Warranty return after s-off and/or root
Has anyone ever been "caught" and denied a warranty return after s-off and\or root? You hear all of these horror stories of you warranty being void but I personally have never had a problem.
I rooted my original Incredible and got two warranty replacements in the first year. One was for a blown speaker and the other was because I bricked it. When I bricked it I called Verizon and played dumb and said 'I don't know what is going on with my phone but it won't boot up'. They asked me a few questions and then said something like 'wow, I have never seen that before we will send you a new one.'
On my Incredible 4G, I rooted and s-offed (via HTC DEV before they removed it from the list) and got a warranty replacement (I don't remember what the problem was that caused me to exchange it). In fact, when I got the replacement it was obviously s-on and no longer unlockable via HTC Dev so I called Verizon to complain (told them something about being a software developer so I needed a phone I could ROM and develop on) hoping they would give me a HTC One (M7). Of course they did not but my point is no one seems to care about s-off or root.
Each time I have done a warranty exchange I have done it via phone not in the store. They ship me a new phone next day and I send my old one back. I would find it hard to believe that they have someone sitting there opening returned phones, checking for root or s-off, comparing them to the call that originated the return and then following up. Instead, I am sure the process is more like: Get the returned phone, note the RMA and note on the account that the old phone was returned, check for physical damage, throw it in a pile with all of the other returned phones to be formatted, re-flashed, tested and sold as refurbished phones.
I exchanged my weaksauce rooted M8 to the store last Friday due to frequent reboots. The sales guy turned on the screen, set it down, and rang me up a new one. He didn't boot into HBoot to look for s-off, and didn't look for any root checker or rooting application.
My experience is that the 'you will void your warranty' line is a scare tactic and it doesn't worry me one bit. While I am sure s-off and rooting can cause physical harm to a phone (maybe by doing something like overclocking) but I do not believe that the big cell phone companies like Verizon have any process in place to catch this. They do thousands of returns a day and don't care to slow down their return exchange process to check for the 1 out of 1000 rooted\s-off phones they come through.
This is my opinion and experience I would be interested in yours.