HMD's poor spare parts availability

Hi everyone, Recently I've noticed a few people with Nokia 8s (like me) say that they sent their phone for repair under warranty and instead of the phone being repaired they were given a replacement of another model, e.g.

HMD's poor spare parts availability

madbilly madbilly
✭✭✭✭  / 
Hi everyone,
Recently I've noticed a few people with Nokia 8s (like me) say that they sent their phone for repair under warranty and instead of the phone being repaired they were given a replacement of another model, e.g. Nokia 8.1. The reason was apparently because the required spare part is no longer available, e.g. the screen.
In contrast to the 3 years of software updates from the market release of the device (not the date of purchase), HMD doesn't seem to provide any guarantees about how long the hardware will be supported and in fact it seems that their hardware support is not very good at all. E.g. less than two years after the release of the Nokia 8 parts are no longer available.
This made me wonder what the laws on spare parts availability are and what other manufacturers do. One manufacturer which does a very good job of stating how long they will have parts availability for is Apple: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT20162, who guarantee 5 years from the date of last manufacture (not only market release). Wouldn't it be great if HMD could make a simple statement like this about their phones?
That information from Apple led me to look at the laws in California and France.
Since I live in France and can read some French I checked the HMD website for information about spare parts availability but couldn't find anything at all. So I have emailed the support team and I hope to get a helpful answer; otherwise I'll have to try and ask the HMD team in France, which might be more difficult.
The laws in California seem great from a consumer point of view but I have no idea how they work in practice. Is there anyone in California who can comment? Does anyone in California have experience of HMD's spare parts availability there?
Cheers :)

Comments

  • singhnsk singhnsk
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    I agree. In fact, the Nokia 7 Plus is getting worse spares support. Devices within warranty in India for broken USB ports are being replaced with a Nokia 8.1 telling us that HMD is unable to source those USB ports at all. And devices which are out of warranty are tossed away saying spares are not available and they can do nothing about that.

    HMD indeed needs to ensure that whoever it contracts for manufacturing and supply of components, should provide them enough of supply for the next few years so that a necessary spare part is instantly available at the care center as needed. Today, even if they have some availability of components, devices waiting 20-25 days at care centers is a normal thing.
    I expect HMD to be aiming for the best and nothing else. Spares should be available at all care points and devices should be repaired and delivered back within 48 hours at max. Come on, Xiaomi fixed the USB port on a 2 years phone for a nominal cost and within 2 hours.
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭  /  edited September 4
    Thanks for sharing about the 7+, I'd forgotten that. I think other models with USB port problems probably also have short spares supply.
    However it is interesting how expectations differ between regions adn countries. In my experience 20-25 days is not a lot. My Sony Ericsson W850i took 2-3 weeks to be returned to me I think, my first N8 was pronounced irrepairable (water damage and my insurance cover was very poor) but not until a couple of weeks had passed and my 925 took a few weeks to be repaired each time (I think it was 2 or 3 times in total, until the final time when I didn't try getting it repaired as it was out of warranty....)
    But I will hopefully have news to share on my 925 again soon!
    The reason is probably that all of these cases were done by mail, whereas you're talking about local care centres. Unfortunately we don't have those in Europe anymore, although as HMD gets larger I think they may consider bringing them back, even if they are just part of a franchise operation and not dedicated individual shops, because it helps with brand awareness.
    The French law requires that defective devices be repaired or replaced within two months, which is not a very ambitious timetable and I'm sure that within that time a customer will have bought another phone.
    I am very interested to know HMD manage the 7 years of spare parts availability in California. Do they bother, or just offer a replacement and hope that the customer is not so attached to their phone they don't refuse? If HMD actually comply with this law then this means for all models available to buy in the USA there must be a warehouse full of USB ports somewhere! :D If not other parts too. AND the law requires that service manuals be available (but I think this is only to authorised repairers)... so where do we get them then?! :grey_question:
    ...shall make available to service and repair facilities sufficient service literature and functional parts to effect the repair of a product for at least seven years after the date a product model or type was manufactured...
    Cheers :)
  • soumojitdas65 soumojitdas65
    ✭✭  / 
    singhnsk said:
    I agree. In fact, the Nokia 7 Plus is getting worse spares support. Devices within warranty in India for broken USB ports are being replaced with a Nokia 8.1 telling us that HMD is unable to source those USB ports at all. And devices which are out of warranty are tossed away saying spares are not available and they can do nothing about that.

