Any customer who faces a technical issue with his or her newly purchased smartphone from Flipkart can expect an engineer to visit their house and address the problem. The programme, launched in March, is aimed at curbing the return requests often made by customers after purchase, and the company says they have been successful in meeting that objective. “Often buyers return the phone because of issues like the phone getting heated up or the battery draining out fast.In many cases, the problem is not with the handset, but with the way the customer is using the phone. We realized we need to educate the customer about their smartphones,” said Sachin Kotangale, head of customer operations in Flipkart. Customer care centres are generally not able to figure out the problem based on a phone call. Hence the visit by a technical expert. Once a customer places a request for technical support, Flipkart sends an engineer who listens to the challenges the customer is facing and then tries to understand how the customer is using the phone. If the phone is getting heated, it’s possible there are too many applications running in the background or the user watches videos for a long time.The technician will explain how to resolve those issues. If the product itself is found to be faulty, the technician will initiate a return on the customer’s behalf. This service is being provided in ten cities, including Delhi NCR, Bengaluru, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Surat and Chennai, through a partnership with three mobile service centres, including Jeeves and Iqor. Kotangale said Flipkart sees around 15,000 technical visits a month. “This has led to a decrease in return requests for smartphones in the 10 cities by almost 50%. More than 60% of the customers who have issues with newly purchased phones are people who are not aware of how to operate a smartphone,” he said. The free technical visit happens only for ten days from the date of purchase, which is the return period for smartphones. Flipkart is planning to expand this service to over 40 cities by the end of this month.