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Old 06-20-2011, 11:22 AM   #1
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My warranty rant: Epic4G & Sprint Warranty Policies

Yesterday (Sunday) while on a phone call my Samsung Epic 4G shut off. When I tried turning it back on there was a little cellphone icon with an arrow pointing to a computer icon. I pulled the battery, replaced it, and tried to turn the phone on again. Nothing, black screen, no lights, dead.

I called the nearest Sprint corporate repair center, its 18 miles and 45 minutes away in traffic. Spoke to a repair tech who walked me through several steps to try and get to phone to respond and nothing worked. He told me that the phone would have to be swapped out with a refurb under warranty but unfortunately they had no refurbs in stock and would have to order one to the store. He gave me two options, I could bring the phone in and pick up a replacement on Tuesday or Wednesday when it came in or I could call around and see if any of the other corporate stores in the area had one.

I decided to call a few corporate stores within 60 miles of my home and none had a refurb in stock for warranty replacement. I was told by the techs at each store that I would have to bring my phone in and pick up a replacement on Tuesday or Wednesday. I asked each of the stores, based upon the tech's phone troubleshooting, could they order a replacement for me without me comming in today to save me some travel time, nope. I was instructed to call Sprint customer service to see if I could receive a phone sooner.

Called Sprint customer service and explained the what the original tech had said, the trouble shooting steps taken and how I had contacted every corporate repair center within 60 miles of my home trying to find a replacement. And then I asked if there was anything they could do to help me get a replacement before Tuesday or Wednesday. The customer service rep said, "I'm sorry but you will have to go to a corporate store to have your phone diagnosed before any replacement can be ordered". Okay, so we will ignore the part of the conversation describing everything the tech walked me through and him saying the phone needed to be replaced. I replied nicely, "Can you transfer me to someone who might be able to help me?" The CSR cold transferred me to technical support where I explained everything again and asked is there anyway for me to not be without a phone until Tuesday or Wednesday or travel almost 3 hours over two days to get a phone? As if read from the same index card the CSR had, "I'm sorry but you will have to go to a corporate store to have your phone diagnosed before any replacement can be ordered." I then asked if I could arrange an advance exchange and offered to have the full price of the phone charged to my credit card and then refunded once the defective phone was returned. She thought about this for a moment and said she would have to place me on hold while she spoke to a supervisor to get approval. About 5 minutes later she returned and said she would send out a refurbished replacement without charging my card but warned that my card would be charged the full price of the phone if I didn't return the original or if they determined that the phone could be fixed at a repair center. She then placed me on hold and processed what she needed to process and when she came back said, "I've processed your advance replacement, you will be receiving an email with the order information and should be receiving the refurbished phone on Wednesday or Thursday. Huh??? I asked if there was anything she could do to get the phone to me sooner, like maybe Tuesday. She said she would speak to her supervisor and call me back. That was 24 hours ago and not only haven't I heard back from her but I have not received an email with information about my replacement being shipped.

All the Sprint stores I contacted yesterday had new Epic4G's in stock. Now, I'm not saying every instance of warranty replacement should result in a new phone, that would be ridiculously cost prohibitive. But when a customer is willing to travel to multiple stores up to 60 miles away from home, if you cannot get a replacement to a customer in a reasonable time (48 hours) shouldn't a customer who pays for ESRP & TEP be given a little extra?


Ahhh...that feels better /rant
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Old 06-20-2011, 11:37 AM   #2
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Sorry to hear about your troubles. I agree with you. I don't think the benefits of TEP match the cost that customers pay. Did they tell you that you would need to pay the $100 deductible as well, or did they offer to replace it for free? I'm cancelling TEP because of this kind of garbage. What's the point of it if they can't even give you a replacement phone? Very lame! I hope you get a replacement quickly!
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Old 06-20-2011, 12:04 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnycr View Post
Sorry to hear about your troubles. I agree with you. I don't think the benefits of TEP match the cost that customers pay. Did they tell you that you would need to pay the $100 deductible as well, or did they offer to replace it for free? I'm cancelling TEP because of this kind of garbage. What's the point of it if they can't even give you a replacement phone? Very lame! I hope you get a replacement quickly!
No, Sprint said they would replace the phone through advance exchange at no charge to me. My Epic4G is still under the 1 year manufacturers warranty, I pay for ESRP & TEP. Just looked at all the notes I took during the conversation and I was told I may have to pay a $35 fee for the advance exchange and that if Sprint upon receipt of the original equipment determined that it could have been fixed locally at a corporate repair center/store I may be subject to the full price of the phone, $499.99.

This is another thing I don't quite understand, why would I be subject to the full retail price of a new phone when I am receiving a refurbished one? I have a feeling that this was a misunderstanding of the warranty policy on the technical support agents part. Or at least I hope it was.

I wouldn't mind if a few Sprint employees could either confirm or debunk some of the information I was told.
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