Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cherry Mobile After Sales Experience at SM North Edsa - Annex

One day, my dad's cellphone of almost one year, Cherry Mobile Flare S100, suddenly overheats, drains the battery and when charged it never reached the 100% like it used to.

So here's when it all started, while my dad was charging his phone somebody borrowed his charger.  He let my cousin borrow the charger because they have the same phone Cherry Mobile Flare S100 and it was kind of an emergency situation. When my cousin returned the charger, he resumed charging his phone.  After awhile, he noticed that the phone overheated which never happened before.  He disregarded it because he was monitoring the phone and waiting for it to reach 100%.  By the way, my dad is 70+ years old so he is quite careful with things and he is a neat freak.  He wanted his phone to say that it is fully charged before unplugging it.  I told him to unplug it after a few hours of waiting because the phone is abnormally hot and I don't think it will ever reach the 100%.  It was 97% for almost an hour and it was time for bed.  The next day, the phone was dead.

Since the warranty of Cherry Mobile Flare S100 is almost up (like a month remaining), I immediately went to the Cherry Mobile Service Center located at SM North Edsa - Annex. I wanted to be there very early in the morning because I know for a fact that the line could be very long and that it may take awhile for my turn.  I could say that I am a very patient person, had my training during my college days, so it was not supposed to be a big deal but it was weekend and time was supposed to be quality time for my son that's why I brought him with me to the Cherry Mobile Service Center as early as possible.  Got a number, it was "9".  It took me around 30 minutes to be called. 

My experience while talking to the customer service representative was just so, so.  I have the impression that they're like robots or just order takers. I wouldn't consider them technically savvy with phones. The customer representative of Cherry Mobile asked what's the problem and then told me to wait for their technician to take a look at the phone. I told her that the phone wouldn't turn on and I don't know if the culprit was the phone or the battery.  She came back and told me that the problem was the cell phone and not the battery (although she told me the battery was 3%) and that it wouldn't turn on.  She asked if I would be willing to have them repair/take a look at the unit and asked me to follow it up after three weeks, they would also send an SMS if they phone is ready for pick-up.  The customer service representative said they would have to send it to some place to have it fixed and most likely the information like your photos, contacts, etc will be erased.

After a few weeks, I called their mobile hotline since it was next to impossible to reach their landline number.  They informed me that it's ready for pick up.  I immediately went to Cherry Mobile Service Center to get the unit.  I submitted the Job Order form for them to locate the Cherry Mobile Flare and I was given a newly formatted cellphone.  Of course we weren't able to charge the battery since we don't have the unit to charge it with so they charge the phone over there. I should say that the charging took quite a relatively long time.  The phone turned on and I was just happy that it's now working.  Got home and gave it to my dad.  We charged the phone, the next day... Bam! The phone is dead again and won't turn on.  My dad was not in our house for the weekend so we communicated via my cousin's phone (the one that originally borrowed my dad's phone). They exchanged batteries and my dad's phone would turn on.  So we came to the conclusion that maybe the problem now was the battery.  The warranty of my dad's Cherry Mobile Flare was up at that time so what I did was look for a new battery.  I looked almost every Cherry Mobile stores, service center scattered at SM North but there's not one available.  The Cherry Mobile sales person told me in their SM North Edsa branch that it would cost P400 to buy it from them.  I have no choice but to buy it from other stores which cost me PhP500 in the hope that my dad would be able to use  ASAP.

We were able to use the phone initially.  We noticed the overheating once again.  We charged the new battery when it reached the low battery status.  Problem again, it wouldn't reach the 100% level.  We thought the battery was the one to blame, we thought that the battery I bought was a lemon.  So the next day we went to the store where I bought the battery from and they immediately replaced it with a new one. No questions asked.

Same problem.  And the warranty was up.  I didn't bring it to the Cherry Mobile store because by then I would have to pay for it and wait again for a few weeks before my dad could use it again.  So we decided to go to the friendly neighborhood cellphone technician.  He told me that the phone was overcharged, and that the flow of the electricity inside the phone was "shorted", that's why it wouldn't charge correctly and drains the battery of every electricity that it has.  Consequently even if the cellphone was off, the phone overheats.

After an hour, the cellphone technician was able to lessen the heat coming from the phone but not totally.  The charging percent is more accurate now but the upper portion of the phone is still heating up.  We paid him P400 for it.  The technician told me that he can't do anything about it because if he tries to remove the one that's causing the heat in the upper part of the phone, it was as good as getting rid of the speaker function of the phone.  The technician told me that it's in good working condition.

After a day, same problem.  Because the phone's still overheats on the upper part of the phone, it still drains the battery's juice so in essence we can't still have a decent working phone.  We brought it back to the cellphone technician and left if with him for three days.  He then told us that there's no other solution but to replace the motherboard and if someone sold him the same model with a decent motherboard he will text us immediately.  We paid for the service that's incomplete.

In the end I bought my dad a new phone. Not a Cherry Mobile brand this time.  That's all that I think I can do for him to have a working phone on his hand.

Cherry Mobile Flare S100 is a very nice phone, please don't get me wrong.  In fact, my dad still wants his old phone back.  So if you have one or if you want one just make sure you don't ever overcharge this phone.

The after sales service of Cherry Mobile indeed needs more improvement.


LESSON 1:  Never let anyone borrow your Cherry Mobile charger!   Just kidding! If somebody borrows your charger while you are charging your phone, let them borrow it, but wait again for your phone to indicate that you need charging before you plug it again. 

LESSON 2:  Don't overcharge your gadget. Monitor the time it usually takes for your gadget to reach its full capacity.  

LESSON 3:  Go to a Cherry Mobile Service Center the earliest possible time or near closing time.  I've also noticed fewer clients are waiting near mall closing time.  If you don't have any choice, get the number and then do your other shopping/errands near the area while monitoring if it's almost your turn.  Waiting will definitely eat your time.  Be prepared to wait more than expected. The number of customer service representatives will not adjust to the number of clients requiring assistance

LESSON 4:  Make sure that you have a back-up phone or that you're ready to not have a phone for almost a month.  

LESSON 5:  Copy important files or back-up your data using cloud services, etc. to make sure that you won't lose pertinent information.

LESSON 6:  Make sure that you check and confirm if the battery is really the problem.  Ask someone who knows how to check if the battery is really dead and if it is better to replace it before buying a new one.  

LESSON 7:  Make sure that when you go to the Cherry Mobile Service Center you tell them what your experiences are with the phone and don't accept it if they still hasn't solve the problem.  During diagnosis, don't just accept what the Customer Sales Representative writes on your job order if it's incomplete.  Have them write down the complete problem you are experiencing.  I am not at all impressed with their diagnostic testing and the way that they handled my phone. They should be the experts, right?

LESSON 8:  Make sure that when you go to any cellphone technician you're definite with what you want so he won't give it back to you with a so-so repair.  Look for a cellphone technician that has a "no fix, no pay" policy.