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jkornacki

Sweat damage

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I recently sent in my Vive headset for repairs. I received a response stating that it would not be covered under warranty due to "liquid damage".  I know that my headset has never once come into contact with any liquid. It's simply impossible due to the way I store it. The only possibility is that it was due to perspiration.  I did a bit of research and found that this is actually a fairly common issue. I have only had the headset for six months and I take very good care of it.  I wipe it down periodically during use, as well as my face of course, and wear a headband with it to reduce the amount of sweat that actually touches the headset.  I thoroughly wipe it down after each use and it is stored on a rack that hangs on the wall so no "accidental" spillage could possibly occur. I cannot imagine how I could possibly take care of this device any better than I already have. The fact that this is clearly a major flaw in the product and that the warranty specifically excludes perspiration damage in its coverage is ridiculous. Six months of use from a $500 product is not, by any means, an acceptable lifespan. Asking for $270 to repair said device is obscene.  Why in the world should I pay more than half the original cost to repair something that is inherently faulty and will simply break again?  I thoroughly enjoy the Vive and the experience it brings but it is not worth it at this cost.

When I received the initial response all I got a single picture that's so blurry it's impossible to even see what they're trying to show you. There was no explanation other than "it's liquid damage, which the warranty doesn't cover" and a bill.  I asked for an explanation on how they could tell it was liquid damage (I could see no corrosion, but it's kind of hard to see ANYTHING in these pictures), how it could possibly have become damaged from perspiration (this was before I did my research, but I knew it was the only possibility) and for better pictures.  The pictures I received were just as bad as the original and there was absolutely no explanation given. Now I'm getting emails and calls stating "You need to pay by next Friday or your Vive will be returned, unrepaired."  Seriously? I asked for some sort of explanation and all I get is the bill continuously thrown in my face.  Completely unacceptable and I demand this be addressed.

ticket # 219368840000543

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Two weeks and absolutely no response. I'm not sure how any company can consider this acceptable. I continue to receive regular calls from the repair company but, still, no one is willing to actually talk to me.  Not the repair company nor HTC support. The bill is continuously brought up but whenever I try to ask how the conclusion of "liquid damage" was come to, I get simply get more obscenely blurry pictures and a restatement of the bill.  I come here in hopes that HTC can answer my questions as I'm aware the repair company is a third party.  What do I get? Nothing. Not a single response in two weeks. I refuse to pay a bill for something that occurred during normal use, especially to a company that chooses to ignore its customers. The fact that sweat damage is specifically included as a warranty void is just proof of the obvious defects in the product. I'm aware that the UK has laws against this and that your warranty means nothing there. I'm currently looking into my own countries consumer laws on the matter and urge others to do the same should they face this problem.

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@jkornacki

Hi there,

We didn't see your post earlier as there was a bug with the forums that didn't alert us of new posts properly. I'm going to send you a PM with some instructions, but I want you to know that we're going to take care of your headset for you and resolve this issue.

Thank you,

-Jack S

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This is a post I made a few weeks ago when someone posted a similar complaint:

 

"At the risk of being unpopular amongst us vive owners,  I'm not sure it's totally legitimate to expect htc to repair the HMD under warranty with sweat damage.

Although it's accidental, it's still self-inflicted. 

Personally, I can tell when I'm perspiring, and I'll STOP, remove HMD, wipe brow, take a cold drink, switch on a/c or take off sweater.

I absolutely do not want to damage my prized toy!

The HMD is a sophisticated piece of technology and needs to be treated with due care and respect. I wouldn't expect my tablet to be repaired under warranty if I accidently spilled a drink on it."

 

PLEASE EVERYONE! Can you take care of your headsets and treat them responsibly.  I worry we'll end up putting HTC out of business with these pathetic complaints from people who can't be bothered to wipe their brow.

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Nice work Jakey, you're a corporation's wet dream, willing to forego your consumer rights and adhere to any old vague warranty statement without so much as a whimper.  Not only that, you're willing to post on public user forums that you feel this way and advocate unreasonable warranty conditions!  Good boy!  Roll over!  Who wants a tummy rub?

By your reckoning, a device which spends all of it's time strapped to human heads does not need to deal with the completely natural environmental conditions that entails. No, instead the user should remove the device from the head every time moisture is detected on their brow because the device cannot be expected to cope with this.  Right.  Yes, that's reasonable.  How about, here's a crazy thought - if you know that your device is going to be strapped to a human head all of it's active life, maybe try and make sure the device cannot sustain damage just by being where it has to be?  Customers should not expect to be charged to repair something resulting from poor design.  That fact an HTC HMD can even sustain sweat damage is a fundamental flaw in its design and/or manufacture.  The manufacturer should absolutely take responsibility for this and offer free repairs.

Heads sweat.  HMDs go on the head.  HMDs need to be able to handle sweat.

And comparing this to chucking liquid over a laptop?  Did you really do that?  Yes, you did.  Well done again.

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“By your reckoning, a device which spends all of it's time strapped to human heads does not need to deal with the completely natural environmental conditions that entails.”

People who wear hearing aids or headphones while doing activities that could induce perspiration (eg workout at gym) face the same issues with sweat ingression.

 

“That fact an HTC HMD can even sustain sweat damage is a fundamental flaw in its design and/or manufacture.  The manufacturer should absolutely take responsibility for this and offer free repairs.”

If you google this issue for electronic products which attach to the head (hearing aids/headphones), you’ll find plenty of advice on product care, and the manufacturers certainly don’t hold your perspective. It’s very expensive to make these products resistant to the ‘natural environment’ of normal human activities.

Some common sense of responsibility and care with sophisticated electronics is expected.

 

“No, instead the user should remove the device from the head every time moisture is detected on their brow because the device cannot be expected to cope with this.”

There is nothing untoward or unacceptable about expecting someone with common sense to take off their HMD between rounds in a game if they feel they are excessively perspiring, to wipe their brow down with a wet wipe or something.

The problem I think is many people lose themselves in the excitement of VR immersion, forgetting all about sweat.

If you were playing your Xbox and your hands became excessively sweaty, would you pause and wipe down or would you continue playing, potentially allowing your stinking sweat to enter your Xbox controller?

Also, not all VR involves experiences that induce sweat. You could simply be watching a film on Netflix, chatting with someone or playing PokerStars VR.

 

“The manufacturer should absolutely take responsibility for this and offer free repairs.”

Do you really want to push up the price of VR? It would be ALL the consumers that end up paying the price for this.

 

“Heads sweat.  HMDs go on the head.  HMDs need to be able to handle sweat.”

Some people perspire more than others (obese people for example). They need to take extra measures to deal with their excess perspiration. For VR, they could use cheap disposable eye masks?

An idea for compromise could be for HTC to offer “accidental sweat damage” cover as an addition to the standard warranty? That way people who perhaps lack the maturity to take care of their HMD can pay a premium, allowing us more responsible and mature users not to pay for their mistakes.

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