Friday, August 11, 2017

6 Great Disappointments of a Moto-M Customer


How a pathetic product experience drastically tamper the brand image

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I have never written a product review or customer feedback blog in detail before. I’m compelled to write this detailed blog just to share the gravity of disappointment that I underwent as a Motorola customer and the pathetic customer service I experienced from their authorized service centre in Bangalore.

I don’t want anybody to go through this frustrating experience.

Before deciding to buy Moto-M, I considered high-end phones from other brands. I selected Moto-M because of its high-resistant Gorilla Glass and 16MP mobile camera. But, in less than six months, the user experience that I got was really disappointing.

Within six months, my Rs18000/- worth phone is now a scrap. Motorola customer care people termed the phone as irreparable and unusable. Here I'm listing the reasons for my disappointments.

Disappointment 1: Gorilla screen is so brittle

I bought this phone as a surprise gift to my wife. Before Moto-M, I have gifted her Moto-G on our engagement day. As Moto-G started showing touchpad issues and OS issues, I decided to buy her Moto-M. Before buying, I saw product review videos where the reviewer used a hammer to check the resistance of the Gorilla screen. I and my wife were very much impressed with that feature. But, that impression vanished in a few months after the purchase. 

Almost two months back, when we were travelling by bus, my wife kept the phone in her handbag and that bag was clung to the hook next to the window seat. There was no way the bag could swing and the bag didn't even fell down. In the morning, when she took the phone out, there were two minor cracks at the bottom portion of the mobile screen. We couldn't believe how the Gorilla screen got those cracks. 

Disappointment 2: Battery charging, a huge setback 

The second disappointment happened when we went to Coorg. It was a three-day trip. On the first day night when we came back to the room and kept the phone for charging, we realized that the phone was not charging. Even after several attempts, the phone was not responding. On the last two days of our trip, my wife was concerned about her phone and she was disappointed that she couldn't capture the beautiful places and moments that we had during those two days. 

Disappointment 3: Customer care given the least priority  

Soon after coming back to Bangalore, we decided to get the phone repaired. We googled for the authorized Moto-M service centre and found one at Marthahalli, Bangalore. On 1st of July, we went to the service centre. It was little crowded. There were three lady customer care executives in that service centre. After an initial enquiry, we were asked to wait for over half an hour. After which I realized that they are randomly calling people without giving priority to who came first. 

After 2-3 reminders, I managed to get a call from one of the customer care executives. I showed her the phone and said, "Mobile is not charging". She looked at the phone and noticed those two minor cracks on the bottom portion of the screen, "There are cracks in the screen. It is considered as physical damage. It won't be covered under warranty," she replied immediately in an unfriendly tone. 

I told her, "See, the screen is also covered under warranty for a year. And it has nothing to do with the battery issue as this crack happened one month ago and the charging issue started a few days back. You can check other sides of the phone. There is no damage that could affect the performance of the battery." 

She kept on arguing the same point. I was not in a mood to continue that kind of argument. So I told her, "Ok, fine. As the cracks are minor, I don't want to change the screen. I will pay the amount for rectifying the charging issue if it is not covered under warranty." 

Then she said, "For checking, we charge Rs170/-" With no options, I agreed. 

The second customer care executive who was sitting next to the executive with whom I was talking to came to her seat at that time. "Hai, where were you. Many customers are waiting. You went for chit chatting noww?" asked the first executive. The second executive was not in her seat for over 45 mins. 

Our executive took the charger kept connected in her desk and plugged it into our phone. "It is not charging," she replied. 

"That is what I explained as the issue," I responded.

Then she wrote down the issue as "Battery not Charging" on a piece of white paper and tied it on the phone, opened the sliding window and gave it to the engineer who was checking the phones. We were asked to wait once again.

After some time, we were called by the customer care executive, and she showed us the wide opened phone with little white patches here and there inside and said, "We can't repair the phone. It is gone."

I and my wife were really shocked to hear this kind of response. "The phone is only 5 months old. How can you saw 'It is gone’? Please try to do something to rectify the issue. We spent Rs 18000 on this phone."

"No. It is not possible. It is the water issue. It is irreparable. You can take it back," she was just trying to avoid the conversation.

"Can you check with your engineers once again?" I requested.

"He only told that. I check in front of you" She slid the window and opened it. The second executive was standing behind the engineer and pressing his shoulder and they were busy chit chatting. Our executive was trying to speak to that engineer who was smiling and very casually saying, "Whom should I speak to? One person at a time."

"Hai, don't play. Customer waiting. The customer is asking whether the phone can be repaired?" she asked. 

"No. It is not possible," he gave an instant reply and went back to his "more important" conversation. 

I was wondering how serious these guys are? Finding perfect "Work-love" balance! While a customer is deeply concerned about the product and service, the customer care executives and engineers consider it as a time pass.  

"Can I go to any other place where I can rectify the issue?" I asked with disappointment.

"You can go anywhere, sir." She prompted the next customer to come in.

"Ok then, put the back cover in place and give the phone," I replied.

We were asked to wait for some more time. 

Disappointment 4: Mobile screen fully damaged

When we were waiting to pay the mobile inspection charge of Rs 170/- we got our phone back. While they were generating the bill, my wife noticed that there were cracks all over the mobile screen. She lost her patience. She told the third customer care executive that these cracks were not there when we gave the phone for checking. The third executive, who was little more matured and senior among the three executives, checked with our executive. For which our executive started saying, "These cracks were there earlier. I showed it to you."

First of all, we were not happy with the performance of the phone and the customer care that we got till that time, above that, this kind of grave negligence and blaming act really tested my patience. I stood up and raised my voice, "There were cracks, not on the whole screen. There were only two minor cracks at the bottom of the screen." I replied.

