Leaked doc shows what is & isn't covered in Apple's iPhone warranty repairs

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in iPhone
A copy of a "Visual/Mechanical Inspection Guide" has reportedly leaked online, giving a behind-the-scenes glimpse at what Apple will and won't cover under an iPhone's warranty.




A 22-page document dated March 3 recently appeared on Dropbox, Business Insider said on Friday. While the site didn't provide a link, it did offer a few screenshots, and commented that the "VMI" specifically addresses the iPhone 6, 6s, and 7 lines.

The only problems definitively covered by an Apple warranty include broken pixels, debris under the display glass, misaligned FaceTime camera foam, and/or a hairline crack on the front glass unaccompanied by any other cracks, the guide indicates. The last point is an improvement from 2014, when people were still expected to pay.




"We have one [VMIs] just like that for all of the products," one Apple retail technician explained to BI. "Used more for the physical inspection and how to determine cost for damage. That's basically half the training for iPhone techs."

Another, however, suggested that technicians "don't refer to it all that often" unless there's an "oddball issue."




Apple's website says only that warranties won't cover "damage resulting from accident, disassembly, unauthorized service and unauthorized modifications," such as using an unofficial battery, or dropping a phone in a bathtub.

Technicians are expected to conduct inspections and ask several questions if they suspect liquid damage, the VMI explains, and may still grant warranty coverage when an external liquid indicator has been tripped but there are no other signs. There are further exceptions too, such as phones that are otherwise defective.




The VMI isn't the final word, one Apple retail worker commented.

"There are always those one-off issues that the phone is technically not covered under warranty but we swap the phone anyways under warranty," the person said.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 6,793member
    Why do they need these guidelines? Because people will lie through their teeth about how an expensive piece of hardware came to be broken. The Apple discussion forums are full of, "I didn't do anything and I take very good care of my device. The next day there was a deep scratch on my screen and I know I didn't put i there."
    RacerhomieXwatto_cobrajcs2305lolliver
  • Reply 2 of 28
    Leakers of private corporate information should be prosecuted into poverty. Especially on matters such as this, which simply embolden other criminals. This isn't about something Apple has done "wrong", this is valuable competitive information.
    RacerhomieXwatto_cobrapscooter63viclauyyclolliver
  • Reply 3 of 28
    Leakers of private corporate information should be prosecuted into poverty.
    "Into poverty"?? What a vindictive, punitive culture we've become. Seeing these guidelines make me *more* happy with Apple. Until now it seemed like the Geniuses pulled some of their device-repair decisions out of their butts. Now that I can see the guidelines in writing, I can know what to expect before I take my device into the Apple Store. This should help Apple customer relations, not hurt it. If you think this helps Apple's competitors somehow, you're nuts. First, they very likely already have a copy of them. Second, it's not that hard to come up with these; the competitors already have them for every device they've ever sold.
    StrangeDaysbloggerblogavon b7steveau
  • Reply 4 of 28
    lkrupp said:
    Why do they need these guidelines? Because people will lie through their teeth about how an expensive piece of hardware came to be broken. The Apple discussion forums are full of, "I didn't do anything and I take very good care of my device. The next day there was a deep scratch on my screen and I know I didn't put i there."
    When I worked in the Apple Store I used to hear all sorts of amazing ways that iPhone displays were broken.  "It fell on the grass from just a couple of inches!" "I dropped it onto soft carpeting while on my couch and it was in a case."  Those are real examples and people would stick to their stories.  

    Same goes for liquid damage.  "The phone has never been near water, how could it get wet?!?" My answer was always that I couldn't determine how it got wet, only that there was evidence of liquid contact.  I also heard the "It must have been from the steam in my bathroom while showering.  I guess I shouldn't even bring this phone into the bathroom at all if it's so sensitive it will stop working from steam!!"

    Single hairline cracks have been covered for a long time, as long as there is no obvious point of impact.

