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BlackBerry Expert Center frontage
SINGAPORE--Research In Motion (RIM) has launched its first BlackBerry Expert Center (BEC) here as part of efforts to step up customer service ahead of the upcoming launch of its operating system, BlackBerry 10.
Singapore is the second country in Asia to have a dedicated after-sales service center after Indonesia, which currently has 56 BECs since its rollout there in 2009. Other handset makers such as Samsung currently have centers offering similar services in Singapore.
"This is something we've been asked to do for quite a while," said Charles Dufourcq, country director for Singapore at RIM. He added this was part of the company's bigger initiative to revamp the brand's operational model.
"Singapore is really important for us. This is a step to BlackBerry 10, to the future of RIM, our commitment to our customers, our new operational model."
- Charles Dufourcq,
country director for Singapore, RIM
Previously, BlackBerry customers would have to get their handsets serviced through their telcos, explained Grace Tang, director for global repair services at RIM. The new BEC will allow a faster turnaround time--four hours for minor repairs such as software glitches, and up to a day for more serious faults such as hardware replacements, she said. The center will also be staffed by "certified BlackBerry experts", Tang added.
"Singaporeans like to go to the mall, so this will give them the convenience of leaving their phones for repair while they shop," she said, referring to the BEC's central location at The Cathay, which stands on the country's prime Orchard Road shopping belt.
Dufourcq added: "Singapore is really important for us. This is a step to BlackBerry 10, to the future of RIM, our commitment to our customers, our new operational model."
Tang revealed more BECs are being planned elsewhere in the region, and will continue to roll out over the next few months.
Grace Tang, director for global repair services at RIM, demonstrates the queue system.
A faster turnaround time for repairs can be expected at the center, where a support team is on-site in an adjoining room.
Repairs will be completed within four hours for minor faults such as software glitches, or up to a day for more serious faults such as hardware related problems, Tang said.
BlackBerry diagnosis tool
Service staff at the counter will first run the customer's BlackBerry device through their diagnosis tool to determine various details such as model and software version numbers. These will be used to generate a jobsheet which repair staff can draw reference from.