"No, I showed it to you. I was there earlier," that executive was adamant. 

"See, it is my phone. I know it for sure. When I gave the phone to you, I told you that these cracks are minor, I don't want to replace the screen and I asked you to rectify the battery charging issue. What kind of customer care is this? It is really pathetic. It is not at all customer friendly. Anyways, after paying Rs18000, the phone became useless in less than six months, now, what is the point in making you people teach what customer care is," I vented out my anger.

Then, I asked for that Rs 170/- mobile checking bill. For which, the senior executive said, "No sir, we don't want you to pay the bill. It is okay."

I told the senior executive that, "It is really sad to see this kind of customer care. Now onwards, please note down the issues before getting the phone for checking. Please keep a record in place and be organized. Don't play this kind of silly blame game." 

We took the dead phone and came out of the service centre, while other customers were silently looking at us.

Disappointment 5: Purely unprofessional documentation

When we came out of the service centre, we stood on the ground floor of the building and wondering about the sad fate of our Moto-M. My wife was really emotional and was regretting for wasting Rs 18000 to buy this costly and inefficient phone. I tried to console her by saying, "It is not your mistake. You didn't drop the phone in water. Most probably it could have caused because of the early morning photography. Might be because of the mist. Not because of water entering the phone."

"But, how can a high-end phone be this much fragile that too with a fully covered mobile cover in place. The gorilla glass is so weak and above all, it couldn't resist the mist. Even if there are issues, I was expecting service centre people to repair it. But, not even in my dreams, I was thinking that it would completely damage the phone. The way they are providing the customer care is really pathetic. We should escalate it. We should not let other people suffer like this. Moto-M promised the sky and when it comes to performance it under delivered," she was on verge of crying. 

I consoled her, "It is okay. We will escalate it. First of all, we didn't get any receipt from the customer care. Let us go once again and get that receipt."

We went back to the service centre and met the executive once again, she was trying to avoid us. "Can you give me the letter stating the issue?" I asked her.

"What letter?" she replied.

"You checked the phone and found that it is not working. I need a letter mentioning the issue," I explained.

She asked for the phone. I gave it to her. Then came the question, "What was the issue?"

I smiled, "Just 5 minutes back I went out. You only took the phone for checking. It had the battery related issue. Phone not charging."  I controlled my anger and replied patiently.

She became silent and gave the phone once again for checking. We were waiting for 10 minutes. "Why are you checking the phone once again. Your engineer has checked it already, right? I just want you guys to give it in writing. I can't understand the need for checking the phone once again?" I asked.

"They have to check, right? Wait for five more minutes," she was not happy.

Then she started checking her phone for a few minutes and later started checking the files on her desktop. Then, she started checking with the second executive regarding what she should do. She doesn't have a clue on what to do. I controlled myself and waited for 5 more minutes. Still, she was confused on what to do. I asked her, "Are you doing it for the first time?"

"What? No, I'm filling it," she turned the chair and avoided facing us. 

After 10 minutes, the sliding window opened and the engineer gave the filled-in form to her. When I got the form, I checked the details and I found that the engineer's signature was missing. 

I told the executive that, "Engineer's signature is missing. Can you please get it signed by him?" 

She took the form and opened that sliding window and gave the form to him. When she asked for his signature, he was hesitant and he avoided my eye contact. Later, he signed it. When I got the form, I thanked the customer service executive for the "kind and friendly" service that she gave us and we walked out of the service centre fully dejected.

Disappointment 6: Escalation hits a dead end  

As a last resort, I contacted the Motorola customer care page on Facebook and they asked me to send a detailed email with all the bills and documents. After dropping the mail, it took more than 15 days and three follow-up emails to get a response saying that I will get a call from customer care executive.

After a few days, I got the call. The executive asked me to explain the issue. Even after writing a detailed email with all the information, I explained the whole story. Then the executive told me that, he checked with the Marthahalli authorized service centre and got the response from them saying that water has entered the phone and it is irreparable.

I told him, the phone was not dropped into water for sure. Above all, one of the key features of Moto-M is its splash proof design. “Without water entering the phone, how can the phone get fully damaged like this? If the service centre engineers couldn’t do anything, then it is the grave issue related to the phone quality. How can a highly branded and highly priced phone underperform like this? The worst thing is, the phone became useless in less than 6 months.”

“No, sir. We can’t do anything,” he was not even giving any alternative solution and was defending authorized service centre employees.

“If you don’t have any other solution to solve the customers’ issue and if no action is taken against the authorized service centre for their negligence, then what is the point in continuing this conversation?  ‘I’m deeply regretting my decision to buy this phone and mainly from this brand Motorola. It is my mistake. Thanks for your time,” I disconnected the phone. There ends my hope.

Moto-M: My bitter learnings
·  Splash-proof Design: Never let spills, splashes, or a little rain get in your way - This is one of the key features of Moto-M. But, in reality, even a mild mist can kill the phone. 
·  Gorilla Glass: The harsh reality is, a minor tap can crack Moto-M's screen. Even low-end phones have high-resistant screens than the so-called gorilla glass. 
·  Customer Care: They are not at all professional and not at all concerned about customers.
A person losing the phone worth Rs18000 in less than six months for no fault of his/her is not a big deal for the company the sells the phone with a huge promise. But, as a customer, who buys the phone with great hope, end up being dejected and disappointed.

One really unpleasant product experience is more than enough to tamper the brand image. I never ever want to try any of the Motorola products in future. I learnt it in a bitter way. 

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