Apple sued over use of moisture indicators to deny free repairs

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  • Reply 141 of 176
    anonymouseanonymouse Posts: 6,926member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by atsysusa View Post


    Clearly you have no experience in manufacturing or purchasing: a) No manufacturer will voluntarily provide information indicating that it sells a defective product and b) Apple would not source a defective OEM product because it simply invites problems. If you are suggesting that Apple sourced the LCIs because they were known to provide false positives as a way to avoid warranty claims you are truly smoking something.



    Clearly, you must think they've intentionally done something wrong here and are trying to cover it up. Getting the info from the manufacturer... not a big deal.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by atsysusa View Post


    And with regard to how the legal system in the US works you are about 180° off center. [...] This situation in class actions and tort law in general will not abate until we adopt what is known as the English Rule. Loser pays. If you sue and you lose - you pay the other sides legal fees and costs.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maximara View Post


    It also would put the average person on an even more uneven playing field against out of control groups like the RIAA then they already are on.



    Yeah, people love to jump on the tort reform bandwagon without having any idea what the consequences of these radical "fixes" might be. I'm going somewhat OT, and not referring to Apple in the following...



    One side-effect of most proposed tort reform is to effectively grant immunity from lawsuits to large corporations and insurance companies by making it a) economically impossible for individuals to sue and b) practically impossible for classes to sue. The other thing they want is to be able to treat damage awards as a business expense so they can do calculations like, "The total of damage awards related to excess deaths/injuries from this design/manufacturing decision is less than the expected increase in profit, so we should go ahead and cut this corner." Not having caps on damage awards, with no significant barriers in place to prevent suits makes this sort of thing almost impossible to calculate. But, if you can get that old torts system under control, why, then it's just a predictable business expense.



    These things seem pretty obvious, but the interested parties play on people's petty jealousies, fears, and prejudices to convince them to support signing away their rights. Besides, it's like an American pastime to hate lawyers... until you need one.



    And, no, I'm not a lawyer.
  • Reply 142 of 176
    mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 7,503member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skipthedog69 View Post


    I had exactly the same problem with Apple "Genius" refusing to repair my iPhone 3GS at Sherman Oaks Apple Store just a few months ago. I never dropped it in the water, not even close, yet somehow sensor was triggered, so no matter what, they refused to take it in for a repair. The funny thing was, right next to me, another Apple "Genius" was putting one of those screen protector for a customer, SPRAYING THE SOLUTION TO HER IPHONE 3GS to apply the protector! I asked the store manager, "Can that trigger the sensor?" His reply was, "I'm not going to comment on that." And I further asked, "So if she comes back in a few minutes and claims having a problem with her iPhone, and the sensor was triggered, you are not going to honor the warranty, even if one of your "Geniuses" was the one who sprayed the solution like spraying Windex on the window?" Of course, his response was, "No comment." I have also heard the "Genius" saying the bathroom moisture can cause the sensor to trigger in some occasion. This liquid sensor thing is a full of crap, just another excuse for Apple not to take responsibilities for its own products. I miss when the Apple stores were scarce and the store employees were much nicer and passionate about their products and customers.



    You do realize those 3rd party protectors are in question for just such a scenario, right?
  • Reply 143 of 176
    bout time
  • Reply 144 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maximara View Post


    True but you don't want to give away the store to the jerks who want to game the system.



    $39 billion on hand in cash suggests apple hasn't given away the store

    perhaps they'd have a few million less for doing right, but they wouldn't be broke

    and in the long run, its in their best interest



    i know someone who babied their ipod touch and yet somehow the indicator said otherwise

    the guy doesnt know how to lie, he didnt have it near water

    they refused to repair it

    he hasnt bought an apple product since
  • Reply 145 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by blursd View Post


    If you've done any sort of work at all with repairing or diagnosing Apple products it becomes evident almost half the time at a prima face glance that someone is lying.



    you dont know that, you obviously think you do, but you dont know that

    you are not a mind reader, you dont know who was telling the truth and who wasnt

    its your opinion, AND NOTHING MORE



    they could have been telling the truth, how would you know

    please tell us of your powers, they could be put to good use in this world

    sheesh
  • Reply 146 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skellybits View Post


    Just because you didnt witness the exposure to liquid doesnt mean it didnt happen. Sorry but i hope apple wins this one.



    so you dont care if theres any merit to the case, you dont want to know the facts

    you just hope apple wins
  • Reply 147 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Do you get dew inside your house?



    Do you leave your electronic gear lying out on your lawn?



