After Sales Services, The Bad Half, and the Bitter half

How often has it happened that your most recently bought appliance not older than 5 months just stopped showing any signs of life? Chances are that, it has happened at least to 50% of your appliances that you bought it in the past decade. Ever wondered why is that so? Read along as you might come to know some of the dark secrets of the manufacturers who are in this sector


The Bad Half : The Manufacturer themselves

Shocked aren’t you? You shouldn’t be, because they want you to buy their products and they want you to buy them more frequently than you want to. Sales is a big portion of these money-minded manufacturers as it contributes to a huge chunk of profit (Unless you are Volkswagen Group selling Bugatti).

So Sahil, why is that a bad thing? Aren’t they in the business to make profit?”, Making profit it not a bad thing, unless there is a catch. Manufacturers design products that lasts only for a limited time. It’s around 10-12 years for appliances and less than 5 years (according to my personal opinion). Also this tenure is not “functional with no added costs”. It’s the tenure with you having to call the folks from the XYZ’s support desk, Which is the bitter half.

It’s also evident from the warranty period, is just too short for appliances that cost $1000 and above. Aren’t such products specially home appliances and laptops supposed to work a lot longer than that? Shouldn’t the warranty period be a reflection of how long the manufacturers want the product to exist in the market no matter how many updated models that they release during that warranty period. The manufacturers assume that the end of the warranty period is when the customer starts searching for an upgrade, and release products accordingly.

The Bitter Half : Warranty claims and Service Centers woes

Here is where things become annoyingly difficult.

For warranty claims: The service center, of course scrutinize your appliance/gadget (Fact: Any replacement that they have to make in this process is a loss). One of the most ridiculous of the reasons why service centre’s reject warranty claims is by saying “It was not meant to be used like that”. So according to them we are supposed to use in a “Normal” way which is decided by the service center folks and nowhere mentioned in the documentation that comes with the appliance/gadget.

Even if you agree to pay for the repairs, the repair centers kind of force you to pay for replacement parts(as I mentioned earlier, they cannot repair, it’s too advanced tech for them), which sometimes are so expensive, that an upgrade is lot better than that not so important replacement.

(Fact: Got a waterproof gadget? Liquid damage, including water damage, still voids warranty)

This is more of an Indian phenomenon where the Manufacturing giants give away their responsibilities to other dealers and the dealers do a sh*t job of doing them in the worst means possible (Redington India Pvt. Ltd., Maple).

These service centers are understaffed. The employed staff are basically carpenters who know what part goes where, hence all they do is replace, in case of Out-of-warranty products (not to mention inefficiently). For in-warranty appliances/gadgets hammer the product and pray that the product works.


If you are from a different part of the world this is what an average service center call looks like. This is what service you get for a phone which was under warranty, One of my friend had a tough time dealing with his laptop which you can read over here.

So what can you do about it as of now?

  • If you have an extended warranty/Insurance as an option, for appliances/gadgets worth ₹ 30,000 and above, Go for it.
  • If you have an Out of warranty appliance/gadget avoid the official services, instead try for a trusted local engineer instead.

I guess that’s enough of rant’s for today?

Sahil Satishkumar logging out.

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

P.S.: Audio solutions coming soon(next)

Advertisements

3 reasons to (un)switch to (or away from) a Blackberry

Recently I “Made the switch to BlackBerry 10” with the old but still the bold, Blackberry Q5. I don’t think a review or hands on is quite necessary but, I could definitely write something on its good and bad bits.

1. Keyboard

02-blackberry-q5-150513Be it the physical or on-screen, Blackberry has nailed the keyboard, And you guys know it better how important keyboard is to me. The BlackBerry Q5 has a physical keyboard, which is on par with the top spec Q10 and the crazy Porsche P’9983. On the on-screen side however, I only have the hands on experience and 99.99% of the reviews are positive. When you have the best keyboard, ofcourse you will see a fair amount of increase in productivity.

2. Email

Blackberry is the pro option when it comes to email. There is a reason why corporate employees are hooked with Blackberry (at least in the past decade). The native mail client, which can manage multiple accounts, is faster than the Android counterparts. It is like using the web client itself. There is always a 30 seconds or more delay for a new email to pop up, in the Android clients.

3. True productivity

BlackBerry 10 OS has the best pre-installed Office suite that can easily handle all your documents, spreadsheets and presentations. You cannot create new presentations but you can edit existing ones. The document editor and the spreadsheet editor are the best on a handheld device. It easily beats the Microsoft Suite by Microsoft for Android and QuickOffice by Google for Android. Apart from the Office Suite there are true productivity applications like Evernote.


