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MagicJack at Best Buy

 
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MyOwnMJ
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 12 Jul 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:30 pm    Post subject: MagicJack at Best Buy

I see that Best Buy stores carry the MagicJack. Does Best Buy also have a service plan for the MagicJack?

That is, if the MagicJack suddenly acts up and is not functional, can we just go to a Best Buy and trade in the bad jack for a replacement one?
(I had a service plan with Best Buy for a GPS and when that stopped working, they cheerfully said, go ahead pick out a replacement).

I'm usually not fond of store service plans, but since the MagicJack only works some of the time, for example:

http://www.phoneservicesupport.com/can-t-hear-outgoing-calls-but-receiver-s-phone-does-ring-t4970.html


Maybe a service plan for it would be a good idea? At least that way, the risk of MagicJack malfunctioning will be passed on.
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az2008
MagicJack Sensei


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1404
Location: Tempe, AZ

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:40 pm    Post subject: Re: MagicJack at Best Buy

MyOwnMJ wrote:
if the MagicJack suddenly acts up and is not functional, can we just go to a Best Buy and trade in the bad jack for a replacement one?


The last time I looked, BB listed MJ as coming with a 1-year parts and labor warranty. This raises a couple of questions in my mind:

1. If you used it for 6 months and experienced the kind of unusable conditions that have existed the past 2 months, would you be able to get a refund from BB on the basis that MJ *can't* repair the problem?

2. If you use it for 11 months, can you go to live chat, pretend that it won't work any more, and insist upon a replacement?

Re #2, I'm not a fan of lying (or stealing). OTOH, when it comes to MJ's business practices, the old saying "when in Rome, do as the Romans" comes to mind.

Mark
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MyOwnMJ
magicJack Apprentice


Joined: 12 Jul 2008
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 10:52 pm    Post subject:

I don't believe in lying or stealing either. When my GPS broke (bad hard drive), I brought it into Best Buy and told them it didn't work. I actually wanted it repaired, but since they didn't repair them they just said, since it's under the service plan and we can't fix it, go ahead and pick out one of equal or lesser value (I actually picked out a GPS that was only valued at about $250 when I could have got one for about $1000, but the lesser valued one fit me more).

I see, if a magicjack craps out -- like what's happening now, not being able to consistently make a call-- I think that would qualify as broken--if a mobile phone only makes 50% of the calls, would that be broken? (though MJ would rather us go through their helpless customer support)
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mberlant
Dan Should Pay Me


Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 829
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:24 pm    Post subject: Re: MagicJack at Best Buy

az2008 wrote:
The last time I looked, BB listed MJ as coming with a 1-year parts and labor warranty. This raises a couple of questions in my mind:

1. If you used it for 6 months and experienced the kind of unusable conditions that have existed the past 2 months, would you be able to get a refund from BB on the basis that MJ *can't* repair the problem?
The warranty covers parts and labor. Best Buy did not sell you any "parts" other than the dongle, so that is what they would be willing to repair or replace under warranty. You would be able to carry your "bad" MJ into a Best Buy store and exchange it for a new one (in lieu of them being able to repair it). You would only be able to ask for a refund within Best Buy's refund policy (30 days, I think) and not their warranty policy. As long as Best Buy continues to sell MJ, their exposure would be limited to repairing or replacing the one you carry in, and would not extend to refunding money beyond the refund window.

az2008 wrote:
2. If you use it for 11 months, can you go to live chat, pretend that it won't work any more, and insist upon a replacement?
MJ chat has no idea what extra warranty any reseller chooses to offer. You would need to carry your MJ into Best Buy and get another one, just like #1.

MyOwnMJ wrote:
I see, if a magicjack craps out -- like what's happening now, not being able to consistently make a call-- I think that would qualify as broken--if a mobile phone only makes 50% of the calls, would that be broken?
No, only your dongle is covered by the Best Buy warranty (or by MJ's 5year/4year warranty, for that matter). If you decide that the service is unacceptable after the return period has expired, you are not entitled to compensation under the warranty.

The ToS is on rather solid ground with regards to all of the caveats that state that any service provided over the public internet is subject to interruptions and degradations that are beyond their control. I don't believe it is technically possible (certainly not for a reasonable amount of money) to definitively prove that a particular degradation in service could only have been caused by components under MJ's exclusive control.


Last edited by mberlant on Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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az2008
MagicJack Sensei


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1404
Location: Tempe, AZ

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:34 pm    Post subject: Re: MagicJack at Best Buy

mberlant wrote:
MJ chat has no idea what extra warranty any reseller chooses to offer. You would need to carry your MJ into Best Buy and get another one, just like #1.


Normally, BB lists manufacturer warranties, not BB's warranty. That's why it would be interesting to see how MJ would honor what BB describes as a warranty, or what BB would do if MJ doesn't honor it.

It would also be interesting to see how BB would handle it if, basically, what was sold can't be fixed (because the problem is with MJ's service, not the dongle). I.e., gimme a new one, and another, and another (tired yet? want to refund my money? No? gimme a new one, and another, etc.).

