I love everything about GoPro. As the story goes, CEO & Founder Nick Woodman hustled belts out of his VW van before bootstrapping his way into a billion dollar blue ocean. It’s f’ing incredible and it’s everything that I aspire to do within my lifetime.
Their media strategy empowers people and drives them to live out the brand. To be a hero. It was never a matter of if I was going to buy my own GoPro, just a matter of when.
In January embarked on a trip to the United Kingdom and Southeast Asia. It meant leaving my Nikon D3100 at home and picking up a brand new Hero3+ Black Edition from Amazon. It was probably unnecessary to get the nicest model as I’m a total amateur but who doesn’t like nice things.
Unfortunately about midway through my GoPro Hero3+ started randomly freezing. The camera get stuck on the default recording setting when powered up and would require a hard restart (replacing the battery) before functioning again.
I scoured the forums and the web for answers and saw the problem was pretty common, so I vowed that once I got to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam that I’d sit down and get it fixed. Fixing the camera has lead to me replacing the battery, reformatting the SD card, re-installing the software and praying to the electronic gods who never seem to listen.
Nothing worked. The GoPro still freezes.
Okay so the camera is defective. I’m going to have to file a customer service ticket and get this resolved.I’m confident going into the process though and who wouldn’t be? Everything about GoPro is awesome. If they want me to be a hero, then their customer support team has to emulate the same message.
We’re living in the age of Zappos and WPEngine (I really love those guys), customer support for cool companies is a given right?
Unfortunately dealing with GoPro’s customer service has been completely robotic and** scripted. **I started writing this post on Sunday afternoon not to whine and complain (okay there is some of this), but to raise a serious question mark around why a company that’s built on cool can be so awful at customer service.
Message #1 I’m In Vietnam
It was a long-shot asking to trade the product in, but it’s GoPro so I thought it was worth a shot. I have all of the items with me, so we could do a 1:1 trade with one of the few authorized dealers here in town.
A few things to note:
- The firmware update didn’t work
- I’m in Vietnam
- I tried starting it up with the battery in and outside
Message #2 Response from Andrew
It’s totally scripted with ZERO personalization. This is how you make people upset and hate you. This is what you expect from shitty companies that don’t care about their customers. This is not what I expected to hear from GoPro.
Sure I whined a little bit and through an option out there that probably wasn’t going to work, but at least acknowledge the situation and tell me that it can’t happen.
Message #3, #4, #5 I try everything, still nothing
Admittedly, I’m a bit pissed that the response I got was so robotic. I called Andrew out for it to see if he would respond to the next message like a normal human would. You’ll see in the next set of screenshots that clearly I was asking too much.
In the end, I want the camera to work, so I went ahead and tried everything. I even bought another GoPro battery at the licensed dealer here in Ho Chi Minh City. Nothing worked.
Message #6 Andrew proves he really is a robot
GoPro Support proves to be as corporate as they come as the script Andrew sends is filled with buzzwords like “unfortunately” “our apologies” and “as soon as possible”.
He neglects to acknowledge that fact that I’m outside of the US or that I called him out for not sending a personal response back. A replacement as soon as possible is going to be difficult when I’m in Asia.
It pains me to the end of my existence to say this, but Comcast’s customer support is better than GoPro’s.
Message #7 I send the information over
I sent Andrew S. my address, serial number and proof of purchase. I also went on to tell him that I’m in Asia again which would complicate the issue.
Message #8 Okay this is ridiculous now
Yes, I’m sure that GoPro is sorry about the inconvenience. The lack of acknowledging anything sent over in previous messages really shows that.
Message #9 – The last stand
As a customer, it’s normal for me to be concerned about shipping $400 camera from Asia to California. It would be tragic if it were to somehow not arrive and then I was forced to continue trying to communicate with robotic Andrew.
Even though there’s no hope, I again bring up the idea of purchasing another one locally. All I want is my GoPro to work and to be able to capture some footage of the incredible experiences that I’m having.
I submitted Message #9 at 3/15/2014 9:33 pm and I’m still waiting for a response.
Failing to address the issue with any sort of personalization raises concerns about how much GoPro really cares about their customers. I doubt that I’ve been the only one to get this level of support which raises the question, why is a billion dollar company that’s built on cool and empowering people going public with customer service that’s worse than Comcast?
My guess? Competition.
GoPro doesn’t have any. There isn’t another reputable company in the world that makes a similar camera. They know that they’re the only game in town so they can throw robotic Andrew’s out on the front line to deal with customers because they are your only option.
When you go to the DMV, you expect it to suck. When you order a GoPro and buy into the Be A Hero movement, you expect an awesome experience that’s portrayed in all of their branding.
It’s too bad the awesome experience ends as soon as the user requires some support.
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