My EVO is being EMO
January 4, 2011 2:35 PM   Subscribe

My HTC Evo no longer charges. Help me evaluate my options.

The micro USB charging port on my HTC Evo has come loose from the motherboard, and no longer makes a connection to charge the battery.

I took the phone into the Sprint store, and they said that since the phone was still under warranty, I had two options: have Sprint repair it for $39 or talk to HTC and have them repair it for free.

I chose to talk to HTC. They said that they could look at the phone, but they would charge $39 for diagnotics on the phone, and that the damage might not be covered under warranty, in which case it would cost $240 to replace the motherboard.

I am not interested in paying $280 to fix the phone.

I did some research on the charging port issue, apparently it is a known defect with the phone, but only affects a small number of users.

Here are a great many links pertaining to this issue. Most of them seem skeptical about getting HTC or Sprint to cover this under warranty (or even an insured phone, which is moot since I do not have insurance for my phone).

I have a few questions:

1. Has anybody had any experience dealing with the HTC Repair/Warranty department? (or the Sprint warranty department for that matter) What do I make of the conflicting information I was given? Is there any chance that either Sprint or HTC will decide that my charger issue is covered under warranty? How do they determine this? Do they simply look at the phone, or do they ask you the circumstances under which the phone started acting up?

Is there any secret method for persuading either Sprint or HTC to honor their warranty?

(The phone has not suffered any catastrophe. It has simply endured normal daily use.)

2. Am I overlooking any other options for getting this repaired?

3. I have ordered a second battery, and an external battery charger. My plan is to swap out batteries when the charge on one of the batteries gets low.

Does anybody have experience doing this? Besides being super annoying to turn my phone off and on twice a day, and maintain a charging station, what are some things that I may not have considered about this plan? Is this going to hurt the remaining functionality of the phone in some way?

What options do I have for transferring data from my phone to a computer or vice versa since the micro USB port also is used for that purpose. I mostly load mp3s on to my phone, so I don't really need to sync application data.

posted by baxter_ilion to Technology (9 answers total)
Try giving the customer service reps at Sprint a call and see if they have a different opinion. Don't mention that you went to a sprint store or called HTC.
posted by royalsong at 2:45 PM on January 4, 2011

Obviously, you give it to Sprint to repair for $39. Did they say it would be anymore than $39? I would be surprised if the $240 potential charge applies to Sprint as well. They'll just replace it, right?
posted by Ironmouth at 2:47 PM on January 4, 2011

I support cell phones, though not for Sprint or HTC. Did you buy it within the last 30 days? If so, Sprint should let you return it and reset your upgrade eligibility, so you can buy a new one. Honestly, I would go the Sprint route if I were you. If you can tie up a salesman, they will be more concerned with getting rid of you so they can work on a commissioned sale than giving you a hassle about warranty. If you're patient, but insistent, they'll usually just give you a new phone (as they should). I'd be surprised if they don't have service stock of these phones for just this reason. At worst, it'll cost $39. But if you are really pissed, they will probably waive that. The people at the Sprint won't like you, but honestly, who gives a shit?

If Sprint and HTC are DEFINITELY NOT going to cover it, you can probably find a local electronics shop to help you out. This kind of service will almost certainly void any warranty you may have had, which sucks.

If you're adventurous, maybe try to fix it yourself?

As for transferring, I'd use a wireless service for contacts/calendar (is this built in with Google? I hope so...) and for music you might be able to use something like Dropbox or even maybe Grooveshark?
posted by katybird at 2:52 PM on January 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

I should have posted that link as such.
posted by katybird at 2:53 PM on January 4, 2011

royalsong: I called Sprint, and they recommended taking it into a Sprint store. The rep I talked to didn't mention anything about being covered by a warranty, just that since I didn't have insurance I should take it into a Sprint store to see if I could get it repaired.

Ironmouth: the only two figures they mentioned were $39 at Sprint, and free at HTC.

katybird: I bought it on the first day of its release in June. Still under the 1 year warranty, but the warranty doesn't cover "physical damage" which I'm not sure of the definition of that term. I'll have to look more closely into that.

I'm bad at being pissed, but I'll see if I can't up my umbrage and get Sprint to replace the phone.
posted by baxter_ilion at 3:13 PM on January 4, 2011

If they try to say it's "physical damage" (as in, you physically damaged the phone), demonstrate to them the lack of any other evidence of a drop, or abuse in any way. Show them each corner, and ask them if they see impact marks (they'll look like little scuffs or scratches) or any signs of screen damage (only do this if there is no actual evidence of those things). If the only evidence they have is that this port is broken (is the connection not internal anyway?), then it really should be covered.

If you're having trouble with the "angry customer" thing, remember that this isn't something you broke or that's based on your perception (well it SEEMS like my proximity sensor doesn't work like it should) - it's a verifiable technical issue that necessitates repair or replacement. Just be persistent. You don't have to be mean or a jerk, just upset and seriously considering moving to another phone brand and service provider.
posted by katybird at 3:23 PM on January 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

FWIW - I had a Palm Centro via Sprint, no insurance. After 10-11 months, the internal speaker quit working. I took it to the Sprint store and they replaced it on the spot with no questions asked.
posted by CathyG at 6:41 PM on January 4, 2011

I just had the exact same problem and no insurance. I went to the Sprint store, they said it would be $40 to get fixed. I talked to HTC, they said it was under warranty, and they would replace for free, but I had to mail the phone in and it would take 2 weeks. I went back to the sprint store, paid the $40, waited 2 days for a new phone to show up, now have a brand new evo.

Back up your text messages before swapping for the new phone.
posted by gus at 9:17 PM on January 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm on Sprint; fiancee and I both have the Evo. She dropped hers a few times. Last time I guess the phone had enough, and the screen shattered. The phone still powered on, and amazingly enough, the touchscreen still detected input, but the screen itself was all jagged glass.

We took it into the Sprint store here in town, and they replaced it on the spot, no charge. They took the motherboard out of her phone and installed it in a new one. We popped the old phone's SD card in, set up sync, and within 2 or 3 minutes of being handed the new phone, we had everything restored to just how it was before the break (including some pretty extensive customization).

We do have insurance on our plan, so that may have been why they covered it. They didn't say, but it was a surprisingly pleasant experience. Sales guy and the tech who did the repair were both really friendly, and they didn't hassle us at all.

As for transferring data, your music and photos and such are on the micro SD card that's in the phone. Just take it out. Remove the battery and take it out. Look at the lower right corner where the battery was. There's the micro SD card. Immediately to the right of it, on the reddish plastic, is a little lever with a semi-circular indent. Slip your nail under the lever and (again, with the battery removed) pull up, and it'll angle up the micro SD card so you can pull it out.

When you get the phone repaired, put the card back in. All your music and photos and such will be intact. As for contacts and email, assuming you're using gmail, syncing the phone will restore everything. The only thing you might lose are some installed apps (which you can just download again, or manually back up), and text messages (which you can also manually back up). Titanium Backup on the Market is very highly-regarded and can do this if you like.
posted by Vox Nihili at 10:03 PM on January 4, 2011

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