NEW DELHI: The perennial struggle to get replacements or spare part for faulty consumer items like refrigerators, washing machine, laptops or mobile phones may soon be a thing of the past.
In a recent online survey, majority of people complained about poor after sales services. In order to address this major consumer grievance, the government is planning to set standards for after-sales services. A senior official of the Ministry of Consumer Affairs said there have been scores of complaints about poor service by the companies. “A lot of complaints are related with delay in replacement of defective electronic items and delayed services. These complaints are mostly related with white goods,” said the official.
Noting that the country does not have any regulations for after-sales services so far, Prof Bejon Misra, consumer policy expert, said, “Even when they are governed by a guarantee or warranty clause, they hardly provide services properly. There is no clarity. They give warranty to change the products having defects, but at times, they take benefits of loopholes and consumers have to suffer at the end.”
In a recent poll conducted by LocalCircles where consumers were asked to rank industries with the poorest after-sales services in the country, 38% said white goods companies, 43% said mobile handset and computer manufacturing companies.
A large number of consumers complained that companies take a long time to even acknowledge after sale complaints and then take anywhere from 1-7 days to send a technician.
If the warranty period has expired, it gets even more difficult. In many cases the technicians are trained to encourage consumers to upgrade to the new version of the product instead of fixing a 4 year old television or refrigerator.