Monday, September 21, 2009

iPhone "Liquid Sensor" Faulty ... Yes, but it's not just iPhones

Consumerist: Is The iPhone 3G Liquid Sensor A Filthy Liar?

This is a cellphone insurance/ warranty fraud issue that is perpetrated by EVERY cellular carrier for the strict purpose of not honoring insurance claims. This isn't an Apple issue at all - even though Apple is stuck having to follow the policy.

Last week, my daughter's Samsung Blackjack II stopped charging. I took it into the AT&T store and asked that the $4.99 per month insurance cover the issue ... the salesperson took the battery cover off of the phone and said, "Oopsy the liquid sensor has been tripped, you'll have to pay the deductible." The deductible is $50.00. That makes the total cost of this phone in the 6 moths she's had it $684.20 (unsubsidized).

This isn't the first Samsung (or other cell phone) that I've had this happen ...

In March, I wanted to switch my wife from Verizon to an iPhone on AT&T under my account. She had a nice Samsung Alias phone that was in pretty good condition. I had a number of extra chargers and a Samsung branded bluetooth headset for it. Expecting to get $100.00 + for it and use the money towards the iPhone purchase, I took it to a local "Buy/Sell/Trade/Repair Cellphone Shop" called Hybrid Wireless in Greenville, South Carolina. The first thing they said was, "We can't take this, the water sensor has been tripped." - with the cap on, he pointed with a sharpie marker showing me a tiny sticker just above the battery that he said was suppose to be solid white. Instead, it had little pink crosses on it.

I've had two other cellphones with AT&T; a Nokia flip phone and an HP Smartphone. I never dropped either of them in water, never had them in the shower or in a steamy locker room ... just maybe a normal humid day in South Carolina ... EVERY day! Both stickers were pink inside these phones too - dramatically reducing their value for resale and voiding their warranties.


I am a lover of children's literature said...

What! You actually allowed your daughter to have a Samsung rather than a iPhone?

Bad, bad, daddy! LOL

Philip Smith said...

She had to have it because friends had it ... but now that Mom has one ... she has been wanting one really badly ... but two things prevent that at the moment ... one ... won't take good care of her phone ... two - a third data plan puts data for 3 iPhones at over $100 a month!

Anonymous said...

You were lied to -- the crosses are "untripped." Had it been exposed to moisture it would be solid pink or solid white.

The reason the crosses are there is so that you don't replace a tripped sticker with a plain white (or other solid color) sticker. You might point that out to the guy.

Philip Smith said...

Actually the report from Samsung itself was listed as mild water damage ...

ANY pink at all means "warranty voided".

Anonymous said...

If it's the sticker in the phone, it will be white untripped and red/pink tripped. If it's the sticker on the battery it will have Xs on it when untripped and white when tripped.

If the store thinks different, then replace the sticker with whatever they think an untripped sticker looks like.

Anyway, a quick Google search should turn up the same information I'm giving you with regards to Samsung phones and batteries.

Unfortunately, iPhone stickers aren't so easily gotten at to be replaced.

Anonymous said...

ever thought of taking a WhiteOut strip and replacing it with the old sticker? just a thought.. the sensor really is just a sticker! so trade it and see what happens when you go into the store

fixyourthinking said...

It's a void sticker though and any signs of tamper not only void the warranty but also the deductible warranty you get if you purchase insurance.