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10 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 111571 7-Nov-2012 17:21
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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.


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 741005 7-Jan-2013 12:51
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Just as an update to this, this seems like a very clear cut case of the Samsung S3 Sudden Death hardware problem.

One of the key things is that the phone will show no product name and a status of Custom.  This is because the Memory Chip has died, so the checksum fails and shows custom.

If this does happen (and it sounds like it's happening to many people) Samsung are fully aware of it, so fight to get your phone repaired!

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