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I sent a vintage Speedmaster to Omega for a service... an UPDATE

  1. WYO_Watch

    WYO_Watch Feb 14, 2020

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    I know, I know. Never send a vintage watch to Omega :whipped:

    I’ve encouraged people to send vintage pieces to watch wizards that appreciate keeping things original. We’ve all seen great watches destroyed by Omega’s polishing wheels and original patina’d parts gutted for luminova.

    But... my watch didn’t have nice original parts to mess up so I figured why not? Omega has a parts account :whistling: and they send you a nice prepaid box to ship your watch in :thumbsup:

    So I loaded up my Ed White and dropped it in the mail the beginning of June. After the initial assessment, my watch was shipped off to brand headquarters. After the diagnostics, I agreed to the repair price within 24 hours and my watch service was “in process” on August 28.

    The first expected completion date came and went. But I got a phone call that the dial needed replaced and since the repair wasn’t being completed in time they would “just throw in a new one for free.” They provide me with a new estimated completion date and update the online service file with the new date of December 12, 2019 (just in time for Christmas!).

    Come mid January I decided to send them an email and ask if any additional progress was made on the repair. Crickets...

    A week later I called the US customer service number and the rep acted surprised my watch had not been (1) serviced and returned, (2) or had updated service info since October. I was told he would reach out to the service team and I would have an update within the week.

    Well the week went by and a couple more before I decided to call back again. New rep, new tactic. She told me she is friends with some people and would at the very least get me an updated estimate return date by the end of the week. She sends this email:

    12811448-B5C3-4D47-B7CE-E54C43024484.jpeg

    The email mainly states what I already know, namely they are “experiencing a delay” with the repair. However, it also provide the basis for the delay is the “restoration of the dial.” Since I’ve previously agreed to a new dial, I’m not sure what they are restoring? Regardless what they are doing I was happy to see a promise to update me with another estimated date by the end of next week.

    You guessed it... they never emailed back and haven’t updated the online service record :coffee: 8+ months and no watch, 4+ months without a service update

    Anyone else have a similar omega service experience - or better yet a similar experience that ended well? Hopefully I can end my incredibly boring story you just read (and can’t get that time back) with a good outcome. Crossing my fingers they lost my watch and are replacing it with a new Ed White! Or maybe my Ed White is the long lost watch of Buzz?! Or maybe Omega cut off their own service center’s parts account...

    And a picture of the watch (just in case it is Buzz’s)
    AAF8703B-5D47-4BE5-A2E0-165E40EEC1A4.jpeg
     
  2. eugeneandresson

    eugeneandresson Feb 14, 2020

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    If there is one thing watch collecting has taught me, it’s patience. Sounds like you need to practice a bit more! Although I agree, my pants would too be getting ants about now. Interesting dial on your EW...step/short indices/aml...I would be happy to learn they are restoring it, unless they now make step/aml/long indices with ‘fauxtina’ service dial. Keep us posted, and also with pics once it’s back please :thumbsup:
     
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  3. WYO_Watch

    WYO_Watch Feb 14, 2020

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    ::psy:: (closest emoji for ants in pants)

    I’d be less impatient with a little more follow up from their service department. I certainly understand delays, I just expect to be notified without the prompting.

    I’ll definitely keep you updated! You can even have first dibs on the re-refinished fauxtina aml dial :D
     
  4. cristos71

    cristos71 Feb 14, 2020

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    I find it ridiculous that they don't make the effort to keep you updated after the ETA has expired.

    The amount that's charged is high and an up front payment from you is required, to justify this there is a certain level of customer service expected, just imagine if it was your car they had!
     
  5. lindo

    lindo Feb 14, 2020

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    That amount of time for a service is ludicrous. I suspect they have lost it.
     
    Tony likes this.
  6. JwRosenthal

    JwRosenthal Feb 14, 2020

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    Delays are understandable- lack of communication post deadlines is not acceptable. They are a business, they aren’t doing you a favor- their customer service sucks in this instance. I would be escalating it by this point with emails to upper management in corporate.
     
