Not at your service...

WORN-OUT APPLIANCES

Most people have some complaint or the other about their electronic appliances, be it microwaves, washing machines, laptops or tablets.

 Though electronic goods are destined to wear out soon, it is an Indian tendency to get an old appliance repaired to prolong its usage. 

Promises are made regarding goods before sale but once these are sold and worn out, the showrooms direct the customers to the authorised service centres. And there begins a tedious hunt.Says Vivek, a software engineer, “I have always had a problem with my cell phone.

 During the warranty period, I’d go to the showroom but later, I became a regular at their service centre. The most annoying thing about them is the unnecessary, time-consuming procedures. The waiting time, token system and delays worsen things. They are a bunch of people who never listen and just waste our valuable time.” He adds, “Both service centres and showrooms follow many rigid rules. Half the problem will be solved if these rules are toned down.”

Repairs of appliances are a part and parcel of a household. Says homemaker Vijaya, “It’s high time that showrooms start taking responsibility. I went to one when my sandwich-maker stopped working during the warranty period itself. They re-directed us to a service centre nearby. With the ‘non-availability of spare parts’ being the usual response, the delivery was delayed by four months. Though the defective piece was replaced, the number of trips we had to make to the service centre were innumerable.”

The problem are more if the goods are from abroad. Says Adithya, a high school student, “When a tablet of mine from Dubai started giving problems, I approached several dealers. It was shocking to see that they weren’t even willing to listen.

The procedures for licences are getting on my nerves.”Punith, a cell phone salesman, says, “Our shop is just a selling unit. We clearly inform the customers about the location of our service centres during purchase.

 Some may do it but it’s very hard to manage both sales and service at one place.”There are also many unauthorised service centres that provide instant service to customers. Rahim, the owner of a private service centre for 14 years, says, “Most people have a fixed notion that unauthorised centres use duplicate spare parts.

 Some in our business do it but many don’t. We have experts working for us. Unlike authorised dealers, we deliver fully repaired products on time.” 

   He adds, “Authorised dealers are worried about their image. Hence they avoid taking risks. But for us, it’s our bread and butter.”

There are some who have had a good experience as well. Vittal, a resident of Rajarajeshwarinagar, had problems with his phone which were solved after he approached the authorised showroom. “Problems with electronic appliances are inevitable.

I agree it’s a company’s duty to provide good service but companies have their own priorities just like the customers. Hence, customers must be understanding and co-operative,” he concludes.

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