Wednesday, August 08, 2007

More fun with Helio.

Dear Readers, Helio broke Mr S.'s heart. He said he was fine, but then I'd walk in on him looking at a Helio forum. Or reading comments over at Engadget. He's not fine I thought.

Mr S. thinks he'll give Helio one more chance to try and sell him a phone. He is much nicer and more tolerant than I am. I would have given up on them after the last conversation.

But at this point Mr S. is starting to really need a phone. His phone is really screwed.

So he emails customer support at Helio to see if anyone else can provide a location to see a working phone. I'm sure he thinks customer support will give him a dealer in the next city over. Or two cities over... or even maybe 10 cities over. This is fucking Silicon Valley after all. Most people probably commute through 6 cities to get to work.

This is how it went:

Subject: Where can I see a *working* demo of a Helio Ocean?

I'm interested in the Ocean. It sounds nice, but I would have to see a working one in person before purchasing. But none of the Helio dealers in my area (zip XXXXX) have a working one. They all have only hollow shells. I'm not buying a phone w/o seeing it work first. I can go to the local Apple store and see an IPhone. I can go to the local Verizon/Cingular/Whatever cell store and see Blackberries, SmartPhones, Qs, etc. All working demos.

Where can I go to see a working Helio Ocean?"

Helio emails back:

"Hello from Helio, this is Noel,

Thank you for your inquiry.

Thank you for taking the time to e-mail Helio. I am sorry to hear you have had such a difficult time finding a retailer with a working demo device. I understand that you wish to see the device working before purchasing it. I really do not blame you. We all like to know what we are purchasing, so I went ahead and looked up all authorized retail stores in your area. (XXXXX)

Hear is a list of all the local retailers:

(Noel provides a list of 6 local retailers. Phone#'s and addresses)

I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you for contacting Helio and have a nice day.

I hope we answered your question. If we didn't answer your question or if you have additional questions, please send us another e-mail at the address below.

Helio Member Care "

Mr S.'s reply:

"Hello Noel,

While I appreciate the kind and understanding words, I don't see how you think you answered my question at all.

To recap: I did this:

(1) looked up my local Helio dealers on your website
(2) called those dealers, and determined that none of them have a working demo of a Helio Ocean
(3) emailed you, asking for help locating a dealer who _does_ have a working demo.

In your response, you gave me exactly the same list I started with in step #1. (You obviously didn't try to verify that the dealerships actually had a working model, otherwise you wouldn't have listed those same dealers)

How is that supposed to help me? To repeat: those dealers _do_not_ have a working demo.

You can help me by finding a dealer which _does_ have a working model that I can see demo'ed."

Should it really be this hard to see one of these phones?


  1. Good lord. What a stupid company. Based on the stellar customer service you've had so far, are you sure you want to sign on with these guys? They're sure to be as useless if you ever have a problem.

  2. Na.. probably not. I told you - Mr S. is nice. So he likes to give people second chances.

    I like to let him exhaust himself, so I can write funny stories. Then then when he tells me how lame a company is the second time around -I give him that look that puppies do when they don't understand what you're saying.

    It is good to at least try to give them a second chance though. Right? Maybe you got a bad apple the first time.

    Yeah.. I dont believe that crap either.