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A couple days ago I rooted my phone and I hard bricked it. I am debating whether or not to just send it in to get JTagged (for 50$) or to just try to get a new one under warranty. I have heard everything from:

You can send a rooted phone back. Doesn't really matter.

Returning Rooted Phones

and

I've returned a stock, rooted phone and even forgot to put the modded battery icon back to stock. No issues.

ATT Detecting rooted phones?

to:

they can and do check. because they refurbish many of the returns for reuse. they can easily remove the rooted setup in favor of stock. but that isn't the point. its best to remove root with a restore if at all possible with the stock zv9 update. then the device is sent back in factory state. if you cant accomplish this due to issues with the device that prevent it,then you have to send it back as is. but the latter should always be the case to return it not restored.

Returning Rooted Phones

and

not sure if they check that but if they did they can do anything from sue for fraud, since you lied. they can cancel your plan and ruin your esn. thats really about it. im not sure if they think its worth the hassle though.

So what is the truth behind this? Is it risky to return a bricked/rooted phone to your carrier? Is it different for each carrier? (AT&T, Verison, T-Mobile, ...) Are there any precautionary measurements out there people should take before they return a rooted device?


Update:

I received my new phone and then I shipped my bricked phone back to Verizon and I never heard back. Either they didn't check that it was rooted or they didn't care, either way I've got a functional phone again. Thank you for everyone's answers!

  • I own a Galaxy Note which is rooted and running a custom ROM. My note had a charger issue, the port was damaged. I gave it at the Samsung store with a rooted TouchWiz ROM only to get it back repaired with no questions asked. Just to be on the safe side you could flash a stock ROM and give it. – Aadi Droid Jul 23 '13 at 10:04
3

I'm not sure it would be legal for them to discriminate on warranty just because a phone is rooted. However, there are some "void your warranty" things you could do when rooted (such as overclock way high, etc). You might find a tool on XDA to restore an original ROM, I did once for a bricked phone. They may have such a tool in-store too.

2

IMO it is neither within the carrier's moral nor legal duty to warrant damages caused by the owner's mishandling. Some carriers/shops might decide to do the replacement anyway because the cost of investigating these cases are often higher than replacement, but unless it is explicitly stipulated within the warranty contract, don't expect it as an entitlement.

While in some areas, there are now laws to protect customers from carriers voiding warranty simply because of rooting, it does not mean that you are entitled for replacement if you damaged the phone because of improper rooting. The law ensures that you will still be eligible for warranty if you rooted a damaged phone because you received a damaged phone in the first place. However if it is an improper rooting or improper use of root privilege that caused the phone to be damaged than it would not be fair to require carriers to replace the phone.

Mind you, I personally believe that selling a phone with an overzealous locking measures that cannot be unlocked by a reasonably knowledgeable customer is selling a damaged goods (akin to selling a house without a front door), but I'm not sure of any places where the law has caught up with this.

IANAL.

1

I'm not sure there's a good answer to this. As you've seen from your own research, experiences vary. Therefore, if you send in a rooted or otherwise modified phone, you may have a problem. If you unroot / unmod it before you send it in, then you're much less likely to have problems.

In your case, with it being hard bricked, you probably don't have much of a choice. Of course, it's possible they won't be able to tell that you fouled it up (because, if they could, they'd likely have nothing to do with it).

So I think it comes down to this... how much of a gambler are you?

1

I had rooted my mobile. But as I dint read the instructions properly regarding installation of new ROM, I had hardbricked my mobile.

I thought it would not be repaired under warranty. but one question came to my mind: when I can't switch on my phone how will others do? However, I gave my mobile to service center within two days.

But when I went in search of an answer for my question, I realized the company could find out if a mobile is rooted or not. In the end, that didn't really matter for me because I got my mobile back (repaired under warranty).

The thing is it doesn't really matter for a company whether the mobile is rooted, because if they succeed to know if your mobile is rooted then its for sure that motherboard can be accesed through some sort of method that company uses. When they can access it they can surely wipe the data out of it.

So I guess it's not that risky to get your mobile repaired under warranty – but as someone said in the above comments, one should be good in gambling while dealing with this sort of problem.

  • 3
    That was quite a wall of text. Welcome to the Android Enthusiast – and please, try to improve your formatting skills :) – Izzy Dec 28 '13 at 18:07
0

Take your bricked phone to a store not manufacturer. I just bricked my HTC One trying to install different language stock firmware and took it directly back to the HTC Service Centre in my city (Shanghai). It was stuck in a boot loop after an OTA (root and unlock boot loader and change ROM had worked fine until OTA).

First thing they checked was if my phone was rooted. It was re-locked and s-off. Although it could still turn on and be used - just not do OTA updates - Got told by service centre that as it was rooted warranty void (5 day old phone). Fixing it would require change of logic board they said. Wtf.

In end I "agreed" with them to replace whole phone for cost of changing logic board. Cost me $300. Feeling scammed.

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I can tell you 100% with all FACT

If you return your phone, bricked or rooted there's NOTHING they can or will do about it. This is only if you send it in and not take it to the store.

I WOULD NEVER TAKE A BRICKED PHONE TO THE STORE - THE EMPLOYEES ARE LIKE US; THEY TEND TO PLAY WITH THIS ROOTING AS WELL AND MORE LIKELY TO CATCH ON AND VOID YOUR WARRANTY.

The phones are simply opened from your return box, torn apart and NOT TESTED for anything as THEY CAN NOT SEND OUT A PHONE THAT HAS BEEN USED BY ANOTHER USER -THIS IS WHY THEY ALL LOOK BRAND NEW WHEN YOU RECEIVE YOUR REPLACEMENT.

The housing is stripped and the main board pulled out ( end of your concern ) and put into a bin where they are simply reprogrammed.

IF ANYONE TRIES TO SELL YOU ON ANYTHING DIFFERENT THEY ARE LYING TO MAKE YOUR DAY HARDER OR UNEDUCATED.

I WILL LET YOU THINK ABOUT WHAT I JUST STATED AND AM SURE YOU WILL SEE EXACTLY WHAT AM REFERRING TOO.

I have a friend that has worked for both Samsung ( still ) and Motorola back in the day with a few at Verizon and AT&T

  • 2
    Could you please not use ALL CAPS for emphasis? It's hard to read. Use italic or bold (or both) instead. – ale Jun 22 '14 at 19:37

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