The Manufacturer Presence and Support Factor

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Various factors are available for consideration in making the decision to purchase or not to purchase a particular phone. Usually, cost is a major factor here.

One factor that does not seem strong in these parts is manufacturer presence and support. By manufacturer presence and support, I mean that the mobile manufacturer has an official presence (directly or through a third party) through which they provide support.

Picture this: you buy your spanking new smartphone at over N60, 000, and excitedly return home with your new toy, probably your wife’s only competitor (ladies, marry a geek, and you never have to worry about “the other woman”).

Two weeks (or 4 months) later, some keys on the phone stop working. Or its the touchscreen. Or some other thing. Suddenly, you realize that you are helpless, because the manufacturer of your device has no presence and provides no support here in the country. In effect, your one-year manufacturer’s warranty is not worth the paper on which it is printed.

On the contrary, consider the following real-life scenarios:

Scene One
My mother purchased a phone by a popular manufacturer late last year. Last month, the bottom row of keys stopped working. No problem. Why? The phone has a year’s manufacturer warranty and there’s a support centre available.

We sent the phone to the support centre, and its back within three (3) weeks fully functional, and at absolutely no cost besides what we spent tgetting to and from the support centre.

Scene Two
October last year, I took possession of a brand new Nokia E90 communicator. Being the geek ever on the cutting edge, I immediately proceeded to carry out a firmware update on it, so I could enjoy the latest, greatest features the device had to offer.

Well, in a few minutes, I had bricked the phone. To “brick” a phone is to kill it. Something went wrong during the update and the E90 simply refused to boot from that point. Same day I purchased it!

Off to Nokia it went and came back in two (2) weeks with all systems functioning. Absolutely free. Without the manufacturer presence in the previous two scenarios, some significant amount of money would have been spent getting those devices back in shape.

Several mobile manufacturers have setup presence in Nigeria already and offer support for their products. Many others are yet to.

Is manufacturer support important to you? Do you put this into consideration in making new phone purchases?

Recommeded Reading: Buying a phone with Warranty

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