    Have you ever been in Georgia in the summer and have your ac break? Its almost like rain.
  • Reply 148 of 176
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    All phone manufacturers use them apart from the cheapest phones where the cost of the sensors is too high e.g. $30 phones.



    Usually they are located in the battery compartment.



    They have been around for at least 10 years.



    Apple is acting no differently to any other phone manufacturer in regard to this issue.



    This will fail.



    Actually it should succeed and then people should sue all the other phone makers as well for denying claims relate to false indicators.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bradleysm View Post


    This is a fine story I suppose, but the fact is that every manufacturer does it.

    Every time I call Verizon for a warranty replacement on a user phone, they ask me to check the moisture indicators and remind me that if it gets back to the service center and they're triggered...I'll be billed full price for the replacement.



    This is true no matter what brand of smart phone (we don't have any dumb phones in inventory) I call about; BB, Moto, Palm, etc.



    Again, all these companies should be sued to honor their warranty and for using false indicators to dismiss their warranties. The fact that someone hasn't done it yet, or it hasn't achieved class action status doesn't make it right or wrong.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by skottichan View Post


    But, but... people on the internet!! They said that just being in an air conditioned room will set it off!!!



    Kind of amuses me, like people have said before, EVERY smartphone has a sensor, and EVERY carrier checks them, and will deny you warranty service if they're tripped. Yet, Apple's the bad guy.



    No, actually they can all be the bad guy.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    Having worked in the mobile phone industry for nine years I can tell that stories like these aren't confined to Apple.



    Taking personal responsibility for damaging something seems to be a hard thing for people to do.



    btw the gaps where a battery cover inserts into a phone provide ample space for moisture laden air to enter and condense, tripping moisture sensors.



    The fact that they can be tripped as you note here, for actions that are not truly damaging indicates the problem. Companies should find another way to check for moisture exposure that is accurate.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsenka View Post


    None of my 5 iPods have ever been in/under water. All of them have their moisture sensors triggered red.



    They're all off warranty and still working perfectly, so it's of no consequence to me, but the fact remains that every one of these never wet devices are indicating that they've all been submerged.



    I've never, ever dropped a phone or piece of electronics into the water. My last two phones, a Motorola Razr V3m and an LG Dare all through Verizon had their dots turn red both while never being near the water. I've not checked the indicators on my iPhone but it has never been in water as well. I'm not usually one to demand government intervention but since the radio waves that make up the cell industry are auctioned by the government and thus keep competitors out, the government has an obligation to make sure the companies treat consumers appropriately considering they are being given a sanctioned cartel status.



    In addition to this I hope someone sues or lawmakers demand that cell companies actually sell devices with warranties as long as the contracts they demand. It is not appropriate to sign someone to a two or three year contract, claiming it is related to subsidizing a piece of equipment only guaranteed to work one year.
  • Reply 149 of 176
    habihabi Posts: 317member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tofino View Post


    How do you know? On what do you base your opinion?



    Well if you know ANYTHING about manufacturing then you probably know that its impossible to make anything which will function 100% reliably. Good sensors might have a fail rate of promilles (like 1/1000:s of 1%). Typicaly a bad suplier of sensors might have a fail ratio of 1000:s of times worse than the better suppliers, like 2-3% of sensors. Usually cheaper sensors have a larger fail ratio (thats why they are cheaper). Dont know what these used sensors are graded to but im shure apple and the supplier knows this very well. I have stumbled on supliers that know that 2-3% of manufactured sensors are defect right out of the factory when tested there. How many do you think will fail later?
  • Reply 150 of 176
    habihabi Posts: 317member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by r00fus View Post


    I decided to get the replacement phone, and I am very careful with it now (no setting it near glasses of water, for example)... still wonder what it'd take to trip the sensor; I wonder if putting in my workout bag with sweaty clothes is gonna screw me.



    Well this is probably the reason for most sensors going of methinks.... Other than the failing sensors (failing in usage without a reason = bad sensor). It would indeed be really intresting to get info on the failrate (manufacturer knows this from QA).



    But its Apple that has to prove that the usage is not "normal". This even varies from country to country. (Im from Finland) If I speak outside and it rains mildly, it is seen as normal usage. If the phone fails the manufacurer is to blame for not protecting the internal parts well enough for normal operating environment of a mobile phone. A few raindrops shouldnt make your mobile break, neither should sweting..... No matter what any sensors say.
  • Reply 151 of 176
    habihabi Posts: 317member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Bageljoey View Post


    Well, my point is that the external sensors DO have value. The fact that they seem to have a significant level of false positives does not negate the value of the external sensors if that information is used properly.



