Nov 25

HTC – When warranties go bad

As a lot of you know, I got myself a HTC Touch Pro 2 a few months ago – and boy – am I starting to regret it. I bought the phone in March – it was returned under warranty in April, and now has to go back under warranty again. Read on for the full details of how HTC support is more than useless in looking after its customers.

The full story:
Optus (my carrier) have rolled out an extensive 900Mhz 3G network over most of the regional and non-metro areas – so it makes sense to have 900Mhz 3G support. Sadly, Telstra seem to be the only carrier that has the Touch Pro 2 in Australia – which means it only supports 850Mhz & 2100Mhz. For this reason, I purchased my Touch Pro 2 directly from Singapore – as they are the only location I could find (other than Europe) that has support for 900Mhz & 2100Mhz 3G services.

I purchased my phone on 12th of March 2010. The phone arrived on the 18th of March. Great so far! I unwrapped the box and fired it up and was VERY impressed. I spent hours exploring every new feature. After a few days, I had it set up in a way that was just right for me and was getting very used to using it quickly and efficiently. Then after 2 weeks, the USB port died.

It was certainly a hardware fault. The USB port was not detected via Windows, nor could the bootloader show it connecting via USB. With all my time dealing with HTC devices, I knew this meant a warranty return.

I started off contacting HTC Australia – which then handballed me off to the “Global Warranty Service” area of HTC – which means calling HTC in Singapore. Sure I thought, after reading the Warranty Card. This should be nice and easy. How wrong I was.

First, I’ll draw your attention to the HTC Warranty Card. Specifically this part:

9. In the event of Product failure, the Customer should take the following actions:
a) Refer to the user manual in order to identify and possibly correct the problem.
b) If the problem cannot be resolved by reference to the user manual the Customer should then contact the dealer where such Product was purchased or visit your local HTC website, or HTC service center or www.htc.com for further information.
c) Before the Customer contacts HTC service agent, please ensure the following information is at hand:
• The model and serial number, IMEI number of the Product.
• The Customer’s full address and contact information.
• A copy of the Customers original invoice, receipt or bill of sale of the purchase of the Product. HTC will provide the Customer with instructions regarding how and when the defective Product should be returned. HTC will pay costs in connection with both the return of the defective product to HTC and the repaired Product back to the Customer if the Defective Product is within the Warranty Period.

Awesome! HTC really stand by their product – or so it seems. In reality, as soon as you contact HTC regarding the warranty, you realise that not only do you have to pay for shipping directly to HTC, they will also hold your device to ransom until you pay the shipping costs back to you FROM HTC as well! Sadly, I didn’t find this out until AFTER HTC already had my device. After lots of arguing with HTC Singapore, they decided to be nice and pay the return shipping costs. To make matters worse, until HTC contacted me to say I had to pay the shipping costs, I couldn’t find out if my phone had even been received by HTC!

So after 3 weeks of having no idea where my phone is or even if HTC were going to send my phone back to me, a package arrived with my repaired phone. In the box was a report telling me that they had replaced the LCD module and main board. Essentially, all they left the same was the case. This would normally be good news – however it goes further than that. When I received the phone back, the keyboard didn’t fit in its spot properly and felt warped. To add to this, the LED behind one of the keys is always stuck on full brightness. Surely this shouldn’t have even passed the QA on the repair – let alone be shipping back to a customer in this shape! That being said, I figured I could live with this – as I really did not want to go through the support process with HTC again!

Now lets fast forward to October. Oh no. The USB port has died again. The exact same symptoms as before. This time however, there is a new twist. The battery drains VERY fast. A full charge that used to last 48+ hours now only lasts 12. This is not good.

I started talking to HTC Singapore again. After a while of talking to them on the phone, I realised that this wasn’t going to get anywhere. Anything beyond basic English is well beyond them. They cannot understand why I am annoyed at the whole process and they refuse to do anything but ‘ship it back to us, pay us and we’ll look at it’ – paraphrased from broken English of course. After almost 4 weeks of waiting for them to get back to be via either email or phone, I decided to contact HTC America.

