Lesson learned this weekend with my Samsung S5 and the “Warning Camera Failed” message I was greeted with Saturday morning. It happened right after I had successfully performed a Samsung update. I really thought it was the update the nixed the camera. Wrong again.
Best Buy – Samsung Booth
Since Best Buy sold me the camera and touted the Samsung Guys I took it there. They did all their voodoo which amounted to resetting the phone taking out the battery as if this would make the evil spirits leave the phone. What they did do what something I should have done my self… Google.
Here is where we find out this is know manufacturing issue with just a few phones and the result is a “New” phone. I can deal with this as most my life is in the cloud. The “New” phone deal only existed if you had purchased the Best Buy insurance. I buy insurance for my phones all the time but I get it from the carrier. Hindsight oh well. The Best Buy shamans said go to the carrier, they can help you. Total time 1.0 hour.
Haven’t been to a Verizon store for a few years. They have spruced this place up. Woman at the door with a great German accent says “Ve will help you here.” and that’s when the sky got darker. “You are number Fivvvve” came next. I counted 6 people working the floor with tablets attached to their hands. No matter how they moved the tablets stayed right there on their hands. Where they surgically attached in some strange experiment?
After a while a gentleman with a tablet enhanced hand went through the standard questions and confirmed my insurance. He confirmed the problem and told me I don’t get a “New” phone. I would get a Certified Like New phone which translates into a “Refurbished” phone. I explain this phone is less than 2 months old and the issue is a manufacturing defect. The best I got offered what the refurbished phone. So I take the deal and that the phone will be shipped out and I’d get it Monday or Tuesday. I walk out and hear “Have a nicccce day, ve hope ve helped you.” Total time 2.5 hours.
I decided to go back and push the fact that this is brand new phone and it’s a known manufacturing defect. Manager of the Best Buy phone booth was a pleasant lady who really knew phones. She said she had heard of this issue and if I had gotten Best Buy insurance I would be a happy camper. Now the sky opened up and started to pour. Well I still had the Certified Like New phone rushing it way to me. Total time 3.0 hours.
Samsung Phone support
When I got home I Googled the issue and found a bunch of articles on how Samsung acknowledged a known problem with ROM that caused the camera to fail after some period of time. Again these articles said “Call Samsung get a new phone”. So I called. Spoke to another pleasant person by the name of Calvin which I knew wasn’t his real name. He listened and took studious notes from the feverish sounds of the keyboard clacking.
Calvin helped me install a package from the Google store called “Smart Tutor” which allowed him to take over the phone and see the “Camera Failed” message. After we got disconnected so I could do the magic “take out the battery out” again Calvin told me go back to the carrier. I explained it was a manufacturing defect and there is a Samsung warranty and I would like a New phone. Calvin agreed it was a manufacturing defect and would fix the phone if I sent it to Samsung. Turn around is 5-7 days. Yea, ask yourself how long could you go without your phone nowadays? I spoke to Calvin’s supervisor Ingrid where I half expected to hear a German voice again.
Ingrid explained to me the same story line from Calvin but after I explained the purpose of the State Attorney Generals office to her she would expedite the repair to 3 days. I got them to send me the shipping label and details electronically. I’m covering all my bases here. Total time 5.5 hours.
I’m a little upset at my phone and myself so I do what I do best when I’m stressed I sleep. Total time 7.5 hours.
UPS store Monday morning 11AM
The Certified Like New phone arrives in a Fed-Ex box and it’s so light I figure it just an empty box box. But no, in cellophane is the Certified Like New phone. I get it home and transfer the SIM card, SD card, battery and the back of my OLD phone to the Certified Like New phone. Phone looks new and after 20 minutes of Google sync everything on the phone including the camera is working. I package to OLD phone up in the Certified box and stick a label on it. The sky just cleared up and the sun came out. Total time 6.0 hours.
Most people I know don’t get insurance when they buy a phone. How long can you go without your phone? Without insurance you can muscle your way after a few hours of discussion into getting the Samsung S5 repaired in a week or less. With carrier insurance you can get a Refurbished phone from the carrier. With Best Buy insurance you can get a real New phone. Get insurance, it’s the cost of a cup of coffee a week.
Ironically my first new call I got on my Certified New Phone was Calvin from Samsung Support asking me when I was shipping the phone back. I said I got a NEW phone from the carrier and to close the ticket out. Calvin thanked me and for a moment I thought his voice had a slight German accent to it. Oh well lesson learned.