Apart from the good bits there are some major reasons why you should stay miles away from BlackBerry! And here are the top 3 reasons to hate BlackBerry:

1. Battery Life

BlackBerry have a tiny battery span of around 6 hours moderate to heavy usage, before you need to start pour juice into the sealed battery. Apart from which, most of the BlackBerry models now have a sealed battery with no option to swap them. So either get ready to carry your charger everywhere or invest on a decent power bank.

2. Applications

I know that most of the reviews will conclude that, “Hey BlackBerry has the best of three different ecosystems”. But the truth is, it’s just BlackBerry and Android apk(s). BlackBerry OS 10 can handle its own “made-for-Blackberry” applications flawlessly, but the APKs don’t share the same story. It’s like running an application on a Virtual Machine on the desktops. But the issue is Android sends something called as “notifications” to the User Interface, that doesn’t quite fit in the Blackberry Hub.

3. Camera

With camera I mean the choice of camera optics is quite poor, The camera software is excellent, But optics are poor. It takes decent shots but excellent ones.

If you can get away with the cons, if you are okay with the battery life, APKs, Camera. And if your prime objective of using a phone has to do with Emails, Keyboards and Extreme productivity Blackberry is your way to go.


Sahil Satishkumar logging out.

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

P.S.: Audio solutions coming next.

Do we need out of the convention devices?

Consider the following, not yet outdated smart phones:

  • LG G flex 2
  • HTC One M8 (and HTC One M7)
  • Galaxy note 4 Edge

Mentioned above are some of the devices that have at least one feature that are completely new to handheld technology domain.

LG G Flex 2
LG G Flex 2 with its curved body design

The LG’s G flex 2 (announced recently in CES 2015) sports a curved display. It’s one of the first smartphone to feature the most recent processor from Qualcomm, Snapdragon 810. Also the device is reported to support micro SD cards up to 2TB (There are no 2TB or 1TB or 512 GB or 256GB micro SD card supported devices or cards themselves in the market). The spotlight is more on the 1080p 5.5″ curved display and not the other specifications.

Polycarbonate HTC One E8 (Maldives Blue) vs Aluminium HTC One M8 (Gunmetal grey)

Let’s consider the HTC’s ultra pixel camera on the one M8 and one M7. On the megapixel count sheet both the devices will look like devices from early 2012. No doubt that the low light performance on those devices are exceptionally good, HTC has been appreciated for the same with many reviewers pointing out the good bits of the ultrapixel camera. At the same time the ultrapixel camera produces really tiny pictures(compared to the other smartphone cameras of that time). And if you were to crop those tiny pictures you’d get pixellated images.

 

 

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge

Samsung also has introduced the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Edge that has exactly the same specifications as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 but has a secondary curved display strip that supports additional functionality like active notification on stocks. The strip itself can be customized for the type of the notifications (API is available for developers to play with).

 

 

(Picture credits: Pocketnow, TechnoBuffalo and Android Authority)

Wonder which company has introduced, out-of-convention devices worst?

It’s the LG G flex 2! HTC has managed the introduction where as Samsung has done it the best.

So you must be like, *tell me more Sahil, bring us more of your wisdom from the future*. Honestly its my personal opinion but it’s with to take a note of it!

Well the onboard specifications of the LG G Flex 2 are not at all available in any of the LG ( or as of any device on or before January 10, 2015).

The HTC One M8 has an alternative namely HTC One E8. It doesn’t have the award-winning aluminium body, it instead sports a polycarbonate body(with more color options). It also skips the Ultrapixel duo camera for a 13 MP shooter at the back.

Samsung’s Note 4 Edge as mentioned earlier, is a clone of the traditional Samsung Galaxy Note 4. Both of them were announced and launched together. Because Note 4 Edge has an experimental design, it has limited production

My Verdict: What if I don’t want a curved display? What if I don’t want duo camera layout? What if I don’t want that extra strip of display?

What if I want my smartphone to be the plain old flat surfaced phone with Snapdragon 810 with crazy expandable memory, or if I want a normal camera phone to take normal shots of scenic beauty up in the mountains and still have the capability to crop the image to my requirement, or if I want a legendary phablet with no extra gimmicky display that interferes with my regular phablet operations?

Samsung can help me with the Note 4, HTC can help me with One E8 after I trade with aluminium unibody design.

But what about the G Flex 2? Feels like your requirements are too condensed that you don’t have any other alternatives?

Well this is my personal opinion but I believe that OEMs should always introduce new out-of-conventional devices as an extra model, with the option to have the conventional phone goodness that has the nearly same of a traditional smartphone.

