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Apple's replacement iPhone policy

3369 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Jul 31, 2012 10:27 AM by adamsanders RSS
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adistef Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jul 30, 2012 10:07 PM

I have an iPhone 4 that is approximately 13 months old.

At just over the year mark the power button jammed, of course being out of warrany by 10 days (it happened earlier

but I couldnt get to an apple store on time) there was "nothing" Apple could do for me.

They did offer me a new iPhone at a reduced rate, $169, which is reasonable.

However, when I decided to take them up on this offer, they said I have to turn in my old phone.

This I disagreed with as I had already paid for that phone in full, they said it was part of their "recycling policy".

I want to keep it for a few reasons, first to try and fix it for my brother to use while he waits for his contract to expire, and second

it's always great to have a backup phone (even if the power button is jammed).

 

Im always weary of some Apple associates as I tend to get different answers depending on the store I go to.

What is the policy here?

I don't see why I need to turn in my fully paid for phone, to get a new functioning replacement.

It may sound greedy but Ive paid for my first phone, now I have to pay again (albeit a discount) for another

phone just over a year later and Im only left with one phone. So I've paid twice for the phone and my new one only

has 90 days warranty.

I can't help but feel I'm getting a raw deal here.

  • tonefox Level 5 Level 5 (7,680 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 2:53 AM (in response to adistef)

    You're getting the same deal as everybody else in the world. Consider the cost to be a trade-in price for a brand new phone. It is, as you say, reasonable.

  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (166,975 points)
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    Jul 31, 2012 6:47 AM (in response to adistef)

    Apple gives you a discount on an exchange precisely because they can take your old iPhone, refurbish it, and use it elsewhere. Why you think this is somehow unfair is beyond me. Yes, it's unfortunate that your iPhone failed when out of warranty, but that happens, regardless of the product or how much you paid for it (I've had devices that cost thousands of dollars fail a month after the warranty ran out). 

     

    But if you don't like Apple's exchange price and policy, you are free to pay the full price for another iPhone. Or you can go buy some other product, but be aware that most if not all cellphone manufacturers have exactly the same policy.

     

    Regards.

  • Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (17,835 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 6:52 AM (in response to adistef)

    adistef wrote:

     

    Whether it be me or anyone else, I still think its a raw deal.

    I've paid once for a phone that barely lasted a year, now to pay again and have to relinquish the other phone

    is stupid. Apple will refurb my old phone and resell it to another smuck like me whose between a rock and a hard place.

    The price is reasonable when you look at having to buy a brand new phone but I figured that was a nice gesture based on the fact that the last one they sold me barely lasted its warranty period, not conditional on me giving them my first phone. Add to that this new phone will only have 90 days of warranty.

     

    You're out of warranty, so Apple could have very well just told you to buy a new iPhone at full retail price.  Instead they offer an "out of warranty" exchange service where for a fee and in exchange for your old damaged phone you get a factory refurbished one.  Your old one gets refurbished and will either be used as a warranty or an out-of-warranty exchage for someone else.  I fail to see how this is unfair.  You did not buy a replacement phone (that would have cost you much, much more).  You voluntarily opted for an out-of-warranty exchange.  If you did not like the terms or insisted on keeping your old one, you could have just bought a new one at full retail.  You chose, so how was Apple being unfair?

  • adamsanders Calculating status...
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    Jul 31, 2012 7:28 AM (in response to Michael Black)

    I see both sides of the story here, Apple are trying to do the decent thing by effectively selling a refurb unit to you - same as for instance with car parts. In that sense, it's fair they keep the phone.

     

    BUT, you need to go back to the original issue. The button should not have failed just outside of a year. This is a (UK) £500 product, not a £29 cheapie. The product should not have failed. Had you dropped it and the screen broke, I'd be inclined to agree with Apple. The fact is the button wore out because they've not designed it properly and it's a common *design* flaw with their product. That's not acceptable on a device of this calibre and cost.

     

    In the UK, we have  the Sale of Goods Act which would protect the consumer against things like this. European legislation now insists on a 2 year minumum warranty.

     

    In short Apple's 12 month warranty is a bit of an irrelevance. They should take your phone and fix the button (which in itself will be a comparitively cheap part) for free or for little cost .... in my opinion ... I don't know about US law though.

