From the B2X press release:
B2X provides one of the industry’s most seamless customer service experiences. Users of Microsoft Lumia smartphones and Microsoft feature phones gain access to a global multi-channel customer care ecosystem managed by B2X in more than 130 countries. This global service platform powered by B2X SMARTCARE Technology delivers instant solutions for all warranty and non-warranty related customer inquiries.
We are extremely excited to provide one of the industry’s most comprehensive service and support offerings to people using Lumia and Microsoft feature phones,” said Dieter Weisshaar, Chief Commercial Officer of B2X. “With more than 400 service partners and 2,000 service locations globally, our customer care ecosystem and our SMARTCARE Technology are the ideal platform to serve the needs of these customers. We will make sure that customer support, reverse logistics and device repair services work seamlessly together, resulting in an exceptional customer experience.”
Lumia owners can also enjoy the benefit of an all-new mobile support application that can be downloaded from the Windows Store from mid-October onwards. The SMARTAPP allows customers to diagnose their Lumia smartphone and interact with a call center agent in real time.
Beyond customer support services through the self-help app, support websites and call centers, B2X manages a global logistics and service partner network that provides repair services for warranty and non-warranty related device issues. B2X also manages Microsoft’s spare parts supply giving repair centers rapid access to spare parts and accessories.
For Lumia smartphones purchased less than 6 months ago, B2X has designed the new SMARTPROTECT premium service. SMARTPROTECT offers Lumia customers an extension of the limited manufacturer’s warranty in combination with a smartphone insurance. The premium service package can be purchased at http://www.b2x.com/smartprotect.
Questions related to the usage of Microsoft’s mobile devices are answered through the multi-language support website http://www.b2x.com/microsoftphonesupport, which is linked from the Microsoft website http://support.microsoft.com. The website also connects Microsoft’s mobile customers to highly skilled call center agents, managed by B2X.
It obviously costs money to get a third party to repair and support handsets, but I'm presuming that a large chunk of this is on a per-repair basis and that Microsoft has done the sums and worked out that it's a lot cheaper to let the specialists do this sort of thing than maintain a network of employees and property across the world itself. Which is fair enough, and at least this way there's a future-proof and reliable way forward for users.
(The graphic below shows B2X offices, though the '130' number above obviously includes service partners and repair centres under other business names.)