AirPod Customer Service Nightmare and why I'll never buy an Apple again

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by bfg110, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. bfg110 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    #1
    I just needed everyone on here thinking that AirPods can be replaced to know my customer service story. It is long but I think worth the read.

    On Friday, I contacted Apple support chat to buy two replacement Airbuds. I had seen on Gawker that they were available if lost. Unfortunately, mine went missing from their case while I was out with friends the previous week. After being placed on hold for an extended period, the rep returned announcing that they do not offer replacement devices but I could purchase a new set for $159. Being honestly concerned that I suspected Apple of having their employees try to sell new sets instead of replacement pieces, I asked for a manager to contact me. I informed the manager that I was suspect that the rep took five minutes to come back with false information and proclaimed that I felt a civic responsibility to contact the CA Attorney General to ensure that someone not as informed as me wouldn't be out more money than they have to in order to replace items. Was this jumping the gun? I'm not sure but it does bother me when a company doesn't know their own policies - particularly when it deals with consumer goods and consumer cash. The manager apologized for the incident and offered to sell the replacement buds. This manager called me back on Friday evening to get my serial number and take care of the transaction.

    As the manager called me back, he apologized again for the situation and informed me that he spoke to his manager and they decided that they're going to try to get me the two replacement pieces at no cost to me - they just needed to figure out how. I thanked him profusely and had a long conversation about where he was located (Texas) and various other personal issues back and forth. I was impressed with the care and attention and happy to have a long conversation with a stranger I've never met.

    We decided that I would pick up the replacements at the nearest store to my house. He called me back to let me know that no replacement pieces were available at that location and they were going to try a different method.

    At this point, the manager changed the subject as we were waiting for something to process and asked, "so you said these things were stolen huh?" I proceeded to tell him the story of what happened, how painful it was that it happened with friends and he seemed empathetic and understanding. I was very impressed by this call.

    I was placed on a brief hold and the manager came back to the line with a totally different tune. I was then informed that because I had just acknowledged that the items had been stolen and not lost, they were no longer going to send me replacements and I was now ineligible to purchase the replacement pieces - I would have to buy a new set entirely.

    I could not believe my ears and explained how after this call that is not happening. He maintained his position and offered me $100 to the apple hardware store. I said that's a joke, why don't you offer me the $130 and lets get those replacement pieces in hand. I was informed that this was not $100 credit to the apple store but valid on things such as hard drives, etc. After losing my mind I had to remind the manager that we are now at full circle, denying me a purchase of something clearly stated on the customer support page. I was told stolen is not lost (even though that is debatable - they are lost to me) and that I should probably file a report with the police department. There was no indication that this report would translate into my being able to purchase the "lost" item. I repeated his name and finished the call by saying that he was the highest person at Apple I was able to reach that day and I look forward to speaking again in the near future.

    My first apple computer was an Apple IIGS. I have loved this brand and have been a "fanboy" for as long as I can remember. I've never had a customer service experience in all of my years as horrifying as this. I was baited by Apple computer to admit something was stolen over $130 retail value. I have stuck with Apple over the years despite less than inspired hardware updates on their computers, purchased countless iPads and iPods for friends and family, and have only missed the iPhone 5. I am happy to say I will never purchase another Apple product. Shame on you and shame on your price gauging tactics that I have now witnessed through your customer service.
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    TL;DR: lost AirPods, Apple wouldn't replace them free of charge.
     
  3. bfg110 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    #3
    No. Apple won't replace them at replacement cost.
     
  4. Relentless Power macrumors P6

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #4
    I understand your frustration. But even you stated they were stolen and they are "Lost" by your interpretation. Apple doesn't share your view points of "Lost is equivalent to being stolen." Lost is exactly that, misplaced by accident without locating them. Stolen can be considered negligence and negligence isn't always covered.
     
  5. keysofanxiety, Jan 23, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017

    keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #5
    Because it's not a warranty failure, or even one earbud being lost. You lost them both.

