How HTC UK Honour Guarantees

Introduction

One day, my 7 month old HTC  one prime phone’s backlight started to go.  It flickered a little when touching the screen, and finally went.  Whilst waiting to send it to HTC UK for repair, and not being used, the battery died .  I sent it back.

Soon after, they had reached a conclusion.  The diagnosis was a list of  20 or more parts, in fact every single part to make a new phone, and a bill for approximately  what i paid to buy it.     It said that the damage wasnt covered by the warranty.  Did they realise it was almost new ? .

I was amazed.  What kind of diagnosis was this, that wrote it off with no explanation, and effectively blamed me??

They must list some parts, but all is the most unspecific choice.

If you didnt want to fix it, theres no better way to frame blame me without any justification.

This was the start of many calls, messages, e-mails and tweets to get nowhere fast.

Initially, it seemed there was no diagnosis, just more explanation that amounted to damage internally not guaranteed.

Finally, after weeks, and my repair being case ‘escalated ‘ they said liquid damage, observed on external inspection.    This was crazy.

I had it sent back, without paying for ‘repair’.

It was  immaculate still, but with the back hanging off and screws missing.

It had had the back taken off, and very little else in terms of taking it apart, obvious from the fact tape hadn’t been touched much that needed removing to strip it further..   They hadnt a clue what was wrong and hadnt bothered to look very far,  finally realising  liquid damage was a nice reason to use for not doing so, when pushed by me at a later date……….

It doesnt add up in so many ways…….

After taking the back off and taking a photo of the inside for the repair file(which is standard procedure for repair jobs with them it seems), they possibly did no more  or may have tried to power it up by bypassing the battery, finding that nothing appears on the screen too, decided anything ould be broken, and to find out wat would be a nightmare of swapping many parts potentially.  So they wrote it off.    And they blamed me despite knowing why.  Then because i kept challenging their non-diagnosis, they were finally forced to fit one to the situation, and liquid damage was a good reason that they perhaps know works on most people and can fit a write off scenario. Check mate, perhaps , but only then was I told that this was as far as i could go.  The case had been escalated, twice and referred to seniors and now, after many many explanations, none amounting to more than typical explain and sound confident and nothing can seem like something to the public, yet, im not, ive been a programmer for 30 years, i hear it all the time.  Anyway, now, and only now, im told liquid damage and its the end of the line, so i must decide to pay for a new phone or have it returned or let them dispose of it.  Now they offer 15% off another phone, or free return unfixed, rather than just under 30pounds before.   So, i have a reason, i am not getting further, and, i have incentive too, decide now.  This ‘final stage’ of support gives me a diagnosis that is supposedly the diagnosis in the first place, its just been explained now, apparently is the case they can only really be making, without saying it. Otherwise, nothing makes sense, which it now doesnt anyway.   Liquid damage observed from an external inspection?  It didnt even require opening it was that obvious?  Id like to know how it took so long to explain something they absolutely must have known before taking it apart.  As once apart, the case is a shell with holes that cannot display liquid damage, so, that leaves the usb port and card drawers and the screen.    The port and card slots and screen are now being internally inspected, so, to suggest these mens before opening, and the cover cannot yield anything whilst open as it can’t be damaged or show signs alone.  So, this diagnosis was after stripping a little, etc and putting together, which is preposterous, or before opening, and so why not mentioned earlier?  It is impossible to argue anything other than liquid damage observed before opening, in  card slots s or usb port or under screen….or a logic bombshell unwinds, that i wont go into further.   The diagnosis was just  a problem of miscommunication that i should have heard way before is all they can argue.

This is the beginning of the end…..

 

(to be explained further)


I have been a supporter & fan of HTC since they made phones for others, when they seemed to always be ahead of the game, after falling in love with my old Orange SPV C500 Smartphone, before smartphones were a thing, and so I have been through all of these HTC phones to date:-

orange_spv_c500O2 XDA II (HTC) 2003

Orange SPV C500 (HTC) 2004

HTC Wildfire 2010

HTC One S 2012

HTC One M7 2013

HTC One M8 2015

HTC One M9 Prime 2016

I really liked my M8, but when it was stolen I had to buy the M9 Prime rather than buy the latest HTC again, the HTC 10, which was a shame as it felt like id finally swapped my phone for something half the price, but i was broke at the time, and it was half a HTC 10’s price.


Within 6 months, this phone had broken, my 1st HTC to ever break.


Initial fault

1JVyUmSTqCSAiVq3.hugeOne day my HTC M9 screen backlight failed, making it almost impossible to see anything on the screen or use the phone. It came back but would flicker on and off if the phone was tapped, and went again a day later. As i was preparing to send it to HTC, it was unused for a couple of weeks. When i went to send it, the phone appeared as if the battery was dead. It appeared to have no power at all, and was impossible to charge. I sent it off, under its 1 year guarantee still.

