Galaxy S7 Edge – Best Things Happen in the Dark and Shady Business Too!
I am sharing my experience of Samsung Mobile India customer care after facing issue with my recently purchased Galaxy S7 Edge, This phone is probably the best Android device I have used till date and the major USP of S7 Edge is it’s camera and stable battery back up and I was really happy with the overall value this phone offered.
I have had my fair share of troubles using products brought during the initial launch period as things do go wrong, products fail, processes can go haywire, people commit mistake but how you deal with them to make it right is what shapes a customers perception about the brand and it’s customer service.
My first Android phone was Galaxy S2 and post that I have used the first Galaxy Note then Galaxy S4. The common issues I faced using Samsung Smart Phones was the heating and battery back up problem. They also time Android OS upgrades in such a way that it earns them enough moolah through new phones launched in the yearly cycle and then other phones receive OS upgrades within 3-4 months after their new flagship has gained foothold in the market.
As per my past experience Samsung never released regular firmware patches to address Android OS related issues reported by users, for example if some wakelock process continues to drain your battery in background you have to wait for maybe 5-6 months before Samsung decides to drop in an update which may resolve your existing problem however it would open another issue as well.
When my wife wanted to get the S7 Edge as my birthday gift I had these sour experiences with Samsung phones on back of my mind and I was really not sure If I wanted to give this brand another chance. My phone was delivered by Flipkart on 20th Mar’16 and it was actually hard to believe that a Samsung phone could be this good. I tried to ward off my doubts trying to accept maybe things have changed for good now, that’s when reality struck like a lightening on 5th May 2016. I was trying to check the Ultra Battery Power Saving mode to analyze how much standby time did it add to the battery back up so I kept it on this mode in the night and after waking up in the morning I switched it back to normal mode.
I noticed that the phone was getting hot near front facing camera so I tried switching it off for a while but by the time I reached office and was using the phone in a cooled environment it was still behaving as if it was running a fever and now the battery charge had also started draining rapidly. The moment it went below 66% the screen started to flicker which got me worried and I immediately got on to a chat with Samsung’s customer care. I was guided with some steps to perform which I did but it did not help so I was advised to visit a service center. The customer care executive on chat said they could not arrange a pick up for my phone as per my pincode which made me think that all that promise of premium customer service was a farce. I called up the customer care helpline them and they said they would arrange a callback for me and the next day on 6th May I was told that a technician would come at my place and collect the phone and give me a service order job card.
My service order got assigned to Reliance Retail outlet at Kharadi (Pune), here’s how the entire game of goof up is in progress as I write this post:
At around 2 PM in the afternoon the service center staff person collected my phone and I was informed in the evening at around 6:30 PM that they would order a replacement screen and test my phone if the problem is with the screen or if it has any other issue.
Call Center Call Reference No: 1129772833
I was about to leave for a family holiday next day and giving up all hope of using my S7 Edge to capture memories from this trip I had made up my mind to allow service center to keep the phone until I returned and they informed me that the screen had still not arrived and Mr. Mahesh Dongare confidently told me since the phone would be with them for considerable time it would give them good enough time to test it thoroughly.
I tried calling Mr. Mahesh Dongare at around 6:15 PM in the evening to know status of my repair since I was returning to Pune the next day. He disconnected my call and a lady called me from service center landline number at around 6:45 PM informing me that my replacement screen delivery was delayed and it would arrive by Friday 13th and I would be handed over my phone latest by 14th Saturday. When I asked her to give the phone to Mahesh or any other technician she refused upfront and on asking why it took so much time to get my phone screen she quoted ‘Since it is a new phone, parts are not easily available’
After returning to Pune I was getting nervous as there was no word from service center and I tried calling Mr.Mahesh Dongare who disconnected my phone multiple times and when I called their service center landline I overheard the lady answering phone getting instructed to say that Mahesh was not at the service center, she actually called his name out before telling me he was not there. I again called customer care and there was nothing they could do beyond apologizing and forwarding my complaint for callback.
