of the story. If anyone wants to have a look, please say so...
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