Is the Nokia 6.1 Plus (Nokia X6) worth buying?

My experience with Nokia 6.1 plus and then with HMD Global Aka Nokia

The episode started in Nov 2018 when my son thought to gift himself a new mobile after getting All India Rank of 2xx in JEE Advanced 2018 and taking admission for Bachelors in Computer Science at IIT Kharagpur.

In the brief selection process, he went ahead with Nokia 6.1 plus despite my reservations for it being HMD Global and not erstwhile Nokia. Ordered through Flipkart and phone reached in first half of Nov 18.

Within 3 weeks, the phone stopped charging abruptly. My son switched to his previous phone with the plan to visit Nokia Authorized Service Center in Delhi when he comes back to home after exams.

We visited Nokia Care, GTB Nagar on 13th Dec which houses MI service too in same room.

From front desk phone is transferred to technician for inspection. Thrill starts – After few minutes front desk tells us: your mobile can't be serviced under warranty as it has a crack in one corner of the back-cover. My 45+ years old eye can't see that crack and I struggle to find any. I take help from my son to locate the crack and he confirmed its existence from week one. But still it was a hair line of about 2-3 mm which closely resembled to scratch than the crack.

I tried hard to tell desk folks that such scratch/crack can't be reason of handling charging issue as out of warranty service. But they are better trained to find any excuse to avoid servicing under warranty. As last attempt to talk to someone sensible there who can listen rationally, I approached someone sitting in outside cabin who turned out to be Nokia engineer there. He understood the fact and asked Desk folk to handle the issue under warranty and prepare the job sheet without exaggerating ("bada-chada kar") the scratch/crack. I felt relieved.

Now, comes the time of inspection result of technician after dismantling the phone to find charging issue. We are told Mobile Sub-board (just like mother board) and connector have fault and are short-circuited due to liquid spillage inside the phone and hence phone can be serviced out of warranty only.

Really? Another shock comes to us!

My son told me he doesn't remember handling the phone in such way that water/coffee etc. will go inside the phone and damage the board.

This time, neither I have energy nor lucky to talk to someone and give proof of my innocence. Helplessly I accept for paying the parts and services charges. Smart service centre folks were having a last laugh. Anyhow, I am told it will take 1 week to get the parts and return the serviced phone.

After 10 days, I call service centre to hear Nokia has not sent the parts yet and I (customer) have to directly speak with Nokia Support/Customer Care. With no choice, I reach Nokia and they ask me to have a conference call with service centre. Herculean task to get two different service folks together on a conf call but we managed to do it as it was our responsibility (?) to get our back, right! Anyhow, nothing came out from the call when Nokia will send the parts to service centre or when service centre will give back the phone.

In the meatime I approached Nokia Mobile India as well as Nokia India Ajey Mehta on Twitter to get some traction. On 27th Dec, Nokia Twitter handle asked us to send the details and they will contact us soon. Today is 19th Jan 19, they have not reached us till date on that direct message.

I was still hopeful that Nokia Management can help in getting the issue resolved and I started sending tweets to Nokia India Ajey Mehta and other Nokia Management team on daily basis. To my biggest shock, there was not a single, yes single reply on any of the tweet to communicate the progress, forget about any apology etc. for the delay in servicing my phone. It's my bad that I had set my expectation from Nokia senior folks. At some point I thought to that optimistic level that Nokia will replace with a new phone if they are unable to repair my phone in a month. Again, my bad assumptions.

Finally, after almost one month my son gets a message at Kharagpur that phone is ready to be picked. On 16th Jan, I visit the GTB service centre and phone is handed over to me and I pay the charges. Please wait!!!! This is not done yet.

I see a 20 mm crack, yes a real crack in the top of back cover glass. I raise this point. Help desk folks, two folks rather, jump in and say this crack is an existing one which has a mention in the job sheet as well from the day I gave to them. I say, there is a mention of the crack but that was for another almost invisible 2-3 mm crack in the bottom. But the staff being very trained, overpower me and say they are saying the truth and I am telling a lie.

Again, my eyes look for that gentleman, Nokia Engineer, who previously helped me in prevailing the senses. By chance he was near to the desk I was paying the charges, I told him about new crack during service. Gently again he could luckily recall his previous inspection as he had taken the photos also from his own camera of our phone. He told me I could take delivery of the phone and he would try to get approval from Nokia for replacing the back cover in few days/weeks. It is just day 3 and I am waiting for this only positive thing that can be done by Nokia. Are you saying I am overly optimistic of Nokia? May be.

So what is the outcome?

Product:

I (my son actually) made a mistake of buying a phone which he thought is Nokia but he ignored the fact that Nokia is a just brand and a non-physical entity. We bought HMD Global product.

From my observation and interaction at service centre I got to know that lot of 6.1 plus phone are coming to service and one of the major issue in all of them is – Stopped charging. Then questions comes – whether 6.1 plus has related manufacturing defect. My thought is – Definitely Yes. Then next question is – why Nokia is not recalling the defective handsets and repairing them as free of cost, instead of framing this issue as customer fault and asking customers to pay for it? My thought is – It needs lot of integrity to do this and probably Nokia doesn't have it.

Service: Do I need to say more on GTB Nagar Delhi service centre who tried to pass the scratch on back cover as reason for not covering charging issue under warranty and later a new big crack as existing one. This centre had one of the worst folks I have ever come across who were lying blatantly, holding no responsibility for addressing the customer issue and so on. I was ready to take the cracked phone once service staff accept that crack developed during service. But then it is said - "Honesty is a very expensive gift, Don't expect it from cheap people."

Nokia Customer Care was no different from service centre folks. The only difference was – They responded once in 30 days asking to send the issue details and they will contact us.

HMD Global and Nokia Senior Team: They surpassed everyone else. They NEVER responded, not even once. I have not seen such deaf and dumb Management team in my own 20+ years of customer centric Job Role.

I am not mentioning of professionalism and ethics for these folks as these words itself are too esteemed to relate to this team.

Biggest positive of this episode: (Hopefully) my son will give better heeds to my suggestions now onwards!

Last minute update (19-Jan-19, 10:30 PM): I tried to take snap of the crack on my mobile that was there at the time of giving to Service centre. I couldn't find any. I took help help from my family to find the one but they couldn't find either. Surprise again.

After few minutes I realized that the phone body/cover is not mine, it has been replaced and defective/damaged phone has been given to me. Oh God! Where it will stop?

Edit (29-Jan-19): No Update either from GTB Nagar Authorized Service Centre OR from Nokia Customer Care for the direct message I sent them on 17th Jan. Nokia is living upto their Ha(e)llmark!


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