Disapointment. What to expect?

Posted:
in Genius Bar

Good evening. I wish this was a Happy New Year-type of post but unfortunately it is not. I can't express how disappointed I am with Apple after the events that occurred today. I will try to explain as clearly as I recall.


About 10 days ago I made an appointment to replace the battery of my iPhone 8 plus in store (Manhasset, NY). Today I went in and handed in my phone.


The battery health was at 87%. The test performed by the tech person showed 412 cycles. She told me they would replace the battery for $29 + tax. No problem.


About 90 minutes later I got back to pick up my phone. I paid the amount I was asked and before leaving I checked the battery health. To my surprise, it was at 87%. I asked the person who handed me the phone and collected my payment. After restarting the phone with the same results, she sent me to the tech people. 


The tech people plugged the phone in to some outlet. They told me it needed to be factory reset or something of that nature. After 2m, the phone came back up and the same 87% was showing.


My thoughts at this point: "these guys collected my money and didn't change the battery."


I asked the manager (Gloria) what happened. She personally took the phone back and told me they would perform another battery replacement really fast.


15 minutes later, a tech approached me and told me my phone was compromised and when they opened it it started to emit smoke... and they will just give me a new phone.


15 minutes later, another rep comes with a small, not typical, rectangular box, already unsealed, with an iphone 8 plus inside. I mentioned "I thought I was getting a new phone. How do I know that this is not a refurbished or returned phone? I was expecting a new box with a new phone, just like the one I purchased."


The rep explained to me that I was getting a replacing device. It was 6pm and I really just wanted to go and prepare to celebrate new years with my wife and two sons. I asked what can I do if I'm not happy with this phone. She said I had 30 days to return it.


Once I got home, I checked the serial number which starts with a N, confirming it's a replacement device.


I bought an unlocked new iphone 8 plus in December 2017. 


My first thoughts on this: I went in to replace a battery on my iPhone. I left with a replacement device that I don't know where it has been.


What happens if the phone stops working in 31 days? Am I out of luck (and out of $1000)?


What can I demand from Apple? A new, sealed, iPhone? A refund of my money (current 8 plus 256GB = $850? Do I even need to pay the $29+ tax since they never replaced any battery? In terms of resale value, there's no doubt in my mind that a M phone holds more value than a N. Why should I be satisfied with a product that effectively is not new?


I will finish this long email the same way I started: in 14 years of owning Apple products (from the original iPod with free engraving in the back in 2004 to the Apple 4K tv in 2018) I never expected to be so disapointed. I really don't know what to think.


If you were me, what would you do?


Happy New Year. Unfortunately for me it was a really sad last day of 2018.


Respectfully,


Ricardo

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,871administrator
    While the apparent non-replacement of the battery isn’t good, I guess I’m not sure why you were expecting a new phone as a replacement. Your phone wasn’t new when you entered the store. New and unlocked in December 2017 -- I'm guessing yours was out of warranty? If you had AppleCare, you can get it transferred over.

    Resale values on refurbished devices aren't lower.


    edited January 1
  • Reply 2 of 9
    avon b7avon b7 Posts: 3,069member
    I think you should have got a new phone if only as a courtesy gesture but contracts and consumer legislation are what they are depending on your place of residence.

    In my experience, I was told, at the very last minute and in a very blase manner, that if the tech damaged the phone (iPhone 6), then Apple would give me an iPhone 6 replacement but at a pre-established price (I think it was 429€) which had to be accepted by me even for Apple to touch it.

    This information was given to me just seconds before I was due to sign. Up until that moment it was all smiles and 'no problem' for the battery replacement procedure. I was also told in the same breath that if water damage was detected on opening the phone I would be provided with the paid substitute as per the agreement I was about to sign.

    None of this information was made openly available in the on-line appointment process.

    With the law in one hand Apple will probably have all the cards to be right on this case but on the other hand I think you have reason to feel agrieved.

    You can try escalating your request and see if someone thinks the same way I do but this case will probably depend on the person (not so much protocol) who has the authorisation to overturn the original decision.

