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NEVER utilize Motorola support for repairs- A horror story


Well-Known Member
Nov 14, 2010
TLDR summary: Sent a Razr MAXX HD in to Motorola to have a cracked screen repaired with a guarantee that it would be done within 5 business days. For over the next month, I am continually lied to that I'd get a phone back within the next 1-5 days (depending on who I talk to), before they finally reimburse me for a replacement, well over a month later.

Full story:

I'm a huge fan of Motorola phones. My first cell phone after High School was an old school Razr, and outside of a brief dalliance with a BlackBerry Storm (my first smartphone), every other phone I've had was made by Motorola. I got a Droid X soon after release in 2010, loved it, and replaced it 2.5 years later when it was showing it's age by getting a Razr Maxx HD on release day. Totally happy with the Razr Maxx HD... until it accidentally fell out of my pocket onto a rock in a parking lot and cracked the screen. Phone was totally functional still, including all portions of the touchscreen, but it had spiderweb cracks on it so I figured I'd get it fixed.

I was excited to see Motorola offers repair services for things not covered by the warranty. https://motorola-global-portal.cust...d_answer_detail/a_id/91148/p/30,6720,8579/kw/ said it would only be $100 and they can do the lens replacement in (at MOST) 5 business days. It's such a routine repair that they had a separate price set up explicitly for it. So on Friday 04/19, I open a case, give them my credit card details, get an RMA number, and ship it via USPS the same day. I pay a few dollars extra to guarantee it gets there by Monday (4/21) morning (and to get tracking), figuring it should be repaired by that Friday (04/26) and I'd have it soon after that. Meanwhile, I reactive the almost 3 year old Droid X.

Then the problems start.

Monday, 04/22, USPS tracking confirms that the phone is received at 9:50am. I get an email from Motorola reminding me to send it in at 2:50pm, 5 hrs later. I figured it hadn't been processed yet. Tuesday (04/23) afternoon, I manage to check the status of my repair (with difficulty) at their website, and it shows it hasn't been received yet. Their website ( https://globalrepairtools.motorola.com/serviceandrepair/device/index/en-us/trackrepair/ ) has a LOT of problems, working extremely inconsistently, hanging in multiple browsers and sometimes even putting me through and showing me the status of a repair COMPLETELY unrelated to mine (even though I made sure to copy/paste my own RMA number). Wednesday (04/24), it still showed that my phone hadn't been received, so I called Motorola support (for the first time). After checked the tracking details, the representative confirmed it had been received, but had not yet been logged into the system, and said that the original 5 business day timeline was still likely going to happen. Friday (04/26), still no progress.

Monday 04/29, I call back, they note that according to their system the phone was received on 04/27, five days after it had been delivered, and that the 5 business day cycle actually only starts after it's logged into their system. I was assured that because they had records of talking to me on 04/23 and the phone had already been received then, they'd expedite the repair and I'd hear from them soon after with a tracking number for the shipment. Fast forward a couple of days with the same story (promise of an expedited shipment), on 05/03 I call back again and get told that, Lo and Behold, they were having some further "technical difficulties" at their repair facility but the phone should 100% be done by 05/08 (13 business days and 17 calendars days after it was initially received by Motorola), and I'd get expedited shipping from there. They said they'd send me a bluetooth headset for my trouble (something I don't particularly need). I emailed in a complaint to Motorola at this point, and whoever responded to the email simply said "I could see here that you already spoke with one of our agents from our Repair Team. They assured you that you will get your phone by May 08. We'll just have to take their word for it. I'm sure that they will expedite the repair from here. Our system is doing some updates that is why this happened."

Fine. 05/08 rolls around and I still haven't gotten any details... So I call back, pretty early that morning. They tell me (AGAIN!) that they had some problems at the repair facility and now have no ETA whatsoever when my phone might be done (they don't have any idea what's going on with it. My personal theory is they lost it), but they can send me a replacement Razr Maxx HD. I was OK with that option, but the rep says it will take 3-5 business days until I have the device, though he said it was more likely to be 3 than 5. That puts us at 05/15, right around when I had my family coming in for some big personal events, and I didn't want to be dealing with this then (and I wanted a phone with a functioning camera, while the one on my Droid X was broken).

05/10, I get an email that the order for my replacement Maxx HD was being processed. There was no tracking information in that email, though it did say there would be tracking information forthcoming. Now, for the bluetooth headset they mailed me the previous week, I got the email with the tracking # two days after the headset arrived, so I figured this would be a similar story so I should call in for a tracking # (so I could be home to meet the device when it arrived). Monday 05/13, call and there's no details. Still haven't received any email by Tuesday morning, 05/14 (4-5 business days after my conversation early on 05/08, depending on how you count it), so I call again to see if I could get a tracking number, and actually get a representative who says the phone is in a box at the warehouse ready to be picked up by FedEx. They say a tracking number would only be generated once it was picked up (which sounded strange to me). I call again near the end of business on Tuesday and get much the same story, where a second representative gives me the same story about it being in a box.

