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Thread: Why the mp3Car Store does not offer phone service.

  1. #1
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    Why the mp3Car Store does not offer phone service.

    Many customers ask why the mp3Car Store does not have a direct phone line for customer service and technical support, here is our response.

    Most of the telephone calls received by the mp3Car Store over the many years were general product questions such as "How do I power my car PC", "What is the difference between the Lilliput 629 and the Xenarc 700 TSV", and our very favorites..."I just bought a Hummer, what car PC should I put in my car dude", and of course "I bought X product on Ebay from X other company, and it just stopped working, can you tell me how to fix it?".

    The mp3Car Store staff realized that the answers to these were all questions freely available on the forums, and frankly, far more detailed than the answers the store staff provided over the phone. mp3Car financially supports the forums so that this information is freely available - and we kindly ask customers to use the forums before purchasing products, so that when they do receive them, they actually know how to use them.

    The mp3Car Store staff can now dedicate themselves to supporting the store, without frequent phone interruptions. As a result, the store staff are able to provide better customer service as well as keep prices down for customers. Another benefit to support online, is faster and simpler technical support. When customers take time to write down the technical issue, they are clearer, and as a result we can help them faster.
    Suggestions or Comments on the forums? Post here.

    mp3Car store order questions or products that you would like to sell on the store? Email store @ mp3car.com

    Feel free to pm me if you:
    • Have a general comment on mp3Car's products or services
    • Have a product you would like to have tested by the mp3Car community
    • Have a file you would like mp3Car to host
    • Have a cool idea that would improve the forums

  2. #2
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heather View Post
    Many customers ask why the mp3Car Store does not have a direct phone line for customer service and technical support, here is our response.

    Most of the telephone calls received by the mp3Car Store over the many years were general product questions such as "How do I power my car PC", "What is the difference between the Lilliput 629 and the Xenarc 700 TSV", and our very favorites..."I just bought a Hummer, what car PC should I put in my car dude", and of course "I bought X product on Ebay from X other company, and it just stopped working, can you tell me how to fix it?". The mp3Car Store staff realized that the answers to these were all questions freely available on the forums, and frankly, far more detailed than the answers the store staff provided over the phone.
    If I understand correctly, you are effectively dumping the brunt of the technical support for the products that the mp3car.com store sells onto the car computing community and forum participants.


    The mp3Car Store staff can now dedicate themselves to supporting the store, without frequent phone interruptions. As a result, the store staff are able to provide better customer service as well as keep prices down for customers.
    How long has this new dedication to support been in place?
    A few days?

    A few weeks?

    A couple years?
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heather View Post
    Most of the telephone calls received by the mp3Car Store over the many years were general product questions such as "How do I power my car PC", "What is the difference between the Lilliput 629 and the Xenarc 700 TSV", and our very favorites..."I just bought a Hummer, what car PC should I put in my car dude", and of course "I bought X product on Ebay from X other company, and it just stopped working, can you tell me how to fix it?".
    So you chose to shut down the phone lines rather than telling people that the phones were for mp3car store related support, (not general product inquiries), thereby forcing them to use the forum to get any kind of quick response? While it's your decision, I agree with DP that it seems like you're trying to offload some of your support onto the community. While many may not have noticed, you just brought perhaps unwise attention to this fact.

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    Quote Originally Posted by malcom2073 View Post
    So you chose to shut down the phone lines rather than telling people that the phones were for mp3car store related support, (not general product inquiries), thereby forcing them to use the forum to get any kind of quick response? While it's your decision, I agree with DP that it seems like you're trying to offload some of your support onto the community. While many may not have noticed, you just brought perhaps unwise attention to this fact.
    I would rather be open regarding this, as I think it is the right decision.

    We tried to request that all customers calling for a CarPC 101 use the forums, but this did not work - they only got angry. We tried to keep only one line open for customer issues, this did not work either. Even now, from time to time, i get phone calls at my desk to ask how to use the Elm Scan USB and I kindly direct them to the online information.

    We do not push off support - we support the products we sell once they have been purchased. We even provide sales support before the purchase.

    Another benefit to support online, is faster and simpler technical support. When customers take time to write down the technical issue, they are clearer, and as a result we can help them faster.


    And DP - I am calling you out - how would you react to a forum member that hopped on the forums and said - "hey I just bought a Hummer - can you all tell me what computer to buy and what goes with it and how do i power it?". Most Newbies would not even dare do this with doing a search first.

    We financially support the forums so that this information is freely available - and we kindly ask customers to use the forums before purchasing products, so that when they do receive them, they actually know how to use them.


    Appreciate the feedback though - i will add some of this to my original post. thanks!
    Suggestions or Comments on the forums? Post here.

    mp3Car store order questions or products that you would like to sell on the store? Email store @ mp3car.com

    Feel free to pm me if you:
    • Have a general comment on mp3Car's products or services
    • Have a product you would like to have tested by the mp3Car community
    • Have a file you would like mp3Car to host
    • Have a cool idea that would improve the forums

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    Quote Originally Posted by DarquePervert View Post
    If I understand correctly, you are effectively dumping the brunt of the technical support for the products that the mp3car.com store sells onto the car computing community and forum participants.



    How long has this new dedication to support been in place?
    A few days?

    A few weeks?

