OnePlus has a long way to go

When Google announced the Pixel, it signified the end of an era – no longer would Google play the foil to Samsung and LG, the money-grubbing, flagship peddling corporate whores. But who would take up the mantle? In my head, it was unquestionably OnePlus – which, at the time was fresh out of its ill-advised invite-only program and announcing its first real game changer; the OnePlus 3T. At only $439, the 3T is $300 cheaper than even the cheapest of the flagships, positioning OnePlus to sit upon the throne vacated by Google. But it still has a long way to go before it can replace what Google brought to the table as a Flagship Killer.

Let’s start with the teaser image, and the ensuing April Fool’s joke. It all started with the little guy above – a simple image, teasing some news about the “future of Dash” – which is the (rather amazing) charging standard used by the OnePlus 3 and 3T. Excited owners hypothesized that it would be news about the (often out of stock) Dash car charger, or perhaps a new power bank – or some combination of the two. As it turns out, this was an April Fool’s joke gone wrong – and posted a day early, here in the States. Seems like a bit of an oversight. OnePlus was teasing a Dash energy drink – a day’s power in half an hour. Ha. Ha. Get it?

In a time where Dash accessories are extremely limited – to wit, the only Dash charger not included in-box with the OnePlus 3T is the always-sold-out Dash Car Charger – OnePlus thought it would be cute to tease its customer base about new accessories and then laugh at our pain.

THESE green lines.

Story time: I bought a OnePlus 3T a couple weeks ago, and was enamored instantly – the frame is crisp, the hardware is zippy, and the OS is delightfully Stock Android with some very smart tweaks and customizations. I installed all my apps, logged in to all my services – everything was going smooth. Then I tried to send a selfie to my lady friend – and noticed the green lines. For whatever reason, the selfie camera would add little green lines to a photo after it had been taken. The live view didn’t show these hideous green things, but the final product sure did. It wasn’t just the stock camera app, either. Hangouts, Snapchat (this one was the worst – dozen of little green artifacts all over the picture), Instagram, Kik – all of them showed the lines. So I contacted OnePlus Support, thinking it would be as simple as sending me a new device, and then returning the defective unit. 

Not exactly.

First, support had me take screenshots from five different apps and upload them – this was fine, I didn’t just expect them to take my word for it. Then, the nice lady had me wipe my phone, just in case it was an update gone horribly wrong. This was also fine – I figured at worst I’d have to deal with adding a few key apps and dealing with it for a few days while they shipped me a new unit. Needless to say, it didn’t quite go down like that. The rep assured me that my request was being handled, and that I should open a service request in the meantime. I did so – she confirmed the number and pushed it through – and I thought everything was good.

A few days later, I checked back into my service request, and it still said “Processing.” I reached out to Customer Support again, and was informed by the new rep that I’d need to resubmit my screenshots to prove the problem. I told him that I had submitted pictures already, and he was able to confirm that. Then he asked me a message I didn’t quite expect:

May I know if you were able to ship the item using the shipping label? And provide us with the tracking number to track of the parcel. Please note that replacement will follow once the device pass inspection. In all cases, we will inspect the Product and verify the fault. To qualify for a replacement or refund, devices must be in “as new” condition and, if possible, with the original sealed packaging intact.

The estimated turnaround time for this request once the service center confirmed they have received the parcel will be: 2 business days for inspection. Once passed, one business day will be for our team to create the Replacement order. Once replacement order was made, 2 business days for processing, 3-7 business days for shipping (Maximum of 12 business days from the time the service center received the parcel)

I was a little taken aback. Not only did the rep expect me to ship the defective unit back to OnePlus before I had a replacement unit, but he went on to say that the process from start to finish could take 12 business days? This would leave me without a phone for almost three full weeks of my time – which, obviously, is simply not an option in today’s world. I clarified with the rep, and he informed me that this was my only option when it comes to a replacement device.

