Cheap Package Design Tricks People Into Dropping Motorola Droid On Floor

The Motorola Droid is a sweet phone, but the box it comes in is a case study in bad package design. Where every other gadget these days comes in boxes with lids, or boxes designed to be opened in a specific manner, the Droid box can easily be opened so that the brand new phone falls to the floor.

C.R. writes,

I got my new Verizon Motorola Droid last week. But when I opened the box, the Droid fell to the floor. Apparently I had the box turned the wrong way. There is now a dent in my phone. It’s not a major dent. The phone still works. But it’s still not cool that because of a design flaw, I have to live with a damaged phone right from the get-go. I called Verizon to see if they would help, but they wouldn’t do a thing. Since the phone is still in working condition, they would not replace it. I then inquired about that 30 day period where I could return the phone if I don’t like it. She said that I could do that, but if the phone is physically damaged, I would be billed the full amount for the phone!!!

He also sent us a link to a Droid owners’ forum, where he posted his story and found others who had experienced the same. Here are some sample comments from that thread.

This happened [to me] when the rep at the store opened it and I refused that one made him get me another.

This happened to me but the Verizon salesperson did it! It was Friday morning, her first droid sale ever and she opened the box upside down and the droid slammed into the side of the desk leaving little dents on each side of the screen.
This happened to me at the store when I bought it (actually before I bought it), and it hit the counter from about 2 inches high and proceeded towards the floor.
This happened to me too, but only 1-2″ to my desk. Whoever put the box together is an idiot.
The customer rep did the same thing on mine!! luckily it just dropped on his keyboard

“WARNING for new Motorola Droid users!” []


Edit Your Comment

  1. h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

    That sucks pretty hard. When I’m working with a piece of electronics that would make me sad if it got broken, I open it right over a flat surface or on the couch. I’m perpetually afraid stuff like this will happen.

  2. bloggerX says:

    Hey, does anybody here have the Droid? If so, how is it?

    • halothane says:

      @bloggerX: Have it. Love it. The only thing that bugs me about it is that the toggle to adjust the ringer volume is really close to the button to re-activate the screen, so I end up making my ringer super loud on accident from time to time. But it’s absolutely awesome otherwise. AT&T coverage sucks around here, so the iPhone wasn’t ever really an option, but 15 minutes of playing with my friend’s Droid was enough to convince me to get one, whereas playing with tons of iPhones didn’t wow me.

      • bloggerX says:

        @aloria: Thanks for letting me know. I’m not a fan of the iPhone either. The only thing holding me back is the monthly bill. I’m on Sprint’s SERO service, 30 bucks for unlimited talk/data and text rulez!!!

    • ftk says:

      @bloggerX: It is sweet. Coming from Blackberry I am missing notification profiles, however there are several free apps that fill that gap (Ear being the one that works best/crashes least). Phone is very fast and i am not limited to just program icons on the screen which is my bigges peeve about the iPhone. Slide out keyboard is a kind of a pain to use, onscreen works great though. Just use the slideout to edit emails and when doing fullscreen ssh or vnc sessions. Synching contacts between multiple services (Gmail, google apps for domain, and corporate exchange) works great and all contact info for identical contacts are merged into a single view when viewing contacts, but are split into accounts when editing. Camera could be faster to focus but is rumoured to be fixed in next software update. Google maps navigator is awesome. No wonder garming and co tanked!

      All in all a very cool phone, I dig it.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:


      I *really* wanted one. Very nearly just ordered one on line.

      However, somehow I managed to act prudently and went to a store to fondle it first. 2 deal breakers for me:

      1. Verizon does not support tethering

      2. The keyboard is useless to me…unlike other phones that have wonderful keyboards, like the LG Env line, the Droid keyboard is flat all the way across…buttons are not raised at all…and the buttons are perfectly square and right up against each other. I can’t type on it.

      My bubble burst and I left without a Droid. Hopefully someone will fix these issues in a soon-to-come phone.

      • h3llc4t, breaker of office dress codes says:

        @YouDidWhatNow?: The keyboard issue is what kept me from springing on it. I have an enV2 and I love the keyboard. I mentioned to the kiosk employee that that was a major reason why I wouldn’t buy the Droid. I’m waiting for the second generation so any early adopter bugs can get worked out and they hopefully fix the keys.

      • ned4spd8874 says:

        I heard that tethering is coming very soon.