    In my case the iPhone 6 battery swap went without issue but cost 89€. Shortly afterwards Apple reduced battery swap charges to 29€ and then later decided to return the difference on ealiear battery swaps (in a specific period).

    In spite of Apple having all the relevant information to return the difference to me (repair ID, contact mail, card details and mobile number), the money was not returned.

    I went to the AppleStore who said I had to contact central Apple support. That proved impossible as there was a pay wall to reach support. I wrote to the AppleStore explaining the problem and asking for contact info. I haven't received a reply. As the reimbursement program ended on the 31st December I called and hit any buttons to get through to a person. I explained the situation and was passed from one department to another before finally reaching a very nice guy in Florida (I am in Spain) who was able to sort things out for me. He was frankly excellent and spoke decent Spanish. According to him, for users to benefit from this program they had to pro-actively claim the refund. This isn't what I read in the day. As per the tech note, the refund should have been automatic and only require user action if the refund didn't appear (my particular case). The process took half an hour and AFAIK was a free phone line.

    Now I'm waiting for the transaction to complete which could take up to a week but he gave me all the references to follow up if necessary.
    edited January 1
  • Reply 3 of 9
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,412member
    While the apparent non-replacement of the battery isn’t good, I guess I’m not sure why you were expecting a new phone as a replacement. Your phone wasn’t new when you entered the store. New and unlocked in December 2017 -- I'm guessing yours was out of warranty? If you had AppleCare, you can get it transferred over.

    Resale values on refurbished devices aren't lower.


    In addition to the incompetent response from the staff there, I’m wondering why a phone only a year old was already acting like it had a three year old battery?
  • Reply 4 of 9
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,871administrator
    While the apparent non-replacement of the battery isn’t good, I guess I’m not sure why you were expecting a new phone as a replacement. Your phone wasn’t new when you entered the store. New and unlocked in December 2017 -- I'm guessing yours was out of warranty? If you had AppleCare, you can get it transferred over.

    Resale values on refurbished devices aren't lower.


    In addition to the incompetent response from the staff there, I’m wondering why a phone only a year old was already acting like it had a three year old battery?
    OP didn't say it was acting like it had a three-year-old battery. Just that it was at 87%.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    While the apparent non-replacement of the battery isn’t good, I guess I’m not sure why you were expecting a new phone as a replacement. Your phone wasn’t new when you entered the store. New and unlocked in December 2017 -- I'm guessing yours was out of warranty? If you had AppleCare, you can get it transferred over.

    Resale values on refurbished devices aren't lower.


    In addition to the incompetent response from the staff there, I’m wondering why a phone only a year old was already acting like it had a three year old battery?
    OP didn't say it was acting like it had a three-year-old battery. Just that it was at 87%.

    Thank you all for the replies.

    I use my phone a lot and I figured would be wise to change the battery before the price goes up to $79+ tax.

    What I don’t know is if it’s worth escalating the issue and ask for a new M model iPhone. According to most websites I visited, a N model is most likely a refurbished phone that went through stress tests etc to be fully functional.

    the thing is, I went in with a phone I bought new. The phone was fully functional.

     If they “broke” it, why shouldn’t I get a new one?

    In addition, why was my phone “compromised and emiting smoke” after they supposedly performed the first battery change? It wasn’t compromised when they replaced it and returned it to me at 87%?

    It really doesn’t add up in my eyes.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,871administrator
    Rfurriel said:
    While the apparent non-replacement of the battery isn’t good, I guess I’m not sure why you were expecting a new phone as a replacement. Your phone wasn’t new when you entered the store. New and unlocked in December 2017 -- I'm guessing yours was out of warranty? If you had AppleCare, you can get it transferred over.

    Resale values on refurbished devices aren't lower.


    In addition to the incompetent response from the staff there, I’m wondering why a phone only a year old was already acting like it had a three year old battery?
    OP didn't say it was acting like it had a three-year-old battery. Just that it was at 87%.

    Thank you all for the replies.

    I use my phone a lot and I figured would be wise to change the battery before the price goes up to $79+ tax.

    What I don’t know is if it’s worth escalating the issue and ask for a new M model iPhone. According to most websites I visited, a N model is most likely a refurbished phone that went through stress tests etc to be fully functional.

    the thing is, I went in with a phone I bought new. The phone was fully functional.

