I bought an Akira DVD player back in September 2006. If I did not remember wrongly, it only cost me S$45, which was a real steal. Other than being a cheapo, the other reason I chose Akira over more established brands was because I like to support local products. It is also the same reason why I use Creative mp3 players and headphones even though iPods are way cooler.
Much to my disappointment, the player broke down just three months later in December. As it was a cheap buy, I decided not to kick up a fuss and bought a new DVD player of another brand instead to replace it.
Sometime in June last year, I decided to give Akira a second chance. Maybe the particular faulty set I had purchased was really, just one in a million and I had been too quick to condemn the brand. Since the player I bought still had a valid one year warranty, I sent it for repair at the Akira head office in Jurong East.
I didn’t really need the player anymore since I had already bought a replacement set. Also, it really was not worth the while travelling all the way to Jurong East (I live in Potong Pasir) just to exchange a $45 DVD player. Time and car petrol are both opportunity costs involved. Still, I went ahead as I was curious about Akira’s aftercare service standards.
The service staff did not disappoint and were quite friendly, promising me they will revert back in two weeks time latest. However, two weeks past… and there was not a single phone call. I took the initiative and called back instead, thinking they might be too busy. Again, the staff was polite, but mentioned they needed more time to repair the set. I made a few more calls in the subsequent weeks, but eventually forgot about it when I was caught up with my work.
Finally, in JANUARY 2008, a good 15 months from since I bought the cursed DVD player and HALF A YEAR since I sent it for repair, I called them up again. It was only then they acknowledged it was ready for collection.
I questioned the service staff why it took so long for them to repair the player and why no effort were made to contact me again since my last phone call in around July last year. He look at me sheepishly and did not know how to reply except mumbled something like “it takes time to repair” (duh!) and then promptly tried to change the topic by asking me if I wanted to test the repaired player.
As I am a mild-mannered person, I collected the player and left. I did not want to kick up a fuss because I believe it will be to no avail. I find no point in scolding the service staff who looks like a secondary school boy earning extra pocket money as it was not directly his fault and he will not be able to do anything about it anyway.
Instead, I chose to do what I think is the best way to deal with such bad experiences – made a mental note to myself not to buy Akira products again from now on and also, blog about it so my friends are warned too.