Nokia users make a beeline at retail stores

Written by Vrishti Beniwal | New Delhi, Aug 16 | Updated: Aug 17 2007, 06:19am hrs
With Nokia recalling 46 million BL-5C batteries manufactured by Matsushita Battery Industrial Co of Japan, mobile users in India have started making a beeline for its retail stores in pursuit of replacements. The company issued the product advisory on Tuesday, but Wednesday being a holiday, Nokia stores on Thursday were flooded with queries pertaining to the battery. On an average, a Nokia dealer in the country got about 1,000 queries during the day.

A Nokia India spokesperson, when contacted, said they got about 200,000 SMSs and 20,000 phone calls till 6 PM on Thursday, of which less than 4% had the identification number that called for a battery replacement. The company has already started dispatching batteries to the users, the spokesperson added.

This was despite the fact that the Finland-based company had taken out advertisements in newspapers answering the questions related to the battery. The advertisement clearly stated that a user could get the battery replaced for free by calling Nokia Care, logging on to the companys website or sending an SMS.

Consumers do not need to go anywhere for this service," Nokia said in a release. A Nokia store can't replace the battery. "But still people are coming to us to check whether their battery needs to be replaced and how," said a dealer at a Nokia store in the Capital. The dealer added that about 90% mobile phones in India have BL-5C battery. Globally, there are 300 million Nokia phone batteries of that particular 26-character code.

Beleaguered with more than 500 telephone calls and the same number of footfalls in the stores, most dealers put the print advertisement issued by Nokia in front of their shops.

On Tuesday, Nokia had identified that in rare cases the Nokia-branded BL-5C batteries could potentially experience overheating initiated by a short circuit while charging, causing the battery to dislodge. "Nokia is working closely with Matsushita and will be cooperating with relevant authorities to investigate this situation," the company said.