- - Terrible Apple Service on the iPhone
juxel 08-06-2007 11:54 AM
Terrible Apple Service on the iPhone
I just wrote this to the "Submit your iPhone story" for Apple to read and thought I'd share it with the rest of you.
I'm sure this isn't the type of iPhone stories you are looking for, but the iPhone has changed my last few weeks for the worse. I purchased the iPhone on the day it was released and absolutely loved it until the fateful day that my speaker died. The phone no longer rang when someone called, you could not use the speakerphone, or play music from the iPod without headphones.
Immediately, I ran to the computer and made an appointment at the Genius Bar in the Mall of America (MoA). My girlfriend and I let the dogs out and then zipped on our way to the MoA. When we got there we grabbed some Caribou Coffee and waited about 3 hours for my name to be called. The genius looked at the phone and saw the exact problem I was describing so he started filling out the paperwork for a repair.
The day my phone was supposed to be done I waited ever so patiently for the phone call that said it had arrived back at the store. I waited, and waited, and waited, but it didn't come. At 4pm I called and asked the gentleman who answered the phone to check to see if my iPhone had returned from service. He was extremely rude and short telling me that I would receive a call when they got it back. Very politely I explained to him that I was heading to the airport to catch a 6:30 flight out of town for work (if you are not familiar with Minneapolis/St. Paul, the airport is literally across the street from the MoA) and I wanted my phone for the trip. He put me on hold and a few minutes later I was speaking to another gentleman who was very polite who told me that the iPhone had arrived at 10am that morning but he hadn't had time to call me yet, but I could stop by anytime to get it.
I got to MoA to pick up the phone and the genius who helped me told me they replaced the phone unit with a new one. I was very excited to hear that as I hoped it would alleviate any other problems. He popped the SIM card in for me and I was off rushing to the airport to catch my flight. While on the plane I opened my laptop and restored the iPhone, and started using it in airplane mode to listen to some tunes.
About 30 minutes later I started to notice something not quite right with the screen. After looking at it more closely there are a yellow blemish on the screen that varied in intensity. Sometimes you could barely see it and other times it was very obvious. The liquid crystals in the area around this blemish were behaving very oddly. From what I know about LCD warranty issues, I know the vendors always like to blame "physical abuse" on it if there is any sign of damage at all so I immediately bundled up the iPhone and kept it same from any potential damage.
When I arrived home I went straight to the Apple store at the MoA again. Explained to the genius what had happened (I actually was working with the same genius who had sent the previous iPhone in for the speaker issue), and he took it in back to let some other people see it. At the time I brought it to the Apple Store the yellow blemish was in its recessed and barely noticeable state. The genius said he could see it, but from the sounds of it nobody in back could. There is a way to reproduce without fail an issue with the crystals that I showed them too. If you press in the area of the blemish with just a little more force than necessary to use the phone the area turns white and then the crystals slowly fade back into the colors they should be.
I was informed that this was "within spec" and not a warrantable issue, and if I wanted any other option I had to talk to Sam, the manager on the floor. I tracked down Sam and showed him the phone, explained the issue, and showed him the white fade-in. He initially was very rude to me telling me that over half the phones on the display table did the same thing, but then when I told him to take me over there and show me one that did it and I would shutup and leave he suddenly backtracked. He took the phone in back again, came out about 10 minutes later and told me that this was the best he could offer right now:
Keep using the phone, if it gets worse, as it probably will you have a warranty for another 11 months, 23 months if you buy the Applecare, and then when it is worse we'll service it for you.
This infuriated me. It was a completely unacceptable answer for 3 reasons.
1. This was supposedly a BRAND new phone that I just got after already having a problem with a different phone. There is not even so much as a scratch in the silver or any other sign of "use" on this phone shy of maybe a fingerprint. Also, if I continue to use the phone it's going to get some scratches on it, it might even slip out of my hand and fall to the cement sidewalk and have some nice "battle wounds", but when I bring it back in for repair because the LCD problem has gotten worse the genius is going to tell me it's not under warranty because there are signs of physical damage to the phone.
2. I was 1 day away from being past the limit with AT&T to cancel my TWO YEAR contract. If I would have went home and slept on it I would be stuck in a 2 year contract. This would have cost me at least $1400 with a $500 phone that has something wrong with it.
3. I should not get a phone in worse condition back from repair than I sent in. In my opinion a damaged LCD screen is MUCH worse than a broken speaker. I bet the speaker costs mere pennies whereas the LCD is one of the major costs in the phone. This is completely unacceptable.
Even after telling Sam why this was an entirely unacceptable solution he stood by it. In doing so he, and Apple, have lost a customer for life. I have been using, and advocating friends and family use Macs for years. In high school I was the reason my school switched from a PC school to an all Apple school. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent because of my advocation for the change, but now you have lost me.
It's sad that a company cares so little about a long time customer. I told Sam he had two options from where I stood.
1. Warranty the phone and fix the LCD issue, keeping a long-time customer.
2. Allow me to return the phone without the restocking fee because it's entirely unacceptable as is, also keeping a long-time customer.
He chose option 3. Allowing me to return the phone but still assessing me the restocking fee. I told him that this was unacceptable and immediately called American Express (a company that actually cares about their customers) to contest the charge. I explained to the lady what had happened and that they wouldn't service the phone or allow me to return it without the restocking fee and American Express immediately took it off my bill and opened their investigation.
I'm glad there is still at least one company out there that realizes that THE CUSTOMER COMES FIRST.