(mis)adventures in software development...

23 December 2017

LG refuses to honour warranty after my Nexus 5X develops bootloop issue

Category Technology

My Nexus 5X has succumbed to the dreaded bootloop of death. LG Australia is refusing to honour their warranty obligations.

This is the story of the unexpected death of my Nexus 5X — a phone taken too early by LG’s dodgy manufacturing and the inexorable march of planned obsolescence.

After my phone started randomly rebooting itself one night, I did some googling. Turns out this is not an unusual issue with the Nexus 5X model, which is made by LG. It is often referred to as the “bootloop” issue. What’s more, this is not the only model with this problem — it also affected some previous LG phones. There was even a class action lawsuit in the US.

While apparently LG has never officially stated what the root cause of this issue is, online speculation points towards either a flaw with the CPU design, or bad CPU soldering work.

Design flaw or manufacturing flaw, either way, seems like something that should be covered by some combination of either manufacturer’s warranty or Australian consumer law.

The phone was 15 months old and in good condition appearance-wise — no drops, dents, scratches or water damage. While 15 months isn’t exactly a short time to own a phone these days, there seems to be a general consensus that a phone should last at least two years. According the LG website, this phone comes with a 24 months warranty.

I still had the receipt (and original packaging) so I took it back to the JB Hi-Fi store I’d bought it from, but they weren’t much help.

So I lodged a warranty repair request through the LG Australia website. After a few days I received an email saying my device was an overseas model so LG Australia didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

This made me so angry.

I had purchased the phone in-store at JB Hi-Fi. My understanding was that JB only sold Australian stock. I went to a store and asked a salesperson, who confirmed that JB only sold Australian stock. So some corporation here are being cunts about this. Either JB are selling overseas or grey import stock and claiming it’s Australian stock, or LG are full of shit.

I suspect the latter is more likely.

I’m assuming that this is essentially an opening gambit on the part of LG, who are trying to weasel their way out of their warranty obligations, as well as their obligations under Australian consumer law.

Well, even though this meant I had to buy a new phone, I’m not ready to give up just yet. There is now a principle at stake. LG sold me a dodgy phone, so they should at least fix it.

To be continued…