This morning, I received a call from Renee Gosselin, HumanWare’s customer service manager, regarding our email communications over the past week.
First, she apologized several times for the way Humanware communicated with me. She was on vacation and was unaware that no one had called me prior to sending the email from last Friday. Reading my second email must have clarified this to her, anyway, as it is true that no one had called to tell me what the problem was. This, Renee tells me, is what was supposed to have happened. In theory apparently, before the email I got went out, I was supposed to have received a phone call. I never received one. Even so, she assures me that their email template will be updated.
Second, my problem was liquid damage around the play button. She explained that she was able to examine the damage; I’m not sure if this was through the mentioned pictures of the damage or the actual unit. So, I guess it must have gotten splashed at some point. Fair enough. She explained that sometimes, such damage can be easily repaired, but sometimes not, and sometimes they will repair rather than replace if they are easily able to do so, although such damage is not covered under warranty, being as it’s accidental damage and not a product defect. (I did not suggest that perhaps some additional protection against liquid damage might go into the product design…like sealing the spaces around buttons maybe?)
Third, she has offered to replace my Stream free of charge, due to the poor way this case was handled on their part. I should be receiving this replacement sometime next week.
Finally, I thanked her for resolving this case, and for her apology for the way this was handled. I then asked specifically about the problems I mentioned with deaf-blind customers not getting assistance when they called using relay operators. She said that this shouldn’t be happening, and that they even do internal calls where they set up test calls pretending to be relay operators. All the techs and service people should be aware of how to handle these calls, and it’s important that they do so, since they do have deaf-blind customers and even specific products for the deaf-blind. They even have at least one deaf-blind person in product development, so clearly this shouldn’t be a problem. She suspects that there may be a problem with the receptionists, who are sometimes students, or in any case, may not be waiting long enough or don’t handle relay calls correctly, and she will address this with that department. Finally, she tells me that any such problems should be brought directly to her attention, and she will handle these concerns personally. She did not, however, give me an extension or a direct email address. She wrote to me from the info at HumanWare address. Also, individual email addresses appear to take the form first name.last name at humanware, so one can try that route.
Renee seems very sincere about changing their customer service interactions. I’d like to take her at her word on this, but I think it’s incumbent on the rest of us to do so as well. If you have less than great experiences with Humanware’s customer service, get in touch with Renee. Hold her to her commitment. I, for one, am eager for their service to equal the quality of their products, and I look forward to that happening more.