    HMD indeed needs to ensure that whoever it contracts for manufacturing and supply of components, should provide them enough of supply for the next few years so that a necessary spare part is instantly available at the care center as needed. Today, even if they have some availability of components, devices waiting 20-25 days at care centers is a normal thing.
    I expect HMD to be aiming for the best and nothing else. Spares should be available at all care points and devices should be repaired and delivered back within 48 hours at max. Come on, Xiaomi fixed the USB port on a 2 years phone for a nominal cost and within 2 hours.
    I too did get a replacement unit ( Nokia 8.1) for my Nokia 7 plus just because of the Type-C damaged port.

    Also even this phone and my friend's phone (Nokia 6.1 plus) 's Type-C port are getting loosened up. It's terrible.

    I got the replacement unit 2 months back and my friend bought his 6 months back. So this is how it's gonna be ??

    HMD should really be working on this.
  • Hello everyone,

    I have a 7 Plus since the end of April 2018. My USB-C charging port started to fail around the middle of August 2019. My phone only charges when the cable is plugged one way, it's not reversible anymore. I tested with other chargers and cables and got the same results.

    I live in France so i'm covered by EU laws in terms of warranty. I brought the phone back to the retailer. I don't know where the phone has been sent nor if there are spare parts available; the retailer didn't know either. Checking on the app, seems like the closest care center is in Hungary so i guess it went there.

    The retailer told me it will take at least 2-3 weeks to get it back. My 6 years old backup phone is also dead so don't have any smartphone for that period of time.

    Reading users experience here and there with Nokia care, multiples cases emerge:
    A - Some get their phone back unrepaired justified by liquid damage or the phone passing quality control
    B - Some get their phone repaired, but the problem comes back after a while. Perhaps this case occured more at the beginning of the phone's life, when there was still some spare parts in stock.
    C -  Some (quite a few actually) got a 8.1 replacement because there are no spare parts available. This case seems quite recent.

    Browsing the community forums seems to indicate the 7 plus isn't the only model struck by what we may call a "design flaw". At least, the 6.1 plus seems involved as well. But i don't know about spare parts availability for the other models.

    If i lived in a country where warranty extends for only a year, i would have to pay for the repairs in my case, since the problem appeared after more than a year. 

    The lack of spare parts make our phones disposable and give them a ridiculous life span, barely averaging a year for those who get the issue. HMD must also lose quite some money distributing free phones around due to the non availability of a cheap and easy to replace piece.

    What bother me the most is the carbon footprint made by such practices. I tend to keep my phones at least 4 years, and i think many consumers tend to keep their phones longer as well considering market maturity and shrinking sales in the smartphone market.

    How am i suppose to do that with a phone having defects so fast?

    If you are interested, I can keep you updated about what i will get back from my retailer. It has been 2 weeks now, i should normally get it back next week but i expect it to take longer.

    This is my experience. Hope it's somewhat helpful and constructive.

    Cheers!:)

  • virk.vikram virk.vikram
    ✭✭  / 
    singhnsk said:
    I agree. In fact, the Nokia 7 Plus is getting worse spares support. Devices within warranty in India for broken USB ports are being replaced with a Nokia 8.1 telling us that HMD is unable to source those USB ports at all. And devices which are out of warranty are tossed away saying spares are not available and they can do nothing about that.

    HMD indeed needs to ensure that whoever it contracts for manufacturing and supply of components, should provide them enough of supply for the next few years so that a necessary spare part is instantly available at the care center as needed. Today, even if they have some availability of components, devices waiting 20-25 days at care centers is a normal thing.
    I expect HMD to be aiming for the best and nothing else. Spares should be available at all care points and devices should be repaired and delivered back within 48 hours at max. Come on, Xiaomi fixed the USB port on a 2 years phone for a nominal cost and within 2 hours.
    I too did get a replacement unit ( Nokia 8.1) for my Nokia 7 plus just because of the Type-C damaged port.

    Also even this phone and my friend's phone (Nokia 6.1 plus) 's Type-C port are getting loosened up. It's terrible.

