White LED of death on a rooted phone--can I get a warranty/insurance replacement?

Discussion in 'Droid RAZR MAXX' started by Byzantium, Nov 28, 2012.

  1. Byzantium
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    Byzantium New Member

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    I plugged my rooted Razr Maxx into a car charger the other day, and it zapped it. I tried plugging it into multiple other chargers and it would not turn on at all. Plugging into a PC USB port gave me the white LED on the face of the phone. Researching this finding led me to believe the phone is toast. Verizon store rep couldn't get the thing to turn on either, so she had a replacement shipped to me. Phone was under both warranty and covered by the insurance plan.

    I haven't sent back the dead phone. It's rooted and flashed to the leaked 215 version, and since it won't come on, I can't go back to stock.

    Here's my question: Can anyone guess whether a phone with this problem (won't come on, white LED of death) can be ID'ed by Verizon as an altered phone? What are my chances of getting a nasty letter and billed 'up to $500' for sending back an altered phone? Will they be able to tell?

    Also, if they do bill me, can I demand they send back the bricked phone?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jpcalhoun
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    jpcalhoun Well-Known Member

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    Question...how discharged was the phone when you plugged it into your car charger? If the phone was fully discharged before you tried to charge it...when I say fully discharged I mean FULLY, then it won't turn on and boot, but there are a couple of things you can try if that is the case. To answer your questions...yes they will be able to tell that the phone is rooted and that you have a leaked system version. And, yes you will probably get a bill from them. Yes you can demand they send back the bricked phone, but you have the replacement, yes? I'm not sure how successful you'll be getting your brick back but you can try...but for sure they are not going to let you keep the replacement without a cost to you.
  3. macpro88
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    macpro88 DF Super Moderator

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    I doubt Verizon will be able to tell, if the phone is even touched by verizon, they will do basic checks to see if the phone even turns on, if they can't get the phone to turn on, which they might not be able to, they will send it to Motorola and they will fix it, and in doing so, wipe the phone clean during the process, erasing anything you did. Because the issue seems hardware related, since it won't even turn on or charge, I doubt they will even think to look at signs of it being rooted and go through the process of proving it and then charging you.
  4. jpcalhoun
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    jpcalhoun Well-Known Member

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    Well I hope you are right, but I've seen and personally experienced the opposite. Good luck to Byzantium.
  5. macpro88
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    macpro88 DF Super Moderator

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    It depends on the symptoms I would imagine, we need to remember that they are a large company and they have processes and procedures that they most likely follow for certain scenarios to make sure they are maximizing their time/cost ratios, cause we all that's what its all about... cost effectiveness.

    So I would imagine, in this case, phone won't even turn on or charge, Verizon would skip their checks and just send to Moto cause it appears to be hardware issues, and it more than likely is due to the fact that the OP said his charger may have zapped the phone. So then when moto gets it, i'm sure they are able to test what hardware is zapped, then they replace it, and when the phone comes alive, they probably just wipe the phone and start over, all in part of the refurb process, certify it as like new, double check things, and then resell as a certified like new replacement to VZW.

    Had the phone still booted and the issues claimed to be software related and they get the phone and see the phone rooted with mods and what not, and if they can prove that the issues the user experienced were in fact due to the fact they rooted and modded, then yeah, they would charge the user cause there is no reason that phone should be in the shop because the user wasn't able to fix his/her own issues that they more than likely caused.

    Tis my view on how this may or may not work based on my experience and knowing how most businesses operate on wanting to maximize cost effectiveness.

    Base point here is though, if the OP can't by any means get the old phone to turn on and clear it out, there really is nothing he/she can do but send it on and hope for the best...
  6. jpcalhoun
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    jpcalhoun Well-Known Member

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    What you say (from a cost effective/business perspective) makes sense. I guess there aren't many options for the OP.
  7. JohnnytheK
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    JohnnytheK Well-Known Member

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    My first Maxx was rooted and on .215 before I dropped it and shattered the screen.
    I sent it back for insurance replaced but I forgot about it being rooted. I never got charged just the new phone in the mail.
    Good luck.
  8. MattyP
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    MattyP Rescue Squad Rescue Squad

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    Since Motorola installed the "root checker" on phones if they can
  9. MattyP
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    MattyP Rescue Squad Rescue Squad

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    Since Motorola installed the "root checker" on phones if they can boot it up they can tell if its been rooted ...
  10. Byzantium
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    Byzantium New Member

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    Thanks for all the replies.

    The phone had about a 50% charge when I plugged it in, and it subsequently died.

    If they were going to bill me anyway, then I might just keep the bricked phone and see if I can fix it. That way I could sell one of the two and recoup some of my losses. If I send it back to them, they bill me, and then refuse to return my bricked phone, then I lose that chance.

    I guess since I still have a chance of not getting billed, I'll send it on and hope for the best. For the edification of the community, I'll post here to let you guys know how it turns out.

    Thanks again for the helpful responses to a noob :)
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  11. jpcalhoun
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    jpcalhoun Well-Known Member

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    I think that s the best option. Macpro88 makes a good point...since it is hardware related they may not even try to revive the phone...they may just fix the hardware and reload the software and never know if it was rooted or not. It's worth the chance...besides if you don't send the old phone back they will diffidently charge you...so take your chances and hope for best. Let us know how it goes.
  12. Vulcan1600
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    Vulcan1600 DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Please don't recommend committing insurance fraud. Thanks:blink:
  13. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    I know where jpcalhoun was going on this one and I just have to chime in here. In all likelihood the phone didn't have 50% of the battery's capacity remaining, but was probably on the verge of a hard shut-down when you plugged the USB cable in due to being "deep-discharged". What happened next is speculation (but based on working knowledge of what is happening here), but due to the battery being deep-discharged as a result of the meter being out of calibration, it probably caused the voltage to drop instantaneously when the plug was inserted as the battery tried to pull the maximum current that the charger was supplying. From there, the voltage dropped so low that the phone shut down immediately, and then since it was below the boot threshold levels, there was insufficient voltage to start the charging process.

