So, what’s in the box?

whats in the boxAs many of you know, Faizan and I recently attended the OnePlus 5T Launch in Brooklyn, New York. OnePlus covered our flight and Airbnb costs, and we had a great time. The event was a success and Faizan is even considering buying the OnePlus 5T to replace his current iPhone 6 (this says a lot about the 5T).

For those of you who aren’t familiar with OnePlus, it is a China-based cell phone manufacturing company with no physical stores worldwide – everything is done online. This helps them remove the “middleman” and provide cellphones at reasonable prices for consumers.

My first experience with OnePlus was in July 2016, when I was in the market for a new phone. A number of my colleagues and cousins told me about OnePlus – the camera quality, android platform, dash charging, and most importantly, the affordable price. I was sold. An unlocked high quality phone for under $600 CAD (taxes included)? Seemed like a good investment, especially if I’d be traveling and could use the dual SIM capabilities. I’d be good for a couple of years at least. Or so I thought.

Anyway, I received the phone on my birthday and couldn’t be happier. It was meant to be. It was a good change from my iPhone 5 – I wanted to try something new, something different. It worked well for a year or so. I was recommending the phone to my friends and family and they all hopped on the bandwagon! Until one day, I was scrolling through Instagram and my phone completely shut off. No, my battery was not low. No, I didn’t drop it. No, I didn’t spill water on it. Nothing. It just died.

“It happens,” people told me. I agreed. Except, when I tried turning it back on, nothing would work. It would turn on, show the OnePlus logo, and turn back off. I tried troubleshooting through OnePlus’ online support. They tried accessing my phone remotely (through Qualcomm) and concluded that the device was not completely dead – it still had signs of life. But I already knew that.

Now the sucky part – since it was almost 2 months over the 1-year warranty mark, OnePlus refused to fix the phone for free. They estimated a repair cost starting at $300 CAD + shipping. So that would bring the cost of my phone to $900+ CAD! Seemed a bit ridiculous since a major deciding factor when purchasing the OnePlus 3 was the affordable price.

So when we got chosen to attend the 5T Launch in NY, I felt like it made up for the bad experience I had with the phone. I mean, they sponsored our trip and it really was a once-in-a-lifetime-experience. I was grateful and decided to go with “no hard feelings” and you know, my physically broken iPhone 5 from 2013 (which was somehow still functional). At the Launch, Faizan and I were blown away. The 5T seemed phenomenal – facial recognition, dual camera, fingerprint reader on the back, etc. Plus we received free swag. Who doesn’t love free swag?

However, the thing that bothered me at the event was how they emphasized the importance of their users, feedback they receive, and how they appreciate criticism from real life experiences with the phone. They talked about how they develop their phones together with their online “Community” and truly value each and every member who engages in their forum discussions. Sitting in the audience, I wondered how much truth there was to that statement. So, I decided to speak to the co-founder and some other members of the OnePlus team after the presentation. They all took down my info and promised to contact me after the event to ensure my phone would be fixed and my bad experience wouldn’t happen again. For a second, there was hope. But did I hear back? Nope.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to fly to NYC and attend the Launch. I’ll never forget that OnePlus did that for us – for members of their online “Community”. No one else I know has ever had a problem with their OnePlus 3 (and I know a lot of people with the phone).

But at the end of the day, what matters most is: What’s in MY box?

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

So my friends, I decided to order myself an iPhone instead of a OnePlus. *GASP* And the major deciding factor this time? Customer service. I’ve always been a big supporter of customer service. I don’t know why I skipped that factor when purchasing the OnePlus initially. But then again, everything happens for a reason, right? In NYC, we had the opportunity to meet some world-famous tech bloggers and become good friends with people from Sweden and Italy. We got to explore Brooklyn and discover some hidden gems in The City That Never Sleeps. We really did have a great time. Thank you for that, OnePlus.

So this (long) blogpost isn’t to complain about OnePlus or to vent about my bad luck. It’s about the importance of customer service. Why are iPhone users and MacBook users the most loyal consumers on the planet? Because of Apple’s customer service. Sure, they have a great product too, but I believe what sets them apart from the rest is their focus on keeping the customer happy.

Wouldn’t you agree?