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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  
    BrockN's Avatar

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    Angry The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    Well, regardless of the features or technology offered by HTC, my experience with them as a company is exceedingly poor. How many people have had a phone fail, sent it back for warranty work, only to get the 'BER = Beyond Economic Repair' response?

    The phone in question was NOT dropped in water or left out in the rain. It saw some real world humidity, but nothing that has ever damaged ANY device I've ever owned.

    First clue there was a problem was when it powered into the Android green boot screen. The down volume button didn't respond. Booting with the up volume button depressed put me into Safe Mode. Everything worked... except the down volume button! So volume, brightness, any function that uses the button would only toggle up, but never down.

    So off it went to HTC. Their response? WATER DAMAGE!! Pushing for details, I got photos ostensibly showing the phone open... but no damage that I could see. I sent the photos to a friend (RF Engineer) who designs and prototypes cellular devices - I won't mention names, but if you've used a laptop cell card, chances are it was one his team designed. Bottom line, he knows how these things go together and hand solders (hot air etc) the prototypes. His review of the photos... "where's the damage??".

    I put his comments back to HTC and they simply repeated the standard BER escape... nobody would talk to me and they wouldn't elaborate on what in the photos was considered damage. All communications was hubbed through my Roger's store and was apparently done by email. So the phone came back to me and I took it to a local cell repair company, because I found some information on other HTC One models having a replaceable switch assembly. They did their own research and said sorry... the switch is part of the main board on the HTC One and evidently not a replaceable part on this model! And by the way, where's the water damage you were talking about??

    So I've come full circle and now believe HTC is sidestepping their responsibility to honour their warranty. Since the switch isn't something that can be replaced (it appears), they'd have to replace the full motherboard and essentially, the phone. Forget the fact that every function except the down volume works on the phone and there is no evidence of water that we can see - lens is clear, screen is fine - the phone is 'Beyond Economical Repair' (for them evidently). I'm wondering if a wet finger could introduce water into the volume button (lousy design or build quality if this is the case), because *IF* there was water inside, that's the only way I can see it *maybe* happening... aside from humidity condensing in the aluminum case. Or maybe perspiration dripping off the nose of the poor sweatshop worker that assembled it...

    And here's a good one... the photos they sent me show an EXIF date from last year... stock photos to be sent to everyone, or the 'phone mechanic' at HTC is incapable of even setting the camera date??

    Anyone else been screwed over by HTC repair??
  2. #2  

    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    If it was "beyond economic repair," shouldn't they just replace the device?
  3. #3  

    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    Usually they don't come back with the 'water damage' reason unless one of the water damage sensors are tripped. (White discs that turn bright red when exposed to water) The board itself may not show any visible damage, but if those sensors are tripped then it was exposed to water.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
    Topgonzo likes this.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    a little more info-

    how old is the device and from where did you purchase??
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  
    BrockN's Avatar

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    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    roflwaffleton: They're claiming water damage to avoid doing anything at all. As soon as there is any sign of water, they throw up their hands and simply refuse to do anything. In this case, even if there was a sign of water, the phone operates 100% as expected, except for the switch. Unless they can prove water damage to the switch, replace it and if really necessary, put a note on the S/N stating water damage was noted but not relevant to the repair. If it comes back again with a problem clearly traceable to water, void the warranty. If you drive through a pot hole and mess up your car's suspension, would you expect that to void the warranty on the rear window defroster?? I'd have been willing to pay for the switch if they really wanted to be ignorant, but they won't touch it at all.

    JHBThree: I would have expected them to draw a circle around the area(s) in the photo showing water damage (litmus paper, whatever) to help their case. They didn't. There are no disks seen anywhere - first thing the dealer looked for in the ports. Nothing seen in the photos in the way of disks that I can see either. Bottom line, humidity is a consequence of living in our environment and I would absolutely expect that the tell-tales would turn in a humid environment anyway, given the right combination of humidity, temperature and rate of temperature change.

    It's also interesting to note that my friend commented that they routinely wash their devices to remove flux etc. Water doesn't necessarily cause damage, although corrosion could. Somewhere on this forum is a post from a guy in his 50's who was told his pants were too humid, causing the corrosion on the USB port in his HTC. He commented that he should perhaps carry a blow dryer with him to dry his balls every hour or two to prevent this from happening in the future. Unfortunately, that's the level of stupidity HTC is pushing towards...

    freddyttt: The phone came from Rogers and saw about 3 or 4 weeks of use before spending the next 5 or 6 weeks at Rogers and HTC.
  6. #6  

    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    Quote Originally Posted by BrockN View Post
    roflwaffleton: They're claiming water damage to avoid doing anything at all. As soon as there is any sign of water, they throw up their hands and simply refuse to do anything. In this case, even if there was a sign of water, the phone operates 100% as expected, except for the switch. Unless they can prove water damage to the switch, replace it and if really necessary, put a note on the S/N stating water damage was noted but not relevant to the repair. If it comes back again with a problem clearly traceable to water, void the warranty. If you drive through a pot hole and mess up your car's suspension, would you expect that to void the warranty on the rear window defroster?? I'd have been willing to pay for the switch if they really wanted to be ignorant, but they won't touch it at all.

