Saturday, March 2, 2013

Unlocking bootloader or flashing custom ROM doesn't void your warranty!

Since HTC started htcdev.com with the possibility to unlock bootloader on HTC devices, I noticed that false information and beliefs are spreading around the world and more and more people think (and tell!) other users, that their warranty will be voided after unlocking particular device. This is not true!

In the past I wrote a short article on xda-developers about warranties and why, against common believes, flashing custom ROMs does not void your warranty. You can find this thread here.

Here's some information worth pointing out:
  1. Warranty is a contract. In every country there are laws and regulations about warranties, however these vary from place to place and may be slightly different in your country, keep that in mind.
  2. If it's a contract, then both sides have some obligations and rights. Both - rights and obligations - needs to be written in the warranty, otherwise they doesn't exist. Warranty statements must be consistent with generally applicable law.
  3. As a contract, warranty can be created as the parties want, as long as it's consistent with generally applicable law.
  4. To know exactly what's written in your warranty don't try to Google it - take it out of the box and READ IT. Don't trust what others say - their warranty might be different to your own.
Now, the question is - why unlocking the bootloader doesn't void the warranty? The answer is very simple. Because HTC's warranty contract doesn't state it. The only information about warranty on htcdev.com you can find is this:



So, once again:

"It is our responsibility to caution you that not all claims resulting or caused by or from the unlocking of the bootloader may be covered under warranty."

Is there any information, that unlocking bootloader voids warranty? Nope. So basically, what does it mean? Only this - if you brick your device as a result of e.g. flashing custom ROM (unlocked bootloader allows you doing that), you may have no warranty claim for that particular incident.

Two more important things to conclude:
  1. If "not all claims may be covered under warranty", then (logic conversion) some claims may still be covered under warranty.
  2. Even if you can't claim something under warranty because it was caused by or from the unlocking of the bootloader, that doesn't mean you have lost your warranty. You still have your warranty and you still can claim under warranty, but this warranty won't cover those particular claims caused by or from the unlocking of the bootloader.
So basically, HTC warns you, that some of the actions you might take after unlocking the bootloader may lead to a situation, when particular issue can't be covered under warranty.

Also, this information on htcdev.com doesn't expand or restrict your warranty terms. It doesn't change it at all. If warranty is given in the paper form, then as a contract the only way to change it, is a paper form too (if not stated otherwise in the warranty itself). HTC just kindly reminds you some sort of information you can conclude from the warranty itself.

Once again, if you are interested why flashing custom ROMs doesn't void warranty as well, please read this thread.

PS. I'm also wondering why Samsung users are so crazy about so called flash counter and "Triangle Away" application. They don't need it to have a valid warranty, even with a yellow triangle.



Disclaimer:

This text is just for education purpose. It's not a law itself so you can't base your claims versus a company on this. I may be wrong in many parts - feel free to write a comment under this post and I will make any necessary corrections. I don't know the laws in every country so there may be some slight differences.



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8 comments:

  1. Samsung users love nothing but the aesthetics and clean feel of the OS (even though it's usually bugged by adware and the likes) and the big yellow triangle is a huge takeaway from that. As a previous GS2 owner I know that having the yellow triangle makes the thing a lot uglier than it should.

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    1. I understand that, but still I'm not sure if I would pay money for such app.

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  2. Once I went to HTC center for some repairs stuff, like why the screen was turning yellowish and the receiver emitted some abnormal sound.

    Firstly, they told me that as your bootloader is unlocked, your warranty is void.
    I reply like the passage like, it MAY void only and the problem is the physical problem, none of the business of the software.

    They told me that "as the bootloader is unlocker, somethings you did after it may affect the internal physical operation of the phone, like the power supply is not stable and therefore those problems exist." They try to shirk all responsibility to users on unlocking the bootloader.

    Sorry for my poor English.

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    1. If anyone tells you that, he needs to prove it. Statement like "it may affect..." has to be proved that actually it did affected. Sometimes we need to fight for our rights, I know the pain. Personally I never had issues with HTC repair center and I've heard about a lot of different situations when people were returning unlocked devices under warranty and receiving fixed ones with no problems.

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  3. I've had warranty replacements on several rooted and unlocked phones through t mobile. I went through t mobile though in U.S. and had no problems. I guess it's nice to have a bigger between you and the manufacturer sometimes. Most tmobile reps weren't tech savvy enough to see all the obvious signs my phone was running custom rom, the rest didn't care.

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  4. No way to possibly run an app to backup all the applications + settings + whatever else, then taking the backup from the phone... unlocking bootloader - installing rom, then redownloading the app and running restore?

    or do you require root for backing up applications + settings etc?

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  5. This doesn't have a lot to do with the article in the sense of locked vs. unlocked bootloaders (because when I did a warranty claim I hadn't unlocked my bootloader).. however, when I sent my device for several claims and to have the screen replaced here in my 'region' (latinamerica) even though my international OneX's warranty clearly states that the screen is not covered UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE and I was already counting my money to pay for the screen replacement, I suddenly received an email notifying me that the screen was replaced (among other fixes) completely free of charge "as part of warranty covering".. I think I have never been so gladly surprised in my entire life

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  6. do you backup your phone before or after unlocking the bootloader? Could you help me understand the backing-up part please?

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