nokia-care We all have had our experiences at Nokia Care outlets. I don’t remember anyone talking of how good their experience has been. S0 this should come as no surprise to Nokia that this area is where Nokia performs absolutely horribly. My friend recently had a problem with customer care and he had commented on a post of mine about how bad Nokia’s customer care is. From what he as had to go through, it’s clear that the people there and/or Nokia have forgotten the meaning of “Customer Care”.

I asked him to recount his horrible experience at the “Care” center. This is his account!

Nokia is an excellent phone company. It really is.
We have had about 6 Nokia handsets in our house – and all of them have been rock solid and given brilliant performance – even under severe conditions.

I just love the UI of the phones. They are not over the top – just simple, intuitive and they get the job done bloody well. I’m a fan for life and would not dream of getting any other phone.

But that’s where the honeymoon ended a while ago. God forbid something happens to your phone – you will be at the mercy of one of the worst customer care units you can experience in your lifetime. Even the government run BSNL customer care units are friendlier and more informative than the morons that populate the Nokia Care service centers.

I purchased 2 Nokia E51s for me and my dad last Feb in 2008. The phone is a gem.
It’s a perfect business phone and there is nothing that you cannot do on it. I fell in love with it the moment I read the feature list on the back of the box.

However, this phone has also been the reason for much pain and suffering.
In June the same year (2008), the message key of my phone suddenly stopped working. It just wouldn’t respond. I ignored the problem as I was not using that key anyways and continued to use the phone – I was able to live with it.

The problem really took off later when by September 4 of the number keys stopped working completely. They would start responding erratically every now and then – but mostly they wouldn’t work at all. So, I was stuck with a brand new 15,000 bucks phone with the number 5, 6, 8 and 9 keys not responding at all. I could not message any longer – nor could I add contacts to my address book or even dial numbers not within my address book.

I decided to take it to one of the Nokia Customer Care centers (Kaustubh Telecom at Golibar Maidan) in Pune. After checking the piece, to my utter shock and surprise, the guy informed me that the phone was no longer under warranty as the problem I was facing was due to water getting into the handset.

I assured the engineer that no such thing had happened as I was extremely careful about keeping the cellphone dry. It had never gotten wet in the rain and what he said was impossible.

When I told him to show me the water damage, he refused to do so.

He however told me that he would try to fix my phone using one method which would cost me 350 bucks. The other method would be to replace my keypad which would cost me 1200 bucks. I opted for method 1.

He took the phone inside, tried something but could not fix it.

When I later called the manager of the shop and asked him to fix my phone under warranty, he started arguing with me. He hung up on me yelling that his engineers were trained and if they said there was a water problem, there was one.

I left the center completely disillusioned. When I got home, I realized that the engineer had even managed to crack the body of my phone by screwing in the screws real tight. (Image attached)

I kept using the phone as it was – just receiving calls and making calls using the address book.

I later learnt that there were a number of Nokia Care centers in Pune and that Kaustubh Telecom wasn’t the only one.

I decided to go and try another one – at F.C. Road.
On showing the handset there, the engineer informed me that the base plate of the keypad has been scratched by a very sharp object and hence will need to be replaced.

This will definitely not come under warranty as there is a physical damage to the internal parts.

On informing them that I had shown it to Kaustubh Telecom – their own Care Center branch, they told me to take it up with them – which I am sure is going to be of no use.

One more shocking thing is that these Nokia Care centers refuse the warranties of 90% of the phones which come to them on the grounds of water seepage.

Their modulus operandi seems to be:

1.      Accept the phone under warranty.

2.      Open it up (or pretend to do so).

3.      Report a water problem and then charge the hapless victim large amounts of money to do nothing at all.

I am completely angry and disillusioned with this entire episode and my faith in Nokia has gone down quite a bit. Not because they make bad phones – but their after sales service is so pathetic that you would be better off throwing off your 15K phone and getting a new one than get aggravated and cheated in chasing around these Customer Care people.

This is definitely one place where Nokia can learn a lesson or two from the Sony Ericsson guys and Motorola guys. These people at least honestly repair your handset if it is under warranty even if they charge astronomical sums post warranty.

But I guess it’s the model which Nokia has chosen to follow – that of franchising the service.
There is no non-static room to speak off – their engineers work out in the customer area, they (engineers) also seem completely uneducated, freshly graduated students and their main goal seems to be “ripping off the customer as much as they possibly can”.

I bet they even have a “Ripper of the month” contest going on to see who can extract how much money from an unsuspecting customer.

Feels like your dentist doesn’t it? But believe me, this one is a lot more painful.

– Saurabh Jain.

I’m appalled to hear what he has had to go through. My friend is even considering filing a case in the Consumer Court for getting justice. I am sure there must be much worse incidents you must have had to endure. What did you do? Do you think Nokia is listening? Leave your comments down below and find out what others did. I hope Nokia is reading this post, because they have a lot of explaining to do with regard to this. If this is the case, how many people will want to buy a Nokia? Also does this not show that Nokia distrusts its customers? if that is not the case then why this attitude?