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Buyer beware: HTC Hot Deals might not be exchangable


HTC Hot Deals certainly offer up some great savings for motivated online shoppers – the HTC Nexus 9 was only $199 a few weeks ago, although it went fast, and the HTC RE camera is only $99 right now. However, if you want to make an exchange due to a manufacturing defect or other issue, good luck – even if you’re still in the return window.

That happened to me with my Nexus 9. When I first got the tablet, I thought everything was fine – until I noticed that the screen did not seem uniformly glued to the front of the device. In other words, the right side was recessed more than the left, and given the problems with screen lift from the original Nexus 7, I have become quite paranoid about things like this. Upon closer inspection, I also noticed that the volume and power keys were crooked, and seemed to be getting harder to press as time went on. So I contacted HTC by email to inquire about how to get the exchange process started.

Here is what transpired:

Thank you for contacting the HTC America online store.We have received your request for a refund for order number xxxxxxxxxx. Please return the product(s) to the following address:


We also would like to remind you that the Google Nexus 9 – 16g WiFi – White is no longer available on our website.

I wrote back:

I did not want to return this product for a refund, but instead I want to exchange it for another unit. If the white is no longer available, I can wait. Please let me know how long it will be until you expect to get more white tablets in stock.

HTC wrote:

Thank you for contacting the HTC America online store.

We understand that you are not request for a refund but a replacement instead.

Unfortunately, we are unable to process product replacement. The order needs to be refunded and you can place a new order for the desired product.

Please follow the return instruction if you have decided to receive a new phone.

We value your business.

I wrote:

It is not possible for me to simply purchase the tablet again, because I bought this tablet during the Hot Deals sale for only $199. If I return this tablet for a refund and purchase it again, I will be charged $399.

I can only do this if you give me the option of purchasing the new tablet for $199, like I did during the Hot Deals sale.

Please advise.

HTC wrote (emphasis mine):

Thank you for contacting the HTC America online store.

We understand that you cannot place the order with the promotional price as the promotion has ended. Should you still want to receive the product, you can place a new order through the regular price. Afterwards, you can contact us and we can definitely submit a refund request n your behalf to match the promotional price to be applied on your new order however, this is not a guarantee.

Thank you for understanding.

TL;DR version: HTC is refusing to do an exchange, and insists on a return + new purchase. However, HTC is refusing to guarantee the sale price if I do make a new purchase. All of these messages were sent within the return window, which begs the question: If I can return the device within 30 days, why can I not simply exchange the device within 30 days – especially since these are manufacturer defects? Is HTC really going to force me to start the warranty exchange process, even though I’m still within my return window?

I’ve reached out to other contacts at HTC for help, and will be sure to keep you posted about what I hear. In the meantime, though, beware – HTC Hot Deals are awesome, but if you get stuck with a lemon, your options will quickly run out.

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John F

John was the editor-in-chief at Pocketables. His articles generally focus on all things Google, including Chrome and Android, although his love of new gadgets and technology doesn't stop there. His current arsenal includes the Nexus 6 by Motorola, the 2013 Nexus 7 by ASUS, the Nexus 9 by HTC, the LG G Watch, and the Chromebook Pixel, among others.

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