For a Christmas promo price of PhP 4,990 (original price at PhP 6,490), I was able to purchase a Cherry Mobile phone (Trident Q300 a cellular phone that has a triple sim feature) last November 19, 2010 from Berlein Electronics in SM Cubao. On day 1 of purchase, I immediately noticed that the sim3 as well as the phone memory phonebook does not display the complete list of my contacts. I went back to the store where I got the phone and they offered to replace the unit but as soon as we tested it, the same problem occurred. I asked for a refund but they refused and all they can offer is a change of unit or a change to another phone model. I was so disappointed that time knowing that the phone I bought was brand new and yet it is already showing a lot of defects not to mention that the store will allow you to test the phone only upon purchase. (If only I gave in to my feeling that time that such tactic would only lead to a sale of a defective phone, then I should have not been experiencing these hassles.) I was then advised to bring the phone to their service center (INBUCKS ENTERPRISES, the official Cherry Mobile service center) located at Citimall in Philcoa. The service center advised me to leave my newly-purchased phone for repair with 3-4 days lead time. That was the time when a lot of disastrous things started to happen.
First, I was shocked to see a lot of consumers returning their phones for repair, majority of which are newly bought. That gave me the idea that Cherry Mobile phones may have had a lot of factory defects to start with. Second, after waiting for 3 days and with no single update from INBUCKS, I decided to call the numbers printed on their claim stub (4360050, 3898062, 0922-8697842) but the numbers were either directed to a voice mail, out of coverage or eternally busy. I went to the service center again only to find out that my phone hasn't reached the hands of the technician yet and if it wasn't because of my visit that day, my phone could've have gone a longer time to be checked. After patiently waiting for 2 hours, the customer service person finally approached me and told me that my phone's software needs to be upgraded but they cannot give an assurance that the problem would be addressed. I was then advised to go back to the store where I purchased the phone and have it replaced with a new unit that will be coming from a different batch and all they gave me was a copy of the technical report from the repair. I went back to Berlein in SM Cubao to have my phone replaced but there was no single defect-free phone that they could give. I asked for a refund but they declined again. They only assured me that they will give me a call once a new batch of Q300's would arrive and that would be the time that they can have my phone replaced. Meanwhile, Berlein told me that I can temporarily keep the phone and use it until such time that it is replaced.
The more that I used the phone while waiting for a new one to come, the more problems came out other than the phonebook problem which I originally complained about. The WIFI feature would always display a "insufficient memory" notification everytime I would go online, the messages in sim3 would come delayed and I would have to turn the phone off then on for the messages to come in. I went back to Berlein last December 6, 2010, 17 days after I purchased the phone to do a follow up and to my surprise, I found out that a new batch of Q300s has already arrived. I was disappointed with that development knowing that they have assured to inform me as soon as a new batch would come. Nevertheless, I received my new Q300 phone.
Immediately after receiving the new replacement phone, I found out that the same problems existed. I texted the Berlein saleslady about the problem and she told me to bring the phone back the next day. Upon checking, she said that they cannot replace the phone anymore and that I should call the Cherry Mobile Head office for assistance. That time, I felt like I was loured into buying something that would only turn out to be defective in the end not to mention all the hassles it has already brought me. Its as if I was held hostaged by Cherry Mobile into having a defective phone that I cannot fully use and enjoy, worse, they cannot even have it repaired, replaced and refunded.
Berlein store told me to bring my case to the Cherry Mobile head office and gave me their contact numbers. I called up many of their numbers (4000338, 5671342, 5673341, 4000340) and would end up with lines that are either eternally busy or unreached. When I was finally able to talk to a customer service person named Len, I was told that I should bring back my phone to a service center near me (INBUCKS). I asked her if she has received complaints regarding Q300 defects and she said that they have also received many complaints the same as mine. That made me ask her why Cherry Mobile has not recalled such phone model from the market when a lot of complaints has already been made regarding that specific phone model, silence was all I heard.
I went back to INBUCKS in Philcoa last December 9, 2010 and was again advised to leave my phone and that an update will be given to me through a call or text after 3-4 days. Unfortunately, 6 days have passed and I received none. I called INBUCKS just today (December 16, 2010) and found out that my phone was labelled unrepairable by their technician and that it will be forwarded to their head office in Roxas Boulevard for yet another repair. To my surprise, INBUCKS said that it will take another 3-7 WEEKS before I will have a final report with my phone's repair. Here goes another hostage to my person as a consumer: not only I am left with a defective phone that is unrepairable, I will be held hanging again for another 3-7 WEEKS. Worse, they even told me that if I want a faster service, I should bring my phone personally to the Cherry Mobile head office in Roxas Blvd. Damn, they are nuts! Haven't they thought of the inconvenience they have already brought me and yet they are giving another form of inconvenience again?
How on earth can this happen? I only went to purchase a triple sim phone for my convenience and here I am left with nothing but NO CHOICE. Dear people from DTI please help us. I am not the only one experiencing this unfair trade practices and poor customer service from Cherry Mobile. There are a lot of people out there who are victims of the said practices but has remained silent because they either have no guts or no known venues to make a complaint against Cherry Mobile. I hope that something can be done about this. I only wanted to have a functioning phone and their repair should not take that long. They should recall all the phone models that has received complaints and they should make a refund if they cannot repair the phone properly. The consumers are left to suffer Cherry Mobile's and their service centers' incompetence and disregard to genuine customer service and satisfaction. I have already made this complaint available to Cherry Mobile Head Office, NTC, DTI and ABS-CBN. This will also be published in my blog and several FB pages that I manage. I don't deserve this kind of treatment and I hope many people will learn from my story.