Before buying a phone you should know whether or not you’re going to be covered if it just stops working for some reason and through no fault of your own. True you could invest in an insurance plan with your service provider, but manufactures should stand behind their products and they do so by providing their consumers with a warranty.
Manufacture warranties come with the phone when you buy it (you don’t pay extra for the manufacturer’s warranty) and it is basically a promise by the company that made your phone stating that they will stand behind their product and resolve any issues that arise through use of the phone that isn’t directly caused by the user of the device.
Now as mentioned already warranty should not to be confused with insurance. A phones warranty doesn’t cover liquid damage, physical damage, stolen, or lost devices. It typically warrants software related problems and any possible known issues common to that specific device. If you’re having issues with your phone or want to read more about the warranty process its self then you should read How to File a Warranty Claim on a Mobile Phone.
If you want to know what you’re getting into when you purchase a phone, or want to know what you have received and is now covered since buying your phone, you should actually read the manufactures warranty. Here is a list of some of the major mobile phone manufactures today and their warranty information and policies.
Most of the highlights that people are unaware of and are surprised to find out are:
New or Used – guess what! After 14 days your phone is officially used, and as such when you file a warranty claim the manufacture or your service provider is almost certainly going to give you a rebuilt or Refurbished device should the device need replacing. If it needs repairing (typically through the manufacturer directly) then they have the choice of using recycling used parts.
Repair – repair is just that repair, they have the obligation to repair the unit but they do not have the obligation to provide you with a replacement while your phone is being repaired. In these types of situations you can usually just use your SIM card in an older phone or purchase a prepaid phone to use in the meantime.
OOW- phones are OOW (Out Of Warranty) and by any type of damage, whether the damage had to do with the issue or not. If your calling in about your phone powering off but you have a screen that has a little ding or crack then your OOW and out of luck.
Batteries and Chargers – are usually covered, so if you have had your phone for less than a year and your battery won’t hold a charge for more than a couple of hours, do a reset on the device just to make sure it’s not something running in the background that’s draining the battery, if you try it as a clean install for a couple days and it’s still not holding a charge like it should then call in and file a warranty claim on your battery. Don’t worry it’s usually a new battery.
Same goes for your charger, if the charger that came with the phone isn’t charging your phone any more but an approved car charger does charge the device, then call in and request a new charger.
No point in spending money when you don’t have to. If your battery is corroded because you have liquid damage or your charger was chewed by your dog or pet hamster then these accessories are damaged and are out of warranty. Check out Amazon for some extremely affordable chargers and or replacement batteries you can usually replace them for relatively cheap if you buy online.
Time Frame – typically one year; Yeah, I know, you sign a two year contract but you’re only given one year of coverage.
If repaired or replaced the phone typically retains its original warranty period/date or gets a new warranty period of 90 days. There for if you have 264 more days on your warranty then you’ll have 264 days left on your warranty if you get a replacement. If you have 19 days left on your warranty then you’ll have 90 days left on your replacements warranty. You DON’T get a new one year warranty.
Property of the Manufacturer – just a little side note that you probably wont run across in many contracts is that if you get a replacement phone it’s often just the base unit and therefore just the phone its self. It doesn’t come with a back plate, a charger, a battery, a SIM card, memory card etc. you’ll use all of those pieces from your original phone.
If you forget to take your $15 memory card off of the device before sending it back to the manufacture then chances are you won’t ever see that memory card again. I have heard from 2 different sources (both a service provider and manufacture) that they incinerate them if they find them in order to protect customer information and privacy but who knows.
By knowing your warranty you can plan ahead and not only be prepared but also know what is and is not going to be covered should something happen to your phone. You don’t necessarily need to buy a new phone simply because the display screen is completely white, or the phone wont power on, or charge, or is power cycling, has no audio, or whatever the reason, as long as there is no physical or liquid damage and your still within your warranties timeframe (typically a year) then you’re probably covered and should look into filing a warranty claim.
Also don’t forget to invest in a good protective case for your phone! If that phone gets dropped, which chances are it WILL, and it gets a ding nick crack or any pieces get lose or fall off then your warranty is void. So invest in a good case or at the very least a good screen protector. Accidents happen and it’s best to be prepared for when they do.