What to do? Samsung Galaxy S4 internal crack, DID NOT DROP, warranty coverage?

Anisha S

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Dec 9, 2014
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So I've had this Samsung Galaxy s4 for around 9 months now, and I've taken very good care of it. I have NEVER dropped it, it has a pretty sturdy protective case and screen protector on it. This past Friday, I set my phone down on the counter while I was getting ready to head out, and as I picked it up to get going, I noticed (to my horror) that there was a single crack going from top to bottom on the LCD (not front glass), and the screen had gone completely black, except for a white colored area on the left side. I was SHOCKED because I didn't drop it or put pressure on it or do anything out of the ordinary/abnormal to cause it. Has to be some sort of defect, because I never put it in tight pockets or anything like that either.

Horrified, I chatted w/ Samsung, and they gave me some troubleshooting tips, which temporarily caused the screen's images to show but the buttons were still not working, but the screen got blurrier and darker as the day went on even though I didn't touch it and just left it in one place. I chatted with Samsung again that night and they said that there is no way warranty would cover it, and my only option was to send it to them for repair. I said I would check with local Verizon store the next day to see what they could do because I didn't want to give up.

Verizon store said that even though they could easily overnight me a :free" replacement, Verizon would bill me $300 the second they knew there was a crack on my screen. Next best option was to get my family a fifth line for $10 a month and buy a new contract phone for that (galaxy s4 was $50 at this store). I don't want a new number so I didn't go with this option.

Called Samsung after this, talked to a very uncertain, hard to understand agent who told me the only way we could find out what would happen is if I sent it in for evaluation, and Samsung would decide if it's covered by warranty or not then let me know about repair. He asked me for credit card info (SHADY!) and I refused and he didn't ask again... At one point he said "warranty should cover repair" but I think he was just confused. Noted down anyway. He told me a higher-up would call and talk to me about it in 2 days (Sunday). Did not get a call. I think he just LIED and told me that to get me off their backs.

Today (Monday), I called Samsung again, demanded more information since no one called me, talked to one agent who told me the only way to find out is by sending my phone in, but I could talk to technical support to find out more. Got transferred to technical support, talked to a guy who told me the only way to know for sure is by sending my phone in for "free eval" but that I could call technicians who do the evals tomorrow and get more info. He did say "don't worry, it'll be free repair" twice, and I'm not sure if he just misspoke, but I noted that too.

What do you think my options are? Should I send in my phone for eval, then try to fight it if the technicians think it was physical damage and not a defect?? OR should I keep fighting back against Samsung without sending it in and see if they'll cover repair under warranty or even replacement? PRETTY sure I did not cause the "damage." If I can't even use my phone under NORMAL, DAILY circumstances without "damage" that won't be repaired under warranty, then Samsung has lost a future customer.

B. Diddy

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Mar 9, 2012
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Welcome to Android Central! A frustrating situation for sure. Unfortunately, you probably won't be successful--and I think this is how it would go with almost any manufacturer, not just Samsung. It is virtually impossible to prove that physical damage like a cracked screen was not due to some kind of trauma, unless you somehow caught the crack occurring right on video. Some manufacturers are better about this--for example, Google has a free replacement offer for the Nexus 5, should it become damaged for any reason. HTC also has a free screen replacement offer within the first 6 months for the HTC one. But by and large, if this happened with any other phone, you'd be hard pressed to get a free replacement or repair under warranty.

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