    I got the replacement unit 2 months back and my friend bought his 6 months back. So this is how it's gonna be ??

    HMD should really be working on this.
    i have submitted by nokia 7.1 for display fade problem and it has been 4 weeks and still service centre is unable to deliver, problem with shortage of parts is effecting the brand value too much
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    Hi all,
    Thanks for sharing your experiences, unfortunately it suggests that HMD don't plan for spare parts availability.
    user1526739885871 when you bought the phone (if you bought it in France or from a French reseller on line) did you get told how long the spare parts would be available for? As far as I can this is the law, either on the website or shelf where the item is when you buy it or on the receipt you get at the checkout.
    Cheers :)
  • user1526739885871 user1526739885871
    ✭✭  /  edited September 5
    Hello @madbilly,

    Nope, this information wasn't given anywhere (i bought the phone at a french tech store called FNAC).

    Since then FNAC introduced a repairability grade to their products, taking into account, among other parameters, of the spare parts availability. For instance, Galaxy S10 is marked 3,5/10.

    It is also a government ambition to make widely available a repairability grade for any kind of appliance by January 2020 but i don't know if it is feasible.

    To be fair, despite the law this information isn't often displayed nor given to the buyer. I mainly saw it for big appliances, used as a marketing argument of long guaranteed support (from 5 to 10 years mostly).

    Cheers!
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭  /  edited September 6
    I know FNAC but haven't ever really shopped there. To be honest I haven't noticed this "spare parts availability" notice anywhere, which is why I was surprised to learn about it! I have previously struggled to find the repairability score for devices on the FNAC site, is there a table of these somewhere or is it just in the page for each device?
    If France can get the repairability grade and spare parts supply info in the face of customers I think it will make a big difference and hopefully be picked up by the rest of Europe.
    Cheers :)
  • Hello @madbilly ,

    Well, this repairability score is very recent. It started with laptops during summer 2018 and has been extended to smartphones this year.

    Also, since it is an overall grade given to the consumer, you still don't get the spare parts availability information. 
    Trying to make it clear and simple, the repairability score is the average of 4 main parameters, which are themselves the sums of points given to subparameters. Spare parts are one of the main parameters, but even if it gets a 0, the overall repairability score can be good if the 3 others parameters have a good grade. Because each one represents an equal 25% of the total score. 

    It is the main flaw of the system in my opinion. The weight of each parameter should be different. Because you can repair a device easily if the documentation is bad but you cannot fix at all a device which has no spare parts to begin with. :neutral: Nonetheless, it is a step in the right direction.

    I know you live in France but don't know if you're actually French. If it's okay for you reading some, here are 2 links. The first one describes how smartphones are evaluated to give the repairability score You also have the repairability score for a few smartphones models (maximum mark is 10, so the few tested range from mediocre to less than average). The second contains a table which sums up everything explained in the first article. 

    https://labo.fnac.com/guide/indice-labofnac-de-reparabilite-smartphones-disponible-point-criteres-evalues/

    https://www.fnac.com/Indice-de-reparabilite-du-Labo-Fnac-vers-la-fin-de-l-obsolescence-programmee/cp40418/w-4

    Cheers! :smile:
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    Salut @user1526739885871 ! Merci pour les liens, je vais essayer à les comprendre ;)
    Hi @user1526739885871! Thanks for the links, I'll try to understand them ;)
  • user389 user389
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    What to do with an old or defective phone:

    (From ~10 years ago)
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    Hi @user389 thanks for sharing the video. It was good that old Nokia used to do this kind of thing, I can't imagine HMD doing it.
    Unfortunately though that video makes sad. I bet that many of those phones worked fine, maybe if they didn't work they just needed a new battery, and of the rest I bet that more than 90% could have been easily repaired. Recycling is the last step in the reduce-reuse-recycle order of preferences. For mobile phones we can resell working phones, repair faulty phones and only when a phone is completely unrepairable (which is very very rare) then it should be recycled. There should be a mandate on manufacturers to ensure a minimum period for spare parts availability, I think the 7 year law in California sound great in this regard and I'm amazed we don't have it in Europe yet.
    user1526739885871 please can you show me where I can find the actual repairability score for a model on the FNAC website? I have looked at several models of phone but can't find it so I presume I'm looking for the wrong information.
    Cheers :)

