Another Motorola V3i Stops Working For No Good Reason, Wants $175

Independent confirmation and the plot thickens!

It’s not just random bozos IMing Popken that are finding that Motorola has no capability to service their Razr V3i phones. Reader Darian G. sent us an email that basically reiterates the same thing: although possessing a valid warranty and sending it at his own expense to numerous Motorola servicing centers, Motorola ultimately won’t fix Darian’s phone, nor will they replace it. But, heck, they will sell him a new one.

The fluid-filled swishing of Motorola’s huge ballsy sack, after the jump.

I bought a RAZR v3i off of eBay in June and it almost worked for an entire week. Then suddenly while sitting on my desk overnight it could not establish a signal. Everything else worked perfectly. The following is a condensed version of my quest for repair service.

I went through Cingular, my carrier, they couldn’t get the phone to work again. Swapped SIM cards with others and determined it was the phone.

I called Motorola and they “strongly” encouraged me to send the phone to a regional repair center. I contacted the authorized service company in New Jersey who agreed to repair my RAZR v3i (I clearly specified the model in my e-mail). After I shipped it to them they called back telling me they did not have the tools and were charging me for return shipping.

After receiving my phone back I went through the Motorola web site, entering my IMEI number and receiving confirmation my phone was under warranty and instructions on sending it in for repair. I called the 800 number, spoke to the people with non-American accents, and shipped my phone off to Bloomington, Indiana.

Note: Motorola supposedly has/had a special support number for the v3i, 800-972-4316. I think once a person with an American accent answered. Every other time the same non-American accent picked up.

I monitored the progress of my shipment via the Motorola web site. I watched as my phone was sent out to Fort Worth, Texas. I was concerned that my repaired phone was sent to the wrong address. How wrong I was.

After at least three more attempts with the 800 number I found someone who knew enough to tell me that the Indiana repair center was for overseas phones (which mine was, before it emigrated) and the Texas facility was for domestic phones. (Since when did someone begin manufacturing cell phones in the U.S.A?)

A couple of days later I was left a voice mail message (on my landline, thankfully) telling me there would be a $175 charge for my phone and I needed to call back to authorize the charge. But they did not leave a phone number.

Back to the 800 operators who told me they don’t have any replacement v3i phones or repair tools and I could have a regular v3 or a SLVR, for $175. I told them I bought a v3i, I was told the warranty is good (attached), and Motorola accepted the phone for repair. I got no where.

I attempted to contact Motorola U.S.A., but their switchboard drone kept sending me to the 800 number. Enter Google.

I called the Fort Worth repair center and found out that 1) If an operator forwards an outside call they will be terminated and 2) Motorola does not have the capability to service the v3i. Upset and hoping that Motorola would eventually be able to service my phone I had it shipped back and it sits in my hall closet.

As cute as it is as a camera/mp3 player I really needed a phone. I now have a LG CU500 which I like very much, especially since it feels and so far has proven to be more durable that the RAZR.

I must say the Motorola staff in Texas actually performed customer service (at the risk of their jobs), unlike the non-American accent people and the people at Motorola corporate who have an official anti-consumer policy.

In my vocabulary Six Sigma is a joke.


Edit Your Comment

  1. KevinQ says:

    So he bought a European phone off of eBay, and now the American repair centers can’t fix it? I seem to remember this happening to another person on this site. I forget the details, but it seemed like somebody couldn’t use the European warranty in the U.S.

    It does seem stupid that the company can’t fix its own phones, but on the other hand, their techs probably aren’t trained on, and they don’t keep the parts for, a phone that they don’t sell in this territory.


  2. Jimmy M says:

    after all these v3i stories i’ve begun sacrificing chickens to mine daily.

    Day 1) still ok.

  3. Magister says:

    I am not very impressed by this story. He should be dealing with the people he bought the phone from. If he had purchased it from Cingular, then he would have had very little issues. Or if he didn’t then I would be as outraged as the letter writer.

    But getting screwed in an Ebay transaction and trying to go back to the manufacturer just doesn’t impress me much.

    Go back to the vender and have them fix it.

  4. bigroblee says:

    Off topic; does anyone know what that is in the picture next to the V3i?

  5. bigroblee says:

    Never mind, I think it is a stiletto.

  6. Drinker Nisti says:

    Don’t mistake the switchblade for a cell phone– the “on” button’s a killer…

  7. drsmith says:

    I think this is par for the course. I mean, there might be a reason why the phone wasn’t supported in the US. Maybe these two guys/gals use the same carrier…. maybe said carrier made changes on it’s network that caused the problem. I at least find it interesting that both phones use a SIM card – indicating that both people aren’t Verizon customers, at least.

  8. LintMan says:

    I’ve been shopping Cingular phones for the past month or two waiting for some of the next gen ones to arrive, and I saw the Moto V3i for sale on, listed in stock and available for (discounted!) purchase with a 2-year service agreement here in the the US. (Fortunately, I didn’t buy it!) Within about 2 weeks or less, the v3i listing started showing it as “unavailable”.

    If you look on various cell phone sites (ie: mobiledia or phonescoop), you can see that the Moto V3i is listed as an uncoming phone for Cingular in the US. So even if Cingular’s not currently selling it itself*, the phone is intended for Cingular in the US, and Moto US should be able to support the darn things. The v3i isn’t just some sort of Euro-model.

    Now, if the problem is that the phones are gray-market and without a US warranty, that’s another issue, but if that was the case, Moto should just come out and tell Darian that instead of this “we don’t have the tools” crud.

    * It’s hard to tell what phones Cingular is offically selling in any case:
    – one phone that was offered with a big sale and rebate stopped being offered altogether to me if I used my Florida zip code, but if I used my old Massachusetts code, it was still available and in stock
    – other phones listed for sale at my old MA zip do not show up with my FL zip
    – But if I go to via my employer’s discount link, some (not all) of those missing phones are available using my FL zip code.
    … So when I saw upcoming phones like the Moto V3i and Nokia 6126 listed for Cingular on Amazon, my assumption is that Cingular is just delaying its own unveiling of the phones for marketing purposes (ie: in time for XMas or to clear out their old V3 RAZR inventory).

  9. tcagnon says:

    My husband and I purchased Razr V3M phones from Verizon in July 2006. One week later our batteries would not hold a charge. Our local verizon store had to order replacements. They could not figure out why the batteries were not holding a charge. Now my phone constantly locks up when I plug it into the charger. I have to constantly remove the battery and put it back in to unlock the phone. Has anyone else had this problem? Verizon is clueless.