It used to be a no-brainer buying a dawlance product. But now things have changed. Gone are the days when products use to sell because of brand value and heritage alone. In the age of digital media everyone has a voice.
About 6 years a ago I got married and I decided that I will buy a Dawlance fridge. so 4 days before my wedding I was setting up my house and the new fridge arrived. I turned in on and bought a few bottles of coke and put some ice in the ice tray. In those days i was getting the house painted so enjoyed cold coke and water from the fridge. On the third day the fridge stopped working completely. The sad part was I discovered this on a hot day when I came home with a friend to get him a cold glass of water, that was a big turn off and my friend laughed at me for buying a Dawlance.
Well it was under warranty so I called the help line and they sent someone to fix it. The guy fixed my fridge and when i asked him what the problem was he said sir its fixed these problems happen, don’t worry if you have a problem again then call me again, his answer did not show any confidence in what he just did to my fridge.
“Reliable Hai” That is why i bought it but the reliability test was failed within 3 days of purchase. Soon i got over it and that was the end of it.
In the fourth year my fridge again stopped working, since it was not in warranty and I did not want to call the dawlance guys, I got a local technician to check and fix my fridge. The guy came in and checked my fridge, he said that the gas has leaked. I asked him why, he said that you a lucky that your dawlance has lasted 4 years without a problem, they don’t make good quality products any more, they focus on cosmetics not quality. I was defensive and I asked him how can he say that? He said sir “aap nahin samjho gay” I insisted to explain his point. He said I will give you only 1 example and you will understand, He showed me that the pipes on my fridge are made of aluminium and told me that not long ago they used to make them out of copper. And he explained how both are different and how copper is better but expensive.
I even got over that episode also when my fridge was fixed.
Then came the time to buy another AC for my room. I took to the internet for research on what brand and what technology to buy. I was very particular about this buy as I really wanted to reduce my electricity bill. I came to know that there is a thing called inverter technology from Indian ads at that time. Finally it was decided that if I buy a new AC it has to be inverter technology. But I had to check which brand to buy and to make sure if parts and service is readily available. I came to the conclusion that if i buy any imported brand, i might have problem with parts and service because all the technicians I spoke to were hesitant about my decision of inverter AC. I was very adamant about experimenting with the new inverter technology as I heavily researched on all the products and really wanted to check it out. So I finally decided to go for a reliable brand locally with a good after sales network. The answer was Dawlance again. Even though i had my share of experience I decided to give them one more chance.
So i bought 1 ton Dawlance inverter AC which came with free installation and a digital circuit breaker. I heavily evangelized my decision and flaunted how I had been saving on my electricity bill.
For some reason the shopkeeper did not have the warranty card handy with him but had a warranty card for the Digital Circuit Braker, he told me that he would courier me the warranty card and gave me a receipt with all the details. For good 10 months my AC ran flawlessly and I saved a lot of electricity but after 10 months the digital circuit breaker died protecting my AC. I took the circuit breaker and sent it to dawlance retail center via my admin guy but they sent it back and told me to call the helpline and setup an appointment at my home for the fix. So i made the call and found out that they charge even under warranty for fixing the product, Strange but I still told them to come and fix my problem. They again sent someone who took my circuit breaker and all original receipts + warranty card of the breaker and simply vanished, never to be seen again. In the past three weeks no one called me to give me an update on when i am going to get my circuit breaker back. But when I call them they say sir yes we have your complaint “Actually the problem is that the part is not available currently, we will send it as soon as it is available” I asked what is that suppose to mean. After me being very firm on a date and time i was told that by wednesday(10 June) I will get it on my door step. Obviously they are not reliable and did not honor their commitment. So I called again(Saturday) and asked why I did not get my product, they said sorry sir, ill give you another number to take an update. I said that I am not calling any other number, and they should give me a call. So I was told “No problem someone will call you shortly” More than 24 hours is their shortly.
So right now me the customer is more worried about his product then the people who claim to be reliable.
The part that is most frustrating is that i can see the product being sold in the market myself but they don’t have anything available for warranty claims. Obviously they are operating under the sell and forget strategy.
Recently my brother was just setting up his new office and was right on time for asking me for a recommended brand for AC. I told him get anything but dawlance, at least if the service is bad you would know it is the same across the board. He decided to go for Haier inverter ACs.
Dawlance is no longer the Reliable brand it used to be. Their focus and strategy has shifted from quality to cosmetics and quantity. After sales does not seem to be concerned about the customer. You see a big difference in quality and finishing when you analyse two products from 10 years apart. Sometimes all you need is to fulfill your promise.