05/15 (5-6 business days after the replacement was ordered, 18 business days after Motorola received my original phone for repairs). The representative I get this time says there was some kind of mistake the previous day because of technical difficulties at the distribution warehouse and my order was in a status called "booking", but should be shipped within the next few days. I will admit I got angry at this point, but the agent assured me he had contacted the warehouse and it would only be a day or two till they got through the back orders. Note that at this point, they set some kind of flag so every time I call I start out at level 2 support. Which would be fine, except level 2 support has a minimum of a 35 minute hold time throughout the day, so I'd already practically memorized the entirety of Motorola's hold messages. The representative promises to call me back that day no matter what he hears from the warehouse people to give me an update. No call was ever received.

05/16 (25 calendar days after Motorola received my phone): I call again, get told that the phone was through "booking", was actually "picked", and was in a box and ready to be shipped that day. I call in between spending time with my family (who I see rarely) and different events I have to go to. I ask whether they actually talked to someone at the warehouse and got a confirmation that it would be shipped. That representative says she doesn't have any contact information for the distributor against an email address (say what?) but she'd be happy to send them (yet another!) email. She offers to escalate me to their "executive support", but it's already 4pm so they've gone home. I get a promise I'll get called back the next day.

05/17 AM: I call again, get told that it was still "picked", but would DEFINITELY ship that day. I ask if anyone has heard from the warehouse, the answer is no. I inquire as to possible Saturday delivery because it's getting dangerously close to when I'm actually leaving the state/country on a trip that I will need a phone for (because I've paid for a micro-SD card that I'll use abroad and it's my only planned way to keep in touch with my responsibilities back home), and get told by the representative it's probably not possible but I'll definitely get a call back later that day. I have some events planned that evening where I can't touch my phone, so he says he'll leave a VM or an email with details of any updates.

05/17 PM: I get a call from Motorola somewhere around 6pm and they leave a voice mail saying they saw I talked to someone that day already so they don't have anything to add. (say what?) Then I get an email from Motorola that has one word in the subject (HOTDELAY), and it basically says "please call us" and a different number than the one I'd been calling. So I call that number as soon as I'm able, get through to a supervisor for the repair team. Oh my, apparently the distributers warehouse was having further technical difficulties! Amazingly, that phone that I had been assured four (or was it five?) separate times would be shipping "that day" all week, wasn't actually in stock! They won't be able to ship me a phone until late June at the earliest. Needless to say, I flip out, saying that's completely unacceptable. So the supervisor says she'll call corporate and get back to me on Monday (05/20), since they'd already gone home and wouldn't be in on the weekend. She promises she'd call me by 1pm on Monday.

05/20 early PM: Wow. Supervisor actually manages to call me back around 1230pm and gives me the offer that Motorola will give me a Droid 2 as a loaner phone until they get the Razr Maxx HD back in stock. That's right. Not a Droid 4. Or a Droid 3. Or a Droid 2 Global. But the phone that is FOUR MODELS out of date and as old as my Droid X. Needless to say, I tell her that that is not an acceptable option, and the only thing that I'd accept at this point is for Motorola to reimburse me in full for the cost of a phone. She says she'd look into it.

05/20 later PM: I get a call back from the supervisor. Corporate has agreed to reimburse me for a phone. Hallelujah! I ask a few questions. It goes like this: "Will they reimburse me for the full value of the phone?" "Yes." "Will I be reimbursed all taxes and fees?" "Yes, of course, we will reimburse you all taxes". I should have gotten details of all this in writing, but I didn't think of it. I almost cry from joy to finally get this resolved. I go to Best Buy (because they don't have a charge to return phones and at this point, I'm skeptical until the check is sent) buy a phone for full price (because I obviously don't have an upgrade available for myself yet), fax them the receipt with my case number, name, and address written on it, and move on my merry way. I figure I'll call them later the next day to make sure the fax was received and the reimbursement is being processed. I was so excited because I was leaving for my multi state/country traveling on 05/22, and I was relieved to get this huge monkey off my back.

05/21 (the 1 month "anniversary" of Motorola receiving my phone): I get a phone call back from supervisor lady. She is incredulous that I somehow thought they'd reimburse me for a brand new full priced device. Apparently she meant they'd only reimburse me for the purchase price of the original device, so they want my receipt back from October and will only reimburse me for $250 (and for none of the VZW subsidy that I got by signing a new 2 year contract). I can only respond that I never agreed to such an absurd deal and that there is absolutely no way I'd accept 1/3 of the value of the phone that I sent in to be repaired as reimbursement. She says that's the maximum they'd consider reimbursing me, and that me buying a replacement phone myself was my own problem and that I should return it. I request to speak to her supervisor and eventually get forwarded to their corporate consumer advocacy office. Talk to someone from consumer advocacy who says they'd look in to see what they could do for me and we'd talk again later that afternoon.

