Thursday, July 28, 2011

Samsung HMX-H300 Camcorder



NEWS BULLETIN! We interrupt Famous Actress Week here at OPOD to bring you this picture of a Movie Camera from 1920. The thing is, I bet this camera actually worked, as compared to some of the junk they are building today. For example, the Samsung HMX-H300, which I just purchased from Amazon.

I have some exciting events coming up in the next few weeks, so I ordered the camera. It arrived yesterday, and I was very excited to take it out of the box. I plugged it into the computer to charge it  up, but the battery would not charge, and after some time the camera just shuts down, and  then locks up. Once it locks up there is no way to turn it on. I found that if you took the battery out for a few minutes and then put it back in, it would reset. But, if I then try to charge the battery again, the camera locks up again. Well, I decide to call Samsung, and get a recording that I need to call back during normal business hours. I then try their "live chat" button on their support WEB site. I get a message that they are overwhelmed with requests for help right now and will not be able to chat with me. I try the chat line a few hours later and get someone. Below is the actual transcript with their support group.

I thought the transcript below is pretty funny, and shows the total lack of customer support from places like Samsung today. If you think this is amusing, please share this on facebook, twitter or any other social media you use. You can share this on facebook by clicking the little box after the article with the "f" in it. I hope as many people as possible read the following, and I hope you will  help to spread it around.

Transcript of Samsung Technical Support "Chat"

Please wait for a Samsung Agent to respond
Chat Information You are now chatting with 'Raven'. There will be a brief survey at the end of our chat to share feedback on my performance today.
Chat Information Your Issue ID for this chat is LTK564012656X
Raven: Hi, thanks for reaching out to Samsung tech support. How can I help you today?
Visitor: My samsung camera shuts off when charging through USB and then will not turn on. I have to take battery out and put back in, and then it will turn on
Raven: May I know the model number of the unit?
Visitor: H300 Long Zoom Full HD
Raven: Thanks for the model number.
Raven: Let me provide you with a link which gives you step by step instructions about how to fix this issue.
Raven: Are you able to access the link?
Visitor: Yes, and I had already read that. It is a new camera, out of box today. When I try and charge it, the charge light never turns green. The camera shuts down, and will not turn on.
Raven: Okay, no problem. Please charge the unit for about hours, then try to power on the unit and check for the result.
Visitor: yes, I have been doing that all afternoon. When I plug the USB cable in, it never shows the unit as charged (orange light stays on). Then the camera locks up and I have to take battery out to reset/restart the camera.
Raven: Please check if the cable is connected firmly at both the ends.
Visitor: I have a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. I know how to connect a cord properly. The camera shuts down when I try and charge it from USB. It then locks up and then I have to take the battery out to restart the camera.
Raven: I understand your concern. The orange LED indicates that it is an issue with the cable. So, I request you to change the cable and check if the issue still persists.
Visitor: Yes, when I initially plugged the cable in, I checked to make sure it was securely plugged in on both ends. I used to design nuclear weapons for a living. I understand the importance of connectors being plugged in properly. It was very important in that line of work. So, I always check the cables carefully, and can assure you they were properly connected.
Raven: Yes, I agree with you that the cables were properly connected. However, the LED (orange) indicates that the cable has gone bad. Please replace the cable to fix this issue.
Visitor: The instructions say an orange light indicates that the battery is "charging", so orange would be normal, but I would not think it should stay orange, it should turn green. Also, I have had it hooked up for the last three hours to the AD adapter charger (different cord, different connection jack). I am sure I have this one plugged in correctly, and still the orange light stays on. Plus, why does the camera "lock up" on me?
Raven: Please allow me to go through the information.
Raven: Thanks for holding.
Raven: Yes, I agree with you.
Raven: May I know if the LED light is flashing light orange color?
Visitor: No, it is a solid orange color.
Raven: Okay, thanks for the confirmation.
Raven: Would you mind holding a few minutes while I gather the required information on your request?
Visitor: I do not mind. I am working on the Amazon Review for this as we speak.
Raven: Thank you.
Raven: Thanks for holding.  
Raven: Since we have tried all the possible troubleshooting and are unable to resolve the issue, we need to file a service request to have the device serviced. Please provide the following information to create the request for this issue:
Raven: 1.        Full name:
Raven: 2.        e-mail address:
Raven: 3.        Model code & Serial number of the unit :
Raven: 4.        Mailing address:
Raven: 5.        Phone number:
Visitor: How does service work? Would I have to pay postage to mail it in? How long would repair take? I have some very important things to videotape in the next few weeks.
Raven: May I know the date of purchase of the unit?
Visitor: I received it in the mail today from Amazon. They gave me $50 off coupon to buy it. I ordered it a few days ago. I am getting nervous about the "coupon" maybe they knew something I did not about this camera.
Raven: Okay, no problem. Thanks for the information.
Raven: May I know if you have the purchase receipt handy?
Visitor: Yes, it is in front of me
Raven: Okay, no problem. Thanks for the information.
Raven: May I know if you have registered the unit on the Samsung website?
Visitor: No, I have spent the day making sure the cable was plugged in correctly, and trying to get the camera to charge. I have not had a chance to register the camera.
Raven: Okay, no problem. Thanks for the information.
Raven: Please provide the following information to create the request for this issue:
Raven: 1.        Full name:
Raven: 2.        e-mail address:
Raven: 3.        Model code & Serial number of the unit :
Raven: 4.        Mailing address:
Raven: 5.        Phone number:
Visitor: I need to understand if I have to pay shipping to return the camera to you. How long the repair will take and whether I am better off just submitting my amazon review now, and returning camera to them. They pay postage if I just return it and cancel the order.
Raven: Thank you for waiting. I'll be with you in just a moment.
Visitor: This is the amazon review I have so far:
Visitor: I ordered this camera because Amazon sent me a $50 off coupon, and the original price seemed reasonable. I had been wanting a new camcorder, and this one had decent reviews, so it appeared to be just the ticket. When I received the camera, the battery appeared to be charged, so I popped a memory card in and started taking videos. Overall, I was very disappointed. I have peacocks, so went out and videotaped the peacocks strutting around doing their thing. As you know peacocks have vibrant, brilliant colors, and so was expecting the video to be vivid. My first surprise was that the screen was useless in bright sunlight. You could not see what you were filming at all. You point towards the subject, and hope you are getting it. Since there is not an optical viewfinder, the camera is next to useless outdoors. I was very surprised at how "dull" the video looked. The colors were not vibrant at all. It had an overall gray look to it, and very low contrast and low saturation. Almost like the images were shot through a smudged lens. The second surprise was the lack of sharpness in the video. The video was made in bright light, and high contrast scene. The focus was very "soft" with details lost. This combined with the low contrast and saturation mentioned earlier results in an unacceptable picture quality, even for a low end camera. The overall video quality from this camera is more like what you get from a phone. In fact, given the quality from this camera, you would likely just leave it at home and use your phone camera. The quality of video from this camera is lower than from previous generation entry/low end video cameras. Overall this camera was a huge disappointment. I did initially decide to keep it because with a large memory card, you can record a long event. I purchased it for an upcoming event so decided to keep it. Then I went to charge it up with the USB cable. The instructions say that as the battery is charging via USB, the small indicator light will be orange. When the battery is charged, it will turn green. What happened when I tried to charge is is that the light remained orange, and would not turn green. The camera would then "shut down" where it would not turn on, and would not be seen by the computer through the USB. Taking the battery out and putting it back in appears to "reset" the camera and allow you to turn the thing back on. As this appeared to be a hardware problem, I tried to call Samsung customer support. I got a recording to call back during normal business hours. I then went to the WEB site and tried to connect to them via the live chat button. I got a response that due to overwhelming help requests, they would be unable to provide live chat support to me. The sound quality is poor as well. There is a noticeable "hum", and the sound of the autofocus and the zoom is pronounced. There is no jack for an external microphone. I also ordered the recommended extra battery. It has a different form factor than the one on the camera, and does not fit nicely.
Raven: Please allow me to go through it.
Visitor: I am actually giving up on you offering me any help.

