Tape On Your Wet Cellphone Won’t Help You At All

In response to our post on Saving A Wet Cellphone, and specifically the advice we for some reason gave about trying to trick companies to pay for dropping the blasted phone in the sink by taping over the water damage sticker, an anonymous tipster wrote:

    Most people don’t realize that nearly all of the phones that carriers sell today have MULTIPLE liquid damage indicators, and only one is generally visible (under the battery, natch). It’s generally true that if the one under the battery is triggered, then odds are very high that the ones inside are triggered as well.

    By taping over the thing, or by outright lying, this only results in a delay of the customer being charged a voided-warranty fee, and then tends to result in said customer returning and bitching about a ‘mystery charge’ they forgot they agreed to accept as a condition of a warranty exchange. Most sales reps aren’t going to try to intentionally fuck you by lying about the damage indicator, its just generally easier to break it to you then, and they tend to know when a customer will be charged for something and when you can sneak a ‘warranty issue’ by the techs (user damages mostly..).

    Sometimes, it’s just better to accept the hand that fate has dealt you, learn your lesson, and fess to the damage and buy a new phone (extend your contract or don’t, you’ve got a choice, its up to you to accept the discount a contract provides) versus trying to scam the carriers.

Yes, honesty is the best policy. Just because companies lie to us doesn’t mean we should start lying to them. Plus, they’re sneaky bastards… they usually know.


Edit Your Comment

  1. coylix says:

    When I was having problems charging my phone I was advised by a CSR to clean the battery contacts with rubbing alcohol. Guess what! Rubbing alcohol is 20% alcohol…80% water! It promptly turned my snow white sticker bright red.

  2. Hmmm…Well I guess there are only two solutions.

    1. Cover your WHOLE phone with tape thereby making it waterproof.

    2. Cell phone companies can start making water resistant/proof phones. (The digital watches have been doing it for years…)

    Or, and I know this is stretching your imagination, but providers could include water damage as part of their warranties…ZOMG!

  3. DanLockton says:

    As I’ve said over at Architectures of Control, if I were a phone designer, I would much prefer to look at the problem as “How can we improve the sealing of phones so that water ingress is no longer a major problem?” than “How can we design something to cover our backs and shift all the blame onto the user for our design fault?”

    It’s a lousy attitude to take to the customer.

  4. FLConsumer says:

    Some of the cell phones have multiple chemical dots located throughout the phone. Some typical hiding places are: behind the screen, in the keypad, near the earpiece, near the battery. So, simply covering up one dot isn’t going to take care of the problem.

  5. tedonion says:

    I agree with crayonshinobi, although there have been some phones manufactured to be water/shock/dust resistant, the vast majority will be destroyed by a short drop, a brief dunk, or by being used in a dusty environment.

    Would you add an ounce to your phone if it meant it was a much more sturdy appliance? I sure would!

  6. inzain says:

    Blah. These stickers are hugely inaccurate. I took the battery off my year-old Audiovox the other day and found the sticker was activated. Its never gotten near water and its worked great. But if I needed warranty service, I would’ve been screwed.

    Just another excuse for companies to deny warranty service to you.

  7. premek says:

    Mostly it is a problem of money. Sure, an ounce is no big deal, but if the price was significantly higher, much less people would buy it. No matter what, people still shop mainly by price. It is very hard explaining that some product really IS worth few bucks more …

  8. MeOhMy says:

    I mentioned this in the original post. Warranties cover DEFECTS (to the device, not the operator). Unless the phone is supposed to be waterproof, it’s not a defect if it fails when it gets wet.

    If you crash your car, would you expect the car manufacturer to fix it under warranty?