AT&T: If The Stylus On Your Phone Breaks, Your Warranty Is Void

Reader Rob has an AT&T 8525.

It came with two cheap plastic styluses, one of which broke while still in the phone.

Now Rob can’t get the stylus out of the phone. Other than that small inconvenience, the phone is fine.

He called AT&T for help and they told him his warranty was void, then laughed at him.

Rob writes:

I’ve got an AT&T 8525, and I’ve had it since about mid-June. It was a refurbished model, and the stylus end (the end that screws in) was a little wobbly, but very functional still. We’ve got a little problem with it now, though. That tip on the stylus (a cheap, $3 part) has broken off. The phone is fine, but the stylus is broken. That in itself isn’t a big deal, what sucks is that the stylus is still in the phone, and I have no way of retrieving it without opening the phone up and voiding the warranty. So, what am I to do?

I call AT&T to tell them the situation… and I’m promptly informed that the warranty on my phone is now void because of physical damage. What?! A $3 part that’s shipped with the phone breaks, and now the phone’s warranty is void. That’s what I’m to understand. I try, repeatedly, to tell the Agent I’m speaking with that the phone itself is undamaged, that it’s just the stylus, and I’m only calling them so I don’t have to open the phone and void my own warranty. I am informed, over and over again, that it doesn’t matter. I’ve abused the device, it is now out of warranty. I ask for the call to be escalated, and I’m sent to their Escalation Center.

I speak with Amy Hodges from Escalations. She informs me of the same situation as the previous person does, since before I speak to her the previous tech gives her their version of what’s wrong with my phone. I try, in vain, to explain that I just want my stylus out of my phone. I explain that I don’t need a new phone, that I just want the one I have to be 100% usable again, and all she’ll tell me is that I can have it exchanged if I pay for a new phone. I ask her, “So, you’re telling me that since the cheap, defective stylus you shipped me broke, my phone’s out of warranty forever and I will have to buy a new one if I ever want it fixed.” She says, while laughing, “Yes, that’s what I’m telling you, your phone is no longer under warranty.” I ask for her supervisor.

I speak to Josh Rosen, Supervisor for Advanced Data Devices. I try to start all over with him, figuring maybe something had just gotten lost in all the story telling from tech to tech. I tell him, “Ok. When I received my phone, I received three things: a phone, a stylus, and a battery. The phone and the battery are fine. The stylus, which I actually have two of, has broken.” I ask if he’s with me so far, and he doesn’t reply. I ask again, and wait for him to say, “Huh?” I say, “Good to know you’re listening. Anyway, on the stylus there are two tips. A rubber pointer tip, and a hard plastic lip tip. The hard plastic tip allows you to pull the stylus out of the phone. It has broken off. The stylus is inside of the phone. I am calling you so that I don’t have to open the phone up myself and void the warranty.” His response? “I’m sorry, your phone’s out of warranty because of physical damage.” At this point, I’m pretty sure he didn’t listen to a word I said. I go back and forth with him for about ten minutes, asking what my options are and basically pleading my case. His response? I need to contact HTC, and ask a friend if they have any old AT&T phones I can use in the mean time. I ask him if he’s joking, because he’s laughing as he’s telling me to do this. I ask him if he, as a consumer, would be satisfied with that answer… instead of answering me, he gives me the ol’ “I do apologize for your frustration, but your warranty is void. Is there anything else I can help you with?”. I ask for his supervisor, and I’m told that he’s as high as it goes. I ask him if that’s true, he says, “Yes, it’s true.” I don’t believe him, so I ask again. He says, “Well, no, it’s just for today.” I tell him I want his supervisor’s name, and I want it now. He gives it to me, but won’t give me a number to contact him at. His name, by the way, is Thomas Jackson, Head Supervisor for Advance Data Devices. I am informed that if I want to talk to him, I will have to work through the chain again… he gives me the 1.800 number. I inform him that I’m not a satisfied customer, he thanks me for choosing Cingular Wireless (you’d think they’d have that trained out by now) and tells me to have a nice night.

So, that’s where I’m at. I’ll be calling HTC later on this afternoon (assuming they’re open) and try and get this figured out. Just figured I’d let you guys know that if you break the stylus of a PDA/smartphone from AT&T, your warranty is completely void.


Rob, it’s time for an EECB! Your warranty should not be voided over a broken stylus. We think that’s why they give you two of them. They break!