September 16, 2014 by ...
I am in China and researching Xiaomi. They offer a decent phone with great specs but quality concerns abound. Xiaomi, like many Chinese companies, operates under the ‘build it by a trainstation’ model. The idea is to get the customer’s cash and run. Existing clients are a sinkhole and a cost while new customers buy and do not complain. As long as Xiaomi keeps running, they do not have to face up to the negative news, or so they think. Unfortunately evidence is mounting that Xiaomi has serious problems.(explained, here and here)
1- data security– theft
Xiaomi still covertly sends customer data without user permission. This is a big breach of trust. At first they denied the claims and then said they had fixed them but did not. Several countries are considering legal action.
2- product quality cell phones – fire hazard.
Xiaomi phones in the main land have caught fire and even exploded. Xiaomi claims that they were fakes and disavows any responsibility for them.
3- Xiaomi chargers catch fire
The Chines government tested Xiaomi chargers and all of them failed. They did not meet the less than rigorous Chinese standards and many were prone to combust. Some netizens complained that they actually exploded like missiles.
4- Xiaomi phones receive more complaints than any other in the Chinese market. This bodes ill for them as they are the newest and thus have fewer older phones in the market.
5- Ten percent of Xiaomi phones in India are being reported as defective and customer service is abysmal. Once again, the Indians are experiencing what mainlanders have known for years.
Many Xiaomi phones have the shelf life of a bananna. Due to their sales modle, however, getting a return can be difficult if not impossible. Many phones are sold through resellers and Xiaomi may or may not recognize them as legitimate. If Xiaomi says they are not you are shit out of luck. You lose your money and ohone. You can do nothing. All Xiaomi has to do is to say you bought a pirated version and you have no recourse. Their lack of brick and mortar stores enables this.
Here is an excerpt and link to recent sales in India
‘Well the specs of all the above mentioned phones is great and superb at the price they sell. But these phones might lose their first fight against existing market leaders if they end up bad in consumer support and durability.
Yes, I am an Indian and I bought A Xiaomi MI3 from Flipkart.I got it yesterday evening. And Guess what, I received a defective model. First I thought , There might be something wrong with the settings but after one hour of drudgery, I found nothing was wrong. One feature of the smart phone was not working. I will tell you in the end “what feature it is”. But for now, lets continue with the thread.
I quickly requested for a return of the piece in Flipkart in the morning and dully specifying the reason. I got an email that said my request for return had been registered and it was under process. Some Flipkart representative soon afterwards called me and told that they will put me through to the technical support. The technical support guy told me that i have to factory reset the phone and do an update. He was very casual. Well, I don’t know how many people do a factory reset as soon as they buy a new phone.
Bam. I got a rude shock after 7 hours. I got an email from Flipkart that the retailer has denied my request for return. I don’t know how they decided that my request was not valid.
I thought it might be only me who had got a defective device, so i saw the ratings page on Flipkart for Mi3. It had a total of 298 ratings as of (6:17 PM,IST as on 25 July). Out of that 31 people had complained about defects (including me). So thats a 10% for you. So in short, out of all phones sold, 10% were defective.
Where does this leave us?
The fact is that Xiaomi has quite a few sketchy dealings for such a new company. Many say that Lei Jun needs to explore new markers to stay ahead of complaints from old and saturated markets like. China his devices are so new that they should not be breaking, but break they do, and at an alarming rate. Quality problems are catching up to them in China and it seems the same is happening in India.