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-   -   Water damage. Is it a scam? (http://www.blackberryforums.com/general-blackberry-discussion/72264-water-damage-scam.html)

UserInVa 04-08-2007 06:41 AM

Water damage. Is it a scam?
 
I was recently at the Verizon store and the reps there told me I had water damage in my BB. The BB has never been in water and I've had it for less than a year. I was also told that my previous phone had water damage and that phone had never seen water either and I had that phone for less than a year.

Is "water damage" a scam? Is it really possible to get water damage when the phone has never been dropped in water, ever? Are these phones/BBs so cheaply made that humidity or a few rain drops causes water damage?

John Clark 04-08-2007 07:28 AM

Humidity or a raindrop in just the right place i.e.the white moisture detector inside the battery compartment, can cause the detector to turn from white to red, thus indicating "water damage."

UserInVa 04-08-2007 07:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John Clark
Humidity or a raindrop in just the right place i.e.the white moisture detector inside the battery compartment, can cause the detector to turn from white to red, thus indicating "water damage."



Does that mean I needed a new phone or in this case a new BB? Regarding my phone from before, I tried to get a new battery at the time and they said it would not do any good, that I needed a new phone. It's just hard to believe that with normal use and normal weather conditions a phone or BB could be ruined. Is that true?

ezrunner 04-08-2007 08:09 AM

Unfortunately water damage is real. Most of the sales people have little or NO electronics training except that which is provided by the perspective carrier. The indicators are a quick way to let them no of liquid coming into contact with the device in some form. I found the best way to tell is to look at the charging or data ports, if you see corrosion (the greenish or white crusty stuff) indeed it is damaged by liquid. MyBB indicator went off afer I had it in Bathroom as I showered no other damage it has worked flawlessly since. Darn if I can get warranty work and I have opened the device to repair/replace the track wheel other than some dirt it as fine.

If the device is working normally then Id say it had a minor exposure. Try contacting the manufacturer you can send it in for warranty yourself. They will generally at the least open the phone first.

I had a lady come in once water indicator red as can be and she absolutely denied any water exposure. I opened the phone and out poored an ocean of water the look on her face was priceless. "ma'am you need a new phone" I stated.

Batteries will typically last 2 years maybe a bit more, using a car charger alot will shorten the life of your battery at least in my experience.

If you drop phone into water DO NOT power it on disassemble as much as you can and let dry for as long as you can, I find putting it on the dryer and runing dryer for several cycles helps quite a bit.

Wow just realized how much I have rambled sorry

ezrunner 04-08-2007 08:12 AM

*self edit* double posted

ezrunner 04-08-2007 08:13 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UserInVa
Does that mean I needed a new phone or in this case a new BB? Regarding my phone from before, I tried to get a new battery at the time and they said it would not do any good, that I needed a new phone. It's just hard to believe that with normal use and normal weather conditions a phone or BB could be ruined. Is that true?

They are electronic devices so they can be very sensitive to water. if the devices are working normal other than the indicator changed I doubt you had any significant exposure. I live in VB and the humidity here can get high enough that just atmospheric exposure for a bit can cause the indicator to change. or if you leave an air conditioned building out into 90 degree heat and hunmidity it can cause condensation to form within the phone

gschoelles 04-08-2007 09:13 AM

Watch how you carry a CellPhone. I have Teenage Daughters who have the infamous Red Dot (in their cell phones) and after some analysis attribute it to the fact they carry them in their cleavage!? I know my phone would fail in seconds if I carried it around in my JOCK!

Wonder why they don't put a wet seal on the chipset - Think it's a money thing?

UserInVa 04-08-2007 09:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ezrunner
Unfortunately water damage is real. Most of the sales people have little or NO electronics training except that which is provided by the perspective carrier. The indicators are a quick way to let them no of liquid coming into contact with the device in some form. I found the best way to tell is to look at the charging or data ports, if you see corrosion (the greenish or white crusty stuff) indeed it is damaged by liquid. MyBB indicator went off afer I had it in Bathroom as I showered no other damage it has worked flawlessly since. Darn if I can get warranty work and I have opened the device to repair/replace the track wheel other than some dirt it as fine.

If the device is working normally then Id say it had a minor exposure. Try contacting the manufacturer you can send it in for warranty yourself. They will generally at the least open the phone first.

I had a lady come in once water indicator red as can be and she absolutely denied any water exposure. I opened the phone and out poored an ocean of water the look on her face was priceless. "ma'am you need a new phone" I stated.

Batteries will typically last 2 years maybe a bit more, using a car charger alot will shorten the life of your battery at least in my experience.

If you drop phone into water DO NOT power it on disassemble as much as you can and let dry for as long as you can, I find putting it on the dryer and runing dryer for several cycles helps quite a bit.

