I own an original HTC Evo 4G and the screen cracked yesterday. The cracks run diagonally, and while the screen still works, it needs to be replaced. This is easy to do, and I assume this is why I've paid a monthly insurance fee for the last 2 1/2 years.
I contacted a Sprint repair center this morning and they indicated they could replace the screen but they did not have the correct inventory (apparently HTC has some screens with narrow connector cables and other screens with wide connector cables and I got the bad luck of the draw).
When I contacted a second Sprint repair center in the Austin, TX, I was told that if the crack was larger than 2 inches, Sprint corporate policy requires the customer to file an insurance claim and pay a deductible ($100 in my case).
When I contacted a third Sprint repair center in Austin, TX, to see if they had inventory I was told that if the crack was larger than 1 inch, Sprint corporate policy requires the customer to file an insurance claim and pay a $100 deductible.
I'm out of contract now and am not particularly impressed with Sprint's customer service and the last two representatives' obvious push to get me to just upgrade to an Evo LTE ($99) with a lock-in of a 2 year contract. Obviously Sprint prices a few new-ish phones at - or just below - the deductible rate to incentivize keeping customers locked into contract.
So I have one Rep who is willing to help but doesn't have inventory, and then I have two reps who appear to be trying to meet their upgrade quota and despite having inventory in their stores they won't repair my phone due to inconsistent corporate policy (is it 2", 1", never, always?). Since I can't seem to get a straight answer from anyone at the Sprint "service centers" here in Austin, I'd like to know what the policy is, and if this one inch or two inch crack policy is real, why does it even matter to me? If the screen is broken, it is broken.
Sprint's response will determine whether I change carriers.
I'll quote the policy from our S&R M&P's for clarification.
Examine internal components and determine if:
Housing has 2 or more cracks
Flip Assembly or Keyboard is separated
Total Device Failure (Damaged Beyond Economical Repair)
Circuit Board Damage (ie. Circuit board exposed, bent or warped; Heat shield that has been dented or lifted from board; Circuit board that has been burnt or melted)
Multiple or Extensive Component Failure
Smashed Device, 3 or more parts needed to resolve
The actual definition of a cracked screen is no more definitive than that, but it does leave a little room for the technicians to determine whether it is viable to replace or not. A shattered/spider cracked screen is an obvious no, but a single crack in the screen while being against policy to replace at all, may be determined to be ok by a technician in store. Do not expect any crack to be replaced however, as any crack is considered non-repairable in store.
I am a retail technician. A lot of the policies are ambiguous and leave room for interpretation by the store's management team, others are cut and dry. DBR devices are pretty cut-and-dry because when they are sent back to the manufacturer they could be denied warranty repair, and then Sprint eats the cost of fixing that device. Sprint essentially just acts as the middleman so you don't have to go through the manufacturer (shipping the phone back/forth, etc.). This is why if you have TEP the in store repairs are free, without TEP there is a fee. The fee covers the convenience of you not having to go through the manufacturer, and often is less costly as well if it is determined to be out of the warranty coverage.