Cell phone warranty racket

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Cell phone warranty racket

Post by Gregg » Sun Aug 14, 2011 5:38 pm

I just can't believe Cincinnati Bell (and I'm sure others) get away with this.
I got a new smart phone in March, and to tell the truth the thing was just about quirky enough to be annoying, but I could call people on the phone most of the time, which is still what I use a phone for, so I just lived with it.
A month ago give or take, it started locking up. The touch screen didn't work, lasted a few hours at a time, so I took it back to the store, and asked them to replace it under warranty. The clerk told me I needed to remove the battery everyday, that it was just a little glitch, live with it, etc...
So this week it finally died. The touch screen didn't work at all and it didn't get better (even when I took out the battery). So I took it back to the store again. Good news, the 1 year warranty covers it when the smart phone is retarded or just doesn't work at all. Bad news, you have to send it back to the manufacturer in China and they'll fix it and send it back! Hopefully before your 2 year service contract expires!

But wait, if you sign up for their insurance ($60) you can call and file an insurance claim and they'll replace the phone in a few days, and you can get a loaner phone until they do (for $50, although that is partially refundable). So I plunk down the money for the insurance and loaner phone, and call the insurance claim line. (Securitel)

Well, when I got the loaner phone, they put my SIM card into it, and when I called the insurance, they can only process a claim on the phone my SIM card is in. They did take the claim, though, and will refer it to their corporate to see if they can take a claim on the phone I actually own. Oh, and there is a "deductible" on the claim ($50).

Not to mention, I'm making a claim with a wink and nod on a problem that happened before I bought the "insurance" which kind of sounds like insurance fraud to me anyhow.

Am I the only one that thinks this is a racket? Or thinks it strange that it costs $160 so far to replace a defective phone under warranty when the phone itself was "free" with a 2 year contract?
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Re: Cell phone warranty racket

Post by wserra » Sun Aug 14, 2011 6:15 pm

My wife's Motorola Droid X died a few days ago, while we're on vacation, just within the one-year warranty period. We called Verizon, they told us to try a couple of things we had already tried, then they agreed to replace it - with a "factory reconditioned" one. We weren't thrilled with that, but upon looking, found that was what the warranty said. Anyway, they FedEx'ed it to our vacation home, it arrived Friday, and it seems fine.

Go figure.
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Re: Cell phone warranty racket

Post by Judge Roy Bean » Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:26 am

Better than what has happened to an associate with a T-Mobile 'droid phone.

It took T-Mobile an hour and a half to set up the service and actually make the phone work; it took two more days, two trips to a "company" T-Mobile store where there was a technician to get the email to start working.

A few days later, the phone started hanging up all by itself. Then the audio started dropping out.

Back to the T-Mobile store for a replacement - another two-hours of them fiddling with the two phones to get the new one up to speed with what was on the old. Amazingly, email would work on the old phone but not on the new one.

After all that their suggestion was to call the email service provider - who laughed. If you have one phone that works and another allegedly-identical phone that does not, it's not the email service provider.

The incompetence of people in that business is absolutely astounding.
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Re: Cell phone warranty racket

Post by Prof » Tue Aug 16, 2011 3:00 pm

I have been thru 2 Blackberries and now have my second iPhone. All were very satisfactory; the warranties were very satisfactory(I guess from AT&T, since all three came from AT & T). The iPhone is glitchy -- you may have to reboot from time to time-- but gets great e-mail. The Blackberry was easier to send on because of the keyboard; the iPhone easier to read because of the large touch screen.

My wife's simple cell phone went out a few weeks ago; the free replacement was an android operated something or other, which we never could get to work. That was exchanged for a refurbished iPhone which works wonderfully, except that my wife is a real technophobe and refuses to learn to use the optional features such as contacts and calendar. It took forever to get her to use the text-message feature.

So, with AT&T and decent original units, We're doing fine.
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Re: Cell phone warranty racket

Post by JamesVincent » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:33 am

I have had Nextel for quite a few years since a lot of contractors I deal with use direct connect. I have had very little problems with them or the phones since I only get the mil-specced phones. I am extremely rough on my phones with all the different chemicals that I use for work and the poor environments I always work in. I had one phone, the i-730 flip, that lasted 7 years with no problems but replacing the battery after 5 years. I actually use to use lacquer thinner to clean it but apparently the finish stripper I use didnt agree with the plastic case and melted it a little but the phone still worked great.When the text messaging finally gave up the ghost I switched to the mini Blackberry clone and have had it for 2 years now with no issues. The charger that came with it acts funny on occasion but the phone works great. On the other hand, my mother had sprint and had nothing but problems with the company, but the phones she had worked fine. Dont know why theres such a difference between 2 sides of the same company but apparently there is. She finally switched to Boost since she really doesnt need a fancy plan just to call someone twice a week and has had no issues with the phone or them since.
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Re: Cell phone warranty racket

Post by Cathulhu » Wed Aug 17, 2011 6:08 pm

I only use disposable phones, but it's part of being a Shadowy Figure of Mystery.
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Re: Cell phone warranty racket

Post by Mr. Mephistopheles » Wed Aug 17, 2011 7:41 pm

That's a little fishy Gregg. My former cell phone company used to pull the same sort of shenanigans. We now use a regional cell phone company that provides wonderful service. My wife got a new smart phone a couple years ago and the touch screen failed in less than three months. She went to the store and walked out 30 minutes later with a brand new phone, same model. The keyboard on my phone quit (same model as wifey's) several months ago. At first the sales person told me the phone would need to be sent to the manufacturer for repair and I would need a loaner, but they had no smart phone loaners. Then she called her supervisor who made a phone call and 45 minutes later I had a good condition used phone (same model). Service par excellence.