Wow just realized how much I have rambled sorry


Thanks for responding and the information, that's pretty funny about the woman's phone actually. I guess you hear everything.

The only issue I'm having on my phone is the battery isn't holding the charge as long and a few more droped calls than in the beginning. I've had this phone maybe 6 months. I don't use it for anything fancy, every now and then a text msg or pix msg. I'm not having any real issues with my BB, except I have to hard reset to get my messges to come in every now and then. When I took it in that was the first thing they checked, said it had water damage, and to call customer service and they would send me another one. Give me a break!

I don't doubt the indicators turn colors with a little humidity but I'm really beginning to think this is a huge scam with cell phone and BB companies. A way for them to either get you to buy a new phone at full price or pay the $50 deductable to get a new one if you have the insurance. How can they make phones and sell them for hundreds of dollars (unless you sign that contract which isn't good unless you get the insurance and then you get stuck with that deductabe) and walk outside on a humid day and have your phone 'water damaged'? That feels like a built-in scam. I do understand electronics are sensitive to the elements...but I can't think of another piece of electronics equipment that is so sensitive. Radios? iPods? I wear my iPod running and at the gym and it gets WET...

Are phones really that sensitive or are they just using that little sticker under the battery (or where ever they are located on different phones/BBs) as an excuse?

ezrunner 04-08-2007 09:45 AM

the deductible is actually set my the insurance company who underwrites the policy not the carrier. Have auto insurance in most cases there is a deductible to pay. I agree it can be bothersome that if an indicator turns red it is automatically dubbed water damage personally I think that could be used as a quick check but that a more thorough check of the internals should be done before it is really declared water damage. Perhaps the indicators should be placed deeper ito the phone so as to not be set off by anything other than real exposure to moisture/water ie submerged or drenched in liquid

UserInVa 04-08-2007 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ezrunner
the deductible is actually set my the insurance company who underwrites the policy not the carrier. Have auto insurance in most cases there is a deductible to pay. I agree it can be bothersome that if an indicator turns red it is automatically dubbed water damage personally I think that could be used as a quick check but that a more thorough check of the internals should be done before it is really declared water damage. Perhaps the indicators should be placed deeper ito the phone so as to not be set off by anything other than real exposure to moisture/water ie submerged or drenched in liquid



I had not thought about the deductible being set by the insurance company, true. But, it still boils down to more money after carrying the charge monthly on the bill.

I agree with you, a more thorough check should be the standard vs. a basis to look no further and deem the device 'water damaged' and advise you to purchase a new one. Wonder how many phones/BBs are damaged before they ever get to customers, surely they are shipped through humid (or less than perfect) conditions? The indicators could be put deeper for a more accurate reading of true water contact, but the service reps, unless trained otherwise, would just dig deeper to find it for a quick solution to the problem to move through the line I would bet.

Anyway, thank you.

tsac 04-08-2007 10:20 AM

The 8700 has the indicator under the battery cover near the bottom of the case. I agree, it should be internal or at least under the battery.
Cingular does not offer insurance on BB's

pronerd 04-08-2007 10:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UserInVa
Is "water damage" a scam? Is it really possible to get water damage when the phone has never been dropped in water?

Damage no. But simply being in a humid climent over time is enough to trigger those moisture tags. Here in Kansas City it is very humid all the time, and any time in the summer it would be hard to find a phone more than 3 - 6 moths old that does not have the moisture tag(s) turned red. The tags were put in place to prevent real abuse, but they have become a way for the companies to abuse warranties.



Quote:

Originally Posted by UserInVa
Does that mean I needed a new phone or in this case a new BB?

Actually no not necessarily. First off as mentioned above it is quite likely there was no water damage. Secondly modern electronics run on very low voltages. (1-5) Volts usually. This is not enough voltage to generally instantly cause damage, unless it is saltwater, or you create a dead short with metal across the battery posts.

It is a common misconceptions that water instantly destroys electronics. Mainly thanks movies where sparks and smoke shoot out of devices when they are dropped or get wet. Have you ever actually seen this happen in real life. It almost never does. The voltage is just to low to instantly cause damage unless you do something extrem, like soak them in saltwater, or create a dead short with metal across the batter posts.

Dont get me wrong it can cause damage, but unless you submerge the device is water. Leave it there powered on for enough time for water to saturate it the device could very well be OK.

I have had several friends get their PDAs soaked on boating trips. I just had them turn them off, pull the battery, and open the case for several days to let them completely dry out. They have all been fine.

So if the device still work then there is no reason to replace them.

