Sunday, February 20, 2011

GoGear Gone Grrr!

It was April 2010 when I decided to buy an MP3 player. My mobile phone, a Nokia 3110 classic, is already capable of playing MP3s and it even has a decent music player, but using it to listen to music for several hours consumes too much battery power, thus, the reason why I wanted a standalone MP3 device.

One of the features I required was the support for MTP. MTP, or Media Transfer Protocol, allows me to manage my playlists the way I want to. I was making heavy use of this feature on my N3110c. Based on the Philips website, the GoGear Spark sufficed, so I bought it at Wellcom.

But there was no MTP feature on the GoGear Spark, even after thoroughly examining it. I tried updating the firmware, still no MTP. I even tried to search for a workaround that would allow me to enjoy similar playlist control, but it's not even close to the convenience of an MTP device. I felt cheated by the Philips website. That’s considered false advertising, ain’t it?

Maybe it would have been possible for me to exchange my Spark for another MP3 player at Wellcom, but at the time, they also didn't have any other item that met my need. Maybe the law even states that I could return it and get my money back. But Wellcom was actually of no fault regarding my purchase. I can only put the blame on Philips. (And probably on myself too since I didn’t bother checking with product specification and consumer reviews on other websites and just relied solely on the “official” information from Philips.)

So I called Philips Consumer Care, asking for my options on what they might be able to do for me. A refund was on my mind. But they instead opted to replace the Spark with a GoGear Vibe, which was fine with me. I got the Vibe on May 14, 2010, after almost a month of getting in touch with them. The Vibe did have MTP support, and I was satisfied. Everything was well.

Fast forward to late December 2010. The Vibe wouldn't turn on anymore. I didn't even drop or misuse it, so who knows why it suddenly died just like that. I checked it in at Pro Logic, the Philips authorized service center in Cebu, but I was told it was beyond repair. Since the GoGear is still under warranty, they said they would take care of things and file for a possible replacement unit. The technician told me to keep the busted Vibe, but instead asked for the receipt, saying that the information he needed for processing was there. Although a bit hesitant (that is my only solid proof of purchase after all), I gave it to him. Yeah, I know, my bad.

Anyway, I made several follow-up calls to Pro Logic in January 2011. The bottomline: it's still being processed, according to them. With the lack of development, I decided to contact Philips Consumer Care again in mid-February, telling them of my present woes. A representative got in touch with me. In our correspondence, I made mention of the receipt, and I was told that the receipt should be always with me and if the need arises, I should only be giving a photocopy of it. I was instructed to turn over the busted GoGear Vibe to Pro Logic, and I did so. The unit shall be sent to the Philips head office in Manila.

While at Pro Logic, I asked to get my receipt back, but I wasn't able to. I tried to reason that the receipt should be with me, as what the representative told me, but to no avail. I was told it's on file and that it wasn’t retrievable at the moment, so I should just come back to get it. This is what bothers me as there might be something else going on. This should serve as a lesson for me that next time, I should never let go of my original receipts.

The technician at Pro Logic also mentioned that Philips’ policy is for them to only replace items once, which they have already done for me back in May. But why should I be the one on the losing end when (1) it’s them who placed wrong information on their website, and (2) it’s them who made a device which is not durable?

I am hoping:
  1. for a favorable action from Philips, which would either be a refund, or an MTP-enabled replacement MP3 device with a capacity of 4 GB (I wouldn't complain if it's more),
  2. that I would be getting my receipt back as soon as possible (or that the receipt would be a non-factor in the event that I don't get it back), and
  3. that it would be straightforward from here on and that a resolution would be reached before February ends.
I recommended the GoGear as a more affordable and even better alternative to the Apple iPod. However, at present, I am un-recommending it as it is bringing hassles and inconvenience to me. And certainly, I am not getting the value of what I paid for. It’s not even one year old, and it’s already out of commission!

The GoGear is a very good MP3 player (while it is still functioning). I am also satisfied with how my concerns are handled by Philips Consumer Care. Now if only Philips has a better service center (only complaint here is the receipt issue) and longer-lasting, tougher devices.

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