Nokia’s “Care” Centres
Please note that I don’t work for Nokia, this is not an official Nokia site, and although I’m flattered by all the attention this post gets, posting your problem isn’t going to help you. I’ve invited Nokia several times to offer some text that I can include here to direct users to a real Nokia site, but without success, so I’m doubtful they’re going to be reading anything here. Instead, I suggest those of you in India visit this link for more information about where to get help. Alternatively you can send them an email here.
Is it a sign of Nokia’s demise, or just a glimpse of an opportunity missed?
I had to take my 7650 in for mending yesterday: The keypad doesn’t respond well when I press ‘6’, which I do a lot. So rather than swear every time I key in an SMS with the letters M, N and O in, I thought I’d get it fixed. They have quite a few official Nokia Help Centres (I think they’re called Care Centres) around my town so I tried one.
It was not a particularly helpful help centre — there was only one customer in there, and the spare customer helper person disappeared out for her lunch as soon as I came in — but that wasn’t what bothered me. What bothered me was that the conversation with every customer seems to go like this:
— My phone doesn’t work.
— OK, leave it with us and we’ll check it.
— Great, a thousand thank yous (this is a polite country).
— Have you backed up your data?
— We’ll have to erase your data when we check the phone.
— Er, erase? You mean all my phone numbers, treasured text messages, settings, photos of my grandchild?
— Yes. And those mildly pornographic pictures of your wife you keep in a sub-folder.
— (Gulp.) Don’t you have any way to back up the memory first? This is a phone, not a computer. I’ve never backed it up in my life. How do you back it up?
— No, we don’t do that kind of thing.
— You don’t do that kind of thing? What do you do then? Ruin people’s lives? Push otherwise normal people into madness? You expect to write down all the numbers and key them in again? You expect my grandchild to be happy when I explain to her the photo got deleted by my friendly Nokia Care Centre? (exit to sounds of flying phones, curses, scratched nails on blackboards etc etc)
Ok, that’s not necessarily a real conversation, but I find it too weird that Nokia can’t back up the memory on its own cellphones. Sure, they’ll probably argue liability and all that, but I’ve heard of some very angry customers who didn’t realise that handing over their cellphone to a Nokia Care Center would erase all their data. It must be easy to take a snapshot of the memory and then reload it. I’m not surprised customers don’t back up their cellphone memory. Have you ever tried to use Nokia’s PC backup software? It’s about as easy and helpful to use as a home-labotomy kit.
I can’t help concluding from this that Nokia either doesn’t get it, or is losing it. Maybe their help centres elsewhere are more helpful. But if the company wants to retain market share, and to encourage people to store more on and do more with their phones, they’ve got to help them keep that stuff there.