    JHBThree: I would have expected them to draw a circle around the area(s) in the photo showing water damage (litmus paper, whatever) to help their case. They didn't. There are no disks seen anywhere - first thing the dealer looked for in the ports. Nothing seen in the photos in the way of disks that I can see either. Bottom line, humidity is a consequence of living in our environment and I would absolutely expect that the tell-tales would turn in a humid environment anyway, given the right combination of humidity, temperature and rate of temperature change.

    It's also interesting to note that my friend commented that they routinely wash their devices to remove flux etc. Water doesn't necessarily cause damage, although corrosion could. Somewhere on this forum is a post from a guy in his 50's who was told his pants were too humid, causing the corrosion on the USB port in his HTC. He commented that he should perhaps carry a blow dryer with him to dry his balls every hour or two to prevent this from happening in the future. Unfortunately, that's the level of stupidity HTC is pushing towards...

    freddyttt: The phone came from Rogers and saw about 3 or 4 weeks of use before spending the next 5 or 6 weeks at Rogers and HTC.
    Humidity can't trigger moisture sensors.

    Sent from my Nexus 4 using Tapatalk 2
  7. #7  

    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    So... What was wrong with your phone anyway?

    Sent from my T-Mobile HTC One using AC Forums.
  8. Thread Author  Thread Author    #8  
    BrockN's Avatar

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    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    Quote Originally Posted by JHBThree View Post
    Humidity can't trigger moisture sensors.
    I beg to differ. It won't be instant, but moisture will eventually react with the sensor. You can rust metal in a humid environment that would see no damage somewhere dry. As well, some integrated chips are built from a material that absorbs humidity... they have sensors on them to ensure they aren't too 'wet' before getting cooked in the soldering process (they'll fail structurally if heated when 'wet'). Plenty of anecdotal evidence out there too... this for example:

    I note that no comments were made by HTC regarding the sensors. You would think they'd point at that right from the start if it would settle the argument (in their mind at least)... but they didn't. So either the sensors don't exist, weren't triggered, or they're simply too arrogant to be bothered making that argument, I really don't know.
  9. Thread Author  Thread Author    #9  
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    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    Quote Originally Posted by Almeuit View Post
    So... What was wrong with your phone anyway?
    The down volume button quit, everything else works just fine. And evidently the button is not a replaceable part, so blaming 'water damage' to weasel out of their warranty commitment is the best way to avoid a more costly replacement. Knowing for a fact that the phone was never wet - from the time of purchase until it went back for repair - makes this extremely insulting.
  10. #10  

    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    It just sounds odd to me. Many people on this forum have done warranty repairs without issue.. Not sure why they would just chose one to not honor it to save a little cash.

    Ask to see a pic of the sensor.

    Sent from my T-Mobile HTC One using AC Forums.
  11. Thread Author  Thread Author    #11  
    BrockN's Avatar

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    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    I think my point is that this is a common response by HTC. I saw a discussion about launching a class action suit against them over exactly this... wish I could find it again as I'd like to look at it more closely now that I've evidently run out of discussion with HTC. I'm sure many repairs have been done - not doing any would be a huge red flag and carriers wouldn't sell the phones. Here's a funny link that is somewhat relevent: http://forums.androidcentral.com/spr...ort-print.html

    Apple also got sued over the water damage sensor issue and lost. Or changed their policy. This was because humidity was changing the colour of the sensors. See:

    FWIW, the senior customer support person I eventually spoke with at Rogers made comments that suggested they knew HTC was a problem. He also noted that their HTC offerings are much reduced from what the were in the past. It could be a gradual elimination of HTC from their lineup, or simply limiting their exposure while still giving customers bent on buying one, the opportunity to do so.
  12. #12  

    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    Let's be sure to keep things civil and productive here.
  13. #13  

    Default Re: The 'Water Damage' Warranty Weasel Clause

    I agree...I will be searching for a class action lawsuit against htc tmobile!! I have the htc one & after taking it in for repair because the "switch" doesn't work, I got the STUPID A$$ respond from the sales rep. "The warranty is voided because the strip changed colors!". I'm sick of companies like this taken advantage of us consumers & will fight to ensure they stop the BS!!!

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