Out of warranty usb-c port repair on Nokia 6.1 - My Experience

There are lots of posts about usb-c/charging port problems on the 5x/6x/7x/8x Nokia phones.  I wanted to relay my experience with mine and hopefully it will help someone with theirs.  I bought my Nokia 6.1 in April 2018.  All was fine until this August (2019), not even 1.5 years later, when I started to have problems with charging and connecting to other devices via the usb cable, such as Android Auto in my car or to my PC.  When I would plug the charging cable in, it would not always make the audible sound it usually does.  And then I had to start pushing the connector to the left to get it to charge, since there was some wiggle in the connection.  And often it would charge very slowly.  And I couldn't get it to be recognized by Android Auto or my PC as being connected EVER, even when I pushed the connector to the left.  I tried cleaning lint out of the port, which lots of people said fixed their problem, but there was very little lint and even after taking the little out, I still had the problem.  Lots of people also complained their usb-c port was loose and there was wiggle, others said a little wiggle is normal with usb-c ports, honestly I couldn't remember if there was always a little wiggle or not.  I chatted with Nokia Mobile Care, they suggested a charger or cable problem, but I had already tried buying new ones, it made no difference.  They gave me instructions to run a test, which I did and it found no problem.  So they gave me the url to submit a phone for repair.  https://nokia.ebuilder.com/en_US/repair As a side note, I didn't want to be without a cell phone while my Nokia was off being repaired, I didn't want to miss an important call or text.  So before I sent off my phone for repair, I got a new SIM from my service provider with my existing phone number to put into my old Samsung phone, which I still had laying around.  I had to get a new all-in-one sim because my Samsung took a micro sim, which is bigger than the nano sim in the Nokia.  Then, all I'd need to do when my Nokia returns is to take out the micro sim from the Samsung, snap out the nano sim and put it into my Nokia.

Out of warranty usb-c port repair on Nokia 6.1 - My Experience

paulp paulp
✭✭  /  edited September 20
There are lots of posts about usb-c/charging port problems on the 5x/6x/7x/8x Nokia phones.  I wanted to relay my experience with mine and hopefully it will help someone with theirs.  I bought my Nokia 6.1 in April 2018.  All was fine until this August (2019), not even 1.5 years later, when I started to have problems with charging and connecting to other devices via the usb cable, such as Android Auto in my car or to my PC.  When I would plug the charging cable in, it would not always make the audible sound it usually does.  And then I had to start pushing the connector to the left to get it to charge, since there was some wiggle in the connection.  And often it would charge very slowly.  And I couldn't get it to be recognized by Android Auto or my PC as being connected EVER, even when I pushed the connector to the left.  I tried cleaning lint out of the port, which lots of people said fixed their problem, but there was very little lint and even after taking the little out, I still had the problem.  Lots of people also complained their usb-c port was loose and there was wiggle, others said a little wiggle is normal with usb-c ports, honestly I couldn't remember if there was always a little wiggle or not.  I chatted with Nokia Mobile Care, they suggested a charger or cable problem, but I had already tried buying new ones, it made no difference.  They gave me instructions to run a test, which I did and it found no problem.  So they gave me the url to submit a phone for repair.  https://nokia.ebuilder.com/en_US/repair

As a side note, I didn't want to be without a cell phone while my Nokia was off being repaired, I didn't want to miss an important call or text.  So before I sent off my phone for repair, I got a new SIM from my service provider with my existing phone number to put into my old Samsung phone, which I still had laying around.  I had to get a new all-in-one sim because my Samsung took a micro sim, which is bigger than the nano sim in the Nokia.  Then, all I'd need to do when my Nokia returns is to take out the micro sim from the Samsung, snap out the nano sim and put it into my Nokia.