05/21 PM: Individual from consumer advocacy calls me back. Says there is no way anyone would ever agree to reimburse me the full value of a replacement device, just the subsidized price I paid once. He acknowledges that the device is valued at much higher than that and that I only got that price through a subsidy I (for all intents and purposes) pay back through the contract I'm still liable for, but he says that is irrelevant for their purposes. I tried to escalate to an even higher level of support and get this resolved, but he refused, saying there is no one higher and that I had to take what he offered or leave it. When inquiring about another option (compared to getting reimbursed a fraction of the cost of the device), he changed the story regarding their stock of phones once again and says more will be in stock on 05/22. He also personally guaranteed that mine would be the first one out the door from that shipment. When I said I didn't believe him, he said that given my case history he wouldn't believe himself either, but I had no other choices. He said they'd ship it to where I would be on 05/22-05/23. After numerous complaints from me about the absolutely abhorrent service so far, he (begrudgingly) attempts to offer me another bluetooth headset. After my frank refusal of that, he finally offers to ship me a $100 google play card. All this time, he just patronizes me with "I understand your frustration", and no real apology on behalf of Motorola.

05/22: I get a call back from consumer advocacy. It turns out that no, in fact, there was no stock that came in that day. They offer to send me a Razr M until they can get more HD MAXXs sometime later the following month. I refused, and say (again) that the only option I'll accept at this point was reimbursement for a replacement device, because it's been a month and I'm leaving the country for a few weeks and don't want to deal with this. He says it's not possible. I ask who could make it possible and get told this is a policy of their finance department. He refuses to let me speak to the finance department, but puts me on hold and (lo and behold!) he says that he spoke with them and got approval to send me a check to reimburse me for the replacement. But because they're paying the full amount, I will not get a $100 google play card for my trouble or any other reimbursement. I should be thankful that they deign to pay me back for the device I sent them (and they lost somewhere). I make sure to get this offer sent to me in writing later that day.

05/30: They mail the check. Only took a week. I was amazed. I got it a few days later.

Lessons learned: NEVER utilize Motorola for any kind of repair services. A repair that I could have easily done in 30 seconds (if I could have reasonably gotten ahold of the part without having it shipped from Hong Kong over a period of 2+ weeks) was not only never completed, but ballooned into a whole saga.

I've considered filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, but I don't think they could do anything. I don't know what else I can do, so I'm also spreading the story to all the forums I know so people can be warned to not use their repair services. Would have done it earlier but I had the international travel and then a whole bunch of work to do when I got back.

Legal action for my time (I estimate I spent >20 hrs on hold/talking to Motorola) wouldn't be worth it, given that any attorney would charge more per hour than Motorola would ever offer me. To be honest, I'd have been satisfied if they had ever offered me a sincere apology, an honest update on the situation, or maybe even that (paltry) $100 that they had considered offering me but in the end took the offer back. I was over a month without a normally functioning smartphone.Instead, all I got was patronization, dishonesty that I'd get a phone back "soon", and a bluetooth headset.

If any of you are stuck down the motorola black hole, the biggest advice I can give is to call the consumer advocacy office. Insist you be transfered up there if you have to. They are also less than honest and less than useful, but they seemed to at least be able to contact the people that could do something. If they tell you something is not possible, don't trust them. Insist to find out who can make it possible, because it probably is. I'd post the number myself, but I don't know how much I'm allowed to.
micro sd card is only for media, not for service. that's the SIM card. I only point that out because you seem to be quite detailed and took the time to type this all out... yet, that slip up killed a bit of credibility for me.

I haven't heard of this kind of experience from anybody else I know who's gone thru a manufacturer for repair. at least you got it taken care of, so that's good.
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micro sd card is only for media, not for service. that's the SIM card. I only point that out because you seem to be quite detailed and took the time to type this all out... yet, that slip up killed a bit of credibility for me.

I haven't heard of this kind of experience from anybody else I know who's gone thru a manufacturer for repair. at least you got it taken care of, so that's good.

Yes, it was a micro SIM, not micro SD. mea culpa.
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Obviously too late for any help to you now...

But, where I live, and I think in most large metro areas, there are third party cell phone repair centers...that repair all makes and models.

My wife's Motorola phone had a cracked screen, we called ahead to see what the process would be and they said they could likely get the phone repaired within one day so we took it in at 8:00 AM, got the phone back by 3:00 PM the same day and the cost was $90. No shipping, no hassles.

If your phone is no longer under warranty or you don't care if you void your warranty by having someone work on it...then I would certainly research the possibility of a trustworthy third party repair shop.
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