  • singhnsk singhnsk
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    So, my good friend had a 7 Plus for her sister, the device faced some battery issues and the service center replaced the device with an 8.1, no questions or problems created. This does highlight that HMD has pretty much zero spares to fix the Nokia 7 Plus. But nevertheless, the experience was

    These are some rare good experiences that I've heard. It's also fairly right that good experiences are usually not shared by people online in forums.
  • user389 user389
    ✭✭✭✭  /  edited September 12
    madbilly said:
    Hi @user389 thanks for sharing the video. It was good that old Nokia used to do this kind of thing, I can't imagine HMD doing it.
    [ . . . ]
    Sorting and recycling of waste is now mandatory and government regulated in Denmark. The consumer can dispose of his refrigerator, TV set, furniture, car, tablet and phone etc. at collection points, or at the point of sale in case of small electronics and batteries. - It comes at a cost of course, high taxes etc.
    We do have a 'green' movement with both commercial and private reuse of all the above for those who have more time than money.
    It's more economical to manufacture replacement phones at the factory instead of repairing. The high wages and other costs in Europe combined with the low costs elsewhere in the world makes it difficult to run a business doing official repairs of things that are not really meant to be taken apart, like most of the current smartphones.
    The challenge for the manufacturers and vendors is to keep the defects in material and workmanship as low as possible for the duration of the warranty.
    The challenge for the consumer is to not buy anything he can't afford to lose.
    --
    Hans
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    Good to hear what's happening in Denmark. I presume that's your country's interpretation/implementation of the WEEE regulations which apply to all EU countries? Or does it go beyond that? The fact that working and repairable items can be taken out of the recycling stream and used by people who want to is definitely a good thing.
    It's clear that market forces won't encourage manufacturers to make their phones more repairable, even though I hope that the Fairphone 3 will a noticeable industry impact. We can only hope that government regulations force companies to do this. The right-to-repair regulation which will start to be implemented soon in the EU (I hope) is one step, but AFAIK it only covers larger appliances like fridges and washing machines, maybe TVs but not smartphones, tablets etc. Unfortunately individual EU countries seem reluctant (in general) to introduce legislation that is stricter or do anything more quickly than the EU. At least that's my experience/understanding.
    Do you think HMD's strategy was to forget about repairs and keeping spare parts due to the costs? Do you think they worked out that it is cheaper to replace with a brand new phone than repair? If so, then we definitely need regulation against that practice as it's outrageously wasteful.
    Cheers :)
  • user389 user389
    ✭✭✭✭  /  edited September 13
    I'm not familiar with the WEEE regulations but we collect lots of plastic waste that nobody knows what to do with. Currently most of it is bundled and exported to Germany, they have more room.
    Government and EU regulations are not necessarily a benefit for the consumer. The (mandatory) spare parts for my Honda motorbike are ~10 times more expensive in Denmark than in Thailand where it's manufactured. An $10 OEM air filter is $100 here and original brake pads are ridiculous. An airplane trip to the Bigwing Bangkok Honda dealer could pay itself.
    I believe the right-to-repair regulations is mostly about not allowing corporations like Apple and Tesla to make it mandatory for their customers to only use their workshops, tools and spare parts through their official channels?
    This may also be a violation of EU competition regulations, and only a fool does not fear ms. Vestager ... ;-)
    The local radio/TV shop shut down their workshop 20 years ago. Nokia closed their Danish Care Points 7 years ago, soon after I purchased a Nokia N8-00.
    Denmark is a fruit-market where HMD has to make a profit from selling relatively few phones. Further restrictions and regulations does not help achieve that.
    --
    Hans
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    I didn't know there were regulations for mandatory spare parts availability for motorbikes (and cars?). Still, OEM parts from the dealer being expensive does not surprise me, this is very common. I presume an good quality aftermarket filter might cost ~$10 in the Europe and ~$1, so the price difference is probably consistent regardless of whether the part is OEM or not. I think it's the same in all markets for all goods isn't it?
    I think you're right about the new right-to-repair regulations. The various companies have managed to lobby the EU make the rules like the auto-industry - i.e. that parts and repair/service instructions are available but not to the public (generally), only to "professionals" in case us apparently uneducated members of the public put ourselves and others in danger from doing a bad repair... I'm in two minds about this in general because I agree that for cars and larger electrical appliances there are significant risks (e.g. washing machine setting on fire) if a repair is done badly, but when it comes to smartphones the most dangerous think we could do is damage the battery... and since some phones have user replaceable batteries anyway the argument is null. I quite happily repair anything I have, but I learn what I'm doing first and won't do anything I feel is too risky (e.g. car airbags).
    Independent repair shops still exist in the UK and France so I presume in some other countries too. Nokia Mobile Care was franchised to independent shops in France until the death of the Lumia brand and now there is nothing, just the online system, which I think is pretty poor.
    Having a small market does make it more difficult to get good service, but there are EU countries with less population than Denmark that don't have any official HMD/Nokia presence, e.g. Slovakia (comparable population to Denmark), Malta and Luxembourg. And HMD/Nokia aren't in Brazil at all! Denmark is obviously still a market HMD think is worth having a presence in.
    Going back to my original point, HMD clearly don't have enough spares to properly maintain the devices they sell, either by their own official services, third-party ones and as far as I can work out there is nothing available for consumers to do repairs themselves.
    In my opinion this is a sad state of affairs :(
  • user1526739885871 user1526739885871
    ✭✭  /  edited September 13
    Sooo,

