In Focus: Smartphone After-Sales Support In India

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First published by Deccan Chronicle.

What factors do you consider when buying a new phone? Processing power, RAM, screen resolution, pixel density, and camera? Well, it is fine to check hardware specifications, but how about sparing a thought for after-sales service? Your fancy and fast phone has to last at least a couple of years right? Unfortunately, not many reviewers take this into consideration. Worry not though, I have invested a lot of time to find out how serious these companies are when it comes to solving customers’ issues. Since visiting each and every service centre is not feasible, I decided to call most of these centres and ask them a standard set of questions such as availability of spare parts, address, repair turnaround time, work hours etc. The findings are based on my experience in cities such as Mumbai, Delhi, and Hyderabad.

According to the company’s website, here’s the number of authorised service centres –
Delhi – 22
Mumbai – 13
Hyderabad – 4

Going by the numbers, Apple’s after-sales service network is great. To check the people behind these numbers, I called-up multiple centres. The turned out to be professionals. Most of my queries about possible solution and hardware repairs were answered properly. Overall, excellent experience, but be prepared to spend a bomb if your product is out of warranty. Click here to check service centres in your area.

The South Korean company’s website lets you set the miles you are willing to go to fix your beloved smartphone. If you select a 25 km radius, this is what you get –
Delhi – 26
Mumbai – 28
Hyderabad – 13

Samsung dominates this space in terms of sheer numbers. More importantly, the folks at these facilities were prompt answering queries such as turn-around-time to repair the Galaxy Note 5 (which I don’t own). One of the service centre guys even messaged me the address for convenience. Clearly, Samsung is a company to beat when it comes to after-sales service.

Looking for a Samsung repair facility in your neighborhood? Click here.

Microsoft has one of the best support websites in India. In addition to finding service centres, the portal also lets you schedule an appointment. Before pick-up, you can also check the status of repairs by simply entering your phone’s IMEI. This means that you don’t have to waste your time in a long queue. Coming to the subject of numbers, Microsoft has these many repair facilities -Mumbai – 16
Delhi – 11
Hyderabad – 8

I called-up most of these numbers, and got proper replies. Don’t fret, if you have Nokia branded smartphones, Microsoft covers their warranty as well. All in all, you get top-notch after-sales support from Microsoft.

Click here for appointment. To check the repair status, follow this link.

Xiaomi is known for selling powerful hardware at affordable price. Considering that it’s a new brand, the number of repair facilities is not bad.
Delhi – 6
Mumbai – 7
Hyderabad – 5

What’s bad, however, is the fact that 5 out of 6 Xiaomi centres listed in Delhi don’t have phone numbers. No way can you communicate with them. In Mumbai, one of the listed service centres, Prodcon Tech Service Pvt Ltd refused to repair Xiaomi phones! In Hyderabad, Madhapurservice centre’s number was ringing, but nobody answered even after multiple attempts. To top it off, another service centre, Sri Vinayaka Electronics’ number turned out to be incorrect.

Xiaomi’s recently launched pick-up service does not seem to work either. I tried 1800-103-6286 from Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea. It does not even ring. Overall, contacting Xiaomi for after-sales service is frustrating.

Similar to Microsoft, LG’s support website enables you to schedule an appointment. You can also track repairs right from the website. Here’s the number of service centres LG has in three cities-
Mumbai – 9
Hyderabad – 6
Delhi – 5

I called-up these service centres pretending that my G4 screen needs to be replaced. The guys who picked-up calls were knowledgeable. All in all, if you own an LG phone, don’t worry about the after-sales support. Find your closest service centre using this link.

The Taiwanese brand has good presence in Delhi and Mumbai. However, it thinks that two service centres are enough for entire Hyderabad.
Mumbai – 9
Delhi – 11
Hyderabad – 2

HTC did not bother to list phone numbers of its service centres. Just to check the timings and availability of spare parts, you have to pay a visit to the nearest facility. Not done HTC. Being a reputed smartphone brand, you should know the importance of a phone.

Webpage for finding a nearest repair facility.

When it comes to smartphones, here’s the number of service centres Sony has under its fold –
Mumbai – 9
Delhi – 9
Hyderabad – 6

Considering that Sony has been operating in India for decades, I was expecting a better network of service centres. Sony makes up for the quantity with quality though. All listed numbers were operational. Queries were met with prompt replies. Little wonder then, people still have faith in the ailing Japanese brand.

Keeping all the presumptions aside, I found out the list of Micromax authorised service facilities –
Mumbai – 10
Delhi – 14
Hyderabad – 1

Yes, only one service centre, Rudra Agency, for entire Hyderabad. What’s worse is that the listed number “does not exist”. If you are in Hyderabad, think twice before purchasing a Micromax product. Delhi has 14 locations. I tried each and every number, and nobody, absolutely nobody bothered to receive a call. Half of them were switched off anyway. Just to make things clear, all calls were made in working hours. Similar story for Mumbai, where no one except for Ananya Infotech, picked-up the call and informed that the centre is not set up yet. Should be functional after 2 weeks. Experience? Terrible!

Although it is pointless, you can find a nearest service centre using this link.

In its comeback strategy, Motorola embraced the online only formula for sales. Thankfully, it does have brick-and-mortar facilities when it comes to after-sales support.
Mumbai – 3
Delhi – 9
Hyderabad – 3

Support services network is not bad for a company that had wind up its business from India a few years ago. In Delhi, support folks did answer the calls, but I had to dial the number multiple times. One executive informed me about the ‘Moto Xpress’ service priced at Rs 199. Here, the company sends a runner to pick-up a phone from your doorstep. Good for Delhi, but I was not so lucky in Mumbai and Hyderabad. All three service centres operated by B2X in Mumbai did not answer calls. Same with Hyderabad, where either nobody picked-up a call, or phones were simply off.

Link to find a nearest Moto support centre.

Are you feeling privileged after buying the OnePlus 2? Getting an invite is considered as a big deal among teenagers these days. But, how does the company treat you once you make a purchase?
Mumbai – 6
Hyderabad – 3
Delhi – 5

Most of the OnePlus service centres are shared resource. B2X that handles Motorola also takes care of OnePlus. All the horrors of getting through B2X for Motorola apply here too. Regenersis (handles OnePlus in north region) representatives were willing to help. HCL is another company that looks after repairs for OnePlus. If they pick-up your call, you get all your questions answered. You have to call multiple times before someone answers your call though.

The after-sales support is bad. However, OnePlus handset owners are unlikely to complain, because they are used putting-up with frustrating things such as the “invite only” sales model anyway.

Chandrakant 'CK' Isi

Technology editor, movie buff, and wannabe space explorer.