    Sorry to be blunt, but it's like leaving your MacBook on a park bench, coming back to find it's not there, and furiously question why they won't sell you a new Mac for the cost of a Logic Board.

    Incidentally, where will you be purchasing from if not Apple? I only ask because if you gave the same story to any other OEM, they'd laugh you off the phone and wouldn't even humour you.

    I don't mean to sound unsympathetic; I do feel for you. It's horrible to lose an expensive device. But what you've encountered isn't any different to what you should expect. You lost a device, so you have to pay for a new one.
     
  6. Darth Kanaan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2017
    #6
    Actually, Apple could care less if they're lost or stolen. Gone is gone. The policy doesn't change, at least in the US. I call shenanigans. I see too many people every day in Customer Service trying to get over on companies they're calling and frankly the description here doesn't add up. It's not Apple's policy to switch stories mid interaction like that, and as previously noted, they simply do not care whether an AirPod is lost or stolen. Note right here in their own support article "Lost" and "Out of Warranty" are $69. Apple considers lost the same as out of warranty in this instance as the warranty doesn't cover loss. There is no mention of stolen as it simply doesn't matter. https://support.apple.com/iphone/repair/service/pricing

    I can, however, confirm that there's only one level of actual escalation at AppleCare. Once you're at Tier 2, there's no real going up from there.
     
  7. bfg110 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2006
    #7
    I assure you this is what happened. I simply wanted to purchase the replacements as stated on the support site. As a result of them looking into how to replace them based on their offer to "try," I was subsequently denied purchasing the replacements at all. I was not seeking a free device, simply purchase the replacements as stated on the support page. Even after being denied the free replacement, I was denied purchasing the lost replacements. I have no reason to post this here otherwise.
     
  8. ascender macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    #8
    Nope, have re-read the original post a couple of times and am still not quite sure what happened or what the beef is. Surely the best option is to just buy a new set from the store? I don't know what you thought Apple would do? I'm guessing they might also have a policy in place (which is still open to abuse) whereby they won't sell replacements in pairs because it opens up the possibility that a couple could buy one set, claim they lost them and then get two pairs to use with one case? Albeit hardly seems worth the hassle for the small saving.

    Thieving standards are really getting low if they're going to take AirPods and leave the case.
     
  9. AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #9
    The expectation is ridiculous, put this thread into the wasteland.
     
  10. trifid macrumors 65816

    trifid

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #10
    Actually losing them would be more negligent than theft, so I don't think that reasoning applies.

    I'm surprised by this case, I don't think there should be a distinction, lost is lost regardless of negligence or theft, right?
     
  11. willmtaylor macrumors G3

    willmtaylor

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2009
    Location:
    A Natural State
    #11
    @bfg110 , it too makes me bonkers when companies don't know their own policies and refuse to help customers.

    I frequently laugh at new posters in MRF who wax on about Steve's absence and the Apple of yesteryear being long gone. However, stories of this nature are cropping up more and more, and like you, it both saddens and frustrates me.
     
  12. Brian Y macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2012
    #12
    Apple are probably being cautious around "double loss" incidents, since I would imagine there are lots of people who would find 2 sets useful, sharing a case.
     
  13. Partridge macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2007
    #13
    Let's see. You bought AirPods. You lost AirPods.

    Apple offers a replacement single AirPod for $69. You lost both. So you need two of them which is $138.

    A full new set is $158.

    You're busting their balls over $20.

    The single bud replacement is a courtesy they provide to lessen the sting of single loss events while people get used to not having tethered earbuds. You lose BOTH of them? You just lost the whole damn thing. How are you entitled to a replacement. Buy a new pair.

    See if you can find another industry where this would work. I lost one of my shoes. I want a spare at a reduced cost. I lost BOTH my shoes. I want a new pair. Seriously??????
     
  14. Relentless Power macrumors P6

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #14
    Negligence is failing to take care or responsibility for something. In this case, the Airpods were lost on there behalf from being complacent, which; results in negligent behavior.

    Why do you think insurance companies don't cover lost items? Because the end result was the owner is negligent, as stated, the lost item was in your possession.

