HTC Problems and Bad Customer Care

by Daniel Chiriţă

Update 27.08: I published the article and shared it on Twitter. Someone from HTC replied, asked for the IMEI number and checked. It seems the motherboard did not yet arrive from the mother country (Taiwan) – I don’t really care about this. The conclusion was that “we’ll figure this out”. So I am waiting for them to figure this out.

The short version:
I have a barely used HTC One Mini which had screen problems. I sent it to HTC and it has been almost three months since I am waiting for the phone to be repaired or replaced.

The long version:
I have bought an HTC One Mini in November 2013. I used it for a few months after which she noticed some cracks on the surrounding plastic bezel (around volume button, card tray, etc). This is something usual with this model as a lot of users complain about it. It is not so bad, the cracks are barely noticeable.

After two more months however, something else went wrong. The screen started getting dimmer and dimmer every day, until one day it became useless. That’s when I decided to contact HTC Customer Care Germany for a repair. No problem here, they replied and said I should sent it to the authorized repair shop – called Arvato. We packaged the phone and sent it to them. After about one week, I called them as nothing was happening. They answered and told me – “Well, we have diagnosed the problem. It seems there are traces of water inside the phone, so the warranty has been voided and it will cost you 300 euros to fix it. You probably dropped it into water or other liquid”. Of course, this wasn’t the case. The device was never dropped or exposed to any kind of liquid.

I contacted HTC Germany again. This time asking them what I should do. They said I should send them an affidavit stating that the phone was not exposed to any kind of liquid. No problem there, I wrote it, duly signed it and sent it to them. They received it, checked it and said: “Yeah, we will repair the device at no cost”. Wow, I thought, these guys DO care. Well, actually they don’t!

With only one remark: this happened almost three months ago (I first sent the phone for repairs mid-May). It is now the 27th of August and nothing happened yet. The phone is still hanging somewhere at the repair shop which, in turn, is waiting for HTC to send the spare parts for it.

I wonder whether this is how HTC usually takes care of their customers or it only happens in Germany – which is well-known for its incredibly bad services and customer relations. In any case, I am sure I will never ever buy anything produced by the great Taiwanese company. Also, I will never recommend anyone to buy these products.

I have also attached images with the actual conversation with HTC’s support people. Yeah, I know, my German is awful.

PS: The consumer protection laws in Germany are almost non-existent. The only thing you could do is go to court.