Do let me know what do you feel about the smart phones mentioned above. Do you think we really have to dump our current generation phones to accommodate the new out-of-convention devices? Let me know in the comment section below.

Connect with me on

G+ +sahilsatishkumar

Twitter: @sahrckr

Facebook: fb.me/sahrckr

This is Sahil Satishkumar logging out.

The most annoying part of owning my Motorola Moto G 2014[Bluntly Solved]

I was gifted myself with a Motorola Moto G 2nd Gen in the month of September and I have even blogged my first impressions (if you missed it you can read it over here). This post however concentrated and targeted to India as it has to do with Motorola India, and not Motorola as of whole.

Snack Fact : To those who don't know, Motorola (and other awesome companies like Apple, Blackberry, HTC, Huawei, Microsoft, Jabra etc.) is operated by Redington India Pvt. Ltd. and  their services are horrible. Most of the service centre (specially the one which ran into) are shameless.
 
When I received my Moto G unit, I was really positive about it. My first impressions post conveys the same message. And believe me, Moto G as a smartphone is really dependable and robust as of whole. I didn't post any review because I was waiting for the Lollipop upgrade that will change how Moto G is used in the current KitKat OS.

So, lets jump straight into the dilemma department of the Motorola Moto G.

THE AFTER SALES SERVICES:

On Dec 3, 2014 it so happened that my phone started sweating while performing simple tasks, like opening system apps like ,Dailer ,Settings. After a while the phone started rebooting multiple times, and finally there came a situation where it got stuck in the initial boot animation. So I tried to troubleshoot myself I tried to boot to the bootloader/fastboot screen to reset the device. But the phone would reboot every time it tried to cross the initial boot animation phase. At the end of the day my phone finally had evolved to a 5 inch Flashlight (without installing any 3rd party application).
It's a common issue in android as of whole. And can be resolved by simply

December 4, 2014 I head to the official Mangalore service centre(They like embarrassing themselves). Initially they said, “Its a Software issue, your device will be ready in an hour. But you'll lose all your data”. I was sure they were going to try to reset the device. I didn't have any high hopes, So I show up after an hour and then they say, “Sir we have to change the PCB(or Motherboard if you prefer), It'll take a week.”

The receipt i received from the collection/service centre
The receipt i received from the collection/service centre
December 10 and December 11, 2014 “Sir part not received”

December 13, 2014 “Sir part not received”

I realised that now it's of no use of calling the service centre so I call the Motorola India's help line number 1800 102 2344. I had *Shower some wisdom, and enlighten me for I walk in the darkness* sort of feeling. So call them up.

December 15,2014 “Sir I've just confirmed from the service centre your device has received the necessary part and your device will be ready soon.”

Next day I call up the service centre,

December 16, 2014 “Sir part not received”

Hence I wage a war of telephonic requests, against Motorola India. *Shower some wisdom, for my faith is slowly fading away* sort of feeling was getting accumulated.

December 16, 2014 “Sir your complaint has been lodged, you will receive a call from a team which will resolve the issue, in 24 hours”

I waited for 24 hours. I don't get any call. Probably Motorola India was too busy counting currency notes.

I decided to approach them again, with *Shower some wisdom, for thy'll loose all patience* sort of feeling.

On December 17,2014 I got some new jokes “Sir there is a shortage of spare parts, we have to order parts from AMERICA. It takes time sir.”

Snack Fact: Motorola sells Moto G XT1064 in the US which is a single sim model. The model sold in India, Moto G XT1068 is a dual sim model.  Also XT1064 received lollipop update on Nov 12, 2014. Where as for the XT1068 : “Sir part not received” Not your turn service centre lady I mean “Sir our team is working on it”

I'm no scientist, but I’m sure a company like Motorola will not stock spare parts of models which are not required in the country. Also I’m sure Motorola doesn’t treat AMERICA as warehouse.

Disclaimer: All quoted statements are actual replies from the mention source. I didn't make it up. That *Showering some wisdom, for I’d dream of being a comedian* sort of issue.

It's understandable that to err is human(unless you are a dabbawaala in Mumbai). But the number of lies, shamelessness, and the level to which Motorola's brand value is degraded by Motorola India(Redington to be precise) needs spotlight. They didn't ever call me back accepting that they could not complete the repair or offer me a replacement phone.

