With so many smartphones in a market the size of India, manufacturers struggle to keep up with a uniform after sales service for various models. Customers, therefore, often end up dissatisfied and expressing their displeasure against that particular brand on social media channels. However, some people, like Manu Aggarwal from Haryana for instance, think that there’s a better way to publicise their problem with a particular brand, i.e. through banners and billboards. Therefore, when Google failed to offer him an unsatisfactory service, he took to the real world to express his emotions for Google.
Update: Google has issued a statement about it. Here is what the company says:
At Google we have always put our users before everything else.
For Pixel, we have a world-class after-sales service network in India. In this particular case, when the customer was dissatisfied with our repeated efforts and response to his service request, we offered a free of cost repair or a new device, in line with our warranty policy. He has however repeatedly failed to accept the replacement and has instead demanded two units of the next-gen Pixel. Unfortunately, we can not give in to misuse of our policy or coercion, and are unable to comply with his unreasonable demands.
We have remained and continue to be committed to resolving this issue, and abide by our service standards without exception.
Like many unfortunate customers, Manu Aggarwal started facing issues with his first generation Pixel smartphone. He purchased it in early 2017 and started facing issue early last year. As is the norm, he reached out to Google’s customer service for repairs.
His Pixel phone went through several rounds of repairs with Google’s after-sales customer service but always came back with no solution. In fact, as Aggarwal writes in his tweets, the phone developed even more snags than before.
Frustrated with the poor service, Aggarwal took to Twitter to express his anger about the issue. As with all other customers, Google reached out to him with a promise of fixing the issue. However, the issue was never sorted out and despite repeated calls and messages to Google, the faults on his Pixel device persisted.
Aggarwal even uploaded screenshots of his conversations with the customer service executives lasting for two hours on an average. He termed those calls as “mental harassment.” He kept tweeting about the issue, tagging Google CEO Sundar Pichai and the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on most of the posts.
Since he had an intuition about this issue never coming to an end, he took to expressing his anger for Google in the wild. Aggarwal went around placing banners that stripped off Google’s customer service reputation. The banners asked people not to consider Google products due to their faulty products and inefficient customer service. He even went on advise people to reduce their dependency on Google as a service. The banners were put up in prominent places in Delhi, with some of them spotted in Connaught Place.
If the banners weren’t enough, he went along with placard on his car that stated the same. The banners carried a QR code that linked back to his tweet. He even went on to document his issue in a detailed YouTube video.
While the present state of his complaint is unknown, it definitely comes across as a negative impact on Google’s brand image. Google is presently competing with premium tier smartphone brands like Apple, Samsung and Huawei. Such a kind of neglected approach to customer service can often undo all the branding efforts and reduce customers trust in them. Since the original Pixel is now three years old, the problems could amount to ageing hardware. However, the customer demands an explanation for the problem and possibly, a better solution.
If Aggarwal’s Pixel phone still has the problem, it would be ethical for Google to come with a solution to his problems instead of ignoring it and putting the customer at pain with long customer care calls and other tedious processes. Maybe they should take a leaf out of Samsung’s book, i.e. how the brand handled the Galaxy Note 7 debacle.