This post is from Agnaye Ochani. I had a sense of Déjà vu when reviewing the content, and I must say that Motorola service was pathetic/abysmal even before their ‘closing down’ decision. The service center in Chennai was from Redington India, and looked like a rat-infested godown, strewn with wires and old CRT computer monitors. I had to think twice before handing over my phone for service when the camera failed. The problems were multiplying, and that’s the reason I started disliking Android and Motorola (separately)!

Now, over to Agnaye’s story:

They warned me from buying a Motorola again — fair enough. “Old” Motorolas were little time bombs waiting to go off. Everyone I knew who ever owned a Motorola phone had a bad experience with their handset. But that’s just it, these people owned “older” Motorolas; much before the advent of the Apple iPhone or Google Android. So what my well-wishers did not know is that the company had turned around, and the newer steed was more reliable. Unfortunately, few of us believed this and the company eventually had to split, thanks to lukewarm interest in the renewed brand in our part of the world. Yes, if you didn’t already know, the big M has stopped retail operations in India, but they continue to offer support for all the products they have sold in our market.

So, knowing that I could still get a Motorola handset serviced, I tried my luck for the second time and hocked my first Motorola, which was also my first Android and my first touchscreen phone, the Quench XT5 XT502 for the XT910 Razr (XT910 Droid Razr in some markets).

Bad move.

Barely two months into use and the phone started losing signal and rebooting constantly. Crap. This had never, ever happened to me with any other microelectronic device I have owned including laptops, portable music players, other phones or even my cheap HCL Me X1 tablet. Time to take it to the service centre.

Now here is a sequence of events that will give you a glimpse of what to expect from Motorola’s service post leaving Asia. I don’t know if the Motorola service in India has always been this way (maybe it has), but if you’ve never given your Motorola phone to an authorized service center before (god forbid something should go wrong with it), reading this article will give you an idea of what to expect.

This article will also give you an idea of what to expect at Sai Srinivasa Technologies, one of two official Motorola service centers in Bengaluru, Karnataka.

OK. The sequence.

  1. Motorola Droid Razr begins rebooting constantly, loses signal before reboot every time. Reset phone to see if the problem goes away. Problem still persisted.
  2. Called Motorola’s toll-free number. Executive asked if phone was “factory resetted,” and if that didn’t work, to take it to authorised service centre.
  3. Visited Sai Srinivasa Technologies (SST) in Rajajinagar in Bangalore, Karnataka. Learned that SST serviced at least a dozen other brands than Motorola.
  4. Fairly organized service centre. There is a token system which is exactly like the ones in some State Bank of India branches. Pick your token, and when your number’s up, you get to go to the counter and state your case.
  5. Because phone was in warranty, was told service would be done for free. Job sheet with number was made for phone and its related issue. Was told I would get SMS from SST when phone would eventually be repaired.
  6. On enquiry of procedure, was told they would first reinstall the software, and if that didn’t work, then they would give to “headquarters” (Motorola facility is Sriperumbudur near Chennai, Tamil Nadu).
  7. Asked why they would not do it in Bangalore itself. Was told that all Motorola handsets under warranty which developed hardware issues are not repaired by service centre. Instead, phone will be sent to factory/assembling plant. Was told this was standard procedure.
  8. Called up next working day. Was told reinstalling software did not cure constant rebooting or signal loss. Was told that phone was already “couriered” to “headquarters,” and was reassured again I would get a sms from SST when my phone would be ready.
  9. One week passed. No word from SST. Called up SST to enquire status. Was asked to state job sheet number. Quoted right job sheet number but error was made in SST’s record. According to SST, job sheet number pertained to a hTC phone.
  10. On further investigation, SST admitted they had made an error with their records and told me that my Razr was still not ready. Lost my cool.
  11. In the same call, enquired if they kept in touch with Motorola regarding status of phones. SST admitted they did not. Was told they would only know if a phone got fixed if Motorola sent it to them. Essentially, between sending a phone to Motorola and getting it back, they have no idea of what is going on. Lost cool for second time.
  12. Two weeks since giving my phone. Still no word. Called SST again. On quoting job sheet, they once again gave details of the broken hTC phone. On insisting they had made the same mistake before, they apologized and told my phone was not ready. Was worried that they did not make any record of it at all because they kept quoting some hTC handset given for service by another person.
  13. Visited the service centre shortly. Showed them the job sheet paper and asked them to fix their internal records. They showed me two entries for the same job sheet in “status book.” One for my Razr and one for the hTC they kept mistakenly informing about. Was reassured once again that when phone would be ready, would get it back.
  14. During same visit, asked if there was any way to call up Motorola facility and personally enquire the status of my phone. Was given the line item number of my phone, which was Motorola’s internal ticket number for my case. Was told to call 800 number and quote the line item number to get status info.
  15. Called Motorola’s 800 number. Quoted line item number to enquire status of phone in facility. Was assigned another ticket and was asked to call back after a week to enquire.
  16. Called after almost two weeks and quoted ticket number. After long pause was told to call up after another ten days. Was not given any reason other than they did not have the information at the time.
  17. Few days later, finally got SMS from SST. Went to service centre to pick phone up.
  18. Got the phone after five weeks. Handset working fine. Was told the motherboard was replaced and hence IMEI was changed. No visible marks on the phone save for funny, squiggly lines around speaker grill which were not really cracks (strange). Slightly upset but amazed that a sealed phone like the Razr could be opened up for repair with almost no visible signs.
  19. Did not bother to call Motorola’s toll-free number to enquire the status of the ticket, as phone finally arrived.

So there you have it. That’s what may happen to your Motorola phone when it’s under warranty and you give it for service. Your phone might be different and also your city or town, so your experience may differ. Please do share it in the comments below.

No, that’s not all. Here are some additional points to keep in mind if you’re going to get your broken Motorola repaired (you’ll thank me for it later).

  1. Motorola’s customer service seems to be manned by one person only. Every time I call up, this particular gentleman picks up. He seems least interested in helping you out and it shows in his voice. Do not try to make small talk with him, he will get irritated and will not hide it. At almost all times, the volume of his voice is very low and sounds distant. Even when I call from different mobile and landline networks.
  2. If in Bangalore and servicing from Sai Srinivasa Technologies, do not go by their Google Maps location. That location is wrong. They are opposite Diacon hospital, Google that instead.
  3. Sai Srinivasa Technologies executives can communicate to you primarily in two languages. Kannada and English.
  4. When calling SST, the phone will most likely be picked up by a particular middle-aged lady. If you know Kannada, talk to her in Kannada. You may talk in English and she will respond with the little English she knows, but later, if you begin to ask complex queries, she will just keep silent.
  5. You may run into this lady at the counter when you physically visit the premises. Save for the issues with other languages, she is extremely helpful. Other executives speak English and are also very helpful and responsive. The problem here is the lack of follow up with Motorola when SST gives your broken phone to “headquarters” for repairs.
  6. Remember, if your phone has hardware issues and is under warranty, the service centre will mostly not attend to it but send it to the Motorola facility.
  7. When going to service center, take the phone’s box along with you. This is necessary as the executives require the phone’s serial number, IMEI number or other information when drawing up your job sheet.
  8. Be patient. It may be a while before you get your phone fixed.