My opinion

The phone battery had failed so soon as the M9 Prime was old M9 parts rebranded and sold as the prime after manufacturing had moved to the HTC 10 and HTC U11. Old battery, up to 2 years old, from M9 time, sold 10 months ago, left for 2 weeks and failed. Could it have leaked before that, causing the backlight failure too? Maybe, maybe not.


So I send phone to HTC UK service center…….


What follows is all communications, then will come the story of why & how they did practicaly nothing, knew nothing, vaguely blamed me without reason, diagnosis, or anything, and why and how it is unacceptable and no way to run a respectable business.


Info Received


Dear James Cook

Our initial assessment of your device indicates that the repair work required is caused by damage that isn’t covered by warranty. Unfortunately, this means we must charge you for the repair.

We have prepared a quote for you which you can view, accept and pay for at

https://tracking.htc.com/AuthorizeCustomer.aspx?TicketId=8d48………

(see below instead)

If you decide not to complete this repair, your device will be returned to you following receipt of payment for the administration and shipping costs incurred. You may use the same link as above to arrange this.

Many thanks,
HTC Customer Care


Diagnosis

Repair Description

  • FRU-SUB ASSY,Dark Gunmetal,LCD-OCA+Touch Window,GENERIC,LGIT_LOT (CG4),w/Bezel,HIAR
    £50.93
  • zam. 36H01982-00M; Speaker,PANASONIC,EAS1S191K
    £1.46
  • zam. 36H01117-00M lub używać 76H0C598-00M + 76H0C770-00M, Speaker,AAC ELECTRONICS,DMSP0815D01ASM-FPC-01
    £3.85
  • SIM Tray,gun metal
    £1.39
  • SD tray,gun metal
    £1.89
  • Rigid-Flex Board ASSY,Lower Board
    £4.23
  • Wymagane potwierdzenie LIDERA zam. 35H00236-01M, BATTERY_LI-POLYMER,2840mAh,3.83V,FORMOSA,LG CHEMICAL,ICP326493A1
    £7.94
  • FRU,Main Board,HTC,English-WWE,GENERIC,WEND,Gunmetal gray,Bootloader Lock,Generic Color,DEF00,w/o SIM Lock,HIMAR_ML#UHL-C9#EMEA
    £83.80
  • EMI Gasket,LCM FPC gasket combine absorber
    £0.38
  • PCBA,Upper BD,w/ NFC PN547,w/o MicroP
    £6.98
  • FPC ASSY,SIM FPC,w/o MicroP
    £2.05
  • FPC ASSY,Main FPC,w/o MicroP
    £1.18
  • FPC Antenna Pre-Assy,MURATA,FLANBPA-0298
    £1.44
  • FPC ASSY,Micro SD,w/o MicroP
    £3.59
  • Camera,LITEON,4Mpixel,9598A2,OV4688,FF,4BF403P1A
    £5.76
  • Camera,PRIMAX,13Mpixel,5009C27,IMX-214,AF,WD07H
    £25.28
  • Sponge,Vibrator fixing,SRS
    £0.01
  • Adhesive-Double Tape,Vibrator Fixed,Adhesive
    £0.02
  • Mylar,vibrator_pad_protect
    £0.01
  • Vibrator,JINLONG,Z4SL2B1922795
    £0.72
  • Cable,HIROSE,XFL-2LP-044N2TS-A-100,8HT,Black,w/o CE Label
    £0.42
  • Cable,HIROSE,XFL-2LP-044N2TS-A-100,8HT,Black,w/o CE Label
    £0.42
  • Cable,HIROSE,XFL-2LP9-032H2TS-A-23HT,Dark Gray,w/o CE Label,GPS
    £0.42
  • Cable,HIROSE,XFL-2LP9-032H1TS-A-16,5HT,White,w/o CE Label
    £0.42
  • Labor
    £22.00
  • Shipping
    £11.29
  • Tax
    £54.71

Please bill me for the full repair
£292.59


So, after sending for repair, they say every single part that makes the phone needs replacing! The diagnosis is just replace everything! The warranty wont cover it they say……


Now, those in the know will know wats going on…..

1st though, a little info:-

  • The M9 is a glue ball. The very hardest part to get to is the battery. The motherboard needs to be removed before finally reaching it.
  • It is perhaps the least enjoyable HTC phone to repair.
  • Noone wants to fix an old phone which is not worth diagnosing as that is almost as time consuming as fixing anyway.
  • No one wants to fix an old phone if there are new U11s to fix instead.

After getting no proper diagnosis and hearing it suddenly all needs replacing, but its not their fault, I ring for an explanation:-

“The damage is not covered by warranty because the problem is an internal problem”

Internal? Typical support answer. Oh, well that helped! Its as if that is enough to fob me off.