    The reason technicians don't refer to the VMI that often is because they learn it.  Once you know it why keep checking?  Of course, Apple is continuously updating the VMI, so what they know this month may be changed next month, which is why they SHOULD check it, but the major things don't change all that often.
    watto_cobraRayz2016bshankGeorgeBMachammeroftruthlolliver
  • Reply 5 of 28
    ktappe said:
    Leakers of private corporate information should be prosecuted into poverty.
    "Into poverty"?? What a vindictive, punitive culture we've become. Seeing these guidelines make me *more* happy with Apple. Until now it seemed like the Geniuses pulled some of their device-repair decisions out of their butts. Now that I can see the guidelines in writing, I can know what to expect before I take my device into the Apple Store. This should help Apple customer relations, not hurt it. If you think this helps Apple's competitors somehow, you're nuts. First, they very likely already have a copy of them. Second, it's not that hard to come up with these; the competitors already have them for every device they've ever sold.
    An employee working for Apple signs an NDA and is legally bound to protect sensitive corporate information.

    If the information had no value other than to make customers "feel good", don't you think they'd want everyone to know about it?

    The leakers should be harshly dealt with and sued.
    RacerhomieXviclauyycRayz2016lolliver
  • Reply 6 of 28
    ktappe said:
    Leakers of private corporate information should be prosecuted into poverty.
    "Into poverty"?? What a vindictive, punitive culture we've become. Seeing these guidelines make me *more* happy with Apple. Until now it seemed like the Geniuses pulled some of their device-repair decisions out of their butts. Now that I can see the guidelines in writing, I can know what to expect before I take my device into the Apple Store. This should help Apple customer relations, not hurt it. If you think this helps Apple's competitors somehow, you're nuts. First, they very likely already have a copy of them. Second, it's not that hard to come up with these; the competitors already have them for every device they've ever sold.
    An employee working for Apple signs an NDA and is legally bound to protect sensitive corporate information.
    I can't specifically recall signing an NDA but I do remember hearing over and over again that anything that isn't public information that can be found on apple.com shouldn't be discussed.  That ranged from speculating on when new iPhones would be released to Apple Internal Only documents.  If it isn't on apple.com don't talk about it.

    People would ask all sorts of things.  Some would demand to see the VMI (although that's not what they called it), some wanted to know how many employees were in the store right now, others wanted to know the layout or if there was a second floor or basement.  "Sorry, I can't tell you."
    SpamSandwichwatto_cobraGeorgeBMaclolliver
  • Reply 7 of 28
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 1,887member
    China is soliciting Apple anti-trust accusations.
    http://news.91.com/apple/s59a8d1439de3.html
  • Reply 8 of 28
    RacerhomieXRacerhomieX Posts: 95unconfirmed, member
    Why do we need this to be leaked? Did people think it was a random ,givaway zone?
    watto_cobralolliver
  • Reply 9 of 28
    Why doesn't the Vmi reference swollen battery conditions, in or out of warranty? I'm on my third iPhone that has split open due to a swollen battery. My current phone is held together by the protective case I have on it, plus scotch tape. Waiting for new phones to be announced before deciding what new phone to get.
  • Reply 10 of 28
    T-mobile said my embedded sim was bad, which was BS because it worked ok before I wiped the device. (Had problems connecting back up)

    I had the extended warranty, so I figured $50 and I'd get a referb.  Turns out the sim is covered at no cost (even though they didn't test it) and gave me a new one. I had it for 1.5 years.

    My favorite companies are where they warranty their shit... Costco, Amazon, Apple.  So that's who gets my dollars $$$.


  • Reply 11 of 28
    Why doesn't the Vmi reference swollen battery conditions, in or out of warranty?
    I'm not clear on what you're asking. Typically, if the battery is swollen the iPhone is replaced, especially if the swelling caused other damage. If it's in warranty it is covered, if it's not in warranty there is a cost. 

