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Headphone/mic/speakerpone issue

Before I send in my new phone (now 3 weeks old) for a refurb, I'd like to know if it's actually going to help.  Has anyone run into the situation below, if if so, what did you do?

I use my speakerphone regularly for work.  A week ago my phone started switching from speakerphone to the ear piece.  I would switch the speakerphone on and anywhere from 20 seconds to a minute later, it would happen again.  It happened around once a day.  A minor annoyance, but I could deal with it. A few days later and ever since, though, my phone started dropping calls any time I was on the ear piece.  i.e., neither myself or the remote party could hear one another.  After 20-30 seconds, one of use assumed the other was gone and would hang up and redial.

I started looking online for speakerphone/ear piece issues thinking maybe it was hardware.  In one forum, I find hints of it being related to the headphone jack.  (I listen to music a lot in the car using the headphone jack into the stereo, so I thought it could be the issue.)  After reading more descriptions of the headphone issues, I tried some things to see if I was having the same issue.  When the ear piece "mutes", I can hit the speakerphone button and the remote party and I can hear each other.  It lasts 5 seconds to a minute, then silence again as the speakerphone switched off.  This is with the phone in my hand or lying on the table.  I'm not bumping the button.  I press the speakerphone again, once again the remote party and I can hear each other.

So, I started searching more for the issue.  Based on what I've read and tested, it's definitely a headphone jack sensing issue.  If I plug in headphones with a mic, I can hear and talk with no issue.  If I unplug them, the phone uses the ear piece for a few seconds, then back to headphones (even though I have not plugged them back in to the phone).

From what I've read, this has happened for a while and with multiple Samsung phones.  All Verizon has offered me is to send out a refurb phone.  In fact, they have said *no one* has reported a similar issue.  Given the dozens of accounts of this, even a few in these forums, I find that hard to believe.  However, I've read some users have gone through as many as 4 Nexus phones with no fix to this issue.  Some held out for 4.0.4 thinking it would fix it.  It has not.  Some are holding out for JB, though there are people with (deleted content to comply with VZW ToS) phones (running the unofficial release from Google) saying it does not fix the issue.  I have a BT headset, but even it is trumped by the phone thinking the headset is in place.  The only way I can even partially use the phone at this point is to use the "Wired Headset Routing Fix" app.  The fact that there's an app to force your phone to ignore the headset is telling.  Using this app, I'm able to make calls the majority of the time.  When I call out, it always works, using the ear piece the entire call.  When people call in, the headphones try to answer, a quick speakerphone then ear piece switch will fix it in some cases.  Almost like I have to prod the app into working.

Two things I've noticed, one is that the problem is worse when on a 3G connection than 4G.  Leads me to think it *could* be related to radios.  Two is that after a few times of this happening, the phone becomes unstable, grinds to a halt, and reboots.

I've tried a lot of things on my own since the VZW solution is to just send out a refurb.  I've tried gently plugging and unplugging a headset.  I've tried canned air.  I've tried removing the battery and SIM card.  I've tried a factory reset (which was painful as I *just* got the phone set up how I like it when this started).  I'm to the point of extreme frustration as I essentially have a really expensive, small, Android tablet now.   I take care of my phones and use them as long as possible before trading up to the latest.  (Came from Sprint where I had a stock HTC Evo for 3 years with no issues whatsoever.  Switched to Verizon as there are no Sprint towers where I just moved.)

Thoughts?  I'm leaning toward the refurb, but I don't want to be sending the phone back every month for a new one.  Is there anything else to try?  Should I hold out for JB?  Do I demand something other than a Nexus.  (Other than the stability issues, I *love* this phone.)


Message was edited by: Verizon Moderator