Mark
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mberlant
Dan Should Pay Me


Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 829
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:43 pm    Post subject: Re: MagicJack at Best Buy

az2008 wrote:
It would also be interesting to see how BB would handle it if, basically, what was sold can't be fixed (because the problem is with MJ's service, not the dongle). I.e., gimme a new one, and another, and another (tired yet? want to refund my money? No? gimme a new one, and another, etc.).
Since the one year that Best Buy is offering is longer than the one month that MJ offers, it seems that Best Buy has decided on their own to do this. (For example, Radio Shack only honors MJ's one month unless you purchase an extended service plan.)

I agree that, as long as Best Buy chooses to replace the dongle instead of sending it out for repair, having a boatload of MJ customers exercising "revolving door" warranty replacement might cause Best Buy to rethink their policy. One change that comes quickly to mind is that Best Buy could keep an MJ-capable PC available to test any dongle that comes in under warranty. If the dongle works in the store, it's your problem to fix your home environment. If the dongle fails in the store, it gets replaced.
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az2008
MagicJack Sensei


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1404
Location: Tempe, AZ

PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2009 11:59 pm    Post subject: Re: MagicJack at Best Buy

mberlant wrote:
Since the one year that Best Buy is offering is longer than the one month that MJ offers, it seems that Best Buy has decided on their own to do this.


Or, maybe they've been told by Deceptive Dan that it comes with a 1-year parts & labor warranty. We don't know what BB means when they say it carries this warranty.

It's hard to imagine BB would offer such an extended warranty itself for such a low-dollar item. My guess is that if a customer brings a MJ unit into the store for repair/replacement they'll be told it's a manufacturer's warranty. At which point they'll get the offshore runaround. If that's true, it would be interesting to see how BB handles their own misrepresentation of the product (or, that it was misrepresented to them).

mberlant wrote:
One change that comes quickly to mind is that Best Buy could keep an MJ-capable PC available to test any dongle that comes in under warranty. If the dongle works in the store, it's your problem to fix your home environment. If the dongle fails in the store, it gets replaced.


I guess the devils would be in the details of what constitutes "working." How much echo. How much chop. How much failed voice mails, or calls that can't be heard for 3-4 hours at a time.

I mean, rather than debate the point with them, just jam a nail into the USB connector to help BB conclude it's broken. (Or, zap it with 120 volts.). Keep doing it with each replacement BB provides until they decide refunding the money would be easier.

I'm still skeptical that BB is warrantying MJ. I think it's just another case of Dan over-hyping things to BB. So, the resolution of that disconnect would be interesting. Or, sticking it to MJ in the same way I described it could be stuck to BB.

Mark
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mberlant
Dan Should Pay Me


Joined: 01 Feb 2009
Posts: 829
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 12:52 am    Post subject:

Replacing the dongle a bazillion times will not solve any problems in MJ's oversold SIP servers or in your ISP's oversold access routers. And, while zapping the dongle to kill it may bring some instant gratification vis a vis "stick it to 'em", it will not solve any problem and will only serve to raise the price of the kit to cover this unnecessary hardware replacement. There will never be any connection made at MJ that warranty churn in the field relates to service problems.

So, I think we must continue searching for a way to guide MJ onto the "straight and narrow" without shooting our own selves in the foot.
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az2008
MagicJack Sensei


Joined: 20 Aug 2008
Posts: 1404
Location: Tempe, AZ

PostPosted: Fri Mar 06, 2009 2:17 pm    Post subject:

mberlant wrote:
Replacing the dongle a bazillion times will not solve any problems in MJ's oversold SIP servers or in your ISP's oversold access routers. And, while zapping the dongle to kill it may bring some instant gratification vis a vis "stick it to 'em", it will not solve any problem and will only serve to raise the price of the kit to cover this unnecessary hardware replacement.


I agree with everything you say. That's just not where the minds of most consumers are. Most notably MJ consumers who seem to have a passion for getting even (due to a strong sense of being lied to, which is MJ's fault).

For those people, Best Buy's depiction of a 1-year parts & labor warranty could be a target-rich environment.

If BB is depicting what it believes is a manufacturer warranty they open themselves to false-advertising claims. If they are backing the warranty themselves, they open themselves up to fulfilling problems associated with MJ's network delivery (which could get mighty expensive). If they force MJ to stand behind what it told BB was its warranty, that would get even more expensive as BB gets mired down in unhappy customers being dismissed by Filipino help desk professionals. (BB might get the immediate impression that MJ is unethical, and understand the angst of many MJ customer.).

I don't necessarily advocate monkey-wrench techniques. Just pointing out how easy it would be to do so if either MJ or BB began quibbling about how they only warranted the *dongle* to work -- not the service itself.

And, there's no shortage of MJ customer who could easily rationalize "all's fair in love and war." Who feel they have a score to settle even if it costs them $50 to get $40.

The tangled web Dirty-Deal Dan has created with those effective marketing techniques. Maybe someday TelephonyOnline will choose to do an article that focuses on the results of Dan's marketing instead of limiting itself just to Dan's marketing genius. Wink

Mark
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