Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.



10 posts

Wannabe Geek


Topic # 111571 7-Nov-2012 17:21 Send private message

Hi all,

I'd appreciate some advice on the situation I currently find myself in:

About two weeks ago my Samsung Galaxy 3 running on the Telecom network died.  It was stuck on the Samsung loading screen and despite my best efforts (three button reset, take battery out etc) I could not get it to start up again.  I took the phone into Telecom who sent it off to Telegistics for repair.

After a few days I checked the status on their website which showed:

Telegistics status

In case the image is a little hard to see (or doesn't show up), after unsuccessfully trying to reflash the software the technician decided that the phone was 'rooted' and therefore not covered by warranty and $130 would be payable to replace the "main board".

I then had the misfortune of having to speak to a customer service representative at Telegistics who tried to fob me off by telling me she didn't know any of the technical lingo but relented when I insisted to speak to someone who could explain it to me so she agreed to ask one of the Technicians who told me on email the following:

According to the technician who worked on your phone, the below image is what your phone should look like when we try to re-set your phone in order to turn it on. However, when we try to reset your unit, the product name is blank and the System Status (highlighted in red below) is set to custom, not official. Samsung has advised us that if your system status is on custom, the software has been rooted and in turn your warranty void.

The image which was attached to the above email was an example.  I replied and asked them to provide me with the same image from my phone and one from a functioning Telecom NZ phone so that I could see the difference.  They sent me the following two images:

SG3 Sample

My phone

My phone:
Odin Mode
Product Name:
Custom Binary Download: No
Current Binary: Samsung Official
System Status: Custom

Their example:
Odin Mode
Product Name: GT-I9300
Custom Binary Download: No
Current Binary: Samsung Official
System Status: Official

All Telecom handsets that have the authorised software installed will show “Official” under the System Status, therefore confirming that the device has the official approved software installed. Refer to Image S3 Sample.

Your handset, however, shows “Custom” under the System Status, therefore confirming that the device software has been customised.


The terminology that the manufacturer uses in this case is called rooting, which essentially means that the user has gotten to the root of the software and customised it to an unofficial version. In addition to this, the fault reported is directly related to the unauthorised software installed on the device.

As such the warranty is void and non warranty fee’s are applicable. You have the option to accept or reject the quote.

I have a couple of issues with their assertions above:
1.  I haven't done anything to the phone.  Firstly, I don't have the technical know-how and even if I did, it's a 3 month old top of the line smartphone, why on earth would you want to fiddle with it lest you break it?

2.  Using one word, without any other evidence to void the warranty is a sham.  The technician tried to reflash the software initially - could this have switched it from 'Official' to 'Custom'.

3.  Correct me if I am wrong but in saying "the fault reported is directly related to the unauthorised software installed on the device" that somehow a piece of software has damaged the main board?  Huh? How does that work?  If it was as simple as a piece of unauthorised software being installed surely reflashing it would have fixed it.

4.  Lastly, is it possible that in downloading something off the Play Store I could switch this to custom without knowing it?

Thanks for taking the time to read my short novel Tongue Out

I'd welcome any advice or further explanation.

Cheers
Tim

Filter this topic showing only the reply marked as answer View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
816 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 58

Subscriber

  Reply # 713682 7-Nov-2012 18:03 Send private message

It looks like to me that the "tech" who tried flashing it caused the custom message.

Personally I would start having a read of the CGA as it seems like they want to blame someone and by firing off technical terms they are hoping to get you to accecpt this as a valid excuse.


gzt

3767 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 109

Subscriber

  Reply # 713695 7-Nov-2012 18:18 Send private message

You purchased the phone from Telecom NZ? or a reseller?

6116 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 213


  Reply # 713705 7-Nov-2012 18:37 Send private message

They can't contract out of the CGA.

Have you downloaded anything that is dodgy off the playstore? The thing is that the phone is a computer and you use that to download software through it and run apps. If they say that downloading an app has caused this, then it possibly isn't fit for purpose. The google playstore app is installed on the S3 when your buy it, so if they didn't want you to install other apps, they shouldn't have it on there.

BDFL
47987 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 3557

Administrator
Trusted
Geekzone
Subscriber

  Reply # 713708 7-Nov-2012 18:51 Send private message

These cases will only end when there's a "forensics" specialist that can show that one or another thing happened. As it is now it's your word against theirs. And theirs is heavier than yours, apparently.




816 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 58

Subscriber

  Reply # 713718 7-Nov-2012 19:08 Send private message

Sounds like your are going to have to get tough with them.

