January 21, 2009

Livescribe Pulse Smartpen = Useless. Their customer support? Even more useless.

I have a Livescribe Pulse Smartpen -- you write and it records, it all syncs up, blah blah blah. I used it for about five minutes when I first got it about a month ago, just doing the demos and stuff. I just turned it on again because I thought it would be super-helpful for the IMG Fashion Week conference tomorrow morning. I installed the desktop software, the desktop software won't recognize my pen, and then the pen starts flashing "System Failure: 3." Great, it's broken. So I phone their customer support, where the woman on the other end tells me to uninstall, restart, reinstall and then call back. Same problem. Nothing works. So I call back and talk to the most useless customer service-support person I have ever spoken to in the world, Laura at Livescribe. She asked me the same questions over and over again.

Laura: Are you on a Mac?
Me: No, my Mac isn't compatible with the Livescribe software.
Laura: So you're on a Mac?
Me: I'm using a Windows XP computer.
Laura: You're not on a Mac?

Then she spent 45 minutes telling me to keep switching USB ports.

Laura: Can you try another USB port?
Me: I tried them all already.
Laura: Do you have any other USB ports?
Me: No, I only have two.
Laura: Can you try another USB port?

Seriously, she made me want to scream.

Then she told me the only recourse I have is to do a master reset. Great, that's fine. How do I do this? She wanted to send me a file through email.

Me: How do I get the reset onto my Smartpen?
Laura: You plug it into the USB port.
Me: But it doesn't recognize my pen.
Laura: Oh.

I mean, talking to Laura at Livescribe was like TALKING TO A WINDOW.

Finally, she told me she couldn't do anything for me and that I'd have to "send my Log" to the tier-3 service team.

Me: Wait, I have to send my log? Won't there be nothing on it because my computer doesn't recognize the pen?
Laura: Well, that's for them to determine.
Me: Where is the Log?
Laura: I'll send it in an email.
Me: So when I send the Log, will I get a confirmation that it's been received and they are working on the problem?
Laura: Well, I'll be here for another hour and a half, so if you send the Log now, I'll email you back to tell you I got it.
Me: What? You're the tier-3 service team?

Excuse me while I go and THROW OUT this broken, brand new Livescribe Smartpen because they have the Worst Customer Service and Worst Tech Support I've ever encountered, ever. Seriously, I didn't know that any company could possibly be worse than my cable company, but Congratulations Livescribe, you and your broken Smartpens have got even New York City cable companies beat, hands down.