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Better support system for digital goods is the need of the hour

columns Updated: Nov 09, 2014 23:19 IST
N Madhavan

I have had a difficult six months in my adventures with electronic items. My five-year old LCD TV gave up and I spent about Rs 700 to be told after two visits that its repair would cost Rs 24,000. And I bought a slightly larger brand-new LED television under an exchange offer for a little less than that, thanks to the Diwali season rush that came up with some great offers.

Now, that’s how the digital gizmo industry functions — new, better ones are cheaper than the old! Under my new purchase policy, I have got a much better warranty, because replacements and guarantees work better than repairs.

But wait, my Android phone has gone for the third time to the repair centre — and it is still under its one-year warranty period. I won’t mention the brands yet, because this is not a consumer crib about a certain brand but about the culture of the industry.

To cut the long story short, my handphone died, and when the screen was activated, it would not work and they discovered it only at the delivery time. The boys (that’s the right word) were trying to be helpful, but clearly, industry growth is too fast to cope with these problems easily.

It is time we found an industry-level solution to this problem. Like the automobile industry, which has come up with brand-neutral service chains such as Carnation, there is an opportunity for the electronics industry to get organised to meet warranty, service and support needs.