The importance of after sales services in all services and products, be it cars, laptops, phones, fridges, washing machines, television sets, etcetera, cannot be over emphasised.
Mr. Tokunbo Abiodun bought a Touchee brand mobile phone for N20,000 from ‘Phone For You’ shop at Otigba Street, Computer Village, Ikeja.
He liked the phone very much. According to him, the phone had almost all the features he wanted in a phone and moreover the performance was almost excellent. “To buy such a phone from a popular brand would have cost me nothing less than N150,000. But because Touchee is a relatively unknown brand from a Japanese company, the price had to be very pocket friendly to attract customers,” explained the embattled Abiodun.
Recounting his ordeal, he said before he knew it, the Touchee mobile phone became his favourite. He armed himself with it anywhere he went and unwittingly transferred all his documents and contacts to the phone, unfortunately without any backup.
After about a year of using the phone, just one day after making a call, as he wanted to place the phone back on his desk, he noticed the screen colour changing to multi colour. As he stared at the phone trying to grasp what was happening, the colour changed from multi to just white, grey and black.
“Tentatively, I placed the phone on my office table wondering what to do next. It is not that I do not have another phone but that particular phone held many of my important details. Picking the phone again, I saw that I could not decipher anything on the screen,” lamented Abiodun.
Continuing, he said, “In fact, as I was still holding the phone, it started ringing but I couldn’t even answer the call as the whole screen was just blank.”
The next day, he took the phone back to where he bought it, ready to pay for the repairs. The telephone repairer that was called in confirmed that the screen had gone bad and needed replacement, but unfortunately the spare parts of the phone could not be found anywhere in the market.
Abiodun, desperate to have the phone repaired so as to retrieve his documents, paid two boys to search around the Computer Village and environs to get the screen or matching one, all to no avail.
The only option left to him was to buy another Touchee phone at the full price so as to use the good screen to replace his damaged screen in order to have his old phone working again so as to have access to the documents he stored in the phone. Too bad.
Relating his own experience, Engineer Bright Emmanuel, who is an Information Technologist, regretted that Nigeria is filled with so many substandard phone models without a service centre. “One of the primary qualifications to operate a mobile phone brand in any country should include having a service centre with parts available. Imagine a vehicle without any spare part in Nigeria, why buy it? But mobile phones seem to have passed the test un-noticed because agencies responsible are not really efficient.
“I bought a Fero phone in 2015. I was disappointed when I wanted to fix the ear jack and charging port. I went to their service centre and was told to check or call back in two weeks because the parts were being shipped from China. I kept calling and calling till I finally dumped the phone. It was so frustrating,” lamented the information technologist.
Speaking further, he said, “My advice? Make sure you do not buy a mobile phone that does not have both parts and a verified service centre in Nigeria.”
I am sure most of you still remember the story of Nnenna Onu [not real names] published on this page. She bought a Mi-tribe A 500 mobile phone from the Online store, Konga.com. After about one year of using the phone the battery parked up prompting her to get in touch with the seller, who directed her to Mi-tribe supposed Service Centre ‘Archos’ at 20 Oremeji Street, Computer Village Ikeja.
She was informed the battery was not available though they had placed orders from the head quarters of the company, Mi-Fone, in Kenya. After several visits to the Archos office and being given the same excuse each time, Onu decided to contact the company’s head office through an email but her email did not receive any response.
At that point, it dawned on her that she was never going to get any help from them. She had made a mistake to have bought a brand without any office or service centre in the country. She had to improvise with a padded Infinix battery which makes the phone to trip off from time to time when the battery which is occupying the space for Mi-tribe battery loses contact with the phone.
Mi-tribe A 500 is from the stables of Mi-Fone, a Mauritanian mobile phone founded by Alpesh Patel and touted to be the first mobile phone made in Africa.
Mrs. Oni Balogun who purchased a 7kg Hotpoint washing machine in London and shipped to Nigeria is still at a loss about what to do. Hotpoint is a known and premium United Kingdom brand but it does not have an office or service centre in Nigeria.
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