Saturday, March 20, 2010

Obsolescence

My old Citizen Pro-Master watch died. It needs batteries. It's a dive watch, so it also needs to be opened by professionals, have the gaskets replaced, and get pressure tested to be sure it works.

I tried sending it to the Citizen Watch Service facility in Dallas. Their web site has the advantage of being search-engine friendly, a real plus. It has some significant problems, also.
  1. Their address is an image, not text. How do I copy and paste to create a shipping label?
  2. They spelling mistakes.
  3. Overall, it has an amateurish look, leaving one uncomfortable mailing and expensive watch to them.
They do respond promptly, however, and told me not to mail them the watch. They did not have parts. They suggested the "Torrance" facility.

Okay, try and find the "Torrance" facility on line.



Not so easy, is it? You can find a lot of peripheral information about the Torrance location and it's location. But not any real contact information directly from a Citizen-branded web site.

The Citizen site is slick, but appears to be totally search-engine unfriendly. No spelling mistakes, but amazingly hard to find the "Torrance facility" via the Citizen site.

Further, without actually seeing the watch, email #3 said "We hate for you to send the watch only to find out that we too cannot fix it."
  1. It doesn't work. Why would you hate to have me send it out? If you can't fix it, I haven't lost anything by trying, have I? I don't understand that comment.
  2. Dallas never looked at it, so the "we, too" part doesn't make sense, either.
I tried one last time to explain that I just wanted batteries.

After four emails simply trying to figure out if they would look at it, I guess I have to give up trying to get it fixed.

Sad that a solidly built watch isn't even good for 20 years of service. Sad, too, that the web sites are collectively so bad: either they're slick and search-engine proof or amateurish.