    Why did this happen? Any number of reasons, but what is important is what will happen when Verizon gets their hands on it. The first thing they are likely to do is try to power it up. If it doesn't power up, then they will likely plug it into the diagnostic system and with that the cable they use is a Programming (and Charging) cable designed to both power the motherboard even with no battery connected, and also to charge the battery even if the battery is below the threshold level. This cable is specifically intended to be used to re-program phones where they won't boot normally otherwise. The moment they put the phone on that cable, the phone will probably boot normally and they'll be confronted with your Modded ROM and the Root permissions. If Verizon recognizes that the phone is rooted and has a third-party ROM, they will likely blame the rooting and ROM for the failure (seeing as the battery and phone are likely completely normal), and they will replace it, but as jpcalhoun said, they will charge you.

    I would first try to regain control of the phone by either purchasing and using your own Programming Cable to boost the battery back to normal voltage levels, or create your own version of the same. Alternatively, you can open the case, remove the red rubber protective cover on the battery contacts, and jumper (carefully!!!) directly to the battery terminals from a cable that has been cut and the ends of the power cable stripped. Be extra careful of the polarity (+ to +, - to -). Give it about 30 minutes connected this way, then disconnect and try to connect normally through the USB connection.

    A third method which has been successful for some is to repeatedly try to connect to car adapters in hopes of getting it to "take" a brief jolt - just enough to start the charging process normally. There are also several methods of button combinations used with the charger connection to "trick" it into charging. You'll find discussions on the Battery thread. I am moving this thread there for your best level of support. A permanent link will remain here as well.

    Edit: You've technically already voided your warranty, and Verizon certainly has a vested interest in knowing that (otherwise they wouldn't have changed the system in recent updates so they can tell if the phone has been rooted at any time in the past - even if it's not rooted now). As Vulcan1600 eludes, this is then technically insurance fraud as it would be a fraudulent claim on the warranty. So you really have little to lose as it were. I suggest you take the high road and deal with the situation yourself, keep your nose clean and don't risk getting slapped with a repair cost for a phone that is likely not in need of repair. Worst case scenario, if the battery doesn't respond to the auxiliary charging method, you can order a replacement off eBay or another source and replace it yourself. If the phone doesn't respond to the methods described above, then you know what your options are.

    Good luck! :biggrin:
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  14. cybertj.2000
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    cybertj.2000 New Member

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    They will definitely charge you for the phone if you don't send it back.

    Plus, if the lost/stolen/damaged phone database hasn't gone into effect, it soon will. This means that since you are reporting it as damaged under warranty, then not returning the phone, they will probably consider it lost or stolen, report it too that database. Then whoever buys that phone off of you, or you try to activate it back onto your account, won't be able to do so.

    So, don't commit fraud, return the phone. Besides, like people have been saying, they probably won't check it. Also, unless they changed the law, you are allowed to root your phone, just off it causes an issue, you could be responsible. But they would have to prove that caused your issue, which sounds hardware related.

    Just my two cents.
  15. jpcalhoun
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    jpcalhoun Well-Known Member

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    I agree with you 100%...that was not my intention. He did nothing illegal by rooting his phone and rooting most likely didn't cause the problem. Returning the phone, if he doesn't pursue FoxKats process of trying to recover the phone which is where I was going in the first place, doesn't constitute fraud. If he had purchased insurance and stated he was submitting an insurance claim for something not allowed (rooting) under that coverage then he would be committing insurance fraud. In this case if Verizon discovers the phone to be rooted...and they will if they try to recover the phone, then they will determine he voided the warranty and the OP will most likely be getting a bill for repairs.
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2012
  16. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    JP, I don't think that Vulcan's reply was directed at you. There was another member who made a comment that was subsequently deleted and before your comment, which in effect suggested fraud. I believe Vulcan's response was toward that member and anyone else considering such.

    I agree that rooting didn't likely cause the issues he's experiencing, and even flashing a custom ROM may not be the cause, but now that the "leaked .215" ROM is on the phone and he can't get it to boot in order to flash it back to stock, he's risking the phone booting for the technicians, seeing it has an unofficial ROM and then suffering the repair bill.

    Quote "It's rooted and flashed to the leaked 215 version".
  17. jpcalhoun
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    jpcalhoun Well-Known Member

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    Thanks FoxKat I didn't think he was directing his comment at me, just the group in general.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 2
  18. FoxKat
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    FoxKat DF Super Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

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    Cool, just making sure... :D
  19. Byzantium
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    Byzantium New Member

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    Hi guys. Thanks so much for all the amazing responses. I don't frequent the board, so tonight's actually the first time I've read the responses which were posted after my last post--I decided to send the phone in 'as-is' and hope for the best.

    I never got a phone call, email or a bill.

    I feel the way most in this thread seem to feel about the warranty issue. Yes, I had technically voided my warranty; no, the hardware failure was almost certainly not related to the fact that I'd rooted and flashed to 215.

    So I don't feel bad about getting a warranty replacement.

    Once again, thanks to all. If someone else gets the 'White LED of Death' on his/her rooted phone, maybe this thread can be of use.

    Off topic, I can't wait until I can upgrade to a different phone. My dead phone and my new replacement both have the same crappy wifi radio. I can't hold the thing upright in my right hand (thumb resting on the power/volume buttons) without losing two wifi bars, often interrupting data transfer.
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