Submitting a phone for repair online is a six step process.
1. Phone Selection - Select your phone from the list of Nokia phones presented.
2. Problem Selection - Select a problem from the list and add comments.  (I selected Physical Damage -> USB cable)
3. Phone Details - Enter IMEI number.
It then said my phone was not under warranty, which I knew, and was given two options for out of warranty repair, $65.03 (before taxes) for a repair without screen replacement and $151.62 (before taxes) for a repair with refresh, which it says includes "new covers and looking like new".  I chose the $65.03 repair.  By the way, I think those are the prices no matter what you say is the problem, I selected several different problems and the prices were always the same.
4. Delivery Details - Enter Name, Address and Contact info.
5. Confirmation - Displays a lengthy Terms and Conditions to accept, and specifically agree that you will backup the contents of your phone, will not hold HMD or its service center liable for keeping any data, you will remove all security features and if you don't, the phone may be returned not repaired.
6. Finish - Make your payment and complete the order.
Within minutes, I received 3 emails: one for payment received with a receipt attached, another confirming my submission and containing the repair order number, and then another email with a FedEx shipping label attached for it to be sent to the Nokia Service Center in Fort Worth, Texas.  Then, I made sure everything on my phone was backed up, I removed the case, and the sim and sd cards, and then did a factory reset to remove everything personal.  Next, I drove over to the FedEx facility near me (I live in Virginia) with just the phone and with two copies of the shipping label, one to put inside the package with the phone and the other to be placed on the outside.  FedEx provided the packaging for free and the shipping cost had already be paid for by Nokia.  Two days later I received an email saying that my phone had been received at the service center.  Two days after that I received two more emails: one saying the repair was complete and another saying my phone had left the service center, and with a FedEx tracking number.  I tracked it the whole way and it actually got to my local FedEx facility four days later, but because the delivery date was listed at two days later, it came two days later.  As soon as FedEx dropped the package off on my porch, I got a final email saying Repair Order Closed.  So from the day I sent the phone off until I got it back was a total of 9 days.

I took the phone out of the FedEx package, the usb-c port didn't look any different and actually had the same amount of small wiggle it did before.  The only thing inside the package other than the phone was a one page form letter from Nokia Mobile Care saying they had "carried out a thorough inspection to identify the fault and have taken the appropriate actions to correct it and ensure it is working as intended." and "Your mobile phone has now been repaired or replaced and is being returned with the latest available version of software installed.  To get up and running, you will need to restore your previously backed-up content onto your phone.".  The letter included a few instructions, such as how to "Insert the SIM and memory cards", and how to "Switch on and set up your phone.  But it didn't give any info on exactly what they did to repair it.  Maybe Nokia doesn't want the public to know those kind of details.

I called my service provider to let them know I was reverting back to my Nokia.  Then I took the SIM out of my Samsung and put it into my Nokia, along with the SD card I had taken out of it.  I powered it up and started configuring it.  Interestingly, it immediately prompted that it had an Android update to install, which took a little while.  Then after putting my Google account in, I started to restore everything from the backup.  The only thing I recall I had to "fix" was my messaging ringtone, it didn't get restored properly so I had to manually change it back to what it had been.  The app restore was interesting, all of the app icons where initially there but in black and white.  As the apps started to get re-installed, the icons would turn to color.  After everything was restored, I started testing the charging and connectivity.  Everything worked fine, I would hear the audible sound every time I plugged the charger in.  And it was connected to my Android Auto and my PC every time I tried.  So it appears fixed, although again, the small amount of wiggle is still there.  So I guess it's true that that is normal and had nothing to do with the problem.

One more thing to note, if you go through this procedure of wiping your phone and restoring from a backup, don't freak out if your phone backup feature takes a couple of days to start working again.  I noticed the day after I got my phone back into service that most of the items in the Backup setting were saying "Waiting to backup" and the Backup Now option was grayed out.  If you do a search, you will find lots of people saying you need to turn off your phone's security to be able to do a backup when that problem happens.  But you will also find some saying you just need to wait at least 24 hours.  They are correct.  Sure enough, when I woke up the second morning after I got my phone back, all of the backup items that had said "Waiting to backup" had successfully backed up.

I hope this helps someone.
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Comments

  • singhnsk singhnsk
    ✭✭✭✭  / 
    Good to hear of a positive experience there. That wasn't a cheap repair, but maybe that's because I am here in India where the new Nokia 6.1 now sells for just under $100. I know economic and financial status of the countries have a role to play.
    Hopefully the device is good now for at least another 1.5 years :)
  • Thanuj Thanuj
    ✭✭✭  / 
    A breath of fresh air in the sea of negative experiences... :smiley:
  • That was very long story but interesting to read!
  • paulp paulp
    ✭✭  / 
    Yes, I thought about just ditching the Nokia and going with some other phone.  Something as basic as the connection port shouldn't go bad.  We've had many mobile phones over the years, some very cheap, and none of them had their connection port go bad.  And the slew of other posts about problems with the usb-c port and claims of faulty design didn't help my confidence.  But I figured for $65 dollars, if it was just an isolated bad part and they fix it, and the problem doesn't come back, it would be worth it.  But if the same problem comes back, as some people claim will happen, or some other defect crops up, then I'll definitely switch to another phone, and it won't be a Nokia.  Thanks for the comments and sorry my post was so long, but I wanted to capture everything that happened.  Thanks again.
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