That…is not acceptable. I requested a refund – we’ll see how that process goes. I suspect I’ll have to send the defective unit back and have them inspect it before I get my refund – in the meantime I’ll have to spend more money – from Amazon, not OnePlus – on a new phone. It should be noted that I’m not the only one that’s had these issues.

OnePlus does a lot of things very well. Its phones are innovative, well-built, and inexpensive, its customer service representatives are friendly and understanding (if hamstrung by policy), and it strives to be the best manufacturer around. But it’s tough to be King. Return policies, viral marketing, April Fool’s jokes, invite-only ordering…the list of OnePlus’ gaffs is not small – but it always seems to learn from them.  If OnePlus has shown us anything in its still-young life, it’s that it’s not afraid to take risks, make mistakes, and come back better. If we’re lucky, OnePlus’ slogan isn’t just a recommendation to prospective customers, but a mantra by which the Oppo-backed company operates.

Never Settle, OnePlus. You’ll get there.

  • Dwayne Edwards

    What manufacturers can you get a replacement phone with before you send your faulty phone back? I thought that was the norm. I had to wait over a month for my pixel to be repaired with no replacement given (Carphone Warehouse – UK, bought outright). The only manufacturer I thought did replacements instantaneously was Apple. Would be interested if that wasn’t the case.

    • Tyler Rowland

      Samsung, broke 2 s7 edges within a week of each other, and they sent me a phone next day (less than 12 hours later) each time. Had 14 days or so to send broken one back.

      • Dwayne Edwards

        Did you buy your phone directly from Samsung, insured? Etc..

        • Tyler Rowland

          No, through AT&T, insured through them.

          • Dwayne Edwards

            Right okay, so you were insured. I wonder if you didn’t have insurance if your experience would have been so smooth. In my instance my phone was not insured. If it was I probably would of had an easier time.

  • Jalnar Hering

    What an awful article… I think the April fools thing was quite ok. And the reason it was early in the us is because if it was different times everywhere, everyone would know about it already.
    I’m glad that the phone doesn’t come with a car charger because I don’t have a car. I don’t think any brand comes with a car charger… And yeah with most manufacturers you actually have to send your phone away before getting a new one.
    Oh and also… You don’t need an invite to order an OnePlus anymore. So yeah… Rather disappointing article…

    • Tyler Rowland

      Not Samsung through AT&T, you’ll get a replacement within 24 hours and have 2 weeks to return broken one.

    • Roro

      Hmmm. I think he meant that the car charger is not available to purchase. If u go online it’s been out of stock for two months at least since I purchased my OnePlus 3T. Which I think is unacceptable. Even though I like this phone. Great phone so far. When I call customer support it has not been great. Those tech couldn’t solve one of my problems. I have to rely on the web to figure out how to fix my issues. Thank God you can Google just about anything. Also 3 weeks for a replacement is also unacceptable point blank period!

  • Charles Jung

    What a whiner and complainer lol. Really you can’t take an April fool’s joke? And really you can’t survive without your phone for 12 days? Is this your first smartphone? Are there no other phones you got before this one? If this is actually your first phone, why don’t you borrow someone’s old phone? Damn all people like to do is complain

    • Tyler Rowland

      Yo momma.

  • Sara Millhouse

    Bought a Oneplus 3T a little less than 3 weeks ago. LOVED everything about it! But after a week of ownership upon start up it would default to defragmentation and I was unable to use my phone or even power done to stop this. After the 3rd time of this happening and dealing with CS, first 2 times they were able to reboot me remotely, the 3rd time I was told a need a specialist level 2 and they could help the following day at 4pm. Well having to communicate solely through online chat I was able to somehow convince them to please do the remote reboot again so I wouldn’t be without my phone. I was told I had a software issue (Oxygen OS 4.0.3). I never turned my phone off after that and was within the 15 day window for return/refund so that’s what I did. That’s a process in itself. But I followed all directions and received notification today that they received my phone and it will take two business days to finish up the process on their end and I will then be refunded my money. I really hope they get it together, I so love this phone! But the forums are really eye opening with all the issues people have and not getting any assistance…I consider myself lucky.