Snack Fact: I still didn't get my phone. December 18, 2014 “Sir part not received”
Update(December 19, 2014): I called up Motorola helpline number, to confirm the status of my phone.
They again said that the required part is received by the service centre.
So I contact the service centre again, “Sir part not received”. But this time I ask them to give me a job sheet number associated to the phone. (Job sheet number: GECMG1400378). *Shower some wisdom, For I am not here to play * sort of feeling started to accumulate. I call up the helpline number and there I come to know that the service centre people didn’t register my device to Motorola. According to that job sheet number, I had submitted my device on December 18, 2014.
Later in the evening I got a call from Motorola saying that they wont be able to contact me till Monday and I had to wait even more.

Update(December 22,2014): I don't receive any call from Motorola helpline number. I myself had to call them in the evening. I got the information that I have to call them the next day. They will explicitly connect me to the so-called RSS(some Resolution) team.

Update(December 23,2014): I call the Motorola helpline number (again). They representative said that the RSS team is unavailable. He said he'll make arrange a call within an hour(Yes. I get to wait, again.)
After an hour: I call the Motorola helpline number(and again). The representative couldn't connect to the RSS team or the service centre. The Irony, He asks me to "Wait" for the part to come. I agree to wait for two hours for them to connect to the service centre.
My argument to this "wait"/"Motorola India" is simple, If you cannot get parts, Why can't you replace the phone? Why do I have to "wait" for them to just move parts around? And of course I realise that, I didn't buy the phone to keep it in the service centre.
After another 2 hours: I get a assurance that I will get my phone on 26 December.

Update(December 25,2014): Recieved a confirmation call from Motorola helpline. Representative said, "You'll get a call soon".

Update (December 26,2014): I was busy with my semester exams so i didn't approach Motorola

Update (December 27,2014): I was given a confirmation that my device is ready. I Finally recieved my Moto G2.
This isn't the first time I had after sales issue in Mangalore. I had similar issues with my HTC One S(same service centre) and Asus Nexus 7 2012(This one was a different saga). Let me know in the comments section if you ever faced similar issues or if you want to know more or if you have *Tell us more Sahil, Bring us more of your wisdom from the future* sort of feeling, feel free to comment.

Wishlist for tech-2014!

(-Sahil Satishkumar, @SahRckr)

 

There are many wishlist option available in the accounts section for all the online electronics store. But then there is a wishlist of my own in my head about the current technology that rings everyday in my head, so here they are listed. (They’re not in any order!)

 

1. Invisible Earphones:      

     

     There cannot be any demonstration for this variant but the name has all the specifications. And you read it right “Invisible” earphones. But this doesn’t involve any surgery. Current generation PMP, Smartphones, gives us the freedom to keep them somewhere not visible to others, and again, we never have to reveal which song is on at the moment.  But the earphones always gives out a hint that we are listening to something. Which maybe irritating at some social gatherings that you have to attend (forcefully?).

 

2. Lower end smartphones: 

     

     This is not something I came up with. I’ve heard this from one of the Pocketnow Daily, videos by Jaime Rivera (Follow them. They’re awesome). Where he suggests, Instead of selling us cheap and stupid smartphones, Why not sell us the previous generation smartphones at a lot cheaper rates!?

My opinion, Sounds illogical? Well it is not! Its lot cheaper for the OEMs to manufacture previous generation phones, with older components, than the newer one’s with newer components.

 

3. iPhones: 

 

     Okay! Apple fanboys. I agree Apple has one of the best designed phones in the market. Also the camera optics are simply fantastic, And i personally like the stock keyboard on those tiny device. But they don’t come cheap, and they don’t come flavoured with Android.

Taking all the possible combinations with Apple phones my bag of wishlist has:

  •     high resolution 1080p 5 inch Apple iPhone, 
  •     4.3 inch 720p Apple iPhone running on Android 4.4, And 
  •      4 inch 32GB Apple iPhone 4/4S sold for 100-200 USD (in India).

 

4. More Qwerty phones: 

 

     If you’ve read my article Eclipse of Qwerty, you’ll probably know how obsessed I’m with the qwerty form factor. Many of us are. But then the touchscreen smartphones have made a big dent on the Qwerty marketshare. The only cuurent generation Qwerty smartphones which are available(in India) are from the BlackBerry. And not everyone likes BB OS. So in my wishlist bag there are Qwerty phones, Android Qwerty phones, Apple Qwerty phones, Windows Qwerty phones, Qwerty Tablets, bluetooth Qwerty keyboard, and then the bag bursts.

 

5. Unbreakable displays: 

          

     Your 700-800 USD Smartphone/Tab says “Corning Gorilla Glass 3”, it doesn’t mean that your device will survive through anything challenged to it. Gorilla Glass does a decent job of protecting your device from scratches and some level of shock resistance, But OnePlus One says “NEVER SETTLE”. Wish displays on our handheld devices were actually shatter resistant, After all they are the second most expensive components if you were to sort them in cost/density. 