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  7. Lazy_Lightning

    Lazy_Lightning Feb 14, 2020

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    I'd agree with this comment and add that you should request a significant discount on the cost of labor to account for the poor experience and communication.
     
  8. mjb

    mjb Feb 14, 2020

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    I sent my Speedmaster in for a warranty repair in November to the Miami service center. Within a few days of receipt they sent me an email with a link to the "Customer Information System" which worked, and it told me that the watch had been received and was awaiting repair.

    Zero updates after that until a few days after the service was complete (I was checking every-so-often) I got an email telling me that they were done. It sat around waiting for a few more days... I presume they were testing it, but it just said something like awaiting shipment. Finally it arrived. Total service time was less than 4 weeks, a bit more than that counting shipping. It came back right after Christmas if I recall correctly, so I blamed a bit of the delay on the holiday. The CIS says that it's still awaiting shipment.

    I call this a success story, since the a) didn't lose the watch 2) didn't replace any parts (as far as I know) and c) did kind of keep me updated on the status and 4) the watch was fixed.

    OP asked for a success story, hence my contribution. It's not all bad, not always.

    Best of luck OP. I'd be calling them daily if it were me. I suspect that they've got a guy in the back trying to recreate the original face, and he's just not quite getting it right, hence the delay.
     
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  9. NickC

    NickC Feb 14, 2020

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    I had a Cartier that required a major bit of work. Their service system is great but my completion date kept changing and they then stopped updating it. It took about 7 months in the end but, as they acknowledged how bad the delay was, all the service work and replacement parts (crystal, hands, dial) were not charged for, I just had to pay for the new strap. Try the same with Omega!
     
  10. chronos

    chronos Feb 14, 2020

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    Your story just reminded me of something strange that happened to me a while ago.

    A couple of years ago I had an old Omega Trésor serviced at Omega.
    Then, still waiting for my watch, I got a weird message spoken on my voicemail from Omega. It was a while after their own due date so I expected to get a call to pick it up.
    The caller didn't give his name in this message. He just stated that my Trésor had been lost and that they already looked everywhere but unfortunately they weren't able to locate it.
    And that was it, end of story!
    No mention about what to do now, no mention about to please contact them asap, no mention about compensation, nothing at all. Just a short "we lost it, sorry dude" kind of message.

    I was a bit confused and in my mind I already imagined Omegas CEO letting me choose ANY model as a compensation for the loss. ;)

    So I contacted Omega HQ (I live in Switzerland).
    Turned out they had no clue about who had called me. No records of the phone call, no records of my watch being lost.
    After a quick double check, they called back again reassuring the watch was in fact there at the Omega SC, safe and sound.

    I was asked to provide more details about the call which I did (number & a copy of the message).
    They told me it was in fact a call from Omega, but they didn't know who it was and why this person called to give some wrong information. I was told that they would analyze my case and what exactly happened. (Needless to say that I never got an update ;).)

    Well, who cares about an update anyway? After a wile I got my Trésor back and I wasn't disappointed with their service as they didn't touch the dial / hands as I requested. Case closed. :)

    I almost forgot about this incident. I still wonder though what went wrong there. Did they lose someone else's Trésor?
     
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  11. Foo2rama

    Foo2rama Keeps his worms in a ball instead of a can. Feb 14, 2020

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    The call came from within your house!
     
  12. JwRosenthal

    JwRosenthal Feb 14, 2020

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    It was your Rolex calling.
     
  13. gbesq

    gbesq Feb 14, 2020

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    What a nightmare. Tell them that you’ll be happy to have them retain the watch in exchange for a brand new Ed White, for free. Seems like a reasonable way to settle the matter given an absolutely atrocious customer service experience. This matter should have been escalated long ago.
     