    The main value of the sensors is that it can give you a very quick indication (with only a superficial examination) that the phone has not been submerged. There is no battery door on the iPhone, so without external sensors, this would not be possible. I imagine in the vast majority of warentee visits, this would save a lot of time and hassle. Imagine if every visit involved waiting for the device to be opened up!



    Now, of course I agree with you that the value of a positive indicator of an external sensor is limited, if it is true that the sensors are prone to false positives. IMO, the positives should only be used to say that further investigation is waranted.



    So to say that a positive indicator can't have value because it might be a false reading is bad logic because while the real value of the indicator is in the negative reading, that cannot exist without the possibility of the other.



    However, let me be clear. I am not saying that Apple's employees always use this information correctly or even that Apple's policies are correct--I do not know if their guidelines follow what I outline above. But I can easily sat that the indicator's value has to be nill because of false positives is bad reasoning.



    Well actually that depends on the normal failure rate of the sensors. eg what if it was 1/1000. What if the failing one was inside the phone and the outer was triggered by sweat? What do you think the genious is going to say When you deny that you submerged your phone?



    If you know the math, its pretty easy to win on this lottery!!! The fault isnt the sensors... Its how you use that information. You cant use them (moisture sensors) as unquestionable absolute truth. They have to be on the safe side when retracting warranty service. If you go down that road of just using the sensors then many false positives will materialize.
  • Reply 152 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post


    What does your issue have to do with indicator lights? Apple care generally has a good reputation. That doesn't mean it is not acting unfair in this instance.





    I'm very sorry. I was only trying to be informational. An FYI.



    Apple also upgraded my iLife @ no charge as well.

    Point being, they went far beyond the call of their duty for me.



    Pete
  • Reply 153 of 176
    hill60hill60 Posts: 6,992member
    So would you prefer a system where phones are not replaced on the spot but are sent away for assessment by technicians who will open the phone and assess it for liquid damage as part of verifying whether replacement is warranted.



    That is why they have thesE things, the high number of people with untripped sensors don't have to wait for such an assessment.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    Actually it should succeed and then people should sue all the other phone makers as well for denying claims relate to false indicators.







    Again, all these companies should be sued to honor their warranty and for using false indicators to dismiss their warranties. The fact that someone hasn't done it yet, or it hasn't achieved class action status doesn't make it right or wrong.







    No, actually they can all be the bad guy.







    The fact that they can be tripped as you note here, for actions that are not truly damaging indicates the problem. Companies should find another way to check for moisture exposure that is accurate.







    I've never, ever dropped a phone or piece of electronics into the water. My last two phones, a Motorola Razr V3m and an LG Dare all through Verizon had their dots turn red both while never being near the water. I've not checked the indicators on my iPhone but it has never been in water as well. I'm not usually one to demand government intervention but since the radio waves that make up the cell industry are auctioned by the government and thus keep competitors out, the government has an obligation to make sure the companies treat consumers appropriately considering they are being given a sanctioned cartel status.



    In addition to this I hope someone sues or lawmakers demand that cell companies actually sell devices with warranties as long as the contracts they demand. It is not appropriate to sign someone to a two or three year contract, claiming it is related to subsidizing a piece of equipment only guaranteed to work one year.



  • Reply 154 of 176
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 5,043member
    The person suing is pointing out that cold weather and humidity can trip these sensors and I believe a number of people here have made similar claims even one person said something about taking it into the bathroom when you take a hot shower should not trips this.



    Well folk if you read Apples specs they say the temp and humidity condition it design to work in and it had one catch they all saw non-condensing Humidity. If you take you phone into a condition when water may condense out of the air on to or in your phone you voided the warranty and operating conditions.



    For those of you who do not understand how this can happen, here is the physics, and it pretty simple. if at any time the temperature of the phone is below the dew point of condensation temperature water which in is in air well immediately condense on the surfaces and possible inside the phone.



    The higher of the humidity the smaller the delta between the air temp and the condensation temp. This happen most often in the winter. People are outside with the laptop or phone and walk inside which is higher temp and higher humidity and immediately water will condense on the cold surface of the phone of Laptop. You even wonder why when you outside with glasses on in the winter and walk into a building and your glasses fog up, this is why.



    This exact condition can also trip these indicators. You all can argue whether this is fair or not but condensing humidity is outside the operating spec of the product.
  • Reply 155 of 176
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by hill60 View Post


    So would you prefer a system where phones are not replaced on the spot but are sent away for assessment by technicians who will open the phone and assess it for liquid damage as part of verifying whether replacement is warranted.



    That is why they have thesE things, the high number of people with untripped sensors don't have to wait for such an assessment.



