Watchdog investigates Motorola Defy claims


Users say advertising images of “life proof” handset are misleading as dealers question one-year warranty

The BBC television programme Watchdog, which investigates viewers’ complaints against retailers and traders, is looking into claims that Motorola is misleading consumers through the advertising of its Defy device.

Users of the Motorola Defy (pictured), a handset marketed as ‘life proof’ in its advertising, are complaining that its marketing, which shows the device being repeatedly dropped and submerged in water without breaking, is misleading.

The device, which was launched earlier this year, uses strong scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass for its screen and is also water- and dust-resistant.

Motorola said at launch the Defy is equipped to withstand all that life throws at it.

But Watchdog is investigating claims devices are being damaged, screens broken from shoulder height, and aected by water.

A number of consumer forums, including one on the social Motorola website, also reveals customers experiencing problems with the screen breaking from minimal heights.

A Motorola spokesperson said: “Motorola has not been contacted by BBC Watchdog and as such have no further comment at this stage.”

And dealers Mobile News spoke with backed these claims; they claim to have received numerous complaints from customers and blamed Motorola for advertising that, based on their experienced, isn’t accurate.

Dealers have also questioned Motorola’s decision to only offer a one-year warranty on the handset. Devices with a broken screen or water damage are not covered under the warranty, dealers claim.

Similar devices, such as the exclusive Data Select JCB handset range, come with three years as standard.

Adrian Foot, proprietor of Welling-based dealership The Phone Shop, said: “We’ve had a number of Defys come in since launch and many had cracked screens.

“This is supposed to be an outdoor phone and Motorola should be following through with repairs under warranty if breakages are occurring, because the customer will feel tricked.”

Complete Communications proprietor Adam Nyman added: “It makes a mockery of the marketing campaign and the handset as a whole if this is the case.

“In the first instance the phone shouldn’t be breaking and on the rare occasion it does, Motorola should be doing everything to ensure customers don’t feel deceived by it all.”

A second Motorola Defy handset, Defy Plus, is expected to launch next month.


  1. I have a Defy, and the screen broke with the first drop from my pocket and the warranty doesn't cover it….. I'm totally disappointed with the phone.

  2. IP67 means waterproof to a depth of 1m for 30 minutes.

    I've owned two of these phones and one scratched very easily – the other near indestructable. As for drop proof ? the above comment says a lot more about the intelligence of Phone Shop customers than the build of the defy.

    Having said that I'd certainly get another …. if motorola didn't fill it with unremovable apps I don't want.

    • I've had 2. First one packed up within 2 months and was replaced under warranty. I dropped the replacement just once and the screen broke. IMHO this phone is no more rugged than any other smartphone, and the advertising is misleading.

  3. It is IP67… It is not drop spec'd, it doesnt claim to be waterproof. There is NOTHING advertised about the device being able to withstand being dropped. I personally have one its amazing what this phone can withstand compared to any other touchscreen android phone. Come on people, what do you expect for sub $100. Try to do ANY of those things with your iPhone…