The good news is that HTC America actually understand English! The bad news is that they seem to be just as unwilling to help. After expressing my deep concerns about the entire process, Alan (referred to later as HTC Guy) tells me that in all reality, after paying to ship my device to HTC, I might be waiting 2 months for the repair, then the time for shipping back to me. Oh, and I have to pay for shipping both ways.

So, after about an hour talking to HTC Guy, I finally asked for a copy of the Global Warranty Statement – as it sure as hell isn’t the one that is on their web site. After a long time on hold and lots of consulting with a supervisor, I get asked for my return number and they will get back to me with some details of what the actual Global Warranty Statement is – as nobody could seem to find it.

edit: After 24 hours, no reply from HTC at all. For some reason, I am not surprised.

At the moment, all I can see is that the lovely 12 month warranty will consist of 1 month in transit, 2 months at repair facilities, 3 months of being faulty, 6 months of normal usage (if I’m lucky!).

It even got to me so much that I wrote letters (yes, actual postal mail letters!) to both HTC Taiwan and HTC America. Surprise, surprise though – no response to them either as yet.

5 comments

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    • Tim on November 25, 2010 at 8:57 pm
    • Reply

    Its made in China. There is no warrantee. You should know better.

    • Dale on November 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm
    • Reply

    My HTC Touch Pro (first one not TP 2) also had problems with the USB port dying. Sprint replaced it with a TP2 since the TP was already gone and forgotten by then. My TP2 experienced several problems, such as going into perma-mute all on its own, dropping sync connections, and other random irritations. Windows Mobile 6, 6.1 and 6.5 were all a piece of crap requiring daily soft resets of the phone.

    I now have an HTC Evo 4G (Droid phone) and I am happy to say that I have yet to manually reset the phone in the several months I’ve had it. On 3 occasions however, it reset suddenly on its own, each time during a phone call. Other than that, the Evo has been a shining star compared to the tarnished Touch Pro 2.

    • Mike on July 12, 2011 at 10:34 am
    • Reply

    I agree with the poster of this topic. HTC has the worse warranty service. By the way the guy named Tim up here, I guess you do not know what warranty service means to you. IT DOES NOT MATTER WHERE THE PRODUCT IS MADE. IT IS REQUIRED BY LAW TO PROVIDE WARRANTY SERVICE FOR 1 YEAR IN THE UNITED STATES AND 2 YEARS IN EU. There is no excuse for things made in China. HTC is responsible because they are marketing to US and worldwide customers.

    I would never buy HTC product ever because their screen glass for LCD is made out of very low grade material even if you drop while taking out of the charger (within 6 inches height) they brake. Once it is broken even if you had purchased it a day before they will not cover you. If you send them to fix you will end up paying about $150 minimum.

    HTC is there to rip off people. These Taiwanese people are milking money in the US with cheap and crappy products.

    So be careful. You will regret if you use HTC products.

    • Anne on August 16, 2011 at 9:19 am
    • Reply

    Guys, you’ll be pleased to hear that things are no different here in Australia, and dealng with HTC Australia and Hong Kong. I purchased my phone while in Hong Kong. The internal speaker never worked but didn’t realise till I was back in Australia and made that first call 3 days later! Was told that it had to go back to Hong Kong. Paid for the shipping myself ($A53) and yes, now expected to pay $A70 to have it returned despite that fact that the HTC warranty document says they will pay full costs (Clause 9C). I love talking to HTC “Australia” – the call just goes straight to Taiwan!

    Mind you, had no better success with my last Nokia. Died within 2 months – took Telstra over 2 month and 3 visits to actually replace the damn thing with a new handset. It died 8 months later, but because the first one was out of warranty (by 5 days) it was a case of stiff (*&^!

    Not happy at all!

    • Graham on July 29, 2014 at 9:19 pm
    • Reply

    I have used HTC phones for years, I agree with the above comments. Except for the warranty on my one xl two years ago, this was a replacement for two wild fires, @ the time I was talked into taking out the Telstra extended warranty, thank god, it is being replaced for the fourth time.
    I get constant drop outs, I get a noise like a drum of water & someone paddling madly inside.
    Anyhow good luck &
    Safe motoring

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