    I would prefer a system where people do not suffer monetary damages via false allegations related to indicators that do not indicate what they are declared to indicate. That problem is for Apple and others to solve. They are the ones who want to weed out who is returning items with false claims. They have no right to cause damages to others out of fear a fractional percentage might be trying to have their warrantied honored in an instance where they have invalidated it. The default presumption within the warranty period should be that equipment failed. If they want to invalidate the warranty, it is the manufacturer who should have the extra burden, not the consumer. The consumer is the party committing to a device costing hundred of dollars and and a two year contract often costing a couple thousand.



    The phones are under contract when they are within their warranty period. You replace the phone and then if some one is truly found negligent, you can charge it to the bill they are still contracted to pay monthly. How hard is that? You can do exactly what Apple does with items like batteries, they send out the replacement while they have a card number for charges and then you get charged if you don't return the phone being warrantied or if the phone has provable liquid damage, aka not indicators that turn pink when sitting in your pocket, walking from indoors to outdoors repeatedly, or goodness knows what.



    Again, you noted these can easily be tripped and that all manufacturers engage in this behavior. It sounds exactly like a problem calling out for a solution beyond a class action lawsuit but even if that is the only remedy, it makes good sense to offer products that actually perform for the term of the contracts offered otherwise it is proof of bad faith on the part of one of the parties.



    I mean think about it. Does it sound like good faith for a business to be signing parties to two year contracts for cell service using a cell device only guaranteed to work for one year? When the phone fails, or fails to have the warranty honored due to little pink stickers, the suggested recourse by most companies is to offer another phone and a contract extension. It automatically suggests a situation whereby you can never get out of contract unless you "luck" into a circumstance where your phone doesn't fail.
  • Reply 156 of 176
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    The person suing is pointing out that cold weather and humidity can trip these sensors and I believe a number of people here have made similar claims even one person said something about taking it into the bathroom when you take a hot shower should not trips this.



    Well folk if you read Apples specs they say the temp and humidity condition it design to work in and it had one catch they all saw non-condensing Humidity. If you take you phone into a condition when water may condense out of the air on to or in your phone you voided the warranty and operating conditions.



    For those of you who do not understand how this can happen, here is the physics, and it pretty simple. if at any time the temperature of the phone is below the dew point of condensation temperature water which in is in air well immediately condense on the surfaces and possible inside the phone.



    The higher of the humidity the smaller the delta between the air temp and the condensation temp. This happen most often in the winter. People are outside with the laptop or phone and walk inside which is higher temp and higher humidity and immediately water will condense on the cold surface of the phone of Laptop. You even wonder why when you outside with glasses on in the winter and walk into a building and your glasses fog up, this is why.



    This exact condition can also trip these indicators. You all can argue whether this is fair or not but condensing humidity is outside the operating spec of the product.



    No one need figure out whether it is fair or not or even that the parties were thought to have agreed to it. A jury of reasonable people only need be convinced that the terms of the warranty are bad faith terms. When presented with the information above, that walking from outside a building into a building constitutes breach, the jury will find that the legal language constitutes bad faith and find for the plaintiff. Cell phones are clearly meant to be mobile and that includes moving from indoors to outdoors. If you cannot do that you were not sold a mobile phone which would be considered deceptive advertising as well.
  • Reply 157 of 176
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lvsteven View Post


    Well I've returned phones to the apple store which have a red indicator on the dock.

    The phones have never been exposed to water but they've been in a humid bathroom and in my pocket in the summer.



    Oh yeah, I live in las Vegas where it gets upwards of 45 C or 115 F quite often and I sweat.

    On top of that we go inside/outside and the temps fluxuate between that hot and a cool 72f / 21 C air conditioned condition.



    Point is they do get triggered. And apple won't deny you for one of them. But they will b triggered without actual moisture.

    .



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Stevie View Post


    FWIW, I've heard reports of them being activated by being taken out of heavy AC and into a humid outdoors. Or by being used in the gym, while exercising.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by r00fus View Post


    on my 32GB 3GS with battery issues. The phone was effectively not idling, so it had a nice unusable battery standby of say, 2-3 hours.



    I had previously gotten it a bit wet (minor splash from a glass of water), but as soon as I mentioned it to the store, they basically told me my options were limited, and to get a replacement I'd have to shell out $200 (which is the subsidized price, not full price, $500).



    All of the above examples are great explanations of why the whiners are wrong.



    If the device gets wet, the electronics can be damaged - and Apple should not be responsible. The funny thing is that all of these people think they're false positives - but they're not.



