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Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)

Hi VM forums,

 

I received an S6 as part of a new contract upgrade. After using it for a few days the home button became loose and started to ignore presses. After calling VM I was told I would receive a door swap for a new handset as it was only days old. Prior to this happening I was phoned back and told this now wouldn't happen and I would have to send it in for repair. Seemed a little strange as within 14 days it should just be swapped.

 

Now VM are telling me the handset will cost £200 to repair due to it being rooted. It was returned to stock before sending it in. Seems strange as on my Nexus handset it would be repaired no matter what when in warranty as long as it wasn't the fault of me (liquid damage/dropping). 

 

Tried to explain it is a physical home button fault, not software, but told no it will cost £200 to fix. Seems like a quick ploy to make £200. Exploring my consumer rights further just now as I cannot see how a physical fault within days of getting the phone can be ruled out due to root/software. EU law seems to agree a physical defection, especially within days is covered by warranty regardless of the software on a phone.

 

Thanks for any advice

Gavin

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Re: Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)


Audioboxer wrote:

Phone returned. Came with a generic letter

 

"Our technicians investigated the issue and found the repairs needed weren't covered by your phone's warranty. To fix the issue, and get your phone back up and running, you would have had to pay for the cost of repair yourself".

 

Nothing about rooting the phone. A generic statement that the issue wasn't covered by warranty. So regardless of the argument about rooting, the paperwork is simply stating an issue with the home button isn't covered by warranty.

 

Phone won't be used until all of this is settled. Waiting on a legal reply about two things, the acceptance and then cancellation of a doorstop exchange within 14 days, and then the whole warranty being void due to root. It is my understanding with most consumer electronic devices if something goes wrong within the first 14 days you get a new device, not the current device being repaired. The only phone I've had to return within 14 days before was a Nexus 5 to Carphone Warehouse as the vibration motor stopped working - They checked it in-store and then replaced for a new device. We'll see. Back using my S4 which is the phone I upgraded from.


If it's less than six months old (which it is) the technicians have to prove that the fault isn't an inherent fault. They have to be able to show you why rooting the phone has killed the home button. If it had been more than six months old, and up to six years old, you could easily argue your case by pointing the techs at the number of google hits for the home button not working. None of them mention rooting.

 

Have you tried unrooting it? It won't fix the problem, but it will allow you to tell the techs that they are wrong.

 

I've started a new thread about changes to legislation. Note that it doesn't apply to you because your purchase predates the act, but it's mostly a clarification and consolidation exercise anyway. It's main additions are around digital services, which is why it applies to Virgin. However - the fact that it specifies a 30 day rejection timeframe instead of the previous "reasonable" timeframe means that you have an indication of what a court would find "reasonable".

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Audioboxer
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Re: Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)

I was able to find this

 

https://fsfe.org/freesoftware/legal/flashingdevices.en.htmlhttp://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:31999L0044:EN:NOT

 

If your device becomes defective in the first 6 months, it is presumed that the defect was there all along, so you should not need to prove anything.

 

So, we finally come to the question of rooting, flashing and changing the software. Unless the seller can prove that modifying the software, rooting your device or flashing it with some other OS or firmware was the cause for the defect, you are still covered for defects during those 2 years.

 

Understandably when contacted by customer services they did not try to say evidence of the phone being rooted caused the home button not to work, as it's a physical button, but just that rooting outright voids warranty regardless of the fault. 

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teabag
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Re: Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)

Audioboxer said "just that rooting outright voids warranty regardless of the fault."
_________________________________________

That's a big statement, any backup to go with it (apart from the statements from insurance companies, who will uturn when needed)
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Re: Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)

Hey teabag,

 

Backup from me? I was told over the phone from the customer service agent today as our repair engineers concluded the phone had been rooted all warranty was now void from now on. I work for Virgin Media so I know not all calls are recorded, and they are only for training purposes as well, but the girl who accessed my VM account will have had to leave notes as to why she called. If you're wondering about proof of what was said to me.

 

Then in regards to this problem, it would be £200 to fix the home button. My options were pay or have the handset returned, and I opted for it to be returned. I'm guessing when the phone comes back there will be written proof of the repair being rejected and warranty void.

