God, I so wanted to write this for a long long time. As some of you will probably know recently there has been loads of i-mate JAM adverts around London especially on Tube platforms. i-mate, a small company churning out clones of OEM'ed HTC products, wants to increase their precense in the UK. The only problem? They have zero UK support*.
The nearest place to get your product fixed is by sending it to Dubai. Yes - D. U. B. A. I. Manchester online retailer, Expansys, and i-mate however disagree. Both has decided to list SBE-Ltd in Kent as the official UK i-mate repair service.
Some three weeks ago, after calling SBE and getting a quote, we sent Jenni's JAM for repair. It was sent via Special Delivery. A few days later Jenni contacted them and obtained a repair code. Fine. At least they received it.
Last week with no news from SBE, calls were made to the company. Calls which were not answered, which instead were cut off. E-mails were sent but none were replied. We discovered SBE's website. We found a page where we could check the repair status. Keying in the collection reference we found that it was for someone else's Siemens. A Siemens MC60.
How did an i-mate JAM turned into a MC60 may I ask? By giving us the wrong collection reference (which in itself a breach of the other guy's privacy).
SBE so far has refused to answer any calls or e-mails even now. It is always busy. There are no options to leave voice mails. No nothing. Are i-mate products so clumsy that they are working flat and forgetting to turn on the answering machine?
The moral of the lesson here, if UK support is something you need, my advise is not to buy i-mate products. UK has strong consumer laws when compared to other countries but we still get fucked over. I pity people who get screwed by companies that do not take care of their customers. Companies like Granville who dared to fleece customer's money right up to their demise. Companies like i-mate who think they can come and trade here but do not bother to even offer proper support.
* i-mate UK repair service were offered by HTC Europe. According to a HTC Europe rep, i-mate then terminated the contract. Thanks a bunch.
update: Speak of the devil. A couple of hours after I wrote this, Jenni received a letter from SBE with a quotation for the repair. Guess what? First it took them 2 1/2 weeks to send the quote. Next is the quote itself. £350 to repair scratched/cracked case. You hear that right. It is actually cheaper to buy a new one (plus a battery or two) than to fix it. Thanks alot i-mate but no thanks. I would rant a little bit more but I just came down with a cold. I am really scared now.