34 comments:

  1. Lots of luck, you'll need it.

    This is funny stuff, A person couldn't write a script like this.

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  2. I would say , that is what you get for not buying American, but I don't think you an buy that made in America

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  3. The prior post should read;

    I would say , that is what you get for not buying American, but I don't think you can buy that made in America

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  4. Aren't you glad you wasted your time? rwm

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  5. if it is any help at all , i had the same problem with my new phone i would plug it in the usb drive and it would instantly restart my pc . update your usb drive frome the manuf, website it might possible fix it my works like a charm after a small update goodluck ,(TECH HELP SUCK) Todd from NC.

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  6. You tried the right way, on-line, because you really can't understand what they say over the phone. More than once I had to ask them to talk slower. I usually ask them to let me talk to someone who can talk real English. They tell me they are talking English, and I tell no your not. Then I repeat my request for someone who can either talk English or talk slower.

    I like your little white lie about making nuclear weapons, and a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford, but I see it did not impress him one bit.

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  7. RTD,
    I do have a maters degree from stanford in electrical engineering, and I did spend most of my career working on nuclear weapons. Seriousely.
    PJM

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  8. When I can I buy this type of stuff from Crutchfield (online vendor). They let you try stuff and return it if you are not happy. The buyer has to pay return shipping. They don't sell everything but have a good selection. Costco lets you return faulty electronics too.
    Tech help? I try to avoid it.

    I had a problem with a brand new Samsung TV (bought at a local PC Richard). The picture was jumping. Samsung was actually very helpful in walking me through the diagnostics. It turned out the new HD cable box was defective. I went through 3 of them before getting one that worked.

    PJM,
    How would we get our vintage photos to you?

    John

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  9. John,
    Send me a vintage photo by emailing it using the email link at the bottom of this page.
    PJM

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  10. I think you were talking to a robot.

    Or a man in India named Peggy.

    I've been on the receiving end of "help" like that. It's not fun and it's insulting!

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  11. I so feel you pain. I am glad you got it from Amazon as their returns and support are outstanding.

