When the trackball on my Blackberry Pearl stopped working, I called up Airtel to book it for service. My experience was as under:
- for the device to be booked for repairs it needs to be dropped off at only the specified Airtel office.
- the cost of repair is Rs.5,600/- irrespective of the nature of the complaint.
- this amount has to be paid either by cheque or demand draft. Cash and credit cards not accepted.
- you get a standby device only if you insist and are persistent about it. If you do not know of this facility - Airtel does not educate you about this facility. The standard time quoted for the repair is two weeks. You can't get them to get it done earlier - no matter what.
- You cannot drop of the device directly to the service center. You have got to give it to the Airtel office who then have to send the device to the service center via the internal courier.
- It is difficult to located the people who are responsible for Blackberry service at the Airtel office. The front office staff are only interested in collecting payment against invoices. Giving information about Blackberry repairs and putting you in touch with the Blackberry team is not what they give any priority. (apparently Wipro provides this service in Bangalore).
- They are not very savvy about transferring data from the device in distress to the standby device. Please carry your laptop with you for the data transfer - at the time of giving the device for repair. Insist on getting the data transferred (if you so desire) else you will be stuck without your address book.
- Be nice to them, if you want your work done.They may or may not be nice to you.
Update on 9 November, 2008
I got back my Blackberry back, after repairs, on the 5th November as promised. The device looks like new. I don't know if this is a new device or the old one with the face-plate changed. Whatever it is, it works well now - and looks brand new. It was worth the wait and the Rs.5,600 charge.