      • bloggerX says:

        @YouDidWhatNow?: I was thinking about getting the N900…but a bunch of factors prevented me from getting one:

        1. Nokia said they’re coming out with an improved model next year

        2. The 3G bands only operate on T-Mobile

        3. $649 (Amazon wants $589 I think) is too big of an early adopter tax for me.

        I’ve heard nice things about the Hero, but I like keyboards!

    • WeAre138 says:

      I’ve got a few friends who have it. One likes it, one went back to his iPhone. I played with it and I like it. But I like my iPhone a little more because I am hooked on multi-touch.

    • Distahs says:

      I have one and use it a lot. You can do just about anything you can do on an iphone. yes even multi-touch but it is currently limited to specific applications. (I Had an iphone for years but service in southern Idaho was only so-so)

      gone Droid. will NEVER go back.
      (no really I’m under contract :P)

  3. ned4spd8874 says:

    Wo-hoo! This is my story!!!

  4. liljimmynorton says:

    The package for the Moto Cliq is exactly the same, when my store got them in I almost sent one to the floor.

  5. msbask says:

    I had the exact opposite experience with my Samsung Instinct. That thing was packaged like it was Rolex. I still have the box because I was so impressed with it.

    (Needless to say: This post has nothing to do with the OP’s actual problem.)

    • PLAAND88 says:

      The Palm Pre has awesome packaging too. Even though I knew what was going on it made me feel good about the purchase.

    • brokebackwallet says:

      Ever tried removing Sennheiser earplugs from packaging? Now there is an example of how it should be done. Nearly impossible without having a crowbar, hacksaw and some sacrificed chickens around.

  6. SacraBos says:

    There’s a video of someone getting an iPhone the first day, and he walks out of the store to show the camera, opens the box, and the phone falls to the ground.

    Looks more likely to happen with the Droid, though.

  7. Brazell says:

    for the record, so far, there have been zero reports of dropping the box on the floor.

  8. Gruppa says:

    /this is not the Droid box you are looking for..

  9. crazedhare says:

    I would be really bothered if I bought a brand new phone and it dented that easily (regardless of packaging). I use Blackberry’s only (provided by work), and they’ve bounced on my driveway without denting.

  10. VidaBlueBalls says:

    This is a whole new meaning of ‘dropped calls.’

  11. dopplerd says:

    I bought mine online and when I opened the shipping box found that jostling had caused the Droid box to slide apart and the Droid was just hanging out without a box.

    Nothing happened to the phone and I really love it. Not quite as polished as an iPhone but very functional. Much more so than the Blackberry it replaced.

  12. thaJack says:

    You do (within the first fifteen days, I believe) have the option of adding the “insurance.”

    Once added, the only thing you have to do is make a call on your phone so that they can verify it works.

    Once you’ve added the insurance, and made your phone call, go and swap it off for a new one.

  13. bohemian says:

    This is quite the money making scam. Sell someone a very expensive phone that breaks right out of the box (literally) with no hope of refund and a 2 year contract!

  14. allstarecho says:

    I soooo want this phone.. but won’t touch it as long as it’s with Verizon.

  15. Telekinesis123 says:

    There really is no way to tell which way is ‘up’ from the outside of the package, I guess for a newcomer either way looks good.

  16. Paul in SF says:

    That happened to me too. As soon as I picked the box up my new Droid slid out the other end onto the concrete floor at work. Luckily no damage that I have noticed so far, but whoever designed that packaging should have their head examined.

    As far as the commenter who said “Well, since Verizon doesn’t give you a sealed box, but rather gives you the phone after everything is migrated, it is the responsibility of the tech in the store to re-secure the phone in the box before they hand it to you. AmIRite?” Not all of go to/went to a brick and mortar store to get our new phone. Mine was shipped to me from the Verizon website.

  17. kittyt says:

    I actually like the packaging, it’s a lot smaller than the older cell phones I got. What’s funny my older phones are a lot smaller than my Droid. I made sure to sit down on the couch to open mine because I’ve opened stuff has fallen out of the box. I’ve dropped my phone a few times but on carpet. So far it still works.

    As for the Droid, it’s pretty awesome. My boss has an iphone and really likes the Droid. I’d be pretty content with either phone. You also have to like Google if you want the Droid.

  18. thistowniswrong says:


    Verizon supports tethering, at least on the Blackberry. I was offered the option (For, I think, about $10/month) when I signed up. I passed.

    My friend is returning her Droid today. The battery doesn’t even last a day.