November 2011 - Bought BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone with 1 year warranty - purchased as a hardware upgrade that required commitment to 3 year contract.
After 1 month, 3 days, the screen abruptly quit working. It was returned it to the store, which inspected it and verified that there was no visible physical or water damage and sent it for repair. The store could not provide loan of an equivalent phone. Urgency was indicated - the phone is needed for business and the user would be leaving the country within a couple weeks. Two weeks later, with no word on the repair, was told by the store that there was no record that the phone had even been looked at yet.
Next day - email received from Rogers said to go to the store “immediately” to discuss options. The store still had no record of the phone even being looked at, no options to discuss and no explanation for the email received.
Returned 2 days later - store had a report that the phone was ‘physically’ damaged and therefore not repairable under warranty. It would cost $1,000 to repair (more than twice the cost to buy new). Huh?! The phone had never been so much as dropped. The store called somewhere and then reported that it was water damaged beyond repair.
In the 1 month and 3 days of use it had NEVER had exposure to water or any other liquid. Since losing a BlackBerry from a simple drop in the snow years ago, EXTRA caution is take to avoid moisture. The store still did not have the phone back and said to call Rogers customer service to discuss further. Customer service then said to go back to the store and call again from there. There, a store employee (manager?) verified over the phone that their in-store inspection when the phone was left with them revealed no damage. Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent in the store, on the phone, being passed from one person to another and getting nowhere. It was finally left that the unrepaired phone would be sent back to the store and when it arrived, the store could assess what they wanted to do.
Four days later, another email from Rogers said, “We're happy to report that your Rogers wireless device has been repaired and is ready for pick up.”
Back at the store, the story was different. Paperwork indicates that the device has NOT been repaired. The third party repair depot, Flextronics, states: “Corrosion damage as a result of liquid intrusion has rendered your BlackBerry unrepairable. Your device is being returned unrepaired. Thank-you for choosing BlackBerry.” (Thank-you for choosing BlackBerry???). It further notes that the Headset Jack is corroded (the head set jack had never been used) and the Super cap is corroded.” No one has explained what the Super Cap is. It came with a photo of the internal “corrosion.” There is no way this phone has been exposed to liquid from the time of purchase to the time of drop off for repair. The store offered to ‘sell’ me another! The store claims that Flextronics is RIM’s repair centre and they won’t override RIM’s assessment. The store and customer service via phone claim they have no means to contact Flextronics. RIM claims that Rogers contracts Flextronics and RIM can’t contact them ... that Rogers must offer the resolution.
Despite the report that the phone was not repaired, the screen does now work but once home, it was discovered that the phone now has 2 new problems that did not exist when sent off for repair. It now has a fine blue line down the center of the screen when on and a rattle inside the device. I do not want a smartphone that supposedly has internal corrosion when it has only ever had normal use. Apparently, there are white tabs in the phone that turn colour when exposed to liquid. The tabs that are visible in the battery compartment are still white so any damage must be only internal.
Yet another day of more than 3 hours on the phone with Rogers customer service, has not resulted in a resolution. Another model of phone was offered for minimal pricing but a Bold 9900 had been purchased because that was the model needed was needed, not the other model offered. Another hardware upgrade was offered using another eligible phone number on the same account … committing yet another phone in my family to a 3 year contract. Hello? At this point, why would my family want to commit to another contract with this company? Escalation to a manager resulted in nothing more than an 800 number for Research in Motion technical support to determine how the corrosion could have occurred and a suggestion to go back to the store and ask to be escalated through managers.
Jamie at RIM technical support was sympathetic in advising that only Rogers can make the decision to replace my damaged/defective device. I'm not sure why RIM can't make a decision to stand behind a product. He could not explain the internal corrosion in the absence of liquid damage. After being patched through to Rogers corporate division and escalated through multiple people, none taking any more authority than the previous, the final suggestion was to go back to the store and ask to deal with successively higher managers.
TO ROGERS: THERE IS NO KNOWN WAY THAT LIQUID DAMAGE OCCURRED WHILE IN POSSESSION OF THE CUSTOMER. THE PHONE HAD NORMAL USAGE AND, DUE TO PAST EXPERIENCE YEARS AGO, EXTRA CARE AGAINST EXPOSURE TO MOISTURE. After 4 trips to the store already and hours on the phone on two occasions with Rogers customer service and corporate office with support from RIM’s technical support, we have come full circle. At this point, nothing less than a straight exchange for a new BOLD 9900 under full warranty is acceptable. It doesn’t matter to me if it comes from RIM or Rogers. They can sort out between them how corrosion could have occurred internally. Enough valuable time has been wasted on creating a frustrating experience for this customer.
Names and dates of customer service have been documented and are available to Rogers or RIM upon request. The attached photo of the phone shows the white tab at left, inside the battery compartment that I've learned would turn pink/red if it had been exposed to liquid.
Coincidentally, after the last call to Rogers, another Rogers department called to do a customer service survey regarding my experience with my recent phone repair. I wonder if survey results will have any impact.
585 Weber Street
North Waterloo, ON Canada