    I just came back from the retailer and the phone is unrepairable. I didn't get a replacement unit (like the 8;1) either. I got a refund. So now time to look for a new companion to live with.

    @madbilly,

    Simply look for recent flagships phones such galaxy S10 on their website.

    Scroll down to the "caractéristiques techniques" section, then click on the down Arrow to unveil all the technical specs. In the table, right column, last row you'll find "indice de réparabilité". That"s it! :wink: 

    As i told you before, it is a very young grading system. Only a few phones have a repairability grade, mostly flaghsips. I don't have the exhaustive list and i don't how they are tested either.

    Cheers :smile:
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    Well now you're free to choose which phone you want again which I suppose is a good thing. Did you get a full refund?
    Thanks for telling me where to find that information. It's quite difficult to find any phone with this information! It's a shame that we can't filter based on this index :(
    Have fun choosing your new phone, what do you think you will get?
    Cheers :)
  • user1526739885871 user1526739885871
    ✭✭  /  edited September 13
    @madbilly ;

    Yes i got a full refund. I'm very lucky i guess. But somehow i also feel bad that such a recent phone went to the trashcan.

    I talked about the repairability score with the after sale service but the guy wasn't even aware they had it. But he told me that yes, they should indicate for how long spare parts should be available. He checked on my bill but it was not mentionned. At least, he's aware of that.

    I don't know what to buy next. I was expecting to have my (un)repaired phone or a replacement unit. So i wasn't ready to choose anything on the go.

    I'm used to stock or close to stock android (such as Android One) for a while now. I'm visually impaired, so my memory compensate my eyes and i get to do things wihtout the need to read or watch, just with the memory of the gestures and mental mapping of the menus (sounds complicated doesn't it?). Thus, when i take a phone with a custom UI i'm completely lost and it would take me a while to get used to it; and i would have to do it again if I change for a phone with another custom UI. 

    Not many manfacturers offer stock Android or Android One such as Nokia: Xiaomi, Pixel 3A (for a similar price), maybe a few Moto but i'm not even sure.

    I have to decide quickly (i'm phoneless for more than 3 weeks now) but search properply first.
  • madbilly madbilly
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    Hi @user1526739885871 good to hear you got a full refund, that's definitely worth knowing and I suppose is why FNAC is known for having good customer service (I think). And at least they know about the spare parts law, even if they don't have the information!
    I think you listed the best known stock Android brands - Nokia, Motorola and Xiaomi. I think that Oneplus may be similar but also maybe sufficiently different that it's no good for you. The Android One page for France may help you: https://www.android.com/intl/fr_fr/one/
    That only lists Android One phones though, not all stock Android phones. The Fairphone 3 runs stock Android as far as I know although it's not Android One. You can get it from Orange and Sosh in France.
    There are probably many other stock Android phones but I don't know who makes them.
    Cheers :)
Sign In or Register to comment.