    Stolen can be construed as negligent. See Post #5 for a good example. If you leave your window open when your absent from your house and its burglarized, that's negligent behavior on many accounts, which insurance won't cover the stolen items.
     
  15. Septembersrain Contributor

    Septembersrain

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    I think we need a line here. If you lost both, you should buy a new pair. If everyone loses/get both stolen then pays the replacement price, they are going to end up making Apple raise the replacement cost.

    It's like a $20 difference. Just buy another pair. It's this type of attitude and gaming the system that ends up causing price increases.
     
  16. MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #16
    If you bought them using AMEX they cover theft for 90 days...

    But Apple doesn't cover theft... pretty simple clear cut fact. Lost is if you drop them down a sewer or some unfortunate accident. If they said they don't cover theft they don't cover theft. Check with your credit card company to see if they'll reimburse you. All should work so long as you have a police report.
    --- Post Merged, Jan 24, 2017 ---
    The OP is wrong, but you don't need to be a jerk about it. You don't like his post just move on and go smell a flower or something.
     
  17. trifid macrumors 65816

    trifid

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #17
    Right so we both agree that both lost or stolen item can be the result of negligence. By your own definition a lost item always implies negligence, while a stolen item doesn't necessarily imply negligence. But in this case, Apple here seems to honor lost item but not stolen? This is what I'm arguing it doesn't make any sense.
     
  18. MrXiro macrumors 68040

    MrXiro

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #18
    It doesn't need to make sense. If that is their rule that is their rule. If I have a rule that you can poop in the downstairs bathroom of my house but not the upstairs one and you go poop in the upstairs one anyway, so I kick you out. It's not cause I'm a jerk it's cause that is the rule that I impose in my house and you broke it.

    Do I think it's "fair"? No but hey as my wife tells her 12 year old daughter. "Life isn't fair."
     
  19. trifid macrumors 65816

    trifid

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    #19
    Please show me where on Apple's site is that policy explained.
     
  20. Relentless Power, Jan 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017

    Relentless Power macrumors P6

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #20
    I actually researched lost/stolen and couldn't find it in their policy. All the community forums I visit in Apple stated lost/stolen hardware is not covered for replacement. I called Apple moments ago and spoke Apple Jermaine (Senior Advisor) and he stated lost or stolen of ANY hardware is not covered under Apple's policy. I asked him if he could E-mail a link to this. He stated he would. I can post it when I receive it.

    Regardless, I think your being slightly pedantic. All that matters is Apple explained to the OP the Airpods will not be covered due to loss. I think your strafing away from what we already know.
     
  21. Korican100 macrumors 6502a

    Korican100

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    #21
    i think the disconnect here is, will apple honor the "lost a bud, purchase a bud" system they tout on their website?

    And why do I keep horror stories about it.
     
  22. AppleRobert, Jan 24, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017

    AppleRobert macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #22
    I am not being a jerk, they write this long winded post about Apple customer service WHICH FOLKS TOOK TIME TO READ and are looking for retribution with this scenario which is absolutely ridiculous and will not buy from Apple? Well ok I guess, they can do what they want.

    I have seen far less moved to the wasteland. We wasted our time so now I get my two cents worth and try to avoid others wasting their time.
     
  23. Relentless Power macrumors P6

    Relentless Power

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2016
    #23
    If this feature was available sooner for you. Then this perhaps this thread wouldn't exist.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...rpods-mode-for-locating-lost-airpods.2029181/
     
  24. igrover macrumors regular

    igrover

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    #24
    Why not order a brand new pair of AirPods and put the old charging case up for sale on eBay? You could probably get a decent price for the case alone and thus something to offset your loss.
     
  25. Fireball Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Fireball Dragon

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2012
    Location:
    Chigwell, England
    #25
    In this situation, I personally wouldn't even bother to ask them to replace. Getting two replaced is almost the same price as buying a new set (which comes with a charging case as well).

    I do feel for you, but this is just what I would do. Hope you find some way to get this sorted for yourself.
     

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