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Who’s hardest on their smart phones? Tales and trends from the customer care trenches.

Raul Sfat

We’ve done some recent analysis on more than 5 million B2X customer service incidents worldwide, and the numbers show some clear trends.

For example, if you want a healthy smart phone, consider moving to a less extreme climate. Repairs are highest in countries like India or Thailand in Southeast Asia where temperatures and humidity are high, or in the mountains of Europe, where extreme temperature changes from the slopes to the lodge can steam up your phone.

For repair turnaround time, you’re best off in Argentina, where you won’t even have time for a Tango lesson before your phone is repaired (in just one hour). In most countries, you can expect a wait time of in average 5 days. Europe’s best performing country is the UK, with an average of 3 days.

The most common warranty repairs include: 1) does not power on; 2) battery does not load; and 3) phone shuts off automatically, all of which are electrical problems. On the other hand, the most common out of warranty repairs include: 1) cracked screen; 2) liquid damage; or 3) damaged connectors or other mechanical issues.

As for which devices are the most damage-prone, smart phones top the list and have a 30-40% higher repair rate than regular mobile phones. Since smart phones are a bit more complicated to operate, they also prompt a no fault found (NFF) rate of 25-30% causing unnecessary costs for OEMs and operators.

Lastly, there’s no better place than the US market. The bounce rate there (failure rate after phones have been repaired) is just 1%. On the flip side, Americans seem to know that their service is good, and they’re more willing to try sending their phone back to be repaired, leading to a NFF rate of up to 50%.

Technology-enabled service platforms may someday eliminate geography as a factor in customer service, but for now, it’s a pretty varied landscape with lots of room for improvement.

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