Part 5 – Back to the start

Header image: Repeat by Thomas Hawk (via Flickr) – Used according to its Creative Commons 2.0 license.

October 26th 2016

UPS finally comes, and I get my package back. It was around lunchtime, but I didn’t open the box right away, because I’m already that disenchanted about the repair process. I finish my lunch and wait for the next break, then ask a colleague to film me while I open the package. You know, just in case the phone was broken, or not there at all and I needed to prove it. I know it sounds paranoid, but at this point I have to be prepared.

Luckily the phone was there: I must say I was surprised. Before starting the phone, I look at the repair protocol of the repair center. It’s at this point that my hopes crash again.

Repair center
Arvato Repair Protocol receipt (click to zoom)

Please excuse the low quality of the picture, but as you might have guessed, I’m using a backup phone, which by the way is a 1st generation Moto G, and is doing great despite being three years old.

The receipt states that the phone has been repaired, but looking at the checklist I immediately understand that this is not the case. The repair checklist reads:

  • Legacy data deleted
  • Functional test conducted
  • Settings set
  • Software update conducted

Let’s just ignore the fact that the phone was already wiped when I shipped it, they probably do that for every phone without checking, and that’s understandable. Then they did some functional tests, which is a good thing, since the issue, which by this time I almost forgot about, was intermittent and was not easy to spot. Then they set some settings… Which I find funny, and finally updated the phone, because in the 51 days that the phone has spent primarily sitting on some shelf in the repair center, a new version of Oxygen OS came out.

The point is, nothing has been changed in the phone, or at least if it has, it has not been noted in the Repair Protocol receipt. All that has been attempted is basically a software reset. Considering that I had gone through the process of restoring and flashing the whole phone a couple of times, including from fastboot, before contacting the OnePlus Support, by reading the receipt I already knew that a reset could not solve its (and therefore my) problems.

But, hey, the set the settings! Maybe that did it, whatever “setting the settings” means.

I fire up the phone with my sim card in it, and of course I get no signal. Did they even bother to try it after their “repair” attempt? I don’t know what functional tests they conducted after their repair process and before sending the phone back, but testing if a phone is able to get GSM signal seems like one of the first tests to make.

I remember clearly this, because that evening central Italy was struck by two intense earthquakes, and the first one was moments after I put the sim card in the phone and started it. Understandably, phone lines went crazy after the first earthquake, so I was still hoping that the fact that the phone was not getting carrier, was caused by the high traffic on the lines. I decide to switch back to my backup phone, not really to check if it worked, but because of the earthquake: it was not a small one, and I’d rather have my sim card in a known working phone than test my luck with one than might or might not work, especially in the case another earthquake hits and I need to to make a phone call. The backup Moto G picks up the network just fine, even though I was not able to make a call for quite some time, due to the network being overloaded.

Almost two months of wait, and the phone came back in the exact same state as when it left… It’s time to contact the support again, but before that I shout a couple of angry tweets at the OnePlus_Support Twitter account, hoping that some media visibility will help me somehow.

It didn’t.


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