By 12 PM in the afternoon I got a callback from their outbound call center in Noida/Ghaziabad and this executive told me that they were aware about delay in replacement screen shipment as it takes time to send it from Delhi/Noida which I agree because it is quite a distance and almost a journey between Earth and Mars!! He then told me that it had arrived at a Pune ‘Branch’ and yet to reach ‘Service Center’ again I agree to this because Pune traffic can be a nightmare. It moves slower than a snail.
This executive confidently told me that my phone may get repaired by 15th May so I asked him to confirm because it was a Sunday and service center is closed on this day. He did not have any response to this and by now I had grown tired of customer care lies.
I had really lost my cool by now and unwillingly I called customer care again at 12:30 PM, this time I was hearing a new story from the customer care executive who told me that my phone is no longer with the ‘Service Center’ it is now with ‘Samsung Mobile Phone Technical Team’ as they are personally looking into my complaint to get is rectified as soon as possible….I never thought I would get so much attention and priority in life, could not believe my luck. Call Center Call Reference No: 1129951587
I called up customer care to check status on service order because I have started sensing something was seriously wrong with my phone which these guys were not ready to come clean about and I was not getting reply on emails sent to Executive Desk or CEO’s desk from Samsung’s portal. This time my call was escalated to a supervisor from the agent who tried pacifying me, rambling the standard call center script. I did not get the reference number of this conversation but have the entire call recorded luckily.
After so much promises made over callback I was still clueless and in the meanwhile some kind soul from Samsung’s social media team noticed my posts left on their page on Facebook and asked for my Service Order Number which i shared and even they promised a callback which never came from any customer care team. They have now started putting blame over me stating that probably my number was not reachable when they tried contacting me, when I ask them to share what time my number was tried they do not have any log.
At 6:40 PM in the evening it was an OMG moment when the sweet service center lady from Kharadi Reliance Retail outlet remembered me and called to inform that my replacement screen was going to arrive on 17th May’16 and I should get my phone repaired and delivered by 18th May’16.
I have not called Samsung Customer Care today but there was a twist in the tale, I got an SMS at around 10:30 AM today of a new person by the name Sagar who got assigned for my Service Order and on dialing his number shared +91 9049628485 is invalid. It is 9th business day and I still don’t know what is the status of my repair.
My problems with Samsung’s service center and customer care keep adding up. I went to service center today with high hopes to collect my phone as it was confirmed by customer care that LCD was replaced and it is ready to be collected.
On collecting the phone against Service Order No: 4213657515 I found out that the ear piece was now faulty, it was emitting a cracking noise and battery percentage was at 72% which dropped to 70% within 10 mins at the service center itself. I was asked to wait for an hour more to rectify this problem but I had to leave for work so again left the phone against same job card. I have instructed service center staff to test battery back up as well.
Collected handset from Service center and checked audio receiver, speaker audio quality before leaving, also asked Technician Sagar to confirm if there was no battery drain issue noticed during testing. He shared a code to verify battery health to ascertain if there is any problem with battery it would show a mismatch.
I also got a call from the customer care when I was at the service center, I told that exec to wait for my feedback once I am done testing the phone after using it for 2-3 days.
- Samsung’s call center team based out of Delhi/Noida/Ghaziabad is totally clueless of what is happening at local level here in Pune.
- I was contacted by someone named Bipen on Saturday 7th May’16 from executive team and he shared his email ID too, no response from him on writing follow up emails.
- I felt my phone and replacement screen were on some inter dimensional space trip, lost in some parallel universe and no one really knew when would it return to Earth’s orbit.
- I clarified to customer care that if they would have clearly state that there is an XYZ issue with the phone which may take 14 days, 21 days etc. I would not follow up during the said period and they seemed to take this issue very lightly.
My intention is not the malign the product or bring disrepute to brand or company and probably my phone going kaput could be one off incident but this experience should help anyone who is looking to buy the S7 or S7 Edge to see beyond the hype and also factor after sales service quality of the brand because what I experienced was way below my expectations.