For anyone considering a Contour camera purchase....I give you my cautionary tale:
Wife bought me a Contour+ for Xmas 2011, I opened it up and used it literally twice in January of 2012 before moving abroad and leaving the camera in a box, on a shelf.
I got the camera out a couple months ago, again, after it had literally just been sitting untouched for the remainder of 2012 year. The camera was 13 months from point of purchase at this time.
The camera wouldn't turn on (no surprise there), so I recharged the battery, then it still wouldn't function. I borrowed a buddy's battery, and still nothing.
I contacted Contour, and after some back and forth, they wanted to send me out another battery. Ok, fine, but I'm doubting this is gonna work. I get the new battery, and nothing.
I asked if I could send the camera in at my expense to have it looked at, and that was fine with them. I got a return number and off it went. I was hopeful
Then yesterday I get an email from customer service confirming the camera is dead and asking if I want it back or if it should be discarded.
I respond asking if there isn't something that can be done? I know their policy is not to repair cameras, citing costs, and my camera was 3 months out of warranty, so free replacement wasn't an option. I asked about a "pro-deal" or something similar so I could get into another camera (ignoring the fact that I had a crap experience with the first one...) at a lower price.
The best they could do was offer me a 10% discount code for new one.
Is this for real? I've come to expect better customer service from smaller bike/action sports companies that rely on their reputations amongst a [relatively] small user community. This camera probably costs about $37 to manufacture, and you're not willing to cut me a pro-deal at wholesale?
Let me be clear. My wife spent $400 on a camera. I used it twice, for a total of maybe 2hrs tops. It was never crashed, doesn't even have a scratch on it. The camera is now mysteriously dead after it was boxed up in it's original packaging for year. These are all details I relayed to Contour.
10% discount code. Thanks.
I'm buying a GoPro....
So we should be outraged at Contour for honoring their commitment and warranty and even doing more?
It doesn't matter how many times you used it. It doesn't matter if it has no scratches on it. You let it sit for a year; stuff doesn't like to sit... it likes to be used. Why did it stop working? Who knows? But Contour doesn't owe you a new camera or even a pro deal. Or even 10% off. They didn't owe you a new battery, but they sent you one.
How long should Contour offer up free cameras for ones that don't work? 3 months out of warranty? Why not 6? Why not 9? Where does it stop when people whine?
By the way, did you pull the battery or just leave it in the camera?
Now, I'm not saying Contour has the best warranty or CS; my ROAM won't keep time and they have no fix other than to set it before each ride. They ought to be able to fix something simple like that, I would think.
Enjoy your GoPro. (Though, I suspect your answer from GoPro will be exactly the same after you let it sit for a year)
I hear you on the "where does it stop" element of your point....BUT, that strikes at the heart of customer service doesn't it? Being able to answer that very question. Being able to intelligently come to a conclusion that best serves both the customer and the company under extenuating circumstances given all available information. What if my camera was 366 days old? Same tough luck? What if I had beaten it to hell and used it for 364 days and handed it over complaining it didn't work? See my point? Remember, I wasn't asking for a replacement, I knew the warranty. I was essentially asking for some leeway to get a bum camera (battery was stored separately btw) replaced at a price that isn't "costing" them anything, and would have probably resulted in the exact opposite of this thread here...praise of the CS.
Originally Posted by skiahh
Perhaps if you are Apple (who btw gave me a new phone out of warranty not too long ago) you can afford to lose a few people to customer service issues, since the scale is so great. If you're Contour? If anything, smaller fish need to step it up and offer the very best in customer service to ensure 100% satisfaction, since each customer counts for so much more proportionally.
i like my contour, would not change it for gopro (especially given gopro's weird form-factor), but these are the negatives that need improving:
- i had a clip or two lost due to them not being recorded at all or being recorded faulty - might have been a problem with sd card too, but that's unlikely, so i'm guessing a camera problem - hopefully only a software one. (this is really the worst problem, much worse than the next two)
- there's no way to embed your gps / speed / distance / altitude overlays other than by uploading the video to the contour website - this is pathetic because should be very easy to do in the contour software on your pc, after which you could edit your videos further, without a quality loss and long waiting. (still better than no overlays at all)
- it could use some image stabilization.
that said, i can also see OP's point. companies should realize that the money they stuff into marketing, the advantage gained by marketing can be really easy destroyed/lessened by negative online publicity, in cases that would cost them pennies to fix in the favor of the customer. A happy customer is the best marketing machine.
I have the old ContourROAM and compared to the GPH3B when it first came out, I never had any problems with the Contour. I understand there are lemons, but overall I'm satisfied with it.
I use both when I ride. The Contour's perfect for the on the "side of the helmet view" because of its shape and weight.
i am the opposite way to you mate.
i started off with a gopro, ( the original one from 2008). it lasted about 3 month before it broke, when it did work it ate batteries the sound was crap, so when it stopped working i switched to contour, and never looked back. i have a contour hd 720 and a 1080, both are still going strong 4 years on. and i know a few of the guys/ gals from contour and they are a brilliant bunch of people that will do anything to sort you out. hopefully someone will see this and sort you out. if not then good luck with the gopro, hope you have more luck than i did with them.
yeah, well I really did want to stick with Contour since I do like the form factor more than GoPro, but I can't swallow buying another one at retail to replace the lemon camera I barely used.