I ask for an explaation of why everything is listed, I am to pay and a real diagnosis.

They offer to send the image of the phone with the ack removed that all repair files include as standard…….

I wait a long time…..


Good Day James,

Thank you for contacting HTC Customer Care Support.

Kindly check the attached photo that was provided by the repair center as per your request.

If you need Any Further assistance, kindly call us on 442036848000 or 448458900079
Monday to Saturday from 9:00 Am to 6:00 Pm

Sincerely,

Mark
HTC

Untitled (2)


again….


Captureb


End of line by phone/email…..nothing learned….. at point where most people get to…… just avoiding answers still.


twitter-1I approach the subject on twitter, to get HTC to reply publicly where they can’t behave so vaguely


Hi James, first of all terribly sorry for the inconvenience, to acquire more details why the phone is out of warranty we will need to escalate the case to our repair center asking for more photos and clear explanation of the damage on the phone.would you like us to proceed with the escalation ? ^EH
Aug 14

please, yes, that would be helpful

No worries, We already escalated the case to the repair center and once we have a reply we will contact you back ^EH
Aug 15

We are still waiting for a feedback from the repair center about the investigation, once we have a reply we will contact you back ^EH
Aug 16

thankyou,yes.
You are more than welcome ^EH
Aug 18

I have had many many HTCs since the SPV500 which was one of your 1st, and HTC have always been years ahead, until maybe recently where Samsung maybe arguably. Yet, i have stuck with HTC, and being in technology myself, have seen it all. You outsource your repairs, and i get the impression that they arent doing you any favours at all. If you tell people its their fault, 99% will accept it. They may think not, but cant be sure”. If you quote all parts, well, that means you dont need to fix it, probably dont know whats wrong,dont need a diagnosis as youve covered everything…….it smells of easy money out of HTC…if it wont turn on, write it off. but very bad for HTC customers. I have a strange suspicion they will have ‘lost’ it next……(rather than provide an incompatible diagnosis). maybe im getting jaded.

oops, we can’t find it….. thats my prediction. or we accidentally threw it away because its been here too long and we accidentally didnt get your message for a diagnosis…..or something similar.

its my quiet little bet imhaving……dont take that rant too seriously, its slightly tongue in cheek 🙂

07871067650 is my spare mobile number btw, if you want to know what actually happened, or need to contact me.

We do understand your frustration but we did escalate the case to higher management in HTC and case still under investigation, once we get a reply we will be contacting you back. ^EH
Aug 18
thats ok, thankyou for your help. i hope its not the case, because it means you have a real problem otherwise with repair cutting corners, at your expense(& customers) Anyway, ignore it atm.. but it may help you later. i appreciate the help so far ………
Thank you for understanding. ^EH
Aug 18

Hi James, Terribly sorry for the delay. please check the reply we got from the repair center as final conclusion about the dispute of the quotation Liquid damage is progressive, so it means that it becomes more serious with time. Do note that when the quote requires a lot of parts to be replaced it is necessary you cannot just replace 1 part and assume that all should work normally still. All parts that could have been damaged because of the liquid intrusion as ASP assess it, is necessary. In fact it should even be Beyond Economic Repair. So basically all those has to be changed in order not to face another issue with the phone in future. We have now 3 Options 1 – Accept the quotation to get the phone repaired 2 -We can return the phone back free of charge 3 – Since the phone is beyond economical repair we can offer you 10 % discount for any purchase on our website or 15 % on HTC One A9s or HTC Desire Life style. and you can authorize HTC to dispose your phone. Please reply back with the best solution for you. ^EH
Aug 22

We are waiting for your feedback ^EH
Aug 23


Remaining, under construction ……

Sorry, this is where it gets interesting, so bear with me….


Finally, they say ‘liquid damage’….. explaining that after lots of pushing, they have given an answer and its all im getting, an answer they had to give finally, but they didnt want to, and why not earlier? An answer they didnt have, and didnt want to give, because it is wrong, but still good for them….I will explain….
external ceck…..liq dam….
explain anomolies
I had to pay £20+ to get it back in the pristine state sent, but minus 2 screws, and a bent screen surround now., and not pushed rear cover back on fully. It wasn’t free as offered above.
No discount if returned? odd.

Explanation

Sorry, it will all explain itself soon……within 24hrs…..work in progress …..

  • I feel guilty that i have persuaded so many to consider HTCs phones. Anyone who trusted my advice would have wanted to know if the guarantees were dubious, and taken it as ok

Sorry, it will all explain itself soon……within 24hrs…..work in progress …..

6 Enquiries to get 2 words of ‘explanation ‘ that would get rid of me, and it made clear to not pull at the seams.

Why it can be shown only back removed, and condition inside perfect, and didnt get further so, all that coyld happen, and couldnt moot …..explain trail….

