Lite-On's dark secret?

Lite-On's dark secret?

Post by no_liteo » Sat, 24 Jan 2004 13:39:47

or a long while I thought one can never go wrong with purchasing
Lite-On products. That is why all the CD/DVD drives in my PCs are from
Lite-On (4 of them). So, it was only natural that when time came to
purchase a "consumer type" DVD player, I didn't think twice before
purchasing the Lite-On LVD-2001.

All seemed well, until I discovered that one of the functions is not
working as advertised and I needed Lite-On's customer service... It
has been quite a frustrating experience. They seem to consistently
reply with ambigous and evasive answers. When I finally requested
clear and explicit answers, I never heard from them again...

I ended up filing a complaint with the BBB and I will probably hear
from them soon. But for the benefit of all, I thought you may want to
know who you are dealing with. So, I am posting here my entire
correspondence (to date) with Lite-On customer service, copied
VERBATIM, except for my full name and other personal details.


Ex-loyal Lite-On customer.


"Customer Name" < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >

2004/01/04 06:21 PM

I received the unit back on Monday, December 29, 2003.

Assuming that you would not ship back a malfunctioning unit, I eagerly
connected it to my system, expecting to enjoy a perfectly working A-B

However, I was dismayed to discover that the A-B feature in the unit
is still not functional with *audio* CDs. This is despite the fact
that I sent you the unit for repair/replacement specifically for
fixing this problem.

This is also despite the fact that I explicitly and repeatedly
inquired about this "A-B function in audio CDs" problem in three of my
notes, including the very first note I sent you (November 30, 2003).

I am extremely disappointed not only with the fact that I still have
an item that does not work as advertised, but also with the way you
handled this case:

If the A-B feature is supposed to work with audio CDs, why didn't you
state so explicitly? And why didn't you replace my unit with a *fully*
working one (as you promised in your note from December 2, 2003)?

If, on the other hand, you knew all along that that the A-B feature
does not work with audio CDs, why did you instruct me to ship the unit
to you?

I am extremely disappointed with your handling of this case, since it
resulted in not only extra cost and the inconvenience of
unavailability of the player for the holidays, but I also lost the
option of returning the merchandise to the retailer within the 30-day
money-back period.

I request that at a minimum, you fully and explicitly answer my
following questions:
1) What is your diagnosis of my unit? Did you fix anything? If so,
what did you fix?
2) Is the inability to support the A-B function for audio CDs a known
problem with all units or only with my particular unit?
3) If this is a known problem with all units, do you consider this a
4) Can a firmware update solve the problem?
5) If the answer to (4) is positive, are you planning to release such
an update?

I very much prefer getting straight and clear answers directly from
you. However, if I don't receive satisfying answers within a week, I
will regretfully have to refer the case to consumer agencies and
online consumer rating sites.


-----Original Message-----

Lite-On's dark secret?

Post by bb » Sun, 25 Jan 2004 02:41:45

On 22 Jan 2004 20:39:47 -0800, XXXX@XXXXX.COM (No Longer a LiteOn


Hear from who? FYI, the BBB is a waste of time and effort. They have
no power to do anything except keep records of complaints.

In the future NEVER send something to the factory for repair if you
are able to return it for an exchange or refund.


Lite-On's dark secret?

Post by Peter van » Sun, 25 Jan 2004 06:37:34

<snip long story>
Face up to it. You made a bad decision *not* to simply return the item to
your retailer. You had that option, and the Lite-On tech even reminded you
of it in his/her second response. You opted for the shipping expense and
time lost. You also opted for low price, which seems to be the way the world
works today. Consequently, you didn't get perfect, red carpet service after
the sale. Given that numerous off-shore electronics manufacturers simply
refuse to deal with retail customers at all, saying warranty service is
between the end user and the retailer, you weren't treated badly at all.

Lite-On's dark secret?

Post by no_liteo » Mon, 26 Jan 2004 13:47:54

Yes, you are right. I made a bad decision. I should have returned it
to the retailer, but was lured into thinking that by sending it to the
manufacturer I would get a unit that functions as advertised.

Also, there was big card that came with the product, saying: "Before
returning this product to the original purchase location, please
contact Lite-On customer service first. Qualified Lite-On customer
service representatives can answer any questions you may have".

You mean this ambigously written response? :
"The only suggest we can provide at this time is returning the unit to
us to double check or your can return it to your re-seller."

Correct. A lesson learned. Perhaps others can learn from this lesson,
too. If only I could find a refence like this thread *before* I made
the purchase...

I disagree. A warranty is a warranty. If the manufacturer specifically
and explicitly requires end users to contact him directly, then he
should behave accordingly.

Lite-On's dark secret?

Post by no_liteo » Mon, 26 Jan 2004 13:55:56

15 years ago I remember the BBB was very helpful. Has this changed?

Thanks for the advice. I will certainly follow it.

Lite-On's dark secret?

Post by Rick Pal » Mon, 26 Jan 2004 14:34:03

I think that was your mistake. The enclosed card telling you to call support
rather than return the unit is not a 'requirement' because they have no way
to enforce it. It's merely a suggestion they rely on the reader to impose
upon themselves.

The way I look at it, usual warranty procedure can involve replacing a
defective unit with a referb. Since I didn't buy a referb, I'm not going to
RMA a unit within the store's return policy. I'll call support, but only for
information...nothing more. If that information doesn't fix the problem,
back it goes.


Lite-On's dark secret?

Post by Dave » Tue, 27 Jan 2004 01:31:24

On 24 Jan 2004 20:55:56 -0800, XXXX@XXXXX.COM (No Longer a LiteOn

Not in my experience. My complaint, filed online with the BBB,
resulted in a fast resolution. Within 3 weeks of filing (a 5 minute
process online) I had my rebate check ($20), letter of apology, and a
$25 gift certificate from Staples.

Sure the BBB has no enforcement power, but reputable vendors don't
like having unresolved complaints in their BBB record for all to see.


Lite-On's dark secret?

Post by bb » Tue, 27 Jan 2004 01:33:46

On 24 Jan 2004 20:55:56 -0800, XXXX@XXXXX.COM (No Longer a LiteOn

BBB has never had any power or authority. But many people seem to
think it does. Businesses just laugh when irate customers threaten to
go to the BBB.

Lately a lot of stuff you buy, particularly pricy things, will have a
notice in the box when you open it that says something like "If there
is a problem (parts missing, etc.) call our 800 number. DO NOT RETURN
IT TO THE STORE!" Yeah right.

Some years ago I bought a equalizer/booster for my car stereo at Radio
Shack. I got it home, and not only did it not work, but I noticed
that the metal case was dented. I brought it back and the guy said
"well, we can send it in for warranty service." I said "uh, no, how
about you just refund my money for the damaged goods you sold me."
That sore is notorious for trying to pass off customer returns as new
merchandise. But I am digressing.

Lite-On's dark secret?

Post by bb » Tue, 27 Jan 2004 01:38:29

On 24 Jan 2004 20:47:54 -0800, XXXX@XXXXX.COM (No Longer a LiteOn

There you go. BTW, they didn't have YOUR best interests in mind when
they included that card.

What, exactly is ambiguous about "you can return it to your

"Should," but usually doesn't.

Lite-On's dark secret?

Post by bb » Tue, 27 Jan 2004 01:54:12

On Sun, 25 Jan 2004 16:31:24 GMT, Dave < XXXX@XXXXX.COM >

I guess it's worth a try then.