After sale service is extremely important irrespective of what product you buy. Not just smartphones, even a car needs a decent amount of care from the experts after it is driven from the showroom. Last month we tapped Xiaomi analyzing the difference in smartphone spare part prices between the local shops and the official service centers. Next up, we now took India’s most trusted brand when it comes to Android smartphones – Samsung. You can’t deny, Samsung has been sitting there at the top, in terms of after sale service, for a really long time now. However, there are some key observations we managed to extract through our recent research. For the disclaimer, we opted for both calling the customer care, service centers and visiting a bunch of service centers before coming out with this data and conclusion.
First things first, it is really difficult for a customer to get any kind of information regarding spare part prices from Samsung. With repeated attempts, the company refused to tell us any sort of information for various spare parts. However, we dug in a little more and managed to get some average prices for the display of various Samsung smartphones. Note, this doesn’t include the extra service charge which service centers often charge to replace or repair a product.
Note: The above data is entirely based on TMI’s research inputs.
Analyzing the data, the difference is huge, in our opinion. If we take out Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and Galaxy S7 Edge, the cost you bear to get the display replaced outside is less than half of what you will end up paying at a service center. Even if we look at the chargers, Samsung charges about 3 times the cost you pay at a local vendor. Obviously, we are ignoring the quality aspect here and this is something which is perpetual to most of the service centers out there. However, Samsung wasn’t the best when it comes to price transparency. In most cases, you need to have a Samsung repair ready device with you if you want to know the price of a particular spare part. An average consumer today demands a high degree of transparency when it comes to buying a smartphone or getting it repaired and Samsung is surely struggling to cope up that basket of demand.
On the contrary, people are still pretty satisfied with the service they get from the South Korean giant. The average waiting time is a lot less and most of the issues are resolved as soon as possible.
Another crucial observation we jotted was with the non-removable batteries. A lot of local repair shops in Gaffar market actually recommends a customer to go to the service center if his smartphone battery isn’t behaving the way it should. The primary reason behind this is the quality of service Samsung gives you even if you are out of warranty. Another reason here can be Samsung’s old strategy to keep the majority of spare parts to themselves. Yes, you wouldn’t find a Samsung certified battery on a local shop or anywhere outside the official service center and to be honest, that is actually a good thing and kind of favours the company especially with that level of quality of service.
When it comes to motherboards, the story is somewhat same. Samsung confines motherboard replacement to itself so the chances of you getting it replaced outside are very bleak. However, the local vendors have upped their game when it comes to repairing the motherboards even if it is soaked in water. Yes, there is a repair available to almost all the motherboard issues except when it has to be replaced and that is when you are headed to the service center. If your device is under warranty and has a motherboard issue apart from the water damage, the service center is an ideal option. Otherwise, you will have to then compare the repair cost which in all probability will favour the local vendors. Interestingly, the water damage even applies to the water-resistant smartphones such as Samsung Galaxy S7 and S8. So even if your smartphone is water resistant, you can’t just throw it in a pool and live it there the whole night.
Samsung has its Pros and Cons when it comes to the after sale service and while the Pros easily outnumber the Cons, there are notable issues with the transparency which we feel shouldn’t be there and we hope Samsung is listening.
Inputs from Nirupam Manik and Parth Pundir