Jul 14th, 2014

OnePlus One DSC06070

As if OnePlus didn’t have enough to worry about with their questionable invite system, a hardware defect discovered in the phone’s display is sparking outrage among the startup’s few customers. But it isn’t so much the defect that’s causing outcry as much as the way OnePlus appears to be going about handling customer complaints. But before we get into that, let’s start with the issue.

OnePlus One yellow band issue
OnePlus One yellow band issue

Reports of customers receiving OnePlus One units with a yellowish tinge towards the bottom of the display (not to be confused with a all around warmer display) can be found in various forums around the net, including OnePlus’ very own forums. As someone who purchased and owned a OnePlus for a short time, I too can attest to the yellowish band issue in my own unit (although I shrugged it off as fresh glue that would cure overtime).

Aside from the yellow band, there’s also been reports of dead pixels and other general weirdness, as documented in OnePlus’ forums here. For a quick look at the yellow bandit in action, check out one user’s recently uploaded video on YouTube below.

For those unsatisfied with the shipped condition of their phone and looking for a replacement, OnePlus customer service appears to be anything but understanding. As highlighted in the email correspondence by one customer with OnePlus customer service, after some resistance, OnePlus was able to honor a hardware replacement, but there’s a catch.

The customer would have to pay for the shipping charges on their own dime. What’s more is OnePlus is giving very few options in terms of courier, with charges back to China reaching upwards of $56. That’s a pretty expensive hardware defect.

OnePlus One customer service yellow band issue

It’s pretty easy to see how customers would be fuming at the idea of receiving a defective product, only then having the pay out of their pocket to get a non-defective model as intended. A tarnished image of the OnePlus brand is anything the new company needs to build up momentum in a crowded smartphone market, especially after dealing with the the backlash of their invite system.

We’ve reached out to OnePlus for an official statement regarding the yellow banding, as well as clarification on their return policy. We’ll update when we have more.
Thanks, Nik!

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