As heatwave spreads across the country, many struggle to get their air conditioners serviced by brands/manufacturers
- ● Only 1 in 5 air conditioner owners went to brand/OEM for service with 54% citing high cost and complicated contact process; 17% cited time consuming or slow service as the challenge
- ● 53% of air conditioner owners used local or 3rd party vendors to get them serviced while 20% yet to get them serviced
- ● Per consumers, standardized, quality and timely service at reasonable prices need of the hour
May 23, 2023, New Delhi: With 45 degrees centigrade temperature recorded in many parts of Delhi NCR and an IMD warning for heatwave on, citizens in many parts of India are struggling to cope with the hot weather. Those who have working air conditioners at home atleast have some respite and are thanking themselves for getting them serviced timely as some are still awaiting a technician to come refill gas, clean filters or fix an electrical issue.
LocalCircles over the last 30 days, received hundreds of complaints from across the country about slow service of AC brands, broken complaint filing and resolution process and high charges. It also received a number of complaints about local service providers and 3rd party service providers/platforms about cutting corners causing additional damage, etc. To understand the issues more effectively, LocalCircles conducted a national survey which received over 23,000 responses from consumers located in 286 districts of India. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women. 47% respondents were from tier 1, 36% from tier 2 and 17% respondents were from tier 3, 4 & rural districts.
Only 13% of AC owners used brand service via maintenance contract and 7% used brand service on ad hoc basis
The first question in the survey asked AC owners, “How did you get your air-conditioner(s) serviced this year?” The survey question received 12,666 responses from consumers with one in five respondents indicating that they availed the service provided by the brand / manufacturer this year. However, the majority got the local service provider to do the needful. The data shows that while 13% used brand service via maintenance contract and 7% used brand service on ad hoc basis; another 7% utilized service providers through the dealers, 38% used local service providers and 15% organized third party service providers. As for the rest of the consumers surveyed 6% haven’t got their ACs serviced as yet, 4% don’t intend to get the AC serviced “as they don’t need any service this year and are working fine”, and 10% are not “planning to use them or get them serviced this year”.
54% AC owners cite high cost and complicated contact process as reasons for not using after sales services of brands; 17% cite time consuming or slow service as the challenge
The survey then sought to know the key reasons as to why AC owners were not using after sales services of brands/manufacturer to get their AC serviced/repaired. It asked them, “what all were the reasons that you did not get the AC(s) at your home serviced via the manufacturer / brand?” Some among the 10,555 who responded to this query gave multiple reasons. Two major reasons given by 54% of respondents was “high cost” and another 54% indicated “complicated contact process”; 17% felt the manufacturers/ brand services are “time consuming or (provided) slow service”; 4% felt they lack expertise or skill of the staff was not good; 4% cited other reasons. Only 19% of the respondents to this query shared that they had used the services of the air-conditioner manufacturer/ brand’s service center/ department. In sum, the high cost and complicated contact process are the top reasons why owners don’t get their ACs serviced from the manufacturer/ brand.
While majority find brand service expensive and the contact process for getting air conditioners serviced complicated, there were also issues cited by AC owners when it comes to local vendors and 3rd party service providers/platforms. These issues included cutting corners, sometimes causing additional damage to the equipment to create more work for themselves per feedback of AC owners in the community discussions. These inputs indicate that broadly the household consumer is not happy with how their air conditioners are serviced and perhaps it is time that AC brands pay more attention to their aftersales service or robust 3rd party service providers need to emerge and provide standardized high quality, cost effective and timely service. The Government also must take upon itself to ensure that there are common standards for servicing of air conditioners and publicise them for awareness of all providing air conditioner repair and services.
The survey received over 23,000 responses from consumers located in 286 districts of India. 67% respondents were men while 33% respondents were women. 47% respondents were from tier 1, 36% from tier 2 and 17% respondents were from tier 3, 4 & rural districts. The survey was conducted via LocalCircles platform and all participants were validated citizens who had to be registered with LocalCircles to participate in this survey.