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Carl Care Centres in Kenya on spot for swapping client’s phones

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By Marisioh Tom

Have you had an experience with the Carl Care Service centres across the country which deal in/with Tecno, itel and Infinix mobile phone repairs and after sales service?

I took my Infinix phone at the Carl Care Centre at Caxton House, Kenyatta Avenue (being the Hq) on 1st November 2017 for a minor service of just “flashing” it. The attendant who served me told me that only takes a day or two at just Ksh. 300 and so I handed in my phone for the same and left with a hope that by the following day I will be contacted (as told) to pick it up. Weirdly, I was never contacted as expected and so I did my part of following up by calling them and the response was always that I will be contacted when my phone was ready for pick up. Remember this phone was working perfectly well and only had an issue with android’s gmail account that needed the email and password after had reset it fully to factory settings but unfortunately had forgotten the password and so the only option was for it to be flashed afresh and start as new which inturn was to use a new gmail account after being flashed.

After one week, I received a call from Carl Care Centre telling me that my phone had a motherboard problem and needs to be replaced at the cost of Ksh. 6,500 an idea I denied vehemently and the lady caller told me my phone won’t be repaired. Thoughts rushed through my mind how a phone that I had handed in working had just developed a major problem to an extend that it was now “dead” given that even on their receipt they issued me, it was indicated the phone can’t pass XUI of which was wrong as it did pass. But even though for a phone not to pass XUI it means it’s working i.e. coming on/off and charging.
I tried to inquire and explain more to through their Facebook page inbox and was told the phone had been checked and found out that it needed a new motherboard and cannot be flashed as I had requested unless the entire service of replacing the motherboard was done.

 I knew my goose was cooked and my phone wasn’t going to be flashed. So, I told them to leave it as it was and I will pick it in the same condition as I handed it in. And I kept stressing to them that I know/knew my phone inside out given that I’m personally an ICT expert and many are the times I handle various ICT systems/devices including mobile phones. I had opened and repaired/serviced my phone in my house so many times for minor issues.

When I went to pick my phone on Tuesday, n 5th December 2017 after I had told them I was not around and would pick it once am back, I was SHOCKED beyond belief when I was handed a dead discoloured scrap as my phone. I immediately noticed the screen had a ‘burn’ mark and informed the guy that mine wasn’t like that but he “rudely” answered me that as for him he doesn’t receive the phones and doesn’t know what or how it looked like when I handed it in. Sikutaka mambo mengi and so I left but knew deep down I will be back. On reaching the house, having my tools of work on standby, I opened the dead scrap (I had tested charging and putting on and it wasn’t working) and to my surprise I realized and found out that my motherboard had been switched and the dead one put as mine.

 The sticker containing the IMEI number had been removed from my original device and pasted crookedly on this dead scrap as proof of being mine. My original e motherboard colour was dark green compared to the light green one they had put. NB: That very same morning before handing in my phone I had just come from a phone technician along Tom Mboya and installed a new charging system and it was visible to anyone to notice it had been replaced. However, the charging system of the scrap they gave had never been replaced. The back cover without a doubt which is given to return with was the “msema ukweli” that even a blind person could see/feel as it’s golden colour did not match the pale golden colour of the scrap they had “forcefully” given me. What else proof did I need to have and say that the dead scrap was not my phone?

I returned it and as much as they tried to convince me with what seems they do best to con me my phone, I stood by my facts and how well I knew my phone. I was finally directed to a guy who I explained to and he told me to re-book it in again he will follow up the matter for me. ***Perhaps the biggest sell-out here for these guys is when they told me they remove screen protectors from all devices before repair. And now my question is, why should u remove the screen protector or even open up a device that only needs to be flashed given that its powering on?

DEAR people! If you are keen enough you know the game that’s being played here. If you checked the Carl Care Centre page and read the complains from customers, you will be shocked to what extend innocent Kenyans are being exploited and robbed in broad daylight and loosing their devices. A friend of mine went through the same nightmare with her new Tecno phantom that she took in for repair and they returned it when it was worse than before two times in a row until she gave up.
My advise as an ICT guy is very simple to the unsuspecting innocent Kenyans/customers to Carl Care Centre:-
(1) Before you take your device/phone to Carl Care Centre, make sure u go to a technician or someone who knows about phones and personally check and record down the serial numbers or anything that can help u identify your phone’s motherboard and anything else.
(2) Know the exact problem of your device and in case u are told otherwise as they usually do to tell u that your phone has given birth to other problems, say NO and demand to see first if it’s actually what u handed in.
(3) Be smart! Don’t be fooled as people out there are seeking all possible means to make money from u. 
(4) SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS!
I await Carl Care to come to an amicable solution (as they told me) about my issue of which I’m contemplating taking further action on the same to curb this common trend at their centres countrywide. The Kenyan consumer of goods and services has been exploited too much because of his/her silence and it’s time this was put to an

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NANCY OKUTAH
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