     If they “broke” it, why shouldn’t I get a new one?

    In addition, why was my phone “compromised and emiting smoke” after they supposedly performed the first battery change? It wasn’t compromised when they replaced it and returned it to me at 87%?

    It really doesn’t add up in my eyes.
    I've got no issue with you going in for the battery swap, given the price jump.

    But, regarding the replacement, you bought your phone new, a year ago. It isn't new anymore. I agree, that had you had this issue within, say, the first month, you should expect a new phone, but a year of use later, even handled with the utmost of care? Not so much.

    Apple's refurbs are pretty good. Other than for review purposes, refurbs from Apple are all I buy. I'm not sure what you're referring to when you speak of "stress tests," nor am I clear about your implication that these tests somehow make for a lesser device.

    Regarding "compromised and emitting smoke" -- that's not on you, that's on the tech and the store to replace with service stock replacements. Assuming that they did the first replacement at all (which I doubt that they did, but I also don't think that they were trying to pull a fast one on you intentionally), that was a separate procedure to the second replacement. Battery replacement procedures can and do go bad. Batteries aren't made of glass, but they aren't made of steel either, and it doesn't take a lot to break an old one, or the new one during any given repair process.
    edited January 1
  • Reply 7 of 9
    While the apparent non-replacement of the battery isn’t good, I guess I’m not sure why you were expecting a new phone as a replacement. Your phone wasn’t new when you entered the store. New and unlocked in December 2017 -- I'm guessing yours was out of warranty? If you had AppleCare, you can get it transferred over.

    Resale values on refurbished devices aren't lower.


    I don’t know about you, but if I were on the market for a used phone, and the price of a M and a N was the same, I would certainly choose the M model (assuming every other variable was the same).

    Am I the only one? I don’t know.

    The question can also be what is worth more? A 1 year old M or a “new” N?

    No clue where to go with this.

    I tried to put the same post on the apple forums but it was removed pretty much instantly.

    Thank you again for the input. Part of me wants to go back to the store and escalate the issue until I get a M model. Part of me says it’s not worth the hassle.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 3,871administrator
    Rfurriel said:
    While the apparent non-replacement of the battery isn’t good, I guess I’m not sure why you were expecting a new phone as a replacement. Your phone wasn’t new when you entered the store. New and unlocked in December 2017 -- I'm guessing yours was out of warranty? If you had AppleCare, you can get it transferred over.

    Resale values on refurbished devices aren't lower.


    I don’t know about you, but if I were on the market for a used phone, and the price of a M and a N was the same, I would certainly choose the M model (assuming every other variable was the same).

    Am I the only one? I don’t know.

    The question can also be what is worth more? A 1 year old M or a “new” N?

    No clue where to go with this.

    I tried to put the same post on the apple forums but it was removed pretty much instantly.

    Thank you again for the input. Part of me wants to go back to the store and escalate the issue until I get a M model. Part of me says it’s not worth the hassle.
    A year-old M with no warranty is absolutely worth less than a N with a month of warranty.

    The store has done all that it can, or will, do. You'd have to escalate through AppleCare, and even then, you're likely just spinning your wheels.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    You took in a year-old phone.. if they screwed it up, they owe you a year-old phone... not a new one.

    I would think a refurb'd phone is worth MORE than an "original" used phone.  I have no idea how you used/cared for the M phone you might be selling me.... but I know the refurbed phone has been checked and tested by Apple at SOME point since it was new.

    You traded in a year old phone for another year old phone that's been refurbished by Apple.  Not a bad deal.  In a lot of cases, the refurbished phones are nothing more than a phone that was purchased new, returned within the 30-day window... and can't be resold as new, even though it is essentially new... 
    You had a phone that you admittedly "used a lot" ... I assume you mean a lot of battery cycles... and it was replaced by one that likely has far fewer cycles on it's battery.

    (admittedly, you don't KNOW the history of the replacement phone... but... odds are that it's better than the questionable battery in the one it's replacing.)
Sign In or Register to comment.