This has reference to the LG Nexus 4 phones sold in India and the poor customer service in attending to customer's queries.
I bought LG Nexus 4 back in the month of August 2013.
Right at the stroke of September 2014 (13th month; so the warranty had expired) the phone picked up a problem; the soft keys stopped working.
Slowly, the problem got worse- several ghost touches appeared, increasing the area of non-responsiveness.
As it is, half of the touch screen on my device is not working. As was mentioned earlier, I'm out of warranty and ironically the problems started appearing a week after my warranty expired.
The worst part is that this issue is apparently like a slow growing carcinoma that makes the phone unusable. Using Nexus 4 as a paper weight now.
Initial Contact with LG Customer Service in Chennai
I contacted the service centre within first week of September 2014 and communicated this issue.
The personnel back at the service centre brushed aside this issue stating that it was a software issue. They asked me to pay 5100/- to get myself a new spare part (digitiser+touchscreen) admitting that it is a common problem with this model in particular.
Back then, the spare part was not on hand. It was in demand, understandably. The widespread problem was getting out of LG's control, and they simply could not meet the demand.
Only after 30 days was I called by the service centre that the part was available.
Universal Problem of Nexus 4
In the mean time, I researched several product forums and found that I was not alone. Tens of thousands of Nexus 4 users were facing this issue, and the number grew by the day.
What I also found out was that this issue springs up all of a sudden within 7 to 25 days of warranty expiring.
It is wholly believed that it is not a software issue. Many fellow developers in the community who tested it out have corroborated the same.
There is something basically wrong with the hardware of this phone. It is believed that this is a hardware malfunction of the digitizer because re-imaging all device partitions did not solve anything.
Knowing that warranty was over, several developers flasshed their stock ROM and tried fastboot, cyanogen mod but the problem persisted.
There are nearly 800 petitions filed in the below website.
Contact with Customer Service Manager
Thinking that it is not fair for the thousands of people who bought this phone, I reached out to the area service manager and gave him my account of the story.
I also communicated that it was a widespread issue and certainly not a one-off issue. He assured that he would look into it.
He came back with a remedy. He asked me to change the spare part by paying 5100/-. But since the spare part warranty was only for 3 months, I told him that LG should do something better.
Personally, I know many Nexus 4 users whose phones developed the same issue even after going for the screen/digitizer replacement. Most of them could not make use of the 3 month warranty that came with the spare part, since the issue mostly came up after the warranty was over.
I raised this as a concern, and the area service manager promised me that he would get the replacement done free of cost should the problem recur after expiry of the spare part's warranty.
I urged the area service manager that a special consideration be given. He came back to me stating that he had got a special 25% discount only applicable to me, since I was going after him for 3 months.
I denied and told him that it was just and fair that I demand a Free of Cost (FOC) replacement and asked him to provide me the point of contact to whom this issue can be escalated to.
He dodged, and started stonewalling me thereafter. I followed up and made as many as 100 to 150 calls to that manager and LG toll free number.
I finally got hold of him through another LG officer, and he said he cannot do any better than that. I prepared a few technical reports to substantiate my argument and wanted him to send them over to the team that decided to give me 25% off.
He said he would forward it to LG Korea's technical team. Then he came back to me stating that LG considered it as a hardware issue but cannot give me more than 25%.
Then again he started avoiding me.
Mental Agony and Deficiency of Service
It was frustrating for me to chase him. He would sms me that he would call me by some time but he would not. Absolutely no replies to calls or mails or messages.
The last time I talked to him, I expressed my desire to pursue legal ways. He challenged me to do it. Moreover, he wished me luck and was sarcastic in saying that I can't file a case when there was no RNA number/ complaint number to back up my allegations.
I found it offensive, and traumatic after having cooperated with him for nearly 3 months.
There are potentially thousands of Nexus 4 users who are disgruntled by this experience. Is it just and fair for LG to force the cost of repairing phones with faulty hardware on a customer.
The problem is likely to relapse. Yes, even if I go for a spare part replacement there is no guarantee that this issue will never come back. In the worst case, if it does, I will have to pay a sum of 5500/- again to get it changed. So, that is 11000 for the screen part replacement itself. How does LG expect its customers to pay money for replacement, knowing that this issue might relapse?
It is ridiculous for a product to suddenly stop working for no apparent reason after only a little more than a year. I find that this is LG's way of attempting to force people to buy a new phone, and they're unmindful of doing more harm to their reputation in the process. Do I have the rights to ask for a technical proof/justification as to why this problem occurred in my device?
Technically, the phone is out of warranty. But, that does not give LG a reason to play with dissatisfied customers. Due to the above incident and chain of events it is proven gross mistakes, negligence, poor customer service and lack of sincerity by the area service manager, I suffered harassment, mental agony, disrespect, insult, anxiety. Am I right in thinking that damages should be paid for the negligence caused to me?
My Request for Guidance
Thanks for reading through.
I am writing to know the odds of filing a case against LG mobiles in consumer forum.
I want to appeal at the consumer forum, and ask them to intervene.
Kindly advise me how to proceed in this matter.