    A couple years?
    Don't you have anything better to do with your time? I know mp3Car bashing is fun...but really - 99% of the time our service is excellent. Yeah there are always a few issues, a few mistakes, but it is not like we dont try to fix them - the opposite, we engage and work to set things right.

    Try this with almost any other company out there and what would they do - they would ban you and delete your post (or at least edit it for fear of SEO). But that just is not mp3Car's style.
    Suggestions or Comments on the forums? Post here.

    mp3Car store order questions or products that you would like to sell on the store? Email store @ mp3car.com

    Feel free to pm me if you:
    • Have a general comment on mp3Car's products or services
    • Have a product you would like to have tested by the mp3Car community
    • Have a file you would like mp3Car to host
    • Have a cool idea that would improve the forums

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    I have to admit that a written answer to a question is usually better that someone telling you over the phone, and you always have reference to the issue should you need it and also you have the opportunity to get more that 1 view on it. Anyways only my thoughts, Im in the UK so I wont have any dealings with mp3car but I'd be happy enough to if I needed.

  7. #7
    Neither darque nor pervert DarquePervert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heather View Post
    And DP - I am calling you out - how would you react to a forum member that hopped on the forums and said - "hey I just bought a Hummer - can you all tell me what computer to buy and what goes with it and how do i power it?". Most Newbies would not even dare do this with doing a search first.
    I think you were trying to be sarcastic, and it looks like you failed.
    If you weren't being sarcastic, then you need to open your eyes. Go check the Newbie forum.

    Yes, people should do research before they embark on a project, especially one directly linked to something like a vehicle that is not only expensive and difficult to repair and/or replace, but could pose catastrophic and fatal consequences if not executed properly.
    I'm all for people learning, and have been very vocal about that from day one.



    We financially support the forums so that this information is freely available - and we kindly ask customers to use the forums before purchasing products, so that when they do receive them, they actually know how to use them.
    So what about non-customers? What about those of us who purchase our hardware from other sources and choose these forums as a venue to assist those in need and be social to a certain extent?
    Are the long-time supporters of this community and this hobby who don't need to purchase goods & services from your store going to be denied access to the hallowed ground that is mp3car?



    Quote Originally Posted by Heather View Post
    Don't you have anything better to do with your time? I know mp3Car bashing is fun...but really - 99% of the time our service is excellent. Yeah there are always a few issues, a few mistakes, but it is not like we dont try to fix them - the opposite, we engage and work to set things right.
    When you're selling hardware, you're going to hit it most of the time because the hardware works out of the box and the customer is happy.

    HOWEVER, mp3car.com sells technical equipment, and a lot of it Chinese imports. These companies don't have the resources to create user manuals and such to the purchaser.
    They create large volumes of product, not all of which is tested before shipping overseas.
    And then its in a container on a ship for however long getting beat around by Mother Nature.
    There are any number of reasons there could be a problem with the type of merchandise you sell.

    You, as the seller are supposed to be the "expert" in case something doesn't work right or is malfunctioning. In some cases, you would be the one to make the assessment whether the merchandise is defective or damaged and the customer is warranted a replacement.

    Instead, you throw a paying customer to the proverbial lions.
    You spent a thousand dollars in our store, and now you should let these anonymous, abrasive, sometimes offensive, frequently boorish, self-absorbed, bitter, *whatever* hobbyists that already understand this stuff. THEY will help you.
    Thats right, those nerdy miscreants over there.

    By that token, someone is EXPECTED to provide some technical assistance to your customer on the forums. Who, exatly shoulders this responsibility?
    Is there someone on mp3car.com staff?
    Is it you or Rob?
    Goce?
    Let's face it... None of you have a very prominent presence on these forums. Considering you're running a business, that's pretty par for the course. But you damn sure aren't assistng customers with problems on the forums.

    So who is?

    It's the hobbyist community. Out of the goodness of our hearts and the desire that drives all geeky types to fix something that isn't working right, we do what we can in the abysmal troubleshooting environment that is internet forums.

    So when a customer doesn't get help on the forums from anyone who can help him achieve his goals, then what? What further recourse does a customer have?
    How can this poor guy even figure out if his device works properly? He got harrassed by a bunch of self-righteous dicks on the internet and now there's nobody to call to and complain?
    Or get a refund?
    Or an RMA?

    Honestly, I can't fathom any other resell-style operation that can continue to sustain itself without providing acceptable customer service. The ones that thrive try to offer the best customer service. They understand the products they sell and do their best to help you know the product you purchase. In this day of instant-on web stores, customer service is the ONLY thing other than price that separates a quality online retailer from a lousy one.

    At work, we have a long-time relationship with CDW.
    I buy from NewEgg.
    Why?
    Better customer service, knowledgable people who will help insure I purchase what I need, and a lower price.
    It doesn't take much to provide good customer support: Try to sell something that works and fix it if it doesn't.



    It's not about bashing mp3car.com. It's about bringing to light a company that doesn't appear to give a damn about their customers (past, present and future) or the hobbyist community they helped grow.



    Try this with almost any other company out there and what would they do - they would ban you and delete your post (or at least edit it for fear of SEO). But that just is not mp3Car's style.
    Most companies have suggestion boxes, giving the impression they care about criticisms and complaints from employees, customers, visitors, etc.

    Besides, you brought up the topic of mp3car.com's customer support and why it is the way it is.
    I think that's a fabulous topic.

    Let's discuss..
    Have you looked in the FAQ yet?
    How about the Wiki?



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