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Old May 13, 2012, 10:24 AM   #1
Roc P.
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Question Are replacement iPads refurbished? (Please Help!)

Hi. Ok, so I went to the genius bar today to get my iPad 2 looked at. I have been having an unresponsive volume down button, as referenced in this previous thread I made:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...4#post14846884

The genius at the Apple store said they would replace my iPad. However, a previous worker had told me over the phone that I would get a brand new, in the box, never before opened replacement. Thats not the case. I would be getting an out of box iPad.

I am under the impression that the replacements they give out are refurbished iPads that other customers have brought in and that Apple has fixed. What are the facts? I have heard horror stories about replacements being worse than the originally owned one being brought it. Any info is greatly appreciated, thank you!!

I chose to decline the replacement. I still have 9 months in my warranty. If it gets worse, I will bite the bullet. Last thing I want is another iPad that has some other issue down the road. It's likely that my iPad will not get any worse. Nothing else is wrong with it.
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Old May 13, 2012, 12:47 PM   #2
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They are refurbs unless none are available.
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Old May 13, 2012, 12:57 PM   #3
Roc P.
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Originally Posted by skubish View Post
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They are refurbs unless none are available.
Thats what I was afraid of. It's unfortunate that I spent about $700 on a defective product and I can't even get a brand new replacement.
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Old May 13, 2012, 01:30 PM   #4
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What if Apple took your iPad and:
Replaced the broken volume switch.
The rear housing.
The front glass.
Clean roomed it.
Replaced and readjusted to tolerance everything in the entire platform.

And did it all on the same manufacturing platform along with all the other iPads

Would you be ok with that?

Products are taken apart, repaired, replaced, and reassembled so that the only way to tell is a different serial number.
(and some internal marks that you will never know about)

NOBODY knows how many times their original factory iPad made that me trip up and down the line.

And when people whine, and moan, and complain, that they want, what they think is a new one.

It all comes from the SAME place that made what you call a defective product in the first place.
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Old May 13, 2012, 01:48 PM   #5
Roc P.
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Originally Posted by noteple View Post
What if Apple took your iPad and:
Replaced the broken volume switch.
The rear housing.
The front glass.
Clean roomed it.
Replaced and readjusted to tolerance everything in the entire platform.

And did it all on the same manufacturing platform along with all the other iPads

Would you be ok with that?

Products are taken apart, repaired, replaced, and reassembled so that the only way to tell is a different serial number.
(and some internal marks that you will never know about)

NOBODY knows how many times their original factory iPad made that me trip up and down the line.

And when people whine, and moan, and complain, that they want, what they think is a new one.

It all comes from the SAME place that made what you call a defective product in the first place.
You do have a valid point. I agree that there is no guarantee how many times even a brand new in a sealed box iPad went up and down the line, I suppose it just gives me more peace of mind knowing that it's fresh from the factory. Even then though it still seems like it's hit or miss.

To me, it just seems odd to pay full retail price for a refurbished product. When you buy a refurbished product, it is generally at a lower price point. So by them replacing my iPad with a refurbished one, I am essentially paying full retail price for a refurbished iPad.

Would you go into Apple and pay the full retail price for a refurbished product?
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Old May 13, 2012, 01:49 PM   #6
Fattytail
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I got a refurb replacement for my iPad 2 that is just absolutely flawless.

Meanwhile, I got a brand new unit as a replacement for my crappy iPad 3. Turned out to be even crappier the second time around.
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Old May 13, 2012, 01:53 PM   #7
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That is not what is really happening. You are asking for warranty service. Apple can repair or replace at their pleasure. If you come in within the first 2 weeks after purchase, I believe they give you a new one.
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Old May 13, 2012, 01:55 PM   #8
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You said your iPad has 9 months left of warranty, which means it's 3 months old. So it's not new. Why do you expect a new one then?
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Old May 13, 2012, 02:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Fattytail View Post
I got a refurb replacement for my iPad 2 that is just absolutely flawless.

Meanwhile, I got a brand new unit as a replacement for my crappy iPad 3. Turned out to be even crappier the second time around.
Well, that's good about your iPad 2 replacement, it's definitely food for thought that I will take into consideration. Sucks about your iPad 3rd generation though.
I am getting the impression that it's hit or miss no matter what you get from Apple these days. I love Apple and own 2 iMac's, 1 MacBook, 1 Apple TV 2, 1 iPod Touch 4th Gen and 2 iPod Nano's but it seems like it's playing russian roulette sometimes. Today I didn't want to play. I have 9 months left in my warranty, so maybe in a few months I will just get a replacement and take my chances. I mean, by keeping the defective iPad I already own I am taking my chances anyway I guess. What a bummer.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjinha View Post
You said your iPad has 9 months left of warranty, which means it's 3 months old. So it's not new. Why do you expect a new one then?
3 months doesn't seem that old to me, and since it's a defect with the unit and not something I did to it, that's why I expected a new one. However, like someone stated above, Apple has every right to offer what they offer and that's why I didn't make a fuss with them or argue. I just declined and left.

