Consumer Care Woes: 1. HTC in India [Update]

April 4th 2012, the time when I was blown away by a new gizmo once again. It was the launch day of the brand new One series from HTC in India which started off with the HTC One X and HTC One V. I was quite determined to get a HTC One X for myself and thus managed my funds by disposing off my Samsung Galaxy Note. I finally got my HTC One X from one of the best and budding e-commerce sites in india BuyThePrice. (Order No. BTP 358638). I loved the phone to the core but my pleasant journey was disrupted when I had to tackle with a major repair and had to rely on the HTC Customer Service.

First of all, to clear things off I used to love HTC products. I got the first ever HTC Android phone, the G1 right on the day of launch and since then used almost all major smartphones from HTC. Luckily I never had any repairs and never had to rely on customer service guys.

On 7th June 2012, my phone fell down on to the ground from a mere two feet height while I was getting down from my car and unlike what HTC advertises the phone’s screen isn’t really that tough (don’t try banging nails with it!), the screen shattered into pieces. Knowing that physical damage is not covered under warranty I wanted to get the screen replaced and started enquiring about the prices. When I was going through forums online I got a rough estimate of around Rs. 12,000 for the phone screen which is way too expensive. Before even trying to contact the official service center I wanted to get an estimate in the local market and so approached a store named Faizuls in Jagdish Market, Hyderabad. I can easily rate Faizuls to be the best place in Hyderabad to get any phone repaired or to purchase any smartphone (gray market) in Hyderabad. That guy in Faizuls gave me a price quote of Rs. 9,000 and 3 days of time.

Then I went ahead and started enquiring about the official price from HTC. The horror begun. HTC official service center in Hyderabad is handled by Redingtion India Pvt. Ltd. and their office is located in Somajiguda. When I took my HTC One X to them they said they have to send the phone to Bangalore to analyze and give a price estimate. I was dumb struck at their response, it is the main service centre in Hyderabad and they seem to have no way of even giving a price estimate for repairs! And they had another dumb clause to it. After they provide me the price estimate and I happen to back off from getting it repaired I need to pay a whooping Rs. 1,500 for courier and diagnosis. Kudos HTC, this is the way you handle a premium segment customer for even getting a mere price quote.

I was quite pissed off by their response and wanted to takes things into my hands. I called up HTC toll free customer care number to enquire about the approximate repair costs. It took me a mere 45 minutes to get these details. The representative on phone was quite reluctant to reveal the price saying that once he commits a price and if the actual price happens to be more than that because of some issue then they will land into trouble. All I asked him was the cost of replacing the screen assuming that the only problem with the phone is a broken screen. I even assured him that just in case something else is damaged in the phone I don’t mind paying up for that as well because I anyways have to! After arguing with him for 45 minutes he gave me a price quote of approximately Rs. 6,000. Convinced that the price is a bit more sane than the estimate of Rs.12,000 I found online I went back to HTC service center in Hyderabad and handed over my phone to them. (Ticket No. 12INA240002534, Job No. HYD003-0000009)

They took their own time to give me an estimate, after nearly 14 days of pestering them with repeated calls they finally confirm the final price of repair and I waved a green flag. It has been more than a month and several calls since I have given my phone for repair but my phone is still lying with HTC. They seem to care least about their customers. I would say HTC will eventually die out if this is the kind of attitude they have against their customers. Leaders in smartphone segment like Apple and Samsung are providing excellent service on one side and you have companies like HTC on the other side who take more than a month to replace a screen of their flagship device, not any outdated 5 year old phone!

The last update I got from HTC was yesterday, 10th July 2012 saying that they still have no clue as to when my phone will get repaired and handed over back to me. Kudos HTC, kudos!

[Update 1]

I received a call from HTC care on 16th June 2012, the lady over the phone gave me a decent suggestion to call up their service center in Hyderabad to enquire about the status of repair. I was dumbstruck again! I have been calling the service center almost once in three days to get an update and this lady calls me up to say that I need to call up on 18th! That is definitely not the kind of update I was expecting from the main customer care of HTC!

[Update 2]

Tried mailing every available email ID of HTC higher officials on internet but got “Mail Delivery Failure” for all the email IDs. Bummer!

[Update 3]

Filed a case on Akoshaย with free service on 12th July 2012 and made the payment for MAX service today 21th July 2012 hoping that it would help . I am relying on Akosha’s repute to solve my issue now. Hope they get it done as soon as possible.

[ Update 4]

Got a call from HTC service center in Hyderabad on 18th July 2012 saying that they are quite helpless. It seems whenever they call up the main Bangalore Service Center they get a careless reply saying it will take more time and each and every time they report a new reason saying a new problem has been encountered with or there are delays in shipping the replacement screen. It is funny to know that the main service center is not able to get hold of a replacement screen whereas the local stores in Hyderabad have ready stock!

[Update 5]

Just received a call from HTC Mumbai (25th July 2012). The lady on the phone gave some heartening news at last. It seems my device has been repaired and is in transit to Hyderabad. She asked me to coordinate with the Hyderabad customer care and collect my phone by 31st July 2012. I hope I HTC adheres to its commitment this time and returns back my fully repaired device.

[Update 6]

I called up the HTC service centre in Hyderabad today 31st July 2012 and as usual they are quite clueless as to where my device is and when it will reach me. I am shocked by the false promises made by HTC. I just filed a case in consumer court against this stupid brand, started actively spreading the word on Facebook again. What a pain! ๐Ÿ™

[Update 7]

I finally got a call from the Hyderabad service centre guys yesterday (3rd August 2012) that my handset has been repaired and they received it at the service centre. What a relief after all this struggle for two months. I went to the service centre on 4th August 2012, made the final payment of Rs. 6519 and walked away with my handset. The service centre guys tried to apologise for their pathetic service but I was so damn pissed off at them that I screwed them up for 15 minutes and walked away. They frankly accepted that almost all out of warranty cases are handled in a similar way by HTC and even for the phones with warranty take around 15 to 20 days time to be rectified and repaired. Kudos HTC, you do deserve to die!

PS: Special thanks to all my friends for spreading the word and helping me to accelerate resolving my issue ๐Ÿ™‚

Comments

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6 Responses to Consumer Care Woes: 1. HTC in India [Update]
  1. Peeush

    Exactly the same issue that i am facing with the one x.. The screen cracked after falling from just 2 feet !

    7 Days after sending the phone for repair , I get to speak to the HTC guys and get an update that the estimate has been sent to the Service center where i had given the phone.. The service center guy says the estimate would be given by the HTC guys !!

    They say the phone is being repaired currently and i dont even have an estimate in my hand yet !!

    Tentative time taken to repair the phone would be another 10 days.. ! So in all it takes them close to 20 days to fix a phone..

    pathetic is the word..

  2. Raghu

    @peeush

    That is sad Peeush. Ever after waiting for 40 days I still have no clue about when my phone will be returned back!

  3. Bhanu

    So finally how much did it cost Raghu & how is the phone now after the repair….

  4. linki

    Which service center it was brother

  5. Raghu

    @bhnau

    They gave me an approximate estimate of Rs. 6500

  6. Raghu

    @linki

    Redington India at Somajiguda, Hyderabad.

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