Part 9 – The Ghost Phone

Header image: Ghost by Jordi Carrasco (via Flickr) – Used according to its Creative Commons 2.0 license.

November 14th 2016

Before ending the call with M of the Italian OnePlus Support, I asked her to check if she could see the RMA request that the International Support spontaneously opened a couple of days before, after my complaints about the non-functional home button. She asked me to wait while she checked and she quickly responded that no, she could not see the any active RMA request. I thanked her and started writing to the Italian OnePlus Support to communicate the needed details to start the new RMA request.

While doing so I decided to stop and go look on the website by myself. I knew M just told me she could not see the RMA request on their portal, but she was also the one who forgot to call me at the scheduled time, so even if I don’t have anything against her personally, I don’t trust her words too much.

I login to OnePlus site and there it is, the fresh RMA, which is still pending. By now I’m used to hopeless waits, so I will just wait, because I’ve read that sometimes these procedures take a while to start.

November 16th 2016

Something moves! After 4 days since the creation of the RMA request, I finally receive a mail from the repair center. The good news is that, this time, the phone is not going to be serviced by Arvato, but it’s going to a different support center: Regenersis. I don’t know if they will be better than the other repair center, but one can at least hope. The mail says that UPS will pick up my phone in the next 48 hours. I prepare another package, and this time I decide to add a little something for the technicians that are going to take care of my phone.

A handwritten letter to OnePlus technicians. Dear technician / engineer, my name is [redacted], I'm the unlucky owner of this device. My OnePlus 2 is broken since September and it has been out for repairs for 2 months, but it still hasn't been completely fixed: this time the home button / fingerprint scanner does not work. Please, take some extra time to manually verify that everything works because automated tests have failed to identify issues that I was able to spot in seconds, after opening the box. I am very frustrated about my experience with the previous service center, please be better than them. If you want to know all the story, I started a blog: https://alwayssettle.wordpress.com . Thanks for your help.
Click to zoom

November 17th 2016

The UPS guy comes take my phone.

November 22nd 2016

I go to the UPS website to check the tracking number. What I read is that the phone has been “returned to shipper” with a big green checkmark. I panic for a couple minutes, because I haven’t received anything, and then realize that probably the shipment was marked as a “return”, so “returned” actually means “delivered” and the phone is at the repair center and UPS (or OnePlus, or maybe both) is just playing with me.

November 23rd 2016

The support ticked with the International Support attempts to close itself again because nothing happened for a long time. I reopen the ticket and ask them to block its state until the phone is returned to me and it’s actually working. They change the ticket status to “on hold” so that it will not close itself again.

November 28th 2016

I get an email from Regernersis, the repair center. Yay! It must be the message that notifies me that the repair process has been completed and that the phone has been fixed!

Not quite, actually. The email is the exact same of the one from November 16th, when they notified me that UPS would come to collect my package. But it’s not the same email just sent twice, it’s a new email, with a new tracking number, and a different IMEI. Specifically, the IMEI that is mentioned in the email, is the IMEI of the original phone I sent for repairs, but since the last trip to the service center, my phone no longer has that IMEI. So, if the email is right and not just a quirk of their systems, the UPS guy will come the following day to collect a phone I did not have!

I could not believe this was happening.

November 29th 2016

But it was happening indeed: the UPS guy came to collect my phone. I told him that I was sorry, but that I didn’t have a package for him, because the only phone I had had already been shipped more than a week and half ago. He left with nothing, and I guess he also cancelled the shipment on the way out. I decided to write to the Italian OnePlus Support to understand what was going on. I was very angry: I asked what kind of drugs their technicians were, for asking me to ship a phone that they already had. I also asked to speak with the supervisors of the guys that normally answered my emails. I didn’t care if they did speak Italian or not, I was determined to use whatever dictionary I might have needed to shout some insults to somebody who should have cared, but didn’t. I didn’t want excuses, I wanted explanations and guarantees.

Of course they didn’t want to talk to me. And they didn’t, because it is way too easy for them to hide from angry customers like me. They just use some of the frontier guys that I already spoke with, as human shield. And it worked, at least with me, because I didn’t want to get angry at them, because they get all the insults that their supervisors should get, and also they can’t do much for my case.

At this point I was kind of expecting a supervisor to step in and say something along these lines: “Look, we screwed up everything we could. We are sorry, please accept our apologies. I pledge to get your phone back at you in X days or else we will send you a new one”. I think I long deserved it, for patiently waiting all this time while following their instructions. But no, all I got was another generic “we’re sorry, thanks for contacting us, we will check with the repair center” type of email.

December 2nd 2016

I receive an automated message from the repair center: the phone has been repaired and has been sent back to me.

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