In this incidence of 'complainvertising', Yap, a lawyer by profession, claims he has faced problems with HTC warranties since 2012 with his HTC One X and later on, the HTC One. While his post details the phone's manufacturing defects, the real issue, he says, is the brand's poor customer service.
According to Yap, not only has HTC declined to honour warranties on manufacturing defects, the brand takes one to two months to handle each issue. "I've bought so many phones because I've been unable to wait for my phone to return from the service centre. I decided instead to replace the phone and resell the repaired device when I got it back," said Yap.
Over time, Yap has posted numerous complaints on HTC Malaysia's Facebook page and Twitter feed, as well as writing a number of emails. While he congratulates the Facebook page administrators on their swift and polite responses, he said he now knows by experience that they can do little more than listen and forward his complaints on to customer service, which will then do nothing.
"The truth is, I'd given up," Yap told Campaign Asia-Pacific. "But what made me snap, write this post and pay RM30 (US$9) to sponsor it was when a friend of mine, Irene Chan—who I had talked into buying a HTC One—ran into the infamous pink-camera problem. This is a known issue with HTC One phones, and they promised Irene that it would only take two weeks to fix if she sent it in, and that she would get daily updates on her phone situation. Well, that never happened. And when contacted they said they didn't have an ETA. In fact, they've claimed they just ordered the part from Taiwan—three weeks after we gave them the phone."
Yap's post has been shared more than 30 times and has found support from his circle of friends, many of whom detail similar frustrations with HTC Malaysia's service centre.
So far, Yap has been contacted by HTC Malaysia's Facebook administrators, but not by anyone more senior at the organisation. As far as he can tell, the only response HTC has done is to write a post detailing their "great customer service".
"What cheek!" he snorted. "They even claim service within nine days. It's been getting very angry responses."
Surprisingly, Yap said that HTC has yet to lose him entirely as a customer as he really does appreciate the brand's designs and the devices themselves. But more than a year of poor customer service has certainly made him think twice about making his next phone an HTC.
Campaign Asia-Pacific has reached out to HTC Malaysia and HTC Global for comment but has not yet received a response.
UPDATE: A spokesperson for HTC got in touch to say that the brand was investigating the matter and would contact us with an official statement when they were ready.
UPDATE (20 December): HTC sent the following statement:
At HTC, we are committed to helping our users have the best after sales service experience, which is why we take all our customers request and feedback very seriously to ensure that we continue to provide the best for them.
As part of our standard operating procedures, we inform our customers that the duration to repair their phone could vary depending on the amount of devices we have queued for service, complexity of the issue and availability of the parts. Only once the customer has agreed on the time frame and cost of repair do we proceed with the case. Periodic phone calls are also made to our customers to keep them up to date on the status of their phone.
In regards to the recent posting about the pickup service on the HTC Malaysia Facebook page, as HTC is an international brand, we work with marketing and digital agencies around the world to create scheduled postings to educate and engage with our users on social media platforms.
As every service case is unique and important to us at HTC, we have already contacted Reuben to reach a resolution to this issue. We have delivered his phone back to him and will continue to follow up with him to ensure that there are no further issues with his HTC experience.