A couple of weeks ago, my phone did something different and unexpected: it started charging phantom devices! Sure, this might be know if there were actually another device attached and it was intentional, but just sitting on my desk at work I'd get a notification that the device had started to supply power to the attached device.
Being a good techie, I did my due diligence and verified that there was nothing in the port, no application running that would attempt this, and even did the obligatory reboot. If I charged the phone, the message would go away for a while, but it would come back shortly after unplugging. At this point, I made use of the internal support tools from Google and started chatting with a support representative within a few moments. After asking a few questions, having me reboot the phone again, and doing some research, the agent concluded that we would need to do a factory reset.
Unexcited, but hey... I've done worse. Twenty minutes later I've reset my phone, logged back into it, and begun letting the whole ecosystem work at restoring my applications and settings. And, as luck would have it, the message is gone. Admittedly, I was a little surprised by this as I thought certain it was a hardware issue at this point. But I'd take a win when I could get one.
Two weeks later, to the day, it started again. This time, I started the chat from my phone and referenced the previous experience (without providing any information directly to the support agent) and they were able to look up my previous experience and correlate it to the current situation. This time, the questions were a bit more pointed (has the phone gotten wet or been dropped, is there anything in the charging port, etc.), but the agent quickly decided that this was likely a hardware problem, and that they'd want to replace the device.
Over the course of the next few minutes I confirmed IMEI and was explained the return process. A few minutes later I'd officially ordered my replacement device, which would arrive in two business days (thanks for stretching out the agony, weekend).
Monday afternoon the replacement device arrived. I powered it on, removed the SIM from my old phone, and inserted it in the new one. Within a few moments I had connected the transfer cable to the old phone and my accounts and data were copying over, slick as a whistle. Of course, it took half an hour for the applications to download and install, and another hour to sign into the various apps that aren't using SmartLock yet.
But all in all, the process wasn't so bad, and just took a little patience. Sure, it might have been great to have a brick and mortar store to walk into to perform the exchange rather than waiting for FedEx to do their thing, but I really shouldn't complain as I didn't have to drive anywhere, and I could do the transition on my own time.