Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sylvania hates their customers

Have you ever noticed that most everything you buy breaks seemingly as soon as you remove it from the package? I know I oftentimes feel like I am simply pissing away my money when I buy even the most basic necessities for my house. That is why I was almost boiling with anger when I went to screw in a couple new CFL bulbs into my new living room light fixture. I flipped the switch only to see that one bulb wasn't lighting. Thinking that it might have been a defect with the Chinese-made light fixture's socket, I swapped bulbs (there are two in it) only to confirm that the defect was the bulb.

Yeah, in the grand scheme of things a bad Sylvania CFL bulb is only about two bucks but I figured it's about time that companies realize that they are selling garbage. Hell, I know that the companies know they are selling crap for products. Osram-Sylvania is well aware of the fact that their cheaply-made CFL bulbs are made in China. Consumers are likely aware too because about 80% of everything sold in a typical big box store is made in China but I work for my money and would like to purchase products that work when new.

I like that sometimes you find a company who stands behind their product but making an unhappy customer jump through hoops to return a defective product is just more maddening -- that's why I wrote the e-mail copied below to some likely un-monitored email inbox at some dark basement office at some outsourced customer service company that "handles" complaints for Osram-Sylvania. As I stated in the email, I don't actually expect a response but I feel better having voiced my displeasure, knowing full well that I will steer clear of Sylvania CFL bulbs until they change their return policy for defective items (packaging and mailing a single light bulb so they can mail me a voucher or a replacement light bulb in 6-8 weeks isn't a solution, it's a fucking nuisance).

Anyhow, here's the email I sent to Sylvania:

I purchased a three-pack of 60 watt replacement daylight CFL bulbs (13 watts with a supposed lifespan of 9 years) approximately three weeks ago at my local Menards store and upon installing them today I discovered that one of the bulbs was already burned out. I wouldn't expect that a brand new bulb just taken out of the package would be defective but it was just that. I would like some sort of compensation for this product but being that they are manufactured in China like so much else in our disposable world I can't imagine that a company of your size, which has outsourced production of goods and instead of passing along the savings to the customer has actually raised the price, would actually care about having satisfied customers. By the way, your return/replacement policy of sending a product back to the given address inside the package is ridiculous. Make that easier and guarantee a working product out of the package and you wouldn't have to deal with customer comments like this one. Normally I would expect a response but I'm just one guy. Why would you care about one customer's complaints?


Reuben Collins said...

I'd say I break about 50% of the CFL's I buy while screwing them into the sockets. So much for sustainability...

Jules said...

This would have quite pissed me off too. Can't you just take it back to the store you bought it from for the refund? Surely you can.