We were one of the first Indian site to do a review of the OnePlus One. We bought the device with our own money, reshipped it, paid the duty and then did the review. We even went on to make a post to help OnePlus fans in India to prebook the phone before it was officially launched here, which was one of our popular article. Our effort was recognised by the OnePlus team and they were really nice to us, answering every query that we had. In fact, they gave us a chunk of invites so that we could do a giveaway on our website last year.
But this year the story was different. OnePlus got bigger and they are officially available in India. Great?! No, not for us. The folks we knew at OnePlus last year no longer work there. So when we contacted them for a review unit they redirected us to their PR team based in India. The first reply we got from them was that they won’t be able to give us a review unit. That was really harsh, but pretty understandable since they had to give it to the bigger publications first. We were making alternate arrangements to get the phone for making an elaborate review (Yes, We were on an invite hunt too).
A week after the release, we got a mail from their PR team about a OnePlus fan meet in Chennai, where we are based. They said that they’ll have hands on for OnePlus 2 and that we can come check it out. The venue was an hour away from our place and we’d just slept for a couple of hours the previous day because we were just back from the Asus Zenfest in Delhi. One of our guy’s still had to be there because we still hadn’t used the OnePlus Two and we wanted to make an initial hands on first impression video at the earliest.
Once at the venue, it was completely packed and they had a quiz and other stuff which the fans found it be really interesting. Our guy patiently waited for the hands on. They had limited devices and it quickly got crowded and he planned to wait a little longer since taking a video would need some space. By this time, a fellow blogger had also arrived hoping to make his hands on video too.
Once the crowd dispersed and there was some space, the fellow blogger decided to do his video first and our guy was recording it. Just one minute into the video, the phone was snatched away from his hands. When our guy asked why they had to literally “snatch” it from their hands, they were told ‘You can’t do that’. They mentioned they were from media and came all the way here for this. To their horror, they got the same reply ‘No, no one can take videos or reviews’.
There was no proper explanation whatsoever. In a couple of minutes, they took the devices and left. They were either eager in leaving or they just didn’t care about our presence or worse, the brand they represented.
Here’s the video of Siddanth Adiga from Tech-Mania shooting the hands on at the event. You might want to skip to the end of the video.
On an honest note, until date, we haven’t generated a single penny from Techzei (Our site is AD free, you can thank us later). We just run it out of our own money because we love doing what we do. But this kind of an experience makes us sick. Every company we’ve dealt with had some respect for us, after all we are only helping them spread the word on their products. This makes us question how they would treat us if we went in as a customer in the future.
OnePlus is definitely not the company we knew and trusted a year back. It does not matter how many phones you sell right now. If you’ve failed one customer to an extent that he has to hate the brand you have failed. Yes, we are ranting but we feel disgusted by what has happened and no longer enjoy the idea of reviewing a OnePlus device anytime in the near future. In true spirit, we would be covering announcements and updates coming from OnePlus but a review is far off.