Google is taking the plunge down the hardware path with its own smartphones called Pixel and Pixel XL. Google says the entire process for building these phones, right from picking the hardware components to design to engineering to software is all in-house, and that even after sales will handled by them. Google’s Pixel, Pixel XL smartphones are supposed to be premium devices, and like with all high-end phones, the question around after-sales service is an important. A recent report said Google is going with only with HTC for after sales service in India and is also relying on their distribution network for selling these phones.
However, it should be noted that Google will go with its own Pixel branding for sales, and after-service of these phones. A Google spokesperson told IndianExpress.com, all warranty and servicing will be handled by the company.
At the time of the launch, Google had announced a special toll free phone support number which users in India can contact in case of help with the Pixel phones. In India, the Pixel helpline will be open 7 days a week from 9 am to 6 pm, and not 24/7 as is the case in the US.
Google had also announced tie-ups with 54 walk-in service centres across 30 plus cities in India for the servicing of Pixel phones. According to Google, HTC is not going to be sole company handling after sales services, although some service centres could be by HTC. Instead service centres will have a Pixel branding and Google insists they are the ones fulfilling the warranty.
The live-support feature is also in-built into the Pixel phones in the settings, and gives users the option of live-sharing their screen with a customer representative from Google.
In India, Google plans to make the Pixel phones available in Reliance Digital, Croma, Vijay Sales, eZone, HotSpot, Bajaj Electronics, etc and other offline retail stores as well. Google sees this as a premium product and realises customers might need to touch and feel the device before buying, which is why it is also emphasizing on offline retail in India.
Google Pixel, Pixel XL start at Rs 57,000 and Rs 67,000 respectively in India and will be available from October 24 in the country. The phones are already up for pre-order on Flipkart, although the Silver colour version is not yet up on the site.