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LG Customer Service is an Experience in Gaslighting

April 8, 2016

As per yesterday’s post, I am having trouble with my LGG4 phone. It has been repaired twice the problem remains (won’t connect to wifi). As per other Internet posts, this is a common failure of the phone and thus should be a known problem to LG. I am looking for LG to replace the phone given prior repairs have been unsuccessful.

LG’s customer service policies are such that the onus is placed on the consumer to provide technical reports on prior repairs that have not been provided to the consumer from prior repairs. Sound crazy?

LG refuses to provide a new phone without prior proof of two failed repairs. In other words, I am required to jump through impossible hoops to provide reports I don’t have access to.  You would think that LG customer service would have access to LG repair facilities or agents who repair their phones on their behalf. Hence, my experience of their customer service is that their policies serve their company and not the customer.

LG says they would like to replace the phone but cannot until the reports are provided. They intentionally develop an impossible conundrum that clearly  undermines the consumer, makes it the consumer’s issue while trying to appear reasonable. This by definition is gaslighting.

As per wikipedia, “Gaslighting or gas-lighting is a form of mental abuse in which information is twisted or spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception, and sanity.”

Not one to let this LG thing go, I contacted head office in Canada and asked to speak with the CEO yesterday having hit a dead end with their customer service department.

I was routed to their customer service escalation department. Previously I was told this didn’t exist. I spoke with Samantha.

I was now told there are only two service centres my phone would have been sent to previously and they will request to receive their technical reports. Again, earlier this was presented as my impossible task.

I was also told that the customer service department where my call went was in the Philippines and has only been operational one year and that they have are growing pains there.

Now I have to wait for this person to seek and obtain prior technical repair reports and get back to me. Samantha promises tomorrow…..


Today, I just got off the phone with Samantha at LG Canada. Samantha today gave me the same company line of nonsense although with a nicer disposition.

She advised that she called Virgin Mobile and confirmed they had completed the first repair, but they would not give her their tech report without our consent. Given our consent, it could take up to a week for LG to receive it (communication companies?). She said she needed proof that my phone was repaired twice as company policy requires two unsuccessful fixes prior to providing a new phone, yet she also said she spoke with Virgin Mobile and confirmed the repair. More gaslighting.

I told Samantha that she confirmed a first repair and that was all that was apparently required – proof of two prior failed repairs in order for me to receive a new phone. I said that my continuing to wait on her receiving a written report was then ridiculous. She touted company policy now requiring  written documentation. Talking to Virgin mobile wasn’t sufficient.

I again told her that LG stands on ceremony and policy to withhold service to the customer and that apparently the needs of LG far outweighed the needs of the consumer. LG has no issue with their customers going without service for extended periods even in the face of ample evidence that their device is defective and meets criteria for replacement.

I asked her to not stand on ceremony, but to go to her superiors to advocate for the consumer. I asked her to be disruptive within her organization and to turn her company into one that is truly consumer focused.

I advised that I would follow through with their demands and ask Virgin to provide a written report as they had done verbally. While all these things sound simple, each requires countless hours with customer service reps, return calls form other departments and miscommunications along the way. BTW – Please do not read this as an indictment on Virgin Mobile. Virgin Mobile has been helpful throughout. These issues stand on the shoulders of LG policies and a total lack of common sense or flexibility or consumer interest beyond the purchase.

I told Samantha that I have been put through the wringer and that any company with a focus on customer service upon hearing my story would want to do all within their power to correct the situation.  I told her that I would no longer listen to service reps extolling company policy, but would continue to document the delay and tactics deployed, keeping me away from one thing and one thing only… receiving a phone that works.

I advised that if she could advocate internally for the consumer, I would love to hear back that I would receive a phone today sent by express courier. My tone was reasonable throughout. I also advised I will continue to share my experience along the way.

LG – will you step up? Will there be more gaslighting?

I continue to wait.

Feel free to provide your comments.

The favor of sharing this post would be appreciated. It is difficult to get the attention of LG in a positive way. Perhaps if this makes the rounds, LG will reconsider their approach to customer service. Please use the buttons below to share…..

(Yesterday’s post and an audio recording of my actual customer service call is available here.)

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America.

If your relationship is faltering, then set it as your priority.

Read: Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships

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  1. Mitch Lauer permalink

    There is a reason LG mobile devices are not adopted like Samsung and iPhone. It is not a key focus of LG nor has the company dedicated the necessary resources to compete in the market place.

    • From what I am learning, this customer service experience of mine is not unique and nor is it limited to their phones. The real lesson here is to stay away from LG altogether.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. How will your company be remembered? Virgin Mobile – Hero. LG – Zero. | Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
  2. LG. The Saga Continues… | Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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