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Apple Watch, Samsung Edge glitches anger users, but no outright revolt

Matt Hamblen | May 4, 2015
Problems with the new Apple Watch and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge smartphone have infuriated some early adopters, but they still stay loyal to their favorite brand.

One forum comment posted by "overtheVerizon" on April 26 said the third Edge obtained from Verizon Wireless was working so far, an indication that the problem was hardware-related, not because of a software continuity foible.

At one point on April 22, Samsung advised users to call 1-800-SAMSUNG for help, but many users said in forums it might be best to return a faulty device to the carrier involved for an exchange if done before the 14-day return period expires. A Verizon Wireless community forum included a recommendation to Verizon customers with an Edge to call 1-800-922-0204, while noting that the Samsung warranty on the phones is good for one year.

A Verizon spokesman, in an email to Computerworld, said the rotation problem affects a small number of devices, but he couldn't say if the issue was hardware or software-related. He also said the problem was still being evaluated by Verizon, separately from Samsung. At one Best Buy store, a repair technician told Computerworld that Samsung is aware of the problem with the Edge and urged customers to call the 1-800-SAMSUNG. He couldn't say what the source of the problem is.

The Apple Watch is still early in the game, but some disappointments about the tattoo-related problem have already surfaced. One user with wrist tattoos named "Techjas" got the Watch recently and asked on the Apple Watch forum, "How is Apple going to handle it? Right now I am not sure I want a watch I have to 'rig' to get it to work correctly."

Business as usual

The typical industry response to such concerns is that new products sometimes have glitches and that's to be expected.

But the problem goes deeper than that, to how well vendors and carriers handle the service calls and visits to stores when problems arise — if only to retain loyal customers. Based on user forums, the service calls for the Edge rotation problem can sometimes be easy, but are more often exasperating.

A senior project manager at a tech company who asked not to be named emailed Computerworld to say he called the Samsung support line because his Edge phone's screen was locked in portrait position. He was told to send the device back to Samsung for evaluation, but the manager was concerned because he would have no phone for nine business days with no loaner phone provided. The only other option he was offered was to contact his carrier, and if he had third-party insurance he should use it to "see what can be done."

What angers customers more than a technical problem is being ignored by a vendor or treated like an idiot for making a complaint, in person or over the phone with a service representative.


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