While the allure of tradition may entice many of China’s elite to purchases luxury watches, many of those customers get more… headaches… than they expect. The World Luxury Association recently released a survey that indicates 46 percent of all China’s complaints about luxury goods are made on behalf of bad timepieces and the poor aftercare even the top brands provide.
The luxury association collected 3,756 complaints on luxury goods in China between March 15, 2011 and March 15 this year. The survey showed that most luxury consumers are not satisfied with the after-sales service for luxury goods and only 16 percent of consumers said their complaints were resolved.
“Although the market is large, China’s consumers do not receive enough attention from international luxury brands,” said Ouyang Kun, director of the World Luxury Association’s China Office. He said the complicated and long process of after-sales service increases consumers’ difficulties in receiving the services.
“As a kind of mechanical item, after-sales service is more important for watches than other luxury items, because the mechanical items are more likely to have faults,” said Yang Qingshan, guest researcher on luxury goods and services at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.
In China, the sellers of luxury watches do not take the responsibility to fix them, Yang said, which is one of the reasons for complaints about luxury watches. “It’s time for international luxury companies to pay attention to after-sales service,” He suggested. At least some brands are listening. In February, Gucci launched a 400-line for customer service on the mainland to tackle complaints.
According to the luxury association’s report, 57 percent of consumers’ concerns involved quality. Zhou Ting suggests this is par for the course in China’s development, saying, “The fast expansion of luxury brands in China is one of the reasons for the low quality of luxury items.”