HTC: Phone Repair By Sprint Store Voided Warranty

If Sprint is the exclusive seller of the HTC Evo, and Sprint stores will also repair your Evo when you have a problem with it, isn’t it logical that having Sprint repair your smartphone won’t void the warranty? Not so fast, smart guy or gal! Rodney writes that he and his wife actually left Sprint because a local Sprint store charged for a repair that actually voided the warranty. That repair? The phone’s 4th in seven months. Update, 2/23/11: HTC is issuing Rodney a refund.

My wife’s 7-month old HTC Evo has been a nightmare of a device. Previously, I’ve brought the phone to a Sprint store to be repaired for all sorts of issues from random reboots to LCD defects. The first 3 times I’ve brought it in, aside from the hassle of doing so, it was all good because it seemed like Sprint was able to solve the issue and I was not charged anything because the phone is still under warranty.

This January, once again, the phone was unusable because of yet another LCD issue. I go in the Sprint store to have it repaired again. Lo and behold, they were now charging me $35 for the repair telling me that their “policy” was changed last October 2010 and that they now need to charge me this much if I didn’t have the insurance to have my phone repaired. I argued that the phone is still under warranty and that it should be defect-free for at least a year. They told me that I can go to HTC if I didn’t want to pay the $35 since the manufacturer is the one that provides the warranty. So I decided to just eat the fee and just cross my fingers that the phone stays usable.

After about a week, the phone from hell was at it again. Now it wasn’t charging anymore. I tried several HTC chargers and charging via a USB port to no avail. I was determined to not pay anything for the repair and I wasn’t even sure if Sprint was adequately repairing the device. So I called HTC to set up an RMA. On the call, I asked the HTC CSR if I will pay anything to have the device repaired. He told me that if there is no sign of water or physical damage that they will repair it for no cost since it was still under warranty.

I sent the phone in and after a few days I was shocked to get an email that the warranty on the phone was void because of a broken warranty label and that I need to fork $75 to have it repaired. If not, I need to pay $39 so they can send it back to me.

Naturally, I was so incensed because it was Sprint who broke the label in the previous repairs. I was in a shouting match with the first CSR so I just asked for a supervisor so I can get somewhere. The supervisor said that she was escalating it to upper management after she reviewed the call when I sent the device in because I was arguing that they did not notify me that if Sprint repaired the phone and broke the warranty label that they won’t be honoring the warranty. If I knew about that, I wouldn’t have bothered with HTC. She said I would hear from somebody the next day.

After a week, nobody from HTC contacted me so I called in and the CSR I spoke to was again repeating the same argument I had about the warranty label being broken and that they didn’t care if Sprint broke it. They kept insisting that Sprint was NOT an authorized repair center even though you can only buy the phone from them.

At this point I was already at the end of my wits and said that I will just pay to have the phone repaired. She told me that the repair was going to cost me $240. At this point I went ballistic and told her that in the email that I received the total price was $75. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? She quickly reneged and said they will go with what was sent to me and charged my card.

So here I wait to see if I will get my repaired phone. We’ve since already switched carriers not minding the ETF just because I felt insulted and degraded throughout this whole ordeal with both Sprint and HTC.

As a cherry to top it off, the Sprint supervisor in their retentions department who I talked to last was very condescending and spoke to me like everything was my fault. Good job HTC and Sprint!

Rodney updated us:

Anyway, just wanted to say a big thank you because yesterday, HTC
contacted me to refund my money after reading the article on
Consumerist.