    With MacBooks/Pros I've seen damaged top cases and trackpads. If in warranty all repairs are covered. Usually, if it's out of warranty the customer pays for the battery alone and other damage due to the swollen battery is covered. That's not always the case and again, only covers damage from the battery. So if your display is cracked, that's not covered. 
    watto_cobraavon b7
  • Reply 12 of 28
    Why doesn't the Vmi reference swollen battery conditions, in or out of warranty?
    I'm not clear on what you're asking. Typically, if the battery is swollen the iPhone is replaced, especially if the swelling caused other damage. If it's in warranty it is covered, if it's not in warranty there is a cost. 

    With MacBooks/Pros I've seen damaged top cases and trackpads. If in warranty all repairs are covered. Usually, if it's out of warranty the customer pays for the battery alone and other damage due to the swollen battery is covered. That's not always the case and again, only covers damage from the battery. So if your display is cracked, that's not covered. 
    Um, what happened to “If it isn't on apple.com don't talk about it.”?
  • Reply 13 of 28
    lkrupp said:
    Why do they need these guidelines? Because people will lie through their teeth about how an expensive piece of hardware came to be broken. The Apple discussion forums are full of, "I didn't do anything and I take very good care of my device. The next day there was a deep scratch on my screen and I know I didn't put i there."

    these kinds of guidelines are not about customers lying. its about consistency in handling by the staff. you don't want this store charging for a single hairline while this other across town isn't. 
  • Reply 14 of 28

    Why doesn't the Vmi reference swollen battery conditions, in or out of warranty? I'm on my third iPhone that has split open due to a swollen battery. My current phone is held together by the protective case I have on it, plus scotch tape. Waiting for new phones to be announced before deciding what new phone to get.
    it likely does. i doubt that these documents are a single page. probably more like 20 or so for every group of products. after all this one covers like 4 models of phone but there are differences between them. so some things might be handled differently from model to model. what we are seeing is probably just the page with the most general rules that apply across the board
  • Reply 15 of 28
    tzeshan said:
    China is soliciting Apple anti-trust accusations.
    http://news.91.com/apple/s59a8d1439de3.html
    What a bunch of cunt.

    after all these years, what Chinese learn from US, is sue everyone else.

    When it comes to monopoly, they don't know something call Andriod in China? And they don't know which platform is most popular in China? It is pretty hard to call a company monopoly when it has a smaller share than other. Apple own it's platform, can't understand why they can't kick out someone who they believe who is unfit the system.

    My best guess is the chicom is behind it. They just don't want any foreign company gets too big in china. and they had done enough dirty tricks to foreign companies.

    Don't call me rasist, I understand Chinese, cause I am a Chinese.


  • Reply 16 of 28
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,683member
    Leakers of private corporate information should be prosecuted into poverty. Especially on matters such as this, which simply embolden other criminals. This isn't about something Apple has done "wrong", this is valuable competitive information.
    Wow! Your gut reaction to someone leaking any information is that they should suffer permanent financial ruin. Even in your second sentence do you quality the statement to say "especially on matters such as this" which still implies that someone that leaks information about unethical or illegal activities should also be prosecuted into poverty, but not to as great of an extent. Even the word particularly would sound better here.

    In your final sentence you seem to acknowledge that your previous statements were so extreme that you have to defend yourself within the same paragraph by injecting an tepid argument about "wrong" doing, so I have to wonder why you didn't lead with that. Frankly I'm so unsure where you stand with that post that I can even get an idea about where you draw a line in the sand on any of the landmark cases about corporations getting caught committing heinous acts for profits and being caught because someone leaked internal documents to the media or feds.

    Personally, the information is through—as we've come to expect from Apple—but it also looks pretty obvious. If I were Apple I would see if I could reasonably find out who leaked this information and fire them. That's it. I certainly would make their entire family meet with an unfortunate accident like burning to death one night by planting a Samsung Galaxy 8 in the home.