    Take a cold phone out on a hot, humid day and water will condense. Take a phone into a humid bathroom where you're taking a shower and water will condense. Sorry, folks, but Apple is entirely within its rights to block warranty coverage when the phone gets wet - and ever single example above shows that the phone was abused.



    You don't need to drop a phone in the toilet for it to get wet.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by WilliamG View Post


    I base my opinion on the numerous news stories written about the situation.



    Bad move. Read articles in the press. If 0.01% of iMacs have a problem, the press talks about 'widespread' problems. EVERYTHING gets blown out of proportion.



    You'll notice that none of those press reports talks about what percentage of items are defective (other than some schmuck who has no way of knowing making up ridiculous figures). The press thrives on making mountains out of molehills.



    Not to mention, of course, that the press would jump on examples like the ones above and claim that they were false positives--when they clearly are not.



    [QUOTE=tawilson;1614243]All electronic devices work under "normal humidity" which I think goes upto about 60% for the iPhone.



    At 60%+ humidity the phone isn't guaranteed to work. So if the indicator triggers because of that (60%+ humidity) then Apple doesn't haven't to replace it, as they say it won't work in those cases./QUOTE]



    Not quite. The iPhone warranty specifies 95%. The problem is that it specifically says 'noncondensing'. So those of you who take a 72 degree iPhone out into 100 degree, 95% RH weather are going to get condensation - and violate your warranty. That's too bad, but it's not Apple's problem. They can't change the laws of physics to suit you.
  • Reply 158 of 176
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by trumptman View Post


    No one need figure out whether it is fair or not or even that the parties were thought to have agreed to it. A jury of reasonable people only need be convinced that the terms of the warranty are bad faith terms. When presented with the information above, that walking from outside a building into a building constitutes breach, the jury will find that the legal language constitutes bad faith and find for the plaintiff. Cell phones are clearly meant to be mobile and that includes moving from indoors to outdoors. If you cannot do that you were not sold a mobile phone which would be considered deceptive advertising as well.



    You have it backwards. The problem is taking your phone from indoors (air conditioned) outdoors into a hot humid area. When you do that, water condenses (if you wear glasses, you know this already). That's not within Apple's control - it's simple physics/chemistry. That means that the phone gets wet when you do it - and wet phones are not covered by the warranty - no matter how much you wish they could be.



    I think it's also worth pointing out that Apple consistently has the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry. If they were intentionally ripping off their customers, do you think that would be the case?



    It's not bad faith at all, except possibly on the part of those people who are trying to get Apple to replace their phones after they get wet.
  • Reply 159 of 176
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,464member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    You have it backwards. The problem is taking your phone from indoors (air conditioned) outdoors into a hot humid area. When you do that, water condenses (if you wear glasses, you know this already). That's not within Apple's control - it's simple physics/chemistry. That means that the phone gets wet when you do it - and wet phones are not covered by the warranty - no matter how much you wish they could be.



    I think it's also worth pointing out that Apple consistently has the highest customer satisfaction ratings in the industry. If they were intentionally ripping off their customers, do you think that would be the case?



    It's not bad faith at all, except possibly on the part of those people who are trying to get Apple to replace their phones after they get wet.



    It is within Apple's control as they can sell a phone where the interior is not accessible by outside air that would contain the condensation or they can design the phones to be tolerant of such changes. You make the point exactly. If it is a known variable that no consumers could be expected to avoid and consumers are suffering damages due to it, then it is a bad faith agreement. It would be no different than Apple declaring that breathing on the phone while speaking into it invalidates your warranty. If no consumer can honor the terms, then the terms are made in bad faith. It is why the legal definition of bad faith exists.



    As for having the highest customer satisfaction ratings, that is besides the point. Damages are damages and likewise if the rest of the industry is acting in worse faith, it doesn't excuse bad faith.



    You say that it is not bad faith, but note that a regular person using the phone in a regular manner is very likely to invalidate the warranty. That is the very definition of bad faith. If you are sold a mobile phone and cannot use it in a mobile manner, walking from indoors to outdoors, then it was sold in bad faith.
  • Reply 160 of 176
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by easy288 View Post


    Deny warranty repairs = bigger profits.



    I would like someone to test this indicator in a bathroom after a long hot shower.



    I test this every day, still white as a ghost. Still, if you live close to the Ocean (which I do not) there is not telling what salt air might do to those things, sure wreaks havoc on cars.



    By the way, Apple isn't the only one using these sensors & they are found on nearly all mobile phones on the market now. Take the battery plate of your phone & more than likely you will see one, though some have a red marking on them & they are looking to see if that has dissolved to pink. Apple might own the patent or something on the specific ones they use but the concept is now used widely in the market since water damage can be very hard to detect.
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