Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Dancing with SBE Repair Centre and Imate

If you fancy testing how patient you are - yourself, you better have the same experience like I did for this past two months!

Having an Imate Jam is a good thing if you fancy a pocket pc phone and when it's up and running. But, when it's time you need to send it for repair, that's when the moment of hell started.

About two months ago now, I had sent my own imate jam for repair to SBE Repair Centre (the only so-called official repair centre in the UK). After calling them beforehand (never knowing that that will be the last ever call that they will ever answer), I got back a quote of maximum around £120-130 to repair it (which is already bad enough). To my surprise, three weeks later, I received a letter from them quoting £350+ to repair it! The same price as buying a new unit!

The reason: housing bezel (scratched). Part to be repaired: *blank*.

Fuming furious, I tried to contact them by email, fax and phone call, requesting them to explain to me the reason for the quote, to no avail. Having reached a dead end, I had then raised the matter further to Expansys (where I bought it from), Imate (the maker) and Kent Trading Standards. Expansys and Kent Trading Standards replied back but heard nothing at all from Imate, the only party that not saying anything for the whole duration of the problem! One of Expansys manager has dealt with the matter directly for me and contacting SBE herself and to my surprise, it seems that it work perfectly fine! Unless they have another different number or something! So, apparently a motherboard need to be replaced and they assumed it is not under warranty. Only when I verified more, Imate agreed that the changes of the motherboard is considered under warranty. Good news. All happy! Well, not quite so..

SBE also contacted me back saying that if I would like to carry on further with the repair of the cosmetic parts, I will still need to pay £30.00 for it. However, SBE stated that it's not a fix price yet as they need to look into it more carefully to see whether there is the only thing that needed to be repair. Having said that, after two emails with no reply (starting from ground zero again) I need to AGAIN raised the problem to Expansys two weeks after that. Surprise surprise! This time SBE get back to me (deja vu moment). This time SBE stated that it's been repaired and ready to be sent back to me with special delivery. Three working days later, after me in need to miss two working days wasting my time waiting for the unit that never arrived, this time I was really in a "duck- goes-into- barbeque pot- feeling". I had then need to email SBE and Expansys again! Being totally understanding, the very same Expansys manager had greeted her teeth again and brace herself calling SBE again. This time, apparently the SBE manager that dealing with me is on holiday! how "sweet"! She proceed further by talking to the MD but to my surprise I had discovered how lack of management they have in SBE. They now said that the item is still on waiting for spare parts! Totally not what we obviously being informed for six days ago!

Almost two months on now since the first time I sent the item to them for repair (one month three weeks, to be exact), this afternoon, I had received a GOOD news from Expansys saying that after talking to the MD of SBE, apparently now the item is ready to be shipped to me by today. I won't bloody hold my breath, for sure. And it better be truly in excellent condition when I received it back.

After deep thought, maybe I should change my area of research to "The art of chasing people quickly!"

So, why is it "Dancing with SBE Repair Centre and Imate"? well, the whole experience does feels like dancing: one step forward but two or three steps backwards!


c0y0t3 said...

An update: 02/11/05

Apparently, I was sitting tight and keep checking the consignment number Expansys had received from SBE yesterday and up till today, 24hour later, Royal Mail status still saying that "it's not viewable online" which means that apparently it looks like the unit hasn't been received by Royal Mail! How "beautiful!"

This may also means that SBE has a bunch of bloody special delivery form/stickers and just pick one up and giving us the number without actually physically giving the item to be sent through Royal Mail.

So, 24hour later, still no imate jam back to me, still just empty promises and apparently now it seems more towards "pack of lies" from them!

I better prepare to put the case forward for legal action and complain to Trading Standards and Consumer Direct.

c0y0t3 said...

My God! Surprise surprise! The unit arrived today!
Apparently, they give me a wrong consignment number, that's why it's not traceable"

All is up and running, that's the most important thing! me and my imate is doing good at the moment! Am just "feeding" him with lots of "food" (aka charging) as two months being away from me for the "operation", I bet he is skinned to death now and need some tlc!

still, am still annoyed with SBE and Imate! 2 months to repair it, that's outrageous!

If it's not because of the kindness and professionalism of one of the Expansys manager, I am sure I won't be able to see my imate jam again for another year!