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teabag
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Re: Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)

Hi Audioboxer

I've sent a PM for you.
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Re: Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)

Your warranty is a one-sided promise to sort out your phone, and is provided by the phone's manufacturer. It will have been the bulkiest piece of paper documentation that came with your phone.

 

It is not a contractual agreement, it is a promise. Therefore, they can impose whatever terms and conditions they want. You actually have that document in your possession, so you're in a better position to check it out and see if rooting the handset invalidates the warranty. If it says it does, it does.

 

Your primary protection in situations like this is the Sale of Goods Act - your so-called "statutory rights". You have up to six years of protection from inherent (manufactured or designed) defects. In the first six months of that time, it is responsibility of the retailer to prove that any fault is due to misuse and not an inherent fault. For the next 5½ years, the burden of proof falls on the consumer.

 

(A warranty is a compromise - extending that initial "period of assumption" to (say) on year in return for shifting the responsibility for dealing with issues on to the manufacturer. It also tries to pass itself off as an agreement - "By opening this box you agree to these terms" but they cannot supersede other implicit rights.)

 

In your case, Virgin has to be able to explain how rooting the phone has broken the home button. If they can come up with a plausible explanation for that, they win.

 

When I asked about something similar on the legal forums a few weeks ago, it turns out your biggest enemy is the rest of the population. Civil cases work on "balance of probability" so all that needs to happen is for one party to get the district judge 51% on their side, and they win. A district judge is going to get "he abused the phone" from Virgin and "I didn't abuse the phone" from you. Considering the overwhelming majority of repairs that mobile phone operators have to attend to are the result of abuse, that pushes the balance of probabilities in Virgin's favour: "You rooted your handset and now the home button doesn't work. This is an identical handset, which hasn't been rooted, and the home button works fine." Granted, it's not a smoking gun, but the balance has edged away from you. In order to get it back, you'd have to get an identical handset and root it just to prove that the process doesn't break the home button. Or get an expert witness. Both of which are going to cost you money.

 

Further to the above, we have to ask ourselves if Virgin is an authorised repair centre for Samsung devices anyway. They may be voiding the warranty themselves by opening up handsets they receive for repair.

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Re: Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)

The warranty card from Samsung doesn't mention anything about rooting. Virgin provided none of their own documentation with the handset. The only thing I received was a new sim card and a guide on how to activate it.

 

Still haven't received my phone back by the way. Thanks for your post Gorf, my next step is waiting on the handset to see what documentation about the repair process comes with it. After that I'll phone customer services one more time and get them to confirm they're standing by rooting voids the complete warranty, and then I'll have enough documentation to contact citizens advice and see what they say.

 

I'd like to see anyone demonstrate rooting a phone breaks a physical home button... My recorded first call to virgin also explains it was slightly loose on day 1 but I waited a few days to see if it got worse and it did. They asked me why I didn't call the second I received the phone instead of day 4 or 5 I think it was. In line with the sale of goods act demonstrating the fault existed prior to the phone even being used. I guess I need to get an explanation as to why a phone was sent for repair within 14 days after originally being told it would be a doorstep exchange, and having that cancelled a day later. 

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Re: Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)

Just noticed I have confirmation on the VM website when signed in of no warranty 

 

Your phone repair was booked on 20150925110459

[Device is OOW, customer service would call customer and question next steps]

Your booking reference number is [removed]

 

I've gone ahead and contacted Citizens Advice for legal advice on where I stand with all the information I have so far. Will keep this topic updated with their reply.

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Re: Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)


Audioboxer wrote:

I'd like to see anyone demonstrate rooting a phone breaks a physical home button...


It doesn't - but any company is going to use anything they can to get out of paying for something that will hurt their profit margin. It's why some car mods can invalidate your insurance. My car has LPG, and my insurance company knows, but if I hadn't told them and I destroyed the nearside doors because I was too busy looking at my short-skirted passenger's legs (true story), I would not have been covered even though the conversion had nothing to do with the crash and no effect on the cost of repair.

 

If I were you, I'd contact Samsung directly, and explain the situation.

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Re: Repair refused on days old handset due to root (Galaxy S6)

I suppose what we also should be also thinking about, is it that when we buy/pay monthly for a phone which comes with a good manufactures warranty and statory rights - why do we buy a next to usless insurance which try their best to get out of any repairs and in the meantime may ruin your chances of using your manufactures warranty and statutory rights.
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