I've now read quite a few good/bad stories about pretty much all the cameras on the market which leads me to believe that there is a good chance you'll have a less than stellar experience no matter what route you go.
So I actually decided to go another direction entirely and get a Sony Action Cam. It's really hard to beat for the money.
Be it contour, gopro, sony, or any other electronics manufacturer, as both a consumer and a technician, while it does suck to get very limited use out of a camera or any other type of equipment, if it falls outside of the warranty period, then it should not fall on the manufacturer to provide any sort of discount on a new item or repairs.
While there are very few "extended warranties" that I would purchase (I can typically repair most electronics that I purchase), that is one of the reasons for them.
The reason why I think manufacturers should not go above and beyond the call of what they have on print is because it opens up a can of worms for abuse and negative feedback from (not pointed at the OP) people that don't get what they want. Trust me, it is a huge headache dealing with people like that (such and such got this repaired / fixed / replaced, so I am going to get it too!)
As far as Apple replacing hugerooster's phone.. the battery in most IPhones are defective (lifespan is hugely diminished). It is Apple's "unofficial" policy to replace the phones depending on what the actual issue is, even if they fall outside of the warranty period. The reason is that they will replace the defective component (usually the battery) and resell the used phone, or scrap it for parts. Of course they will never tell you that (so that they look like the good guys), but, IMO.. most Iphones should have been recalled.
Not to belabor this, since my frustration has already waned, but in principle...would you say that the above opinion is equally applicable to both items that are serviceable and items that are non-serviceable? Keep in mind, I didn't even get the option of repairing my camera. It was "dead" and Contour does not offer any repair services, paid or non-paid, outside of warranty. If what you're saying applies, then the CS person at such a company should start every conversation with: "is the product still within the warranty period?" OR "is your camera less than a year old?" If the answer is no, then the conversation ends immediately with "sorry, can't help you, please refer to our policy".
Originally Posted by RandomGuyOnABike
Perhaps since you sound adept at servicing electronics, I should send my dead camera to you? ;-0
Actually, yes. Although there are some companies (looking at sony) that only offer "limited" warranties, such as parts and labor for 6 months, but the parts are warrantied for 1 year.. so after 6 months, you have to pay for labor. I think this is utter BS.. but, yea.
As far as talking to a customer service rep, there are ways to talk to the customer w/o being rude / robotic. Usually, it'll go like this:
Rep: Thank you for calling xxx, what can we assist you with today?
Customer: My zzz is broken, I never even used it, and it is still in the box!
Rep: Oh my, well, that isn't good. Have you tried .... (goes into basic troubleshooting)
Customer: Yea, it just won't turn on!
Rep: Ok, when did you purchase the zzz?
Customer: 50 years ago.. but I never even opened it!
Rep: Mmm, well, our policy is to only replace (or repair, depending), that item for one year under the warranty.
Customer: But its not even opened!
Rep: I understand, have you tried taking it to (insert local repair shop) to see if they would be able to repair it?
Customer: No, I just want it replaced.
Rep: I understand, and I wish we could for you, as it sounds like you couldn't even use it. Unfortunately though, we can only do that if it is within the warranty period. You mentioned you bought the model A of zzz, have you looked at the model B version? It offers blah blah features.. and if you want to, you can get that camera since it is better than the one you had.
Customer: I don't want that camera, I want the one I have replaced for free.
Rep: Ok, let me check on something real quick.
Rep: I'm going to put you on hold real quick, but don't hang up, I'm going to talk to my manager.
(Rep goes out for a smoke)
Rep: Sorry about the wait Mr. Customer.. I spoke with my manager, and I think I might be able to get you a really sweet deal. If you buy the model B, and get the extended warranty, which would give you an additional 2 years on getting it replaced if something is wrong with it, we can go ahead and ship it to you for free. And like I said, it is a much better camera than the one you originally had.
But yea.. just an example. As for your old camera, I could probably repair it, but cost-wise, it wouldn't be worth it unless the parts are fairly cheap. Cameras, as with most electronics, buying a single part is usually either the cost of, or close to, that of a new camera. The reason why they're "cheap" for the retail price is because the manufacturers get bulk discounts on the parts.
Yeah, so your example is not too far from what I had anticipated/hoped for. I knew repair wasn't an option, and if they confirmed it as dead, and knowing it was outside of warranty, I was crossing my fingers they'd be willing to give me a "deal" on a new camera. They offered me a 10% discount on a new setup, which was about the same as what I might have found on eBay. Of course they weren't obligated to do anything, and that's what I think many people would say...the whole "out of warranty, tough luck" thing....but, I guess I had just hoped for more, and now I know.
Originally Posted by RandomGuyOnABike
Also, it doesn't help that I moved to Switzerland, where if you want something repaired, it'll cost you $400 just for the technician to walk out of the backroom and lay his hands on your camera....
Yea.. that doesn't help at all
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