 

ignore the rest…..

repairs..outsourced in UK…..

….

no phone for months, and still

beyond lengths to get little, long waits each time

….

no way to diag, esp assert blame.

Explanations each time pressed

What condition phone inside, how far evidence of being stripped and checked, goes, and what could have been inferred

what happened, why it obvious


took 4-6? explans..

start….

all ie lst…warrant,no reas

pic

int comp

not covered by warantee as damage msg

raise-vague

liquid damage….why itss complete crap…..backl…flicker

image shows n

power chkd….batt c

outsource

list parts, inc rem

proof not checked

img inside

back off, no more, beautiful, nosuff chk poss, no known diag poss to blame.

screws etc missing…damage!! why not put together again? send me less back?

back not pushed on fully…. screws missing that hold it too!!!!

ask for card draws removed then send phone, yet bill includes these too. wtf

  1. call for exp…clueless no ans
  2. call aain…nothing….send the std pic atached of back off required for all repair files? Ok.
  3. receive pic….nothing..half
  4. ask again…. new no answer….end of road
  5. twitter..explain farce publicly, forced to answer….escalate?.more photos and clear explanation of the damage
  6. wait……..predict phone lost so cant lose as public….
  7. wait…..

did esc twice??? chk twitter DM, pub, email…..thought did

  • The M9 is a glue ball. The very hardest part to get to is the battery. The motherboard needs to be removed before finally reaching it.
  • It is perhaps the least enjoyable HTC phone to repair.
  • Noone wants to fix an old phone which is not worth diagnosing as that is almost as time consuming as fixing anyway.
  • No one wants to fix an old phone if there are new U11s to fix instead.

respect returned

case, care, my medi so where goes,

phone condition

form returned…. liq dam identifiable from external inspection, ticked…..complete make believe….poss. choices ext inspec, internal inspec, liq damage indic red

2 calls for more….2 vague std nothing answers that most ppl cant quest because they dont underständ more than before and so think its them, but nothing really is nothing…as it seems but without 100% confidence that those words said more, they accept the nothing in another form answer

Older models default to pay to repair? Or we would be out of business fast. So older models assumed older and out of 12 month legal guarantee requirement, just under warranty . ?? ……… But 7 months old Prime, HTC warranties are long, assumption with older models that not new, owned a while, wear and tear greater, and less likely to act as if in guarantee period, ie its old, we dont fix them so readily, or we would never sell you another as they repaired for life as if just bought ????


The Final Contradictory Sudden New Reasons

Read each…

  1. Liquid damage identifiable from external inspection……. √
  2. Liquid damage is progressive, so it means that it becomes more serious with time. Do note that when the quote requires a lot of parts to be replaced it is necessary you cannot just replace 1 part and assume that all should work normally still. All parts that could have been damaged because of the liquid intrusion as ASP assess it, is necessary. In fact it should even be Beyond Economic Repair.

decided before opening then? because, after, what happened to stop and go back to outside, and if inside damage, hy then look at out for damage to fit when int ticked if where was obvious……….if decided pre open, how?? where? if just open pic, then notice immaculate, so, how it when out not? out not anyway, what out?? back cov?? cant. screen? where? i dare u to say


Form received with unrepaired phone

CTDI
Regeneris PLC
HTC Repair Center
UNABLE TO REPAIR FORM

Dear Customer,

Please find enclosed your mobile device, which has been returned to us for repair. Unfortunately, device has been refused from repair as Out of Warranty and returned unrepaired.

Following reasons:

Liquid Damage
Liquid damage indicator red…………………………………………….
Liquid damage identifiable from internal inspection…….
Liquid damage identifiable from external inspection……. √


The Returned Phone

respect/care

case, screws, screen surround

pics

evidence of extent stripped

 

under guarantee or assume it must be older? Maybe so, as  the diagnosis was abrubt, but i will explain later.

  • received HiTC one prime
  • assumed older than it is and given up when no display after bypassing battery at the most.
  • diagnosis, replac every part, not under warranty, seems enough for old phone, and done
  • i ask questions, ….same nothing explanations in every support way, to get rid ….no avail
  • eventully nowhere to go,,,,take my

forced int o position by me, could only get deeper..thought i gave hem an out id buy, but wanted to give and not be tripped…unfortunately, whle argument fails under own contradicts

 

take apart so far, but short of just thp where if so and too fa if ext …why?

 

ive been without smartphone months, 1st htc to repair , too far to buy a replacement or quit…prnciple.

 

screws removed after the fact? without tape?  route to nowhere…why??  make seem more than back then decide then oops?

 

borow camera…better def pics…..

 

youtube

 

script for publish

why back and scews missing?  yet screws to nowhere without tape removing…..


 

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Author: A U.K. Think Tank

My Blog and not to be taken as UKThinkTank.co.uk's official opinions

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