If phones use terms such as ‘water resistant’ as selling points then shouldn’t the warranty cover the cost of mending broken parts that stop them from resisting water?
A key part of the phone’s water-resistant design is the addition of a rubbery flap that covers the USB port when it’s not in use. As a moving, exposed part, it may come as no surprise that some GS5 owners have reported the part breaking off.
Some of these unlucky owners, including Which? campaigns supporter Chris, had trouble when he tried to get Samsung to fix it:
‘I wrote a nice email to Samsung asking for it to be replaced – they (eventually) replied and stated the cover only had a three-month warranty.’
It seems Chris wasn’t alone in this – we found several reports on the Android Central Forum from Galaxy S5 owners being told that the broken charger cover was cosmetic damage and so not covered by the product’s full warranty.
This is what Jimbob had to say:
‘Mine broke off within six months… got a laugh from Samsung:
“Your charging port cover came supplied with a three-month warranty period. I understand from the details you have provided that it is now past three months since you purchased your device which does mean that it is no longer covered by the Samsung warranty and any required repair would have to be carried out on a chargeable basis.”
‘Three months… they’re having a laugh!’
Another commenter, Lisa Jayne, had a similar story to tell:
‘After seven months my USB charger port cover came off in my hands. It seems it’s a common fault, you only have to look at the various online forums and the number of these parts for sale on auction sites.
‘Samsung said this fault would not be covered under my warranty as it was classed as physical damage. I told Samsung I totally disagree, I am always very careful with my phone and I don’t expect bits to drop off such an expensive phone that’s just over six months old.
‘I think the fault is down to the parts not being of a durable quality to last. They said I needed to get it repaired at my own cost by one of their approved repairers.’
Are S5 owners covered or not?
We wrote to Samsung for a definitive answer – this is what it had to say:
‘The Samsung Galaxy S5 has a cover over its USB port to ensure the model retains its IP67 certification. The USB connector cover has a two-year warranty period, as does the device itself, so Samsung will replace it free of charge during this period. The cover can be replaced at any Samsung Store, and we also offer a postal repair service for any customers who may not be able to get to a Store.’
So, it’s good news for those worried that they might not be able to get a repair – but why are so many Galaxy S5 owners seemingly getting a different response from Samsung?
For those without a warranty and some tools to hand, our supporter Chris suggests a DIY solution:
‘I discovered the part was available on eBay for £1.95 and replacement took two minutes using a crosshead screwdriver.’
If the product’s still in warranty you may like to go to your manufacturer when something goes wrong. But if you don’t have any luck with them then your consumer rights actually lie with the shop you bought it from. We would expect retailers to replace or repair faulty products so that they’re fit for purpose – though it doesn’t always work our like that.
Have you ever had a seemingly inconsequential part break that’s had consequences for the rest of the product?