"Non existent customer support"1.0 starson by Pstance
Pros: good when it works
Cons: did someone say warranty?
Summary: WARNING READ BEFORE YOU BUY - Archos customer support is very poor. Here is my story.
I purchased an AV320 in 2003 to take on my travels to save taking all my CDs. The main reason I chose an Archos above its competitors was because it had an audio input meaning I could record my vinyl as well. And the play/record movie feature was an attractive addition for my travels. I researched all the mp3 recorders/players on the market at the time, from i-pods to Panasonic to creative, the lot. I found the Archos to be the only one that had an audio in but also found many comments as to Archos' poor customer service and support. However, I decided to buy the AV320 anyway and hope it didn't go wrong......can you see what’s coming?
At first I was very happy with the unit; it did everything I expected. I got all my CDs and vinyl on and a couple of movies and set off on my travels. Using the Archos pretty much daily was a good workout for it I guess. After about 6-7 months the battery life was notably decreasing even though I was only charging it from empty and not giving it short bursts. Then after a couple more months something happened to it to make the buttons stop working. Well they worked, but no longer conducted the tasks assigned to them. This made it impossible to change the play mode, so it was/is forever stuck in random play mode. Amongst making other tasks impossible, such as resetting the operating system.
Being on my travels and not stopping for long in one place and guessing that Archos was not familiar to most retailers in Australia, I emailed Archos to ask for advice. Their response was to take it to an authorised dealer. Not knowing where one was in Australia I contacted them for a name or location of a dealer. No reply. I made it to Sydney where I found a dealer of my own accord, who told me to contact Archos. As I was flying out to New Zealand soon and only had a month or so before I returned home, and as the battery life was pretty much no existent on the AV320. I waited until I got home before I pursued the matter.
Skip forward two years. After having taken the unit to John Lewis, an authorised dealer, in the UK and being told they would not help, and then again contacting Archos who again failed to respond to my emails. After speaking to people on the phone who say I need to email technical support. After again getting no reply to my emails. After reading my warranty which states (and is on the Archos website):
" If Archos receives, during the applicable warranty period, notice of a defect in any hardware product, which is covered by Archos' warranty, Archos shall either repair or replace the defective product at Archos' option. "
After calling Archos again and demanding to speak to someone of any authority I spoke to someone in their returns department, he told me to send the unit in for a quote. I explained that the defect occurred within the warranty period. However, he failed to accept this as it had been over a year since the defect occurred. I explained that the company proved very hard to contact. So he gave me the email of a lady in France who he said could resolve the query. Again, no reply.
I have no emailed on many occasions the guy in the returns department who just says send it in for a quote. After hounding him enough he has now passed on my 'case' to someone in senior management. And guess what.....NO REPLY!!!
Blood out of a stone springs to mind. So what I say to you is. I WOULD NOT EXPECT ANY ASSISTANCE WITH AN ARCHOS PRODUCT IF IT DEVELOPS A FAULT. I read the reviews and didn't pay attention to them and it's cost me alot of money and time, time spent NOT listening to my mp3 player. I am sure there are better products on the market that are better supported, do your research and choose wisely.