HTC Uh Oh Announcement & AMA
No matter how careful you are and how protective your case and Gorilla Glass claim to be, no one can escape the threat of accidentally breaking a phone. Today, HTC hopes to win customers by putting some of those fears to rest with a new replacement program called HTC Uh Oh, for free. Here are the basics: starting with the commercial release date of the HTC One M9 (April 10th, give or take a few days based on carrier), newly purchased HTC flagships will receive a free one-time overnight replacement during the first 12 months of ownership. If you make it through the first year unscathed, that free replacement turns into a $100 discount on the next HTC phone you buy.
Live-Stream AMA Answers
Following the official announcement, HTC ran a livestream event soliciting questions via Twitter and Facebook, and viewers didn’t pull any punches. Everything from release dates to rumors of overheating are brought up, so this is an important one. You can watch the full Ask Me Anything (AMA) style stream above, but here are the paraphrased highlights:
HTC Uh Oh
- Uh Oh is a no-questions-asked exchange, provided completely free of charge.
- Claiming a replacement is as simple as calling a toll-free number (866-449-8358) or chatting live from the web. The new device will be sent by overnight mail along with a pre-paid return envelope in which to send back your old device within 20 days. Note: this is free, but requires $299 credit card hold until the damaged phone arrives at HTC.
- If you don’t claim an Uh Oh, HTC will discount the next phone you buy from them by $100, regardless of where you buy (Best Buy, Sprint, T-Mobile, Amazon, etc). This $100 discount is valid during months 13 through 24 after purchase, and does not require giving up the original phone.
- Uh Oh works for the HTC One M7 and M8 as well, provided they are purchased after the M9 has gone on sale.
- Rooted and unlocked phones are fully covered!
- Uh Oh is seen as HTC Advantage 2.0, expanding the ideas fostered in the earlier program into something much more comprehensive.
- Rollout will be initially limited to the US, but the hopes are to quickly expand worldwide.
- Release dates – no carrier-specific release dates were mentioned, but HTC’s target date is April 10th.
- Lollipop on the AT&T One M7 & M8 – the devices are in the certification process right now, and there is a “high sense of urgency” to release soon. Look for more transparency in the coming days via Twitter and on htc.com. AT&T network enhancements and software engineering are largely responsible for the delay, but these are said to improve the user experience, so we will reserve judgement until after Lollipop is released.
- Snapdragon 810 Overheating Rumors – “We’ve been building smartphones for a long time – 15 years plus – this is really what we do; it’s how the company was born. We’ve also been partnered with Qualcomm for a long time. So, all I’m going to say on that, and I’ve said it on Twitter, and other people at HTC have said it on Twitter as well, but just to set the record straight and look you right in the eyes, listen; we’re not going to launch a phone that’s got a heating problem. We’re going to launch a phone when the quality is right. We feel confident that the performance on the HTC One M9 will be very good as soon as people get the final hardware and software in their hands.”
- Google Play Edition M9 – No.
- Windows Phone Edition M8 – no announcements today, but the possibility hasn’t been ruled out. The official line: “stay tuned.”
- Purple tint issue on One M7 – “give us a call and we’ll take care of that for you.”
In the spirit of transparency, the AMA today is the first in what will hopefully become a string of write-in video responses. Look for more from HTC in the coming weeks.
This new replacement offer turns the goodwill-generating tactics of other OEMs into official policy, effectively one-upping LG and Google’s Nexus 5 screen replacements, and eliminating the copays and wait times of most protection plans. Will it be enough to make up for lack-luster reviewer interest in the One M9? Is Uh Oh enough to convert YOU into an HTC fanboy? Let us know in the comments below!