Improving After sales service of Mobile Companies In India
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This is one of the problems that must have been faced by everyone directly or by someone linked to us. Yes, I am talking about the functioning of service centers(After sales service) in India, especially of mobile phone/smartphone companies. While there have been very good mobile phone manufacturers in the past few years but the after sales service has been rather deteriorating.I and many of my friends and relatives have faced issues with various mobile phone manufacturers.
When it comes to this section, neither big companies nor the small ones have a clean slate. We cannot point out and say that this particular company is an exception when it comes to after sales service. Everyone has some sort of bad experiences for any particular company. So I propose that there should be a direct feedback mechanism linked for every service request carried on by a service center which should be reported to the manufacturers as well as the consumer department of India.
Also, the rules should be tightened for the manufacturers and should be allowed to continue their business based on satisfactory after sales feedback.
There is one more catch. Most of these companies have removed the clause of replacement completely from their after sales agreement. I can give you an example wherein my friend suffered with a faulty Motorola phone for months within a month of purchase. In spite of a major fault related to motherboard, and the service part not available in stock, they did not replaced the phone and kept stalling the consumer for weeks.
Do you think mobile phone is such a useless commodity that should be kept at a service center for weeks and months?
Do these people even imagine the pain the consumer has to bear during that period!!
Not everyone has the means to arrange for a spare phone. Also, these people don't extend the warranty for the number of days the device is kept at the service center due to their inability to service the product. My friend struggled in the consumer court with the case and after many months finally, she is about to get a satisfactory resolution. One more thing, once she filed a case, these people approached her personally and were willing to give a replacement now. If this was a possibility then why no do it in the first place. Maybe because they know that not everyone will approach the consumer court for such matters.
This also highlights that there is a lot of scope of improvement in the way consumer courts function. I mean we have made IRCTC,PSK(Passport Seva Kendra),etc completely online and have seen the system change and become more consumer friendly. Can't we make the grievance reporting and redressal equally transparent, effective and smooth?? No one should hesitate to file a complaint against this monopoly of the service centers in India just because its a long and complex process. I agree that there have been steps already taken to make the status and tracking online to some extent but the consumer still need to visit the courts multiple times before getting a decision, all the documentation process is still manual to a great extent and the entire process takes close to six months in most cases or even more. I am sure, with India moving towards Digital Transformation, this is just a cakewalk for our current government which is open to suggestions and quick to take actions. Lets try to make this system very easy and effective. We really look forward to a much smooth and simple process for consumer courts in the coming days.
Regarding the changes to the way service centers in India work currently, I propose that the following guidelines should be given to all electronic manufacturers(especially Mobile phones) in India regarding their after sales services:
1. There should be a Service Level Agreement linked to any service Request for a device depending upon the priority. The highest priority task should be allotted 7 days max. If the repairs can't be done in 7 days, the company should provide a brand new replacement to the customer or the market price equivalent of refund on the 8th day without fail.
2. If the product that was serviced was under warranty, the number of days of the warranty should be extended by 7 days in-case the issue was categorised as a high priority(since 7 days will be the max time alloted for a high priority service request).
3. For every service request completed, there should be an independent feedback mechanism which should be reported to the manufacturers as well as the consumer ministry. This will keep the service centers on their edge. Also, this will eliminate the blame game between the manufactures and third party service providers (Since many manufactures hire third party service providers for servicing the devices. This also eliminates the possibility of a bad name brought upon to the company due to the negligence of the service providers and vice-versa). The biggest example of success for this system is OLA and UBER. You can see how the drivers try their best to get that 5 star feedback for them.
4. The excuses like parts are in demand, stock not available, etc should not be a problem for the consumer. The consumer by then is already in a problem since his/her device is not working properly and the service center people should show some courtesy with that.
5. Every quarter or so, the consumer ministry should take necessary reformative steps based on the level of satisfaction of feedback received during that period for the company's after sales service. I am assuming that the feedback will be submitted by the users using a centralized application online and hence the feedback analysis won't be a painful task as there are lot of analytics tools to do such jobs in a short span of time. The disciplinary actions for defaulters should include first time warnings followed by hefty fines and finally termination of their licenses. All the reports and the actions taken should be publicly displayed on the government website for the public's reference. This will definitely encourage the citizens to follow this practice of reporting and collaborating.
These are some of the legitimate points that I can think of right now and I truly believe this will definitely change the picture of the after sales services in India.
Please share and support this post if you agree with my views to strengthen it so that this becomes a reality soon. Any suggestions are most welcome. I trust my government and believe that this will definitely be implemented soon.
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