Today I got an email back from HTC claiming that the device has suffered water damage and as such is not a warranty repair but will instead cost me the thick end of £280. I asked them on what basis they make this assertion and they tell me that they use a sticker inside the device that changes colour if it gets wet. So I ask them to send me a photo of this sticker. They do so (see attached) and I am stunned to note that a) it is not buried deep inside, but sitting as close to the edge of the device as it could be, on top of the casing for the USB port. Furthermore and the to my earlier a) if you look at a Touch Dual, there is a hole over the USB port on the back of the device through which you can actually see the sticker when the back is off. All it would take therefore is a drop of water to be forced in there (maybe making a phone call in the rain for example) and your warranty is totally void. In fact a droplet could even go in to the usb socket and up through the casing and as the sticker is basically blotting paper, it wouldn't take much to force it to change colour.
I have escalated this to senior level with HTC CS (who I have to say are not far short of appalling until you get a native English speaker) and they have changed their tune slightly...but not much. They are now saying that they will replace the keyboard (c£70), but that the device will now be effectively out of warranty and they will not guarantee that it will be free from fault in the future as it might have been if I let them replace the motherboard and the LCD. I contend that this is tantamount to an admission that the fault is not due to water ingress but they refuse to accept this.
They do not seem to accept that the positioning of that sticker is such that it more likely than not gives them an excuse to invalidate the warranty on almost all the devices that come into them. They claim that all their devices have the sticker positioned in the same place and they have a hole over them so that moisture damage can be assessed without opening the handset up. I dispute this as well...I have looked at a Tytn which certainly has no such thing. Can I ask you guys here to have a look at your handsets and let me know two things... is your sticker pink? (particularly interested in hearing from Touch Dual owners on this) and owners of other handsets, can you see your moisture damage alert sticker though any of the holes in the housing when you take the back cover off your device.
Many thanks for your help and I hope this serves as a warning to others as well. For what it's worth, I review tech for a national newspaper as well so they certainly haven't heard the end of this!