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Handhelds

Journal: My Tryst With Nokia

Journal by madbawa
I bought a brand new Nokia N93 from a dealer on 15th August 2006. After 5 days, I found out that the camera just doesn't focus properly. The lens which is supposed to move back and forth, just remains stationary. The pictures were horribly blurred and out of focus as a result. I took the phone back to the dealer. He threw up his hands (obviously) and directed me to a Nokia 'Authorised Care Center' (henceforth referred to as 'NACC'). I told this guy that the phone was defective since the hardware was malfunctioning. But he didn't listen to me. For 2 days he kept the phone and 'tried' to solve the problem. All he did during this time was to flash the phone's software/firmware a coupla times. After wasting 2 days of my time, he told me the same thing I had told him: phone is defective. He also gave me the run-around to a 'bigger' main NACC, a company that calls itself 'BrightPoint India Pvt. Ltd.' (henceforth referred to as BPIPL).
These people at BPIPL are notorious for their poor customer service (I did not know this). I naively submitted my handset (on 30th August) and they gave me a job-sheet for the same. The customer exec to whom I handed over the phone said that 99% they would replace the handset if they couldn't repair it. They said I should check back in 2 days for the status. They also gave me 4 telephone numbers and 3 extensions that I could call on to check the status. None of these numbers worked. For 2 days I was calling up these numbers - morning, noon and night. Not once did my call go through on any of these numbers.
Exasperated (because I live quite far from BPIPL), I went on a Sunday (3rd September) to check the status. The security guard was kind and told me that the 'job' is ready. Happily, I went home and returned on Monday morning on the dot of 9am for my 'finished' phone. After waiting till 9:30am, my number was called and the phone was handed over to me. It was the same phone. No focus. Blurred pictures. Same defective piece. I drew this 'minor detail' to their attention. So then they sent my phone to some 'assistant manager'. This was at 9:30am. Till 10:30am, I just stood there waiting for word from the 'assistant manager'. Meanwhile the other customers there were angry and hurling abuses at the staff because for every 100 customers there seemed to be just one customer exec. And that too totally dumb and inefficient. Later I found out that this is the norm at that 'main' NACC.
There were people who had been waiting for months for a replacement handset. People who had to take leaves from work and shuttle back and forth only because the BPIPL phone numbers don't work and the staff is horribly inefficient. So not wanting my handset to go in the godown and wait in perpetuity for a replacement, I yelled at the Assistant manager to return my handset, which she promptly did.
Meanwhile, I was also communicating with Nokia by email about this fiasco. Nokia did nothing. They even told me that 'someone will call you up on 4th September'. But nothing happened. As a last ditch attempt, I took the phone to the dealer again. I told him to try getting me a replacement through his 'channels'. Thats the current status of my phone. It lies there at the dealers. No one has probably bothered to talk to Nokia and no one will.
I wouldn't be so pissed if the phone was a 3310 or the like. But the fact is that its a bloody expensive N93. I wouldn't want anyone to go through what I have gone through. Whats surprising is that Nokia has nothing to say on this issue. Many of my emails sent to support.services@nokia.com just bounce back.
So its not the question of 'this is just one case in a million'. The point is that this company doesn't care about its customers. It feels that the customer's money spent on an expensive product is not important enough. I am not aware of the procedures to drag Nokia and BPIPL to a consumer court. But I am contemplating that as my next move. These people ought to be severely punished.

"And do you think (fop that I am) that I could be the Scarlet Pumpernickel?" -- Looney Tunes, The Scarlet Pumpernickel (1950, Chuck Jones)

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