I have never really dealt with warranty service before except to get the logic board replaced on my MacBook once, and to exchange an iPad 2 I bought for my mom that kept restarting on it's own out of the box. I suppose I may have been misinformed. One of their own employees told me over the phone that if they replaced my iPad, I would get a brand new one.

Last edited by Roc P.; May 13, 2012 at 02:08 PM.
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Old May 13, 2012, 02:10 PM   #10
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What i heard in the past that the refurbs are returned products that have almost completely new innards. The product is also thoroughly tested. You are more likely to get a bad new one than a bad replacement. This is just what i heard through the internet grapevine and i have no means of validation, so take it with a pinch of salt.
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Old May 13, 2012, 02:20 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by smeggsmeg View Post
What i heard in the past that the refurbs are returned products that have almost completely new innards. The product is also thoroughly tested. You are more likely to get a bad new one than a bad replacement. This is just what i heard through the internet grapevine and i have no means of validation, so take it with a pinch of salt.
That is what I am gathering as well. Makes me feel a little more comfortable if it's true.
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Old May 13, 2012, 02:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Roc P. View Post
Thats what I was afraid of. It's unfortunate that I spent about $700 on a defective product and I can't even get a brand new replacement.
That's how it goes, but you would never have noticed.
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Old May 13, 2012, 02:26 PM   #13
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In the 'oldern days' we used to have to get the TV repair man out and be without TV for days/weeks or if electrical item broke like a computer they sent it away for repair and you were without.

So taking an ipad in and getting an instant replacement sounds a fantastic deal to me
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Old May 13, 2012, 02:49 PM   #14
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I've always wondered about the refurb argument. I know it is frustrating to spend all of the money on a new device only to have it replaced with something "used."

However, when you walk in the door, you are giving them a used device. You have used it. They are giving you a used device back. Most likely in better condition than the one you gave them, else you would not be there in the first place.

Seems to me, that it is a pretty good deal.
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Old May 13, 2012, 02:55 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by DollaTwentyFive View Post
I've always wondered about the refurb argument. I know it is frustrating to spend all of the money on a new device only to have it replaced with something "used."

However, when you walk in the door, you are giving them a used device. You have used it. They are giving you a used device back. Most likely in better condition than the one you gave them, else you would not be there in the first place.

Seems to me, that it is a pretty good deal.
Yup, this is the way people need to think about refurbs. Spot on.
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Old May 13, 2012, 02:57 PM   #16
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If you put a brand new retail boxed iPad on the table alongside a refurbished one from the genius bar and mixed them up so nobody could tell which was which, neither you, I, nor anyone else in these forums would be able to tell the difference...apart from the serial number (sometimes). You think your "broken" iPad wasn't passed though other people's hands during production? I don't see what the issue is here, swap it out and enjoy the replacement! Would you just rather keep the broken one? There will never be any cosmetic signs of another person using it previously. It will have passed through a factory anyway!
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Old May 13, 2012, 03:04 PM   #17
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I believe the term refurbished has gained a bad connotation, genes why they sell at lower prices. Just because it's not new doesn't mean it's garbage. But don't think it's gonna have completely new innards or screen. Apple just like any other company is going to take the most direct and cost effective route. If the iPad was returned for a bad home button the will fix that problem, then say they see the back is scratched and the front screen is green around the edges of LCD. So they will replace the back and front to make it an acceptable product for someone to have.
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Old May 13, 2012, 03:07 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Defender2010 View Post
If you put a brand new retail boxed iPad on the table alongside a refurbished one from the genius bar and mixed them up so nobody could tell which was which, neither you, I, nor anyone else in these forums would be able to tell the difference...apart from the serial number (sometimes). You think your "broken" iPad wasn't passed though other people's hands during production? I don't see what the issue is here, swap it out and enjoy the replacement! Would you just rather keep the broken one? There will never be any cosmetic signs of another person using it previously. It will have passed through a factory anyway!
Yeah I hear ya, and I guess that makes sense. I guess I am just bummed about having gotten 2 defective iPads in the first place. One was for my mom and exchanged a couple days after purchase for a brand new one because it kept restarting on it's own. The other one is the one I currently own. I guess the real issue is that I need to come to terms with the fact that a refurb can be just as good as brand new, and either one can have defects.
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Old May 13, 2012, 03:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Roc P. View Post
Yeah I hear ya, and I guess that makes sense. I guess I am just bummed about having gotten 2 defective iPads in the first place. One was for my mom and exchanged a couple days after purchase for a brand new one because it kept restarting on it's own. The other one is the one I currently own. I guess the real issue is that I need to come to terms with the fact that a refurb can be just as good as brand new, and either one can have defects.
I guess it is a game of chance isn't it one can only hope for the best really...
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Old May 13, 2012, 03:40 PM   #20
Roc P.
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I guess it is a game of chance isn't it one can only hope for the best really...
Yeah, you're right. Thanks for the insight, I appreciate all the responses so far in this thread.
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Old May 13, 2012, 04:21 PM   #21
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I've had two iPod touches replaced with refurbs, and both units were perfect, and I couldn't tell any difference between them and the ones I turned in. I haven't needed to have any of my iPads replaced, but if it happened, I'd feel absolutely confident that any refurb units I got will perform just as good as any new units out of the box. In fact, the second touch I replaced, I was quite happy when the battery failed a few months before the warranty expired, as I knew I would be able to get a like-new unit that would likely last longer, since it would have a brand new battery built in.

