HTC Advantage debuts with broken screen protection for US customers

Daniel Bader

February 18, 2014 1:57pm

Sadly, this post benefits us Canadians in limited ways, but it’s worth noting that HTC wants to up its customer service game in 2014.

Today, the biggest issue with HTC isn’t its hardware but its distribution. The company is often overshadowed by the deep pocketbooks of its competitors’ marketing, retail and PR campaigns, which has lead to limited success in North America since 2011.

Part of what we discussed last week was HTC’s commitment to keeping its flagship devices upgraded with the latest version of Android for two years; this extends to the HTC One and One mini, but will also affect any devices released this year and next. Another aspect of the HTC Advantage, as the company is calling it, is US-only for now, but we hope it migrates north quickly: free screen replacement for the first six months of ownership. Announced today, HTC plans to replace, free of charge, the broken screens of any One, One mini or One max, for six months from the day of purchase. This only affects newly-purchased devices, so existing owners are out of luck, but the insurance is free.

The program is summed up thusly: “Our mission is to reward those that buy the very best by treating them as well on day 500 as the day they walk out of the store.” Many Android devices have been abandoned, often less than a year from release, by their manufacturers, often because they drop down the priority list, and because among the many devices they make, the support costs are too high.

HTC also commits to adding 25-50GB of Google Drive storage for each device, a change from the Dropbox partnership that shipped with the One X and, subsequently, the One.

There’s no word on whether the screen replacement program will come to Canada, but all other tenets of the Advantage, including upgrade commitments, apply. The HTC One was recently updated to KitKat, while the One mini is still on Android 4.2.2, and will skip 4.3 to arrive at 4.4.2 in “late February,” according to a Rogers OS upgrade post.

  • Bri Bru

    HTC seems to be very good to their customers unlike many other manufacturers. Good services like this will surely bring back the existing users. Not sure if this will attract new people as TONS of people don’t even know of HTC. All they know are Apple, Samsung, and maybe LG.

    • VinceBabin

      I applaud their new push, but HTC has always focused on the US market, hell we only had one carrier offer the black. My experience with HTC customer service was guilty until proved innocent. I’ve hated owning an HTC device.

      I still don’t understand why they just don’t offer a apple care solution.. It just doesn’t make sense! I, and I’m sure many others, would pay an extra $89.99 for 2 years of device replacements. I love that my wife phone requires no fuss. Speakers got muffled, called apple, 48 hours later new phone, put old phone in box called UPS, total down time 20 mins to restore. Speakers died on One, called HTC, took it to bell, shipped it to FutureTel, waited 3 weeks, got same phone back – total down time, 3 weeks, 1 hour (adb restore) …

  • Peter

    Well done, I applaud this customer first approach. They will definitely build more brand loyalty along the way. On the other hand, maybe their upcoming screens will be “virtually indestructible” if that is the case then all this HTC Advantage chatter is merely a marketing ploy. Might not cost them very much if the screens stop breaking. Genius or innovative? you be the judge

    • Bri Bru

      It’s easy to say such thing but virtually indestructible? that’s a wishful thinking with today’s technology.

    • yddtime

      So you think it’s merely a marketing ploy if HTC builds a phone with a “virtually indestructible” screen and are willing to back it up? Think about it.

  • StevieY

    Samsung already replaces screens in Canada anyway. I destroyed my Note 3 two months after buying it from Rogers. It was returned no charge. Rogers guy said they have done it for S3, S4 and other devices since the S3 came out apparently.

    No idea if it’s case by case basis, but I just sent it in through Rogers and it was returned with a $0 charge for repairs. I was pleasantly surprised.

    • Bri Bru

      I didn’t know Samsung does the same thing and I am quite surprised. I don’t think many manufacturers do that apparently. The only company I know that does this is Apple.

    • StevieY

      I imagine they don’t make a habit of advertising it due to costs. I don’t even know all the details, I just know that the Rogers salesperson said it was par for the course from what he’d seen.

    • E

      With Samsung, screen damage/replacement is covered 90 days from day of purchase.

  • Eric

    Does this apply to the existing HTC One as well? Will the HTC One continue to get software updates for the 2 years? I haven’t seen it confirmed anywhere else.

    • Zed

      No (see above) and no (in a previous post), sadly. Then again, I never had issues with the screens

    • Eric

      The reason why I was confused is the wording in this article makes it sound like it does:

      “Part of what we discussed last week was HTC’s commitment to keeping its flagship devices upgraded with the latest version of Android for two years; this extends to the HTC One and One mini, but will also affect any devices released this year and next.”

      Agreed that this hasn’t been confirmed anywhere else so unless they they have information that no one else has, I tend to think that this is a case of bad wording.

    • Walter

      Actually it says in the last paragraph that all portions of HTC’s Advantage except for the screen replacements apply.

    • Eric

      That doesn’t mean it applies to past products such as the HTC One though, only that the Advantage program is valid in Canada (other than the screen replacement).

      Again, if someone could confirm through another source that this is the case, then that would be great for existing HTC One owners. But I have yet to see anything.

    • Walter

      But it confirms that in the first 2 or 3 sentences of the third paragraph.

  • Pier-Alexandre

    Did you guys have any information about the program coming to Canada? I mean the full program (broken screen and all). Or are we still considered second tier citizen by HTC compared to US?