GRIPES: QUALITY SERVICE trumps quality products.

Everyone wants the best bang for their buck but most will settle for just delivering what is promised. In this day and age, that is not always the rule.

Huawei, a Chinese electronics company, is looking to prove it ranks among the best in the electronics world.

Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology company. Among the many electronic products, they produce cell phones, tablet computers and smartwatches.

Smartwatches are a fairly new electronic technology that puts a very computer on your wrist. Though the elaborateness and sophistication of this wrist computer are in direct relation to price, Huawei produces one which competes very well with the best ones out there.

My wrist has been home to a Huawei watch v.1 for about a year now. I have become incredibly reliant on this watch but only in relation to its use as a timepiece. Timepiece? Yes, if it involves the passing of time, this watch is my best partner. When I want to time something, the Huawei. When I want to be alerted after a certain amount of time, the Huawei. When I want to be woken at a certain time in the morning, the Huawei. When I want to nap for 20 mins, 30 mins, an hour, the Huawei. The Huawei is like having a person with a stopwatch at your side.

The watch has become a very useful partner in my life, alerting me about the time or the passing of a certain amount of time. I use the watch in the kitchen. I use the watch to jog my memory about doing something. I use the watch to alert me to take medication. I even use it to remind me to drink water daily, throughout the day.

Well, the watch broke. In short, repair involved two rather inconvenient drives to their service centre in the northeastern edge of Toronto. [ Toronto may be mocked as being pompous or arrogant about its importance in Canada…but it is a business centre and that benefits consumers. ] The two repair trips restored the watch to proper working order but not for more than a few weeks.

Connecting with online support, chat support became an exercise in frustration and a real challenge. Ultimately, I found the right ear and my cries for a convenient resolution to my issue hit a receptive ear. The problem was bumped up to a more authoritative level and I was told to bring the watch back to the repair centre once more. I think the tech support’s ear is still ringing from my loud lamentation.

I was upset as this would now make it a third trip to Markham, a suburb of Toronto, where the repair centre is located. However, I really complained to Huawei, pointing out that I believed the company was trying to establish itself as a real player in the world of electronics, that the company likely wanted to service its patrons positively and properly and that I would even pay a fair price for a replacement watch.

So Markham revisited again, and I wait. One week, a week and a half…not a word. A phone call confirms that the watch is still on the service department agenda for repair and that I was welcome to phone again if I wanted updates. I am surprised at the length of time it is taking to repair the watch. This is not a Swiss timepiece with metal gears and screws. It’s a computer with software programming running it. The first repair was a complete reinstallation of the software. Easy peasy…no real sweat for anyone as it is computers doing the work.

Two or three days later, the message on the phone informs me my watch is ready for pick up.

I stew the whole time on the trip to the service centre. When I arrive, the reception recognizes me from the previous visits. Without even presenting my repair documentation, she brings out the watch inside a plastic baggy, and says, I think you will happy. Upon examination of the watch, I see that the band which had previously shown some paint wear is now shining and fully covered as if the watch has been repainted. A thought pops into my head as I turn the watch face up, “Could this be a new watch?”

Lo and behold, Huawei listens to clients.  I had suggested a watch replacement and Huawei listened. It was a new watch…more importantly, there was no charge for the replacement.

Happy camper days are back! My dinging, ringing timepiece is back on my wrist. More importantly, consumers like you should know that big corporations are not necessarily insensitive, deaf ogres which they sometimes seem to be. Huawei is a Chinese corporation and that may be the definitive factor in making it act as it did in this case. The Chinese want to penetrate the western economies in a serious way and with this kind of service, they are going to be very successful in short order.


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