Bang & Olufsen enthusiasts sit up and take note. For their B&O PLAY range B&O have made a rather significant change to their repairs and returns system.
If you are a Bang & Olufsen customer you will be used to the policy with in-warranty equipment. Unplug it, take it to either the original dealer or your nearest store, present the product, with or without the receipt, depending on whether or not you have gone back to the original store, and after a quick once over, you will walk out with a new product. And as all us B&O lovers know, even out of warranty, you will generally get assistance.
However for B&O PLAY the system is, as of the last 3 months, different. You now need to log into the dedicated support area, enter the serial number of your product, and go through a series of "idiot proofing" questions such as "is the device turned on", and you are then given a return's label, which you must then attach to a package, place the product in the package, contact the courier, and await a collection. To top this off, the "customer services" line is a voicemail. And there is no way around this, it is not "either/or", for the B&O PLAY range this is the only way to get faulty in warranty products fixed. and out of warranty? Forget about it, straight in the bin.
This is sad news for B&O consumers. Choosing a B&O product means three things; audio quality, high concept design and excellent customer services. While the third still holds true for mainline Beosound, Beolab and Beovision products, for the B&O PLAY range the customer services hovers somewhere around a cut/price internet service provider, with no customer services line, and email contact only, and good luck getting your product sorted.
The party line on this from Bang & Olufsen is that this new form of returns is for the busy consumers who don't have the time to return to the stores themselves, and that the majority of PLAY customers are happy with this model. The response to this is of course that firstly, who says you need to go to the store yourself? If you are paying thousands for an audio system, or even hundreds for headphones, it's a pretty safe bet you can organise someone to take the product to your local store. And as for "people being largely satisfied", well, if your used to poor customer service, then anything seems good, but if you are used to the traditional B&O customer services, this is a pretty big step down in terms of quality.