    Syrte likes this.
  14. orlis

    orlis Feb 14, 2020

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    oh man...I’m sorry it happened to you. I also had never ending story with one of my speedmasters and eventually needed to give up as even the most senior people in HQ did not want to accept their fault...long story short, I sold that watch and moved on but I will think 10 times before sending anything to Omega for repair, outside of warranty. And next time I won’t agree to polish the watch after they butchered it and will ask for full return of the money.
     
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  15. Dan S

    Dan S Feb 14, 2020

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    Very frustrating to have such a long wait. This has happened to me a number of times, and it has always worked out ok in the end, so I wouldn't jump to conclusions about the watch being lost or anything like that. I have also experienced slow/poor communications in these situations. I think it's quite common in the industry, where the emphasis is often on doing things right instead of doing things fast. I haven't experienced it with Omega, but I've had similar waits with Zenith in Switzerland and with Gallet.

    Most recently, I sent two watches out to a well-known private repair/restoration shop in June, and finally got one of them back last week. The good news is that they shipped it to me without asking for payment, so it looks like they are going to invoice me for both watches when the ship the second one, which should give them some added incentive to get the second one done quickly. :fingers-crossed:
     
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  16. Kjian414

    Kjian414 Feb 14, 2020

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    Wow.... what a story. Horrible customer service. When dealing in such valuable items the customer should be kept up to date with everything.
     
  17. JwRosenthal

    JwRosenthal Feb 14, 2020

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    The wait wouldn't be my issue- it's the lack of communication. My watchmaker takes forever (up to a year on one for which he had been hunting down parts) but when I call for a status check- he will get back to me within a day or two to let me know it's in cue, or waiting on parts, etc.

    One would think a corporation such as Omega would have this down to a science, but the flip-side is that they are so large that the watch is probably being shuttled between multiple people/departments and I could see it getting lost in system sitting in a pile of work orders. There are many members here who have been to/trained at/worked for the service department- I'm sure they can shed more light on how things slip through the cracks in a place like that.
     
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  18. WYO_Watch

    WYO_Watch Feb 14, 2020

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    @chronos :eek:

    Talk about a nightmare! Thankfully when they called re: the new dial replacement it was a normal sounding woman who was actually quite pleasant.

    Of course what doesn’t make any sense is that they are now suggesting that they are refinishing the dial after previously indicating a service replacement would be installed... maybe they are painting it orange so I can have a @Spacefruit

    And I definitely agree with the overwhelming sentiment that delays happen but... so should updates. I’m not looking for a daily diary entry. I didn’t even call them the first time until the deadline was over a month past. And when I have talked to customer service they’ve seemed just as surprised as me? I’m not one for chewing on the American receptionist who has the least control and likely the smallest paycheck. Maybe she can connect me to her boss :mad: :D

    @mjb that sounds like reasonable outcome to me. Another forum member sent his Ed in roughly the same time as I did and he had his watch back in a few months time.

    @Dan S good reminder that delays can happen in the private watch making world as well. If there were more watchmakers near me that worked on cal 321 and had access to parts I would have likely used one.
     
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  19. WYO_Watch

    WYO_Watch Feb 20, 2020

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    **** UPDATE ****

    After giving them an additional week to make good on their promise. I called the service number again and asked where my watch is and when I can expect to receive it back.

    After being placed on hold for several minutes I was told they need to send an additional email to Switzerland to get an update. I told her (in a nice way) that wasn’t an option for me. I’ve been told that every time I’ve called the service center and every time I’ve never received the update I was promised. She apologized for the previous rep not following up with a phone call and assured me she will personally call back in two days with or without information.

    She talked to her manager, who sent an email to the mothership, and told me they were going to give me a 20% discount off the service charge and pay for overnight shipping.

    Of course that amounts to a hill of beans if the watch never gets serviced. So now we get to wait to see what new date I am given for an estimated return.
     
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  20. gbesq

    gbesq Feb 20, 2020

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    And they’ve assured you at this point that they DO have the watch and haven’t misplaced it?
     
    CalLeach likes this.