French electronics chain Darty has launched a "Darty button", which allows French customers to get into contact with the chain's helpdesk or the service after sales. There is a price to pay for this service though.
One press of a button
If you have forgotten what that certain button on your microwave does, if your internet tv is acting up or if your online order still hasn't arrived, then you can use the Darty button. Within a minute, an employee of the electronics chain will call you: 24/7, even if your item is no longer under warranty or if you haven't even purchased something at Darty (if Darty has the brand in its product range). The company calls it "prioritized, personalized support".
"Le bouton Darty" is one of those 'connected devices' that communicate through the internet, which manufacturers want to install in our homes over the next few months and years. Both Wifi and Bluetooth will work and the biggest advantage is that you don't have to wait on the phone for several minutes with the well-known 'All of our employees are currently unavailable" message.
You will have to pay to use the button though: the device costs 25 euro, and added to that is a 3 euro monthly subscription if you require assistance for television, audio and household appliances - or 8 euro per month if you want to include all products, including multimedia. "The standard after sales service at Darty is free", says French consumer organization Que Choisir, labelling the device as "innovative, but useless".
Darty CEO Régis Schultz does not agree and points out that its after sales service has always been a priority. The French chain has 7 call centers which services 8 million phone calls per year, while it also employs 1,500 technicians. "The connected button is a logical extension of our engagement", Régis Schultz said.
It is not yet clear whether affiliate chains Vanden Borre (in Belgium) and BCC (in the Netherlands) will introduce similar projects.