    • steve anderson

      Amazing phones get away

    • Tyler Rowland

      Yeah, One plus obviously sucks.

  • Britannio

    Ungrateful piece of sh*t. Nobody in their right mind should send a replacement before they receive the original. Maybe it was a simple fix. Also how do they know that you aren’t bullsh*ting. I could easily photo shop green lines into all the screen shots and whoever made the policies was probably aware of that. 2 weeks isn’t a big deal too.

  • Mgspeed

    LOL, looks like OnePlus has hired a team of flacks to help make people doubt justified complaints. It is sloppy to issue advertising at the wrong moment, not the end of the world, just sloppy. 12 days for a replacement is NOT acceptable, especially when I’m on the second service call. Even if they insist on a deposit for the second phone, they should still make it happen. This doesn’t necessarily kill my desire for one of their phones, but it has made me pause. Thanks for writing about your experience!

  • Pranav Ittycheria

    True say bud. My phone is a 3T and it’s rear camera malfunctioned. I called them up and they said you’ve to go back to India, as I’m right now in Canada and I bought the phone in India, to repair the phone! They’ve no global warranty policy! Sucks. They said I’ll have to pay to repair in Canada. I said okay, get it done. Then they said the same, it will take about 4 weeks. They said they’ve to change the motherboard and all that. They have the worst customer support. I loved oneplus till this incident. They don’t value customers.

    • Satwik K (.K.)

      For a phone like tat …im ready to wait more than a month . But only if they successfully deliver it….as promised .

      • Tyler Rowland

        That’s because you’re a whimp.

        • Darren Turner

          It’s wimp you dumb fuck

          • Tyler Rowland

            When you let it melt you?

          • Darren Turner

            You mean why have you let it melt you?
            Why did you let it melt you
            Etc etc

        • Britannio

          Haha, why are you so pissed about everyone’s comments. Use your brain m8

          • Tyler Rowland


        • Satwik K (.K.)

          Wimp? Lol ,wat ? …..whats being weak has got anything to do with what I said ? . Just get on with ur life , already .

  • Ron

    Try Huawei, me and a bunch of other people have been waiting for a month+ for our Nexus 6P’s to be returned to us after they randomly started to bootloop. There is no transparency at all regarding when we are getting our phones back or what the process is.

  • Darren Turner

    Typical American no sense of humour and whines. You can’t expect a new phone without sending the faulty one back. Loads of people are extremely satisfied with their oneplus phones they are brilliant. You want a car charger as well…You don’t expect much do you?🙄

    • Tyler Rowland

      Don’t defend a sucky Chinese company, makes you look like a freak.

      • Darren Turner

        Why does it you melt?
        Wind your neck in you prick

        • Tyler Rowland

          The same reason you can’t speak English you degenerate fool.

          • Darren Turner

            My English is fine thanks i speak proper English being from England not like you you thick wanker

          • Tyler Rowland

            To you maybe! England? We already kicked your pussy asses one time, you skinny wanker.

          • Darren Turner

            When was that
            Try coming to kick my arse then see what you get knob head

          • Darren Turner

            Anyway unsubscribing from this post now you’re boring me

  • Hilarious Ransoms

    Is this what passes as journalism these days? Androidguys really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

  • Shiva Siddharth

    I faced a similar issue with customer support. I got a oneplus 2 in India and moved abroad. There were some issues within the warranty period and for which they put me through a cycle same events mentioned in the article. I tried to reason with them that shipping the device to and fro and getting a backup phone would cost me more than the cost of op2. They did not give a damn…. They are more interested in acquiring new customers than retaining the old ones..

  • CF542

    I bought a Pixel directly from Google and some months later had to have the phone replaced. While the process wasn’t completely painless, it did go very well overall and they shipped me a replacement with a hold on my credit card and the whole thing was done in a few days. At the end of the day, no smartphone is immune to failure and the best feature of any device is the company that stands behind it and takes care of its customers.