P.S.:I don’t intend to evolve the current generation phones to weapons.

 

6. The need of a new universal port for the handheld devices: 

 

     Assuming that the 3.5 mm jack is reserved for audio output, the micro usb port reserved for charging and data sync. Where do I connect my other peripherals? Probably the one’s that do not eat up the battery. Let that port interact with external keyboards, card readers, extra charging port, other phones running on same OS?

Well this idea is more of an experimental than it being practical. But then it’s compelling factor.

 

7. Let android devices talk to each other: 

 

     Everything mentioned above was more of the hardware side, this one tends more on the software side. To those of you who don’t know. I’ve a Nexus 7, 2012 tab and a Lenovo A516 phone signed in from the same Google account. When i’m outdoors, my nexus is deprived of the Internet connection, same doesn’t apply for my phone. Also even for minor file transfers I’ve to rely on 3rd party applications. Which is actually not so comfortable provided the face that both of the devices are belonging to the same account. Not every city in any country of this world has access to open WiFi network. So there should be a level of offline hand shake alliance between Android devices.

 

Well these are few of the things on wishlist I wanted to share with you guys! Let me know if something that you know has some weight to it!

 

Sahil Satishkumar for SahRckrTech Weekly

 

Follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram

 

Editor’s note: Since all of our writer’s are currently unavailable, the number of posts/week is going to reduce for a month. Blame the examination season.

Eclipse of the QWERTY

 

(-Sahil Satishkumar, @sahrckr)

 

QWERTY, the most familiar keyboard layout in the English language. As most of us are familiar that this layout was invented just to prevent a 130 year old problem when typists were used to destroying the key-press of the nostalgic Typewriter. If I were to ask , Something like, “How many of you have typed in a DVORAK keyboard?”. Well I wouldn’t expect nor blame anyone for not using efficent keyboard, As most of the computer keyboard manufacturer’s worldwide don’t manufacture this layout.  Any rerrangement of a regular qwerty to DVORAK isn’t that easy ( Keys J/F don’t normally like to exchange their spots with other keys. )

Well that was a small “Hi-Hello” episode to the computer keyboard. Now let’s move on to the evolution of this layout. Being the most popular layout, it was obvious for it to enter new segments. Gaming Consoles, PDA’s, Portable Media Players, DVD player interface, and obviously our favourite smartphones. Most of you people must have seen or owned one, BlackBerry? ( I’ve destroyed one, BB 9300 ). With qwerty keypad on smartphones I mean the physical keyboard. My history with qwerty phones are 4 such phones. Nokia C3-00, Samsung Ch@t 335 (It’s still breathing around, in some corner), Samsung Galaxy Y Pro Duos, and lastly BlackBerry 9300. I didn’t have complaints with any regarding the keyboards whatsoever. I will still not mind using any one of them as my daily-driver any day, More over after using so many qwerty phones. My current phone and tab (Lenovo A516, Google Nexus 7) have this layout primarily, but then even after using some of the best keyboards available. The tactile feedback, the comfortablity, or thumb exercise , or any of those feelings cannot be replaced by a soft on-screen keyboard.

I really wish there was an Android Smartphone running on KitKat, with a snapdragon 801 chipset, a topping of Adreno 330 GPU, 2k camera, High Res (*unbreakable) Display and camera, and atleast a Slider qwerty/candybar qwerty designed phone. All the manufacturers like HTC, LG, Samsung, Google (Nexus and Play Edition Line up) are missing out a huge marketshare. Currently the only Android phone that has a qwerty is LG Optimus pro C660, other options being Nokia Asha 210,205 and other ones running on the old outdated OS. There are lot of migrators from the BB users that have been flushed to the Android/Apple/Windows market. Wish there was an easy qwerty alternative in each market such that they don’t have a huge learning curve ahead to understand the OS + Get used to the not so familiar On-Screen keyboard.

Kudos to Steve Jobs who changed the way we see smartphones these days.

Do comment about what do you feel about the end of an era , end of the qwerty layout. You can contact me through Facebook , Twitter.

 

Sahil Satishkumar for SahRckrTech Weekly.

 

 

 Personal Recommendations :

-Google Keyboard : Download (aptoide link, Writer/Blog not responsible for any harm that may be caused to your device by this download)

(Google Keyboard has DVORAK (and more) layout(s) too.

Keyboard & Input methods >Google Keyboard > Advanced Settings > Custom input styles > Add Style ,Choose language and layout)

-Hacker’s Keyboard : Download