The story so far: Customer returns dead Xantrex TR series inverter/charger. When he hooked it up, some kind of internal fault caused it to burn the battery terminal (see the burn there on the positive post?). It worked for a few minutes at 100 watts, but the output voltage was too low. After that, he put 400 watts on the unit, and it died permanently. I get it back in the shop and it doesn’t do anything but throw code F04.
BEGIN RUNNING THE GAUNTLET. It’s 11 am.
We’re a longterm customer of Xantrex here, so I would have thought they’d treat us well… Unfortunately, Xantrex is now just a subsidiary of electrical products giant Schneider Electric, who are officially Too Big To Care.
The customer spent a good long time on the phone with Xantrex tech support, who finally told them to return the inverter to us. UPS delivers the unit a week after their driver electronically confirmed its delivery (WTF?!). I spend about 20 minutes on hold to reach the Customer Care group, who take down the info into … Nothing … They forward me to tech support.
Tech support takes down the serial number, purchase date, and failure description. An rma number is issued, however, I still need the shipping label to send the inverter back. I confirm my contact info and they inform me that it’ll be e-mailed.
It’s 1:30 pm now, and I await a response…
4:20 pm, and I get am email from the same person who took the call, asking me to send along the proof of purchase… Along with the serial number and fault description, because, oops. All that got entered into a great black hole. I fax the invoice over.
4:50 pm, I’m asked to fax the invoice again, and send it over immediately.
4:55 pm, I’m told that this entire process is complete, however, this was just the process of clearing the RMA through technical support, and I will now need to complete it through Customer Care.
End result: Most of a day wasted, still cannot confirm that a replacement will be sent our way if we ship a new inverter to the customer.
I should also add that in the past, Xantrex used to have a six ton cockblock in the way of me contacting their service department at all. Someone had established that our technical contact at work was the accounts payable department, and they refused to talk to me a second longer than it took to tell me to get accounts payable to contact them to continue the process. Funny they remembered this like an elephant, but filed today’s rma request in /dev/null! I had to establish contact with tech support by contacting them regarding an XW6048 that vomited fire with a loud buzzing sound at another customer, who had managed to open an rma on the unit.
Xantrex still threw me around on the phone for about 2 hours on that one, and I still don’t have the shipping label… I do, however, have it crated and ready to go home, with a hilarious and profane label sitting on the lid.
All of this is just part of the many reasons I like Outback Power better.
It’s done! As of about 7:30 pm, I got a couple of e-mails from Xantrex confirming that I just need to ship the dead inverter out, and the shipping label arrived! Hurrrrrrrrr…