Write them a letter stating you haven't "rooted" or "flashed" the phone in any way, ask them for the evidence they have that says otherwise.

they have stated that they tried to "reflash" the phone, the screen shot they showed was before or after the attempt at reflash? Maybe it was their attempt at the reflash that cause the the system status to change to custom, note the messages do actually say "Custom Binary Download: No Current Binary: Samsung Official" which seems to back up your version.


They will try and walk all over you, don't let them the CGA is your best friend and gives you a lot of power as a consumer.

Give them reasonable time to repair or replace (don't accecpt a refirburshed replacement, only a new) about 2-3 weeks tops other than that advise them that you will file a claim with the disputes tribunal and claim costs such as the filing fee, costs for your time.

sometimes you've just got to play hardball and this sounds like one of these times.



3294 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 238

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 713738 7-Nov-2012 19:27 Send private message

Also let them know you have got Geekzone opinion behind you. Keep us posted.

6116 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 213


  Reply # 713745 7-Nov-2012 19:33 Send private message

Go to the consumer.org.nz website, and they have templates for 'letters that get results'. Give them a reasonable time period to resolve the problem, and if it isn't resolved in that time, take it to the disputes tribunal. Good luck. I have one of these s3 phones and hope that doesn't happen to that.



10 posts

Wannabe Geek


  Reply # 713755 7-Nov-2012 19:49 Send private message

Thanks for the responses people.

To clarify:
1.  I purchased the phone on contract through Telecom NZ.   I therefore would expect that any warranty or CGA claim would be lodged against them.  Telegistics is Telecom NZ's service agent for mobile repairs.  They make you sign a waiver saying if there is no fault it's a minimum $55 charge or additional costs to repair outside of warranty.

2.  I haven't downloaded anything 'dodgy' from the Playstore or attempted to flash a new version of Android or whatever onto the phone.

3.  They didn't provide me with a screenshot prior to the initial attempt to repair it by reflashing.  It would be good to get a definitive answer from someone as to whether reflashing the original Telecom 'image' of the software could cause the System Status to switch to custom.  Logic suggests flashing/rooting of any sort is the same irrespective of what you are putting onto it... who knows.  I don't.

I'm going to start by emailing the Customer Service person requesting their managers name and the name of the Technician.  While I'm there I will refute their assertion that I did something to cause this and put it back on them to prove proof other than the Status which may or may not have been caused by them reflashing it.  At the same time I will go back to the Telecom store (at Telecom place) and talk to the manager there to see if I can get it resolved directly with Telecom.

Will keep you posted!

PS - the pic didn't come through so here is what their technician said:

31/10/2012 3:50:28 p.m.Fault verified -- Phone stuck in Samsung boot logo. Checked internal condition, sent to s/w reflash to fix s/w related faults.2/11/2012 9:12:13 a.m.SW REFLASH failed.2/11/2012 11:46:10 a.m.The device is rooted. Requires to quote for main board replacement.








I wonder how many times they tried to reflash it before giving up?

290 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 713877 7-Nov-2012 23:11 Send private message

This guy had the same problem (phone soft-bricked itself, blank product name:
 http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=1947364

At a guess the NAND has failed or has a bad block in the wrong place, and Samsung's bootloader can't read anything from it (hence the blank product name) but decides it was "Custom" anyway. If their tech is getting the same write error when trying to flash then the problem couldn't have been caused by any custom software anyway.

290 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 713879 7-Nov-2012 23:14 Send private message

TimOB: 
3.  They didn't provide me with a screenshot prior to the initial attempt to repair it by reflashing.  It would be good to get a definitive answer from someone as to whether reflashing the original Telecom 'image' of the software could cause the System Status to switch to custom.  Logic suggests flashing/rooting of any sort is the same irrespective of what you are putting onto it... who knows.  I don't.


As I understand it (I don't have an S3 to check) they use a digital signature to check whether a ROM is official or not, so flashing the Telecom official ROM would not cause the System Status to change.

618 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 34

Trusted

  Reply # 713889 8-Nov-2012 00:02 Send private message

numfarr:
TimOB: 
3.  They didn't provide me with a screenshot prior to the initial attempt to repair it by reflashing.  It would be good to get a definitive answer from someone as to whether reflashing the original Telecom 'image' of the software could cause the System Status to switch to custom.  Logic suggests flashing/rooting of any sort is the same irrespective of what you are putting onto it... who knows.  I don't.


