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Water damage, Is it a scam?

Discussion in 'General Verizon Service' started by UserInVa, Apr 8, 2007.

  1. UserInVa

    UserInVa New Member

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    I was told that my previous phone had water damage by the folks at Verizon. I had the same phone and for less that a year. However that phone had never seen any water except maybe some humidity. Now, I get the same story about my 7250 (also on Verizon) and that thing has also never seen any water and I've had it less than a year.

    Is "water damage" a scam? Is it for real? If it is for real, how in the world can using a phone or blackberry under normal circumstances result in water damage?



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  2. Brad729

    Brad729 New Member

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    Well, I live in Florida where the humidity is always high. Water damage is common here, but it's more like "moisture damage". Most phones have a moisture indicator on the battery, like a piece of litmus paper, and when the indicator is exposed to moisture, it turns a different color. I kept my last phone in my pocket all the time, and if I ever caught myself breaking a sweat I'd take it out, but the heat+humidity meant my pocket was always "humid". When I got my new phone last week, I noticed the moisture indicator on the old one had turned a really sick shade of lavender and I'm glad Sprint didn't notice this time, or they would have made me pay the deductible.

    On the other hand, when my first Sprint phone started acting up, they took one look at the moisture indicator and wouldn't touch the phone to look at it, crying "water damage" and they made me do an insurance claim. When the new phone arrived in the mail and the indicator on the new, unopened battery was the same color of blue as my old one, I flew through the roof! After letting all the employees and customers in the whole Sprint Store know I thought I was being scammed, the manager pulled me to the side, said that LG had changed their indicator from blue to black, or black to blue, and it was confusing all the reps.

    There was nothing wrong with my old phone or this new phone, but they had sent me the "old battery" and the indicator was the "wrong color". They activated the new phone, credited me the $50 for the insurance claim, apologized profusely, and sent me on my way. So, all I'm saying is there could be some confusion like this going on, but chances are (if the reps there know what they're talking about), the phone was exposed to moisture. Is it very humid where you live? We usually see between 80%-100% humidity in the summer where I am, and that's why Florida gets so many water damage claims.
  3. UserInVa

    UserInVa New Member

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    Yes, I live in the Washington DC area and it gets very humid here (but originally from Fla!).

    I don't doubt the indicators turn colors, at Verizon it's red, but I'm really beginning to feel like this is a huge scam with cell phone and blackberry companies, I really am. How can they make phones and sell them for hundreds of dollars (unless you sign a contract which isn't good unless you get the insurance and even then you get stuck with an additional $50 deductabe) and walk outside on a humid day and have your phone ruined? I really can understand if a phone gets dropped in water, but not normal weather conditions.

    I would love to hear from an honest Verizon (or other company) rep or X-rep on this subject.
  4. paulcman

    paulcman New Member

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    Unfortunately, water damage is a real thing. I see phones come in all the time with activated water indicators and the "I don't know how that happened, I never got it wet" excuse. Meanwhile, there could be standing water in the battery compartment or inside the front screen. Because it has been such a big, troublesome and expensive issue, Verizon has long taken the strong stance of not replacing any phone with the indicator changed. That is precisely why our contract with Asurion includes the water damage coverage.

    For what it's worth, Verizon is gradually returning the power of discretion back to it's employees, so those folks who have "water damaged" phones may not be left out in the cold anymore. I can't give any more detail than that (because I like my job and can't afford the promotion to customer). Just know that if your phone is truly water damaged, you will have to use your insurance.
  5. UserInVa

    UserInVa New Member

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    Thanks for responding.

    Unfortunately, I was one of the customers (a little over 2 years ago) that bought an expensive phone even with a 2 year contract when I switched from another carrier to Verizon. I did not buy the insurance. 2-3 months later started seeing things with my phone and finally at about 6 months took it in. One of the things happening was the phone would not hold a charge even through a single call (length maybe 30 minutes). The tech serv guy checked and sure enough the tag was red and he declared water damage and my only option was to buy a new phone, not even a new battery would do any good. Asked about the warranty on the phone, it was explained it did not cover water damage. Even after explaining the phone had not ever been near water, Verizon offered nothing. So, in good faith I had purchased an expensive phone, signed up for a 2 year contract, and 3-6 months later a silly tab in the phone turns red due to humidity or normal weather conditions and my warranty is all of a sudden invalid and I'm out of luck. Anyone who would have cared to pull the phone apart would have been able to see that phone had never been in water.

    I'm glad to hear Verizon has given the employees more discretion in making decisions regarding water damage.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  6. jdeg

    jdeg Administrator Staff Member

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    That's good to hear. Water damage is prob one of the biggest phone insurance claims ever.
  7. UserInVa

    UserInVa New Member

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    Hey Paulcman, would you mind if I copied your above comment and pasted it into a BlackBerry forum with the same titled thread? Would or would not use your name and won't do it if you say no. Not sure if doing this is bad etiquette...
  8. jdeg

    jdeg Administrator Staff Member

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    Just link to this thread under it ;) (http://cellphoneforums.net/verizon/t247665-water-damage-scam.html#post1162928 )
    I believe we share the same software and I will link to that thread in the bottom of this post as well.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2007
  9. UserInVa

    UserInVa New Member

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