I also agree with the posters who say that you are getting a used unit in exchange for your broken used unit, so it's a fair exchange. For products like the Mac computers, if there's a problem, they usually take your unit, repair it, and return it to you. They don't give you a brand new unit every time there is a problem, and I doubt you'll expect them to. The iPad is difficult to open up and fix, so they give you a refurb unit, but the principle is the same as with a defective Mac.
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Old May 13, 2012, 05:27 PM   #22
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I've had two iPod touches replaced with refurbs, and both units were perfect, and I couldn't tell any difference between them and the ones I turned in. I haven't needed to have any of my iPads replaced, but if it happened, I'd feel absolutely confident that any refurb units I got will perform just as good as any new units out of the box. In fact, the second touch I replaced, I was quite happy when the battery failed a few months before the warranty expired, as I knew I would be able to get a like-new unit that would likely last longer, since it would have a brand new battery built in.

I also agree with the posters who say that you are getting a used unit in exchange for your broken used unit, so it's a fair exchange. For products like the Mac computers, if there's a problem, they usually take your unit, repair it, and return it to you. They don't give you a brand new unit every time there is a problem, and I doubt you'll expect them to. The iPad is difficult to open up and fix, so they give you a refurb unit, but the principle is the same as with a defective Mac.
Indeed. I understand the points everyone is making and am starting to feel more comfortable with the idea of getting it replaced with a refurbished unit.
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Old May 13, 2012, 06:38 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc P. View Post
Hi. Ok, so I went to the genius bar today to get my iPad 2 looked at. I have been having an unresponsive volume down button, as referenced in this previous thread I made:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...4#post14846884

The genius at the Apple store said they would replace my iPad. However, a previous worker had told me over the phone that I would get a brand new, in the box, never before opened replacement. Thats not the case. I would be getting an out of box iPad.

I am under the impression that the replacements they give out are refurbished iPads that other customers have brought in and that Apple has fixed. What are the facts? I have heard horror stories about replacements being worse than the originally owned one being brought it. Any info is greatly appreciated, thank you!!

I chose to decline the replacement. I still have 9 months in my warranty. If it gets worse, I will bite the bullet. Last thing I want is another iPad that has some other issue down the road. It's likely that my iPad will not get any worse. Nothing else is wrong with it.
One VERY important thing to consider:When your iPad is replaced the warranty is NOT restarted.In other words if you exchange your iPad 30 days before warranty expiration the replacement device has a 30 day warranty.
Put another way,a one year warranty means Apple will promise you have a working device for one year,regardless of the number of times you have to replace it.

For this reason I would exchange my defective iPad sooner rather than later to have the maximum time for any defects to show up.By waiting you are only shortening the "warranty" period on the replacement.
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Old May 13, 2012, 06:46 PM   #24
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One VERY important thing to consider:When your iPad is replaced the warranty is NOT restarted.In other words if you exchange your iPad 30 days before warranty expiration the replacement device has a 30 day warranty.
Put another way,a one year warranty means Apple will promise you have a working device for one year,regardless of the number of times you have to replace it.

For this reason I would exchange my defective iPad sooner rather than later to have the maximum time for any defects to show up.By waiting you are only shortening the "warranty" period on the replacement.
Yes exactly, thank you for reminding me about that and putting it in a different perspective. That actually makes a lot of sense. I haven't made another genius bar appointment yet but I most likely will this week.
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Old May 13, 2012, 08:54 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by smeggsmeg View Post
What i heard in the past that the refurbs are returned products that have almost completely new innards.
They have used circuit boards, but "refurbished iPad models also include a brand new battery and outer shell."

Quote:
The product is also thoroughly tested.
They're tested to "the same basic technical guidelines" as factory new, which means the same tests that let the bad one through in the first place

People try to claim that refurbs are "better than new", to which I always wryly reply, "Then why does Apple charge so much less?"

I buy Apple refurbs all the time, but only because they're cheaper, not because I think they're somehow better.
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