As I understand it (I don't have an S3 to check) they use a digital signature to check whether a ROM is official or not, so flashing the Telecom official ROM would not cause the System Status to change.


Then it is a presumption built on a faulty premise.

It assumes the motherboard or chips there on were working well enough to compute the digital signature on it or store the ROM image perfectly.
Clearly, using a faulty motherboard to verify a signature is the project of an imbecile.

The logic is simple: if the motherboard was not faulty, a simple flash would suffice; even if a JTAG unit was required. If such flashing is unsuccessful, the Board has a hardware fault.

If the board has a hardware fault, verification of the digital contents cannot be trusted, and any results from it are disputable.

If no evidence of water damage, impact damage, or static damage can be found, the Warranty should be valid.

I would use this argument on them. I would threaten to use this argument in a Dispute Tribunal hearing also.

Indeed, as the story has been related, I would think Telegistics competence or ethics is in question.


6116 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 213


  Reply # 713891 8-Nov-2012 00:08 Send private message

Brendan: Indeed, as the story has been related, I would think Telegistics competence or ethics is in question.



No only that, but I wonder how many others have failed in this way, and they have used this as an excuse to get out of repairing it.

290 posts

Ultimate Geek


  Reply # 713896 8-Nov-2012 00:47 Send private message

Brendan: Clearly, using a faulty motherboard to verify a signature is the project of an imbecile.


The signature check is done when the software is flashed, not at boot time, there's a little counter in flash that gets updated, which the bootloader just reads. Also apparently on the S3 there's "a background service that runs on your device and checks for things such as a modified /system, apps running with root access, etc.". The custom ROM guys have already devised a program to reset the counter (TriangleAway).

618 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 34

Trusted

  Reply # 713899 8-Nov-2012 01:20 Send private message

numfarr:
Brendan: Clearly, using a faulty motherboard to verify a signature is the project of an imbecile.


The signature check is done when the software is flashed, not at boot time, there's a little counter in flash that gets updated, which the bootloader just reads. Also apparently on the S3 there's "a background service that runs on your device and checks for things such as a modified /system, apps running with root access, etc.". The custom ROM guys have already devised a program to reset the counter (TriangleAway).


A faulty motherboard cannot be used to verify anything, especially not the validity of any particular memory location on the faulty device.

A faulty motherboard is also capable of writing data to areas where it should not - including, say, a ROM flash counter and official ROM signature register...

How does Telegistics KNOW this is not a case of a weak motherboard finally failing, overwriting various parts of the flash memory, including boot loaders and/or signature registers?

It doesn't.

Get on the phone. Ask for the Manager.

Ask how they verified it was a custom ROM OTHER than by this faulty counter. Bet they didn't.

Ask them if a computer can develop a hardware fault such that a legitimate operation can have it's output redirected to random locations in memory (including any counters or signatures). They will say yes.

Ask them if they wish to defend their assessment in a Disputes Tribunal or just give you the 'benefit of the doubt'....


2734 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 180

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 713900 8-Nov-2012 01:24 Send private message

You should point this thread to the technician. Few good points here..





 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5
Filter this topic showing only the reply marked as answer View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic








Twitter »
Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new jobs are posted to our jobs board:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:




News »

Trending now »
Hot discussions in our forums right now:

Telecom introduces unlimited broadband data plan
Created by freitasm, last reply by KiwiNZ on 24-Apr-2014 07:28 (94 replies)
Pages... 5 6 7


Stonedine
Created by Lizard1977, last reply by surfisup1000 on 23-Apr-2014 21:27 (58 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4


Forms of government for New Zealand
Created by charsleysa, last reply by KiwiNZ on 23-Apr-2014 20:57 (169 replies)
Pages... 10 11 12


Telecom has started metering their TiVo customers' broadband usage (WITHOUT PRENOTIFICATION)
Created by Peteriv, last reply by kre8uv on 24-Apr-2014 08:03 (70 replies)
Pages... 3 4 5


Parallel imported product
Created by Wills1, last reply by joker97 on 23-Apr-2014 21:01 (53 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4


MH370 - Call for Search & Rescue Help
Created by DS248, last reply by joker97 on 23-Apr-2014 22:37 (737 replies)
Pages... 48 49 50


Labour MP Shane Jones to step down
Created by jeffnz, last reply by jeffnz on 23-Apr-2014 20:41 (32 replies)
Pages... 2 3


Upcoming Freeview Restack AUCKLAND
Created by Brunzy, last reply by richms on 23-Apr-2014 21:05 (13 replies)


Geekzone Live »
Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.

Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.