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Report: Motorola refusing to replace broken phones – ‘no more stock’

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moto g
The Motorola Moto G (third-generation)

Update: Motorola provided the a second statement to TrustedReviews, apologising to customers over the delays:

"We're experiencing delays at our US repair center that is influencing repair times for some customers. We know how important it is for you to get your phone back as quickly as possible so we’re working hard to identify and implement solutions. We are dedicated to the highest quality service and this is not up to our standard of excellence. We deeply apologize for any inconvenience this situation has caused."

"If you are currently having an issue with warranty fulfillment, please contact us at 888-355-8422. We are available Monday through Friday from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM, or on Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 Eastern Time."

Original Story (16/04/2016):

A Motorola customer has complained that the phone maker is refusing to honour a warranty because the company has no stock left.

Posting on Reddit, user /u/Dr_No_It_All (DNIT), says that Motorola has failed to replace his broken Moto G, despite repeated requests over a six-week period.

“Motorola simply can’t honour the warranty on their devices because they don’t have replacement devices in stock,” wrote DNIT.

“I have an in-warranty Moto G 3rd gen that started malfunctioning to the point of it being hit-or-miss if it will work,” he explained. “Two months ago, I was authorized for an Advanced Exchange to get the device replaced.”

Motorola’s Advanced Exchange program is the main way the Lenovo-owned company deals with malfunctioning handsets. On its website, Motorola claims the program will ship a replacement device “within four business days”. But DNIT claims that “weeks passed with no communication”.

Moto G 11The Moto G (2015)

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“I had to hound them over and over to find out what the status with my case was, and eventually found out they had no stock of Moto Gs for warrant exchange,” DNIT wrote.

According to the user, Motorola tried to look for similar devices to replace the Moto G, including the Moto X Pure Edition. DNIT says “they were out of stock of that too”.

But it gets worse. To take part in the Advanced Exchange program, you submit your issue to Motorola, and they send you a new handset. During this process, you pay a security hold fee, which changes in value depending on the phone in dispute. If you don’t ship your original device back to Motorola within five days of receiving the replacement, you get charged a fee.

DNIT claims that he was forced to pay this fee, despite not having a working phone, nor ever having received a replacement. As a result, DNIT eventually had to go and buy a temporary phone.

When asked for comment on DNIT’s claims, Motorola provided TrustedReviews with the following statement:

“We are looking into the device warranty complaints that have been reported. We strive for exceptional customer service and we greatly value our loyal consumers and their continued support.”

But it seems DNIT isn’t alone in his complaint about Motorola’s allegedly unsatisfactory warranty scheme.

In a Reddit post dated November 2, 2015, Reddit user /u/Enferrari says he tried to replace a first-generation black, metal-band Moto 360 smartwatch after it “stopped powering on”.

moto 360 2nd generationThe Motorola Moto 360

“They received it, and I didn’t get an update for one month,” wrote Enferrari, “so I called them and they said they are out of stock, but they could offer me the champagne-coloured watch.”

He continued: “I refused since I would’ve bought that colour originally if it was what I wanted. Anyway, they said to wait two days to see if they get more in stock. I waited 11 days, and called today and they said they still don’t have any in stock.”

On April 13, 2016, another Motorola customer called ‘uncleguito’ posted the following on Lenovo’s forum:

“My original 2015 Moto X…started getting screen issues with flickering down the entire right side, so I submitted a claim for replacement.”

According to uncleguito, Motorola repeatedly returned “broken devices” as replacements over a two-month period.

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According to the Motorola Mobility Global Limited Warranty, customers are guaranteed a phone “free from defects for a period of 12 months from the date of original purchase”.

It doesn’t cover certain issues like cosmetic damage or phones that were bricked through modification. However, screen issues or problems with powering a handset on should be covered if they fall within the 12-month period.

Why would Motorola be low on smartphone stock? The obvious reason is that Motorola may be nearly ready to launch new devices.

The 2015 version of the Moto G was released in July, so industry spectators expect that new versions of the Moto G and Moto X could arrive shortly. If that turns out to be the case, it wouldn't be surprising that Motorola had halted production of last year's smartphones.

Moto X Style 352015's Moto X Style

It's also worth noting that in January, Lenovo announced that future Motorola phones would be marketed under the Lenovo name. That's even more incentive for Lenovo to avoid topping up Motorola handset stock.

However, Motorola has given no official comment on the matter of prospective device launches.

If you have any customer service complaints, regarding Motorola or any other consumer technology/internet service brand, let us know in the comments, or e-mail me at: sean.keach@trustedreviews.com.

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