UserInVa 04-08-2007 10:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tsac
The 8700 has the indicator under the battery cover near the bottom of the case. I agree, it should be internal or at least under the battery.
Cingular does not offer insurance on BB's



The 7250 is right on the side of the battery. I didn't know Cingular doesn't offer insurance on the BB's, I've been considering switching back to Cingular when my contract is up, just thinking about it. That is if they ever come out with a BB with a full keyboard and a camera.

pronerd 04-08-2007 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gschoelles
after some analysis attribute it to the fact they carry them in their cleavage!?

Not to be too crude, but WOW they have enough cleave to hold a BB. Yikes.



Quote:

Originally Posted by gschoelles
Wonder why they don't put a wet seal on the chipset - Think it's a money thing?

There is no reason for them to. The moisture tags go off way before there will ever be any real damage, so they will never have to repair anything due to moisture. So no reason to spend the extra 10th of a cent per unit on a seal.

ezrunner 04-08-2007 10:36 AM

I have my BB insured by my insurance company for full retail value cost 28 dollars a year. It gets ruined I show proof of purchase and get check for a replacement. there are companies that provide insurance at a low cost with no deductible!

UserInVa 04-08-2007 10:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pronerd
Damage no. But simply being in a humid climent over time is enough to trigger those moisture tags. Here in Kansas City it is very humid all the time, and any time in the summer it would be hard to find a phone more than 3 - 6 moths old that does not have the moisture tag(s) turned red. The tags were put in place to prevent real abuse, but they have become a way for the companies to abuse warranties.


I believe this, it's a way to abuse waranties. I consider that a scam...and I think that, or something like it, is what is happening...at least at my Verizon store anyway (Pentagon City/Arlington, VA). One look at that tag and there is no further discussion and they are adamant about their discovery and the 'uselessness' of the phone even to the extent of selling a battery, "won't do any good, you need a new phone". I didn't get that far with my BB.





Actually no not necessarily. First off as mentioned above it is quite likely there was no water damage. Secondly modern electronics run on very low voltages. (1-5) Volts usually. This is not enough voltage to generally instantly cause damage, unless it is saltwater, or you create a dead short with metal across the battery posts.

It is a common misconceptions that water instantly destroys electronics. Mainly thanks movies where sparks and smoke shoot out of devices when they are dropped or get wet. Have you ever actually seen this happen in real life. It almost never does. The voltage is just to low to instantly cause damage unless you do something extrem, like soak them in saltwater, or create a dead short with metal across the batter posts.

Dont get me wrong it can cause damage, but unless you submerge the device is water. Leave it there powered on for enough time for water to saturate it the device could very well be OK.

I have had several friends get their PDAs soaked on boating trips. I just had them turn them off, pull the battery, and open the case for several days to let them completely dry out. They have all been fine.

So if the device still work then there is no reason to replace them.


Thanks for the information and responding. Taking that advice, my BB is working fine, except for the hard re-set thing and I can live with that.

ezrunner 04-08-2007 10:41 AM

new BB batterys are available from sponsors of the forum for a good price!!! try a new battery and see how that goes! thats why I like TMO GSM carrier I can get new device fairly cheap and no new contract

UserInVa 04-08-2007 10:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ezrunner
I have my BB insured by my insurance company for full retail value cost 28 dollars a year. It gets ruined I show proof of purchase and get check for a replacement. there are companies that provide insurance at a low cost with no deductible!


Hey, that's a good idea...
Actually though, I would rather not have to worry about insurance...and be able to assume my BB or phone is not so cheap that getting into a heated discussion with someone could .... render my phone...water damaged!

Ha, thanks.

ezrunner 04-08-2007 10:47 AM

the guys and gals at retail are doing what they are told. I work as an indirect agaent and thats what we are told in training. only exception we don't try to sell a new phone to them cost is obnoxious if we do take what is asked in a corporate store and add 100-150 is what my company would charge. Fortunately I have an electronics degree and have convincedthe company to tell people that there is hope the phone will still work just let it dry out thoroughly. and maybe replace the battery. If time permits often I will disassemle phone completely to let it dry for the customer and even provide a loaner If one is available..

UserInVa 04-08-2007 10:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ezrunner
new BB batterys are available from sponsors of the forum for a good price!!! try a new battery and see how that goes! thats why I like TMO GSM carrier I can get new device fairly cheap and no new contract


Well, one thing I'm not sure I'm going to do again is get tangled up in a contract just to save money on the BB or phone. Another reason for considering switching to Cingular because they are cheaper. But, I have a year left, I have time to think about this. Cingular may be cheaper, but dropping calls is not worth it and that's why I left them for Verizon... ouch, my head is stating to spin..... I have never heard of any problems though with BBs on Cingular.

Will look into the new battery.


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