By Stephen Schenck | June 17, 2011 1:44 PM
When we modify our smartphones, via jailbreaking, rooting, custom ROMs, and the like, we realize that we’re taking responsibility for any consequences stemming from our actions. If you overclock your Android to the point it melts straight through the floor, that’s on you; fair enough. A word of warning, though: even innocuous actions can have consequences when you’re dealing with warranty service, like the reports we’ve been hearing of Verizon charging full retail price for service on phones that have been rooted.
Verizon’s not doing anything sneaky here, and its position on rooted devices is clear. Does that really make it OK to charge you hundreds of dollars for a repair that may be unrelated to rooting your phone, though? You shouldn’t have to pay for faulty screen hardware just because your phone’s rooted. The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be a line between phones that are coincidentally rooted, and those where rooting-related problems are the cause of the warranty service.
Even if the phone’s problems are due to you mucking up the software, does that justify such a steep charge? Hardware flash programmers can help restore a phone to stock software even in the event of massive data corruption. While Verizon should certainly pass the costs for such a service along to the phone’s owner, writing it off as a complete loss worth the phone’s retail value sounds excessive.
What do you think? Is this policy fair and reasonable? Should Verizon put more resources into evaluating the merits of each case, or is it acceptable to have a simple zero-tolerance blanket policy?