  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (166,975 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 7:32 AM (in response to adamsanders)

    US laws do not require service beyond the factory-stated warranty. So Apple is not legally required to do anything about the problem given that it's beyond the warranty period. Apple will sometimes grant an exception when the product is only a day or two past the end of the warranty, but a month or more, almost never. adistef can of course contact Apple Customer Relations and ask, but his/her chances are not good.

     

    The same really applies in the EU as well; people generally misunderstand the warranty requirements which do not mandate a two-year warranty except for faults that were present at the time of sale, something which is very difficult to prove for a device that's been in use for a while. But that's a discussion for another time and place.

     

    Regards.

  • adamsanders Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 31, 2012 7:41 AM (in response to varjak paw)

    I'm not sure it is difficult to prove. The button is a common fault and is a design flaw, it should not fail so often and in such a short period. I reckon even Apple will accept that.

     

    The EU legislation I understand has a bearing on how the consumer uses an item. Unless Apple have a problem with a finger being used then they've not got a leg to stand on.

     

    Bearing in mind they had this problem with the iPhone 4, I'm rather surprised they didn't fix it when they came out with the 4S.

     

    May not help our friends in the US, but I'd be very surprised if there was not similar consumer protection.

  • Michael Black Level 6 Level 6 (17,835 points)
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    Jul 31, 2012 7:58 AM (in response to adamsanders)

    adamsanders wrote:

     

    I'm not sure it is difficult to prove. The button is a common fault and is a design flaw, it should not fail so often and in such a short period. I reckon even Apple will accept that.

     

    The EU legislation I understand has a bearing on how the consumer uses an item. Unless Apple have a problem with a finger being used then they've not got a leg to stand on.

     

    Bearing in mind they had this problem with the iPhone 4, I'm rather surprised they didn't fix it when they came out with the 4S.

     

    May not help our friends in the US, but I'd be very surprised if there was not similar consumer protection.

     

    So, how often does it actually fail?  There have been, by now, 100's of millions of iPhones sold (they sold 26 million or so just last quarter).  I've not known anyone yet (and I know a lot of family, friends and co-workers with iPhones) who have ever had the button fail - none of mine have.  So just how common is it?

     

    Personally, I'd contend it and most other hardware failures are relatively quite rare, and that the iPhone is and has been a very well made product that stand up very well for many years (I still have and use my old 3Gs - works just fine in all respects evern after over 3 years now).

     

    So, do you actually have some numbers to back up your claim it is a "common" fault?

     

    Just making the point that just because it happened to you, or even to several people you may know, that is no proof at all of a common and inherent hardware or design flaw.  If you produce 10's or 100's of millions of anything, some are going to fail, at any time and in just about any way imaginable, but it still may represent only a minute fraction of the total units produced.

  • KiltedTim Level 8 Level 8 (35,880 points)
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    Jul 31, 2012 7:59 AM (in response to adistef)

    Maybe you need to look up the definition of the word "replacement".

  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (166,975 points)
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    Jul 31, 2012 8:10 AM (in response to adamsanders)

    And again, this is not the place to debate how and where the EU regulations apply. The warranty in the US is one year from purchase, period.

  • adamsanders Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 8:15 AM (in response to varjak paw)

    Not to debate them because you're wrong or because it doesn't suit your agenda?

     

    My only real point was that I would be surprised if there weren't any similar US laws. It was you that decided to jump up and down ....

  • varjak paw Level 10 Level 10 (166,975 points)
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    Jul 31, 2012 8:23 AM (in response to adamsanders)

    Not to debate not because I'm wrong - I'm not - nor because I have an agenda - I don't - but because it's not applicable to this thread and debating the issue of EU regulations distracts from the OP's issue. Again, the US has no laws requiring a manufacturer to extend the warranty beyond the publicly-stated period and terms. If you find that surprising, so be it, but that's the way it is.

     

    'nuff said.

  • deggie Level 8 Level 8 (44,830 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 31, 2012 9:48 AM (in response to adistef)

    http://www.ifixit.com

     

    It is a moving part, it breaks and there are a number of factors that impact that including environmental, how often you use it, etc.

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