    Although, blacklisting employees who act unethical by disallowing them from ever buying another Apple product sounds like it would be a pretty good motivator, if it could be enforced.
  • Reply 17 of 28
    Actually, I think Apple SHOULD have released this document.
    I paid for my warrenty when I bought the phone and I should be informed and understand what it is that I bought.  

    Keeping it grey and secret tends to increase doubt and insecurity in its customers as well as increase disappointment when a warranty claim is denied.  Without documented guidelines it becomes my word against the tech's word -- and I've been around tech long enough to know that not all techs are equal and some are downright mean and others stupid.
    Solizoetmb
  • Reply 18 of 28
    SoliSoli Posts: 8,683member
    Actually, I think Apple SHOULD have released this document.
    I paid for my warrenty when I bought the phone and I should be informed and understand what it is that I bought.  

    Keeping it grey and secret tends to increase doubt and insecurity in its customers as well as increase disappointment when a warranty claim is denied.  Without documented guidelines it becomes my word against the tech's word -- and I've been around tech long enough to know that not all techs are equal and some are downright mean and others stupid.
    I wholeheartedly agree. One of Apple's greatest assets if the trust they've nurtured with their customers.

    ANECDOTE WARNING: This summer a family member had an issue with the earpiece speaker not working well. It was very tinny and quiet at maximum volume. I had this issue with my iPhone 7 and Apple replaced the device, so even thought they were out of warranty with their iPhone 6s (they didn't have AC+) I said take it in to have them check it.

    I made them an appointment online since it's now a bit daunting for someone not familiar with their new layout for technical issues to make a Genius Bar appt without a lot of "wrong turns" and they were able to get in that day. The Genius did an initial inspection and test and said that the speaker had to be replaced, which meant the entire screen component which they can do in an hour for $129 (as I recall). They left the store and got a call from Apple 5 or 10 minutes later saying that there phone is ready. Turns out it was just lint stuck in the earpiece. No charge.

    I can't imagine getting that kind of service from many OEMs and there's no real incentive for 3rd-party repair shops whose entire business is service fees and replacement parts. Apple isn't altruistic, but their business model certain gives me more peace of mind than other companies.
    edited September 2017 GeorgeBMac
  • Reply 19 of 28
    Soli said:
    Actually, I think Apple SHOULD have released this document.
    I paid for my warrenty when I bought the phone and I should be informed and understand what it is that I bought.  

    Keeping it grey and secret tends to increase doubt and insecurity in its customers as well as increase disappointment when a warranty claim is denied.  Without documented guidelines it becomes my word against the tech's word -- and I've been around tech long enough to know that not all techs are equal and some are downright mean and others stupid.
    I wholeheartedly agree. One of Apple's greatest assets if the trust they've nurtured with their customers.

    ANECDOTE WARNING: This summer a family member had an issue with the earpiece speaker not working well. It was very tinny and quiet at maximum volume. I had this issue with my iPhone 7 and Apple replaced the device, so even thought they were out of warranty with their iPhone 6s (they didn't have AC+) I said take it in to have them check it.

    I made them an appointment online since it's now a bit daunting for someone not familiar with their new layout for technical issues to make a Genius Bar appt without a lot of "wrong turns" and they were able to get in that day. The Genius did an initial inspection and test and said that the speaker had to be replaced, which meant the entire screen component which they can do in an hour for $129 (as I recall). They left the store and got a call from Apple 5 or 10 minutes later saying that there phone is ready. Turns out it was just lint stuck in the earpiece. No charge.

    I can't imagine getting that kind of service from many OEMs and there's no real incentive for 3rd-party repair shops whose entire business is service fees and replacement parts. Apple isn't altruistic, but their business model certain gives me more peace of mind than other companies.
    Yes, knowledgeable technicians, caring about the customer and integrity trump any and all warranties...
  • Reply 20 of 28
    Just got to use AppleCare for the first time - my gen 1 watch fell apart (the screen popped off).  Took it to the Apple Store and they promptly gave me a replacement.  A+ service 😄
    GeorgeBMacSpamSandwichlolliver
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