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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