HTC Damaged My Phone During Warranty Inspection, Refuses To Fix

Consumerist reader Travis needed to replace a digitizer on his HTC HD2 phone, so he went through the usual channels and contacted the company’s warranty center to get the process going. From then on, everything went downhill.

He was informed over the phone that if a water sensor had been tripped, his warranty claim would be denied. He writes that only the sensor he could see, in the battery compartment, was unaffected. Score! He sent in the phone and waited. And then waited some more. After a few days, he says he called in to check on the device. It had been flagged for liquid damage, apparently on an inside censor.

In order to get a working phone, he figured he’d have to pony up $170 to repair it or $15 to have it shipped back. Being a savvy consumer, he knew he could ask for photographic proof of the damage. He requested said photos, and again, waited. Here’s where things got all wonky.

In the meantime I launched an extensive EECB to HTC, I heard back from E. at HTC and she informed me she was on the case and would report back to me with the findings. A day later I heard back and she had said the same thing, a moisture sensor was tripped and the warranty was void. Frustrated at this point, and quite capable of doing the repair myself since everything else on the phone worked perfectly fine I paid the $15 fee to have the phone returned, and was going to buy the part myself to repair the phone. To this date, the photos of the “damage” never arrived.

But oh, it gets worse. When Travis got his phone back, the camera and volume keys no longer worked. They had been just fine when he sent the phone in, which meant that in their attempt to check on those pesky moisture censors, HTC must’ve damaged his phone even more. He called his pal E. back, who apologized and sent a FedEx label to have the phone shipped back to HTC to repair the damages they had caused. Guess what happens next? More waiting!

I shipped the phone back to them, and waited. Again, not hearing any status on the repair I called the repair center to inquire about the repair. I was informed a warranty label had been removed, and the device would not be returned. I asked the representative how a label could be missing, the device wouldn’t have been opened up at the first RMA [returned materials authorization; if it was missing, and I would have been informed of that. She had no explanation, and said she would send a quote along for the repairs if I chose to perform them. (Pay for repairs of something THEY broke? Are they joking?) I called E. again, and asked what the deal was? Why was my repair for damages incurred at the repair center denied? She again informed me the warranty label was removed, offered to waive the shipping and triage fee and return the device to me. I again explained that if the sticker was missing, why was my device opened up and destroyed? She had no explanation for me either, other than she can send photos of the damage (I’ll hold my breath for them to arrive.) and ship the phone back to me in it’s current state. They were upholding the voided warranty and closing the case.

At this point, Travis is pretty peeved. He says he could’ve fixed the phone if they had just sent it back intact in the first place. But instead, they damaged the phone, then refused to fix it.

Whaddya say, HTC? Do Travis a solid and repair your own damages.