BlackBerry: The quest for an RMA

Somewhere in textbooks, my experience with BlackBerry should be included in how a major corporation can fail so drastically in customer service.  What began as a crackling sound around the battery quickly became a test of patience.  Many times I had the desire to just smash the device to be done with it once and for all, but cooler heads prevailed each time.  It was a process that started April 23rd, and finally ended on August 8th.  If you’re curious, that’s a total of 108 days or over three months for one single RMA.  When I contacted Blackberry, I ended up speaking with them over the phone who confirmed the phone should be sent in for service.

I provided the phone details, and there appeared to be an issue somehow with the identifying number (PIN).  This remained quite curious, as the mobile was purchased from none other than BlackBerry itself.  I was told that for some reason my device was not showing on the Shop BlackBerry Catalog (though I was never told what that was), and assured that it would take no more than five business days.  Foolishly, I believed it.  Five business days passed without any word.  When I reached out to the customer service representative, I was told there was an IT issue and would be contacted as soon as possible.  A week and a half goes by without any word.  When I reached out again, he told me there were no updates.  Could I receive some sort of compensation for being without a working phone, I asked.  The answer was of course not, and the assurance was given that the best possible work was being done.  At the two month point, I asked to speak to someone else in order to escalate the issue.  I was told no.  I was also told that I could not be shipped a replacement in advance.  In desperation, I reached out to the BlackBerryHelp account on Twitter, who told me they would not provide any assistance.

Two and a half months into the ordeal, I received an email thanking me for my purchase of a Porsche Design BlackBerry.  I was so excited!  I was actually going to be compensated for my months of frustration with a very nice phone!  I checked when it was supposed to arrive, and it was anticipated to arrive on my birthday.  Happy birthday to me!  My birthday came, and the box dutifully arrived.  I opened it to find a fancy box.  I opened the box to find it completely empty.  If you can imagine my disappointment.  It didn’t quite ruin my birthday by itself, but it was an icing to the shit cake that it was.  The customer representative’s response once I contacted them to ask?  “Please disregard” was the gist of it.  What was even better was that the fancy box that I received that I was to use for the Z10 wouldn’t fit it, because it was meant for a different phone.  I had to wait for them to ship the proper box, and part of it was damaged in shipping.  Essentially, I had to combine the two boxes in order to get one working box.  What’s even more amusing for me is that upon receiving the shipping documents, the customer service didn’t even take down my name correctly when the whole process started.  I shipped my device and received a different one back with the wrong name.  I cannot think of a single process that the company performed that was done correctly and with good customer management.

In the end, did I receive a working BlackBerry?  Heck if I know.  Because of the long wait, I replaced the phone a long time ago with a different manufacturer.  Surprisingly, I had an issue with the phone from a different manufacturer, and I still got it through the RMA process and back before BlackBerry even had shipped anything.  If anyone asks me my opinion of BlackBerry, I would tell them to stay far, far away.  But then again, no one ever talks about BlackBerry to begin with.