    Recently when working with my ISP over some network issues I had the "guy on chat" trying to explain to me what ping was. I love how they assume the customer doesn't know how to plug in a USB cable. "Ok I get it, the little end goes in the little slot."

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  12. Sounds a lot like my chats with Dish Network.

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  13. Okay, no problem. Thanks for the information. It causing me to laugh for about hours.

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  14. Nate,
    I swear I was wondering if I was just chatting with a computer program set to ask random question, and be polite no matter what was said.
    PJM

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  15. Okay, no problem. Thanks for the information. Have you tried asking for old photos from your readers?

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  16. Oh no! A virtual Evil Nate Maas that just keeps making random polite comments.
    PJM

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  17. DANGER! DANGER, WILL ROBINSON!

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  18. Okay, no problem. Thanks for the information. I'm happy to help you with this problem. Have other readers experienced a similar issue with ENM?

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  19. OK, I am going to run a test and see if this is a new Evil Nate Maas program that just posts random nice comments.

    Nate Maas your mother wears infantry boots and does not know how to cook.

    Lets see if that flushes the real Nate Maas out.
    PJM

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  20. Okay, I understand your concern. I have an Associates of Arts degree in Customer Support Studies from Bangalore Correspondence School. I'm sorry you are having a problem with my mother. Have you had this problem for hours?

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  21. This whole thread today is brilliant! (Too bad it isn't funny)

    Made my day!
    Graham in St. John's

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  22. My husband brought up an interesting point. Maybe you weren't speaking to a person. Maybe it's a computer. When you look at the conversation in that manner, it's kind of scary. Although my husband did say that you'd be surprised how many of the customer service reps don't actually understand English. That would produce the same result as she would just stick to the script, which I'm sure is what she's been trained to do. Thus the reason she ignored the question about shipping. All I kept thinking was, "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that." Kind of frustrating to deal with HAL isn't it?

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  23. Mercy me. Your sense of humor is saving you. I would have taken a baseball bat to the thing and mailed it back as damaged in shipping.

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  24. It's too bad there wasn't one of your great polls today for the human vs. machine support debate. If there were, my vote would have been for machine.

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  25. Send it back before you do take a ball bat to it. I am a CPA and get this kind of tech support on Quickbooks. Always some guy in India called (see above comment) Peggy. You guys are so funny!! I saw no bad words at all congrats. lam
    PS is it still hot there? It is here in Illinois and I cannot see an end. But we are blessed because we do have water. Texas is in our prayers--everyday.

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  26. Nate,
    It sure felt like I was talking to a computer, but I think it is how they are trained. It is a rope-a-dope strategy. They sit and just say random things, and no matter how mad you get they remain polite. You just keep hitting them and getting mad, and they just keep being polite. I think they get someone with no technical knowledge of the product, and just teach them to play rope-a-dope.

    Actually I did not get mad as all I could think about was Pure OPOD Gold!
    PJM

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  27. Nothing works right anymore!

    You probably get as many ice cubes out of your new camera as we get out of our two-year old, $2,500 Samsung French-door, bottom freezer refrigerator. ;-(

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  28. Unfortunately, this is a common problem. The vast majority of "tier 1" help desk folk have to work from a script that they are not allowed to deviate from. They are usually chatting up to 4 people at a time and are trained poorly if at all.

    If I am forced to have to deal with help desk people, I tend to ask for tier 2 right away. They tend to have a bit of a clue.

    RTD it doesn't matter if the company is American or not. The vast majority of American companies have outsourced their help desk personnel years ago. Companies are now outsourcing their help desk departments from India to China.

    Beki

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  29. Some companies actually train their East Indian outsourced tech support to speak with a Southern American accent, to hide their real accent...but it wouldn't surprise me to find out that you weren't talking to a real person at all, just a machine.

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  30. I'm not sure which is worse. Talking to someone who doesn't understand English - even if they "speak" it - or having to deal with one of those confounded telephone lines.
    "Press or say..." "I'm sorry; I didn't quite understand you." And round and round. It can reduce me to tears.

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  31. This is great. And I did share it on Facebook.

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  32. Most electronic gadgets and appliances they make today are put together with spit, and you can never get them repaired.

    I never buy anything like that through the mail.

    I put in an entirely new kitchen last year with all new appliances, and the diswasher just died - it is less than 16 months old and naturally out of warrantly.

    It needs a new pump, which will take awhile and cost me several hundred dollars. Also, last year I bought a new Whirpool washing machine (and now they own Maytag, too) and it broke after one month. At least that time they gave me a new one, but it does a lousy job.

    So much for "made in America."

    Good luck - you'll need it.

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  33. RTD:

    Most of the stuff that I buy that is "made in America" is garbage as well - especially automobiles.

    No-one has any pride in what they do any more.

    We (and organized labor) are to blame for the state of our economy today.

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  34. I'm a Texan who has lived in Alabama for over 20 years. I love talking to tech support in India or wherever.

    I consider it a badge of honor that those poor folks over yonder say to me all the time..
    "sir, I am having trouble understanding you, could you please repeat that.",
    "Sir, perhaps I can put you in touch with my supervisor..."

    Although the computer operators that Lady Anne talked about just annoy me so much that I could bite through a phone book.

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