Airpods Degraded/Uneven Battery - Apple Support - My Story

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by Sovon Halder, Apr 2, 2018.

  1. Sovon Halder macrumors 6502

    Sovon Halder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Location:
    India
    #1
    It's been about a year I purchased a my Airpods and have never misused them like dropping in water etc.

    Recently I've noticed that i'm getting little over 3 hours of music/movie playback from Airpods. It used to be over 4 hours earlier. Checked this on both my iPhone & macs.

    Also the left airpod now seems to have lower battery. All the time. It discharges till 30% evenly, both right and left, then all of a sudden, the left starts to drop drastically. Typically at twice the rate of right airpod. For example, when right would be 21%, left would be 9%. And when the left goes to 0, the right still has 9-10% left in it. Then as soon as I plug both in the case, the left shows 12-15% charged and right 10-11%. The music continues until the left drops to 8-9% and goes dead.

    I've tried discharging both of airpods till zero, reset the airpods, reset connection to mac and iPhone. At this point I need to know whether this is a hardware malfunction; cause if it is, I'll need to give Apple center a visit.
     
  2. LordEntropy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #2
    It might be worth a call with Apple. I am seeing degradation of my AirPods as well. I need to test them out but I reckon I will get 3 hours or less from them.

    Other people are saying they are fine after a year so it may be a bad batch of batteries.

    I understand that batteries will degrade overtime, whether they are used or not but I think degradation of this level is not right.

    I am meaning to get my AirPods to an Apple shop but the nearest one is a way from me and I haven’t found the time yet to go over and have a Genius appointment.

    Will be interested if you speak to them and see what they say.
     
  3. Sovon Halder thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sovon Halder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Location:
    India
    #3
    I've gone through almost all the threads in this forum that are regarding Airpods and battery life. People's experience is like 50-50. SOme people are saying their pair works just as fine as day one. And there are people who are saying they used to get 4.5 hours when they bought , and DUE TO HEAVY USE, it degraded to 3.5 after a year.

    I'll call the apple centre but it's too far away from where I live. I'll keep this thread updated.
     
  4. LordEntropy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #4
    Ok so this is interesting.

    Went to my local Apple store. Local being 40 miles away. I was collecting something else but I thought I would ask about my AirPods.

    The first guy I spoke to said that even if they were out of warranty, which they are, they may well replace them if they think they are faulty. He asked me to go and speak to another guy who manages the Genius appointments.

    So I went to speak to the other guy. Without explaining what the previous guy had said, he also said that they may replace my AirPods, if they think they are faulty even though they are out of warranty.

    So I find that interesting. In theory they are out of warranty but Apple may offer to replace them anyway if they test them and find them to be in solid condition physically but the batteries are screwed.

    This makes me think that there is a known issue they are keeping quiet but will replace faulty pairs if they find them.

    I didn’t have time to go to a Genius appointment today but have booked one for next Saturday so will report back after that.
     
  5. Sovon Halder thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sovon Halder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Location:
    India
    #5
    Thank you for sharing the update. This is mine.

    I contacted apple over chat and got an appointment booked but the staff booked for a wrong date; different than what I mentioned. I noticed that at the end of the day when I had to contact again to re-schedule because I couldn't reschedule it myself. Neither the staff could because of some server issue. Anyways, they put a separate assignment after a very annoying time of being on hold.

    Regardless, went to the store at the right time yesterday only to find that they are not serving the queue. This isn't uncommon in India specifically where people doesn't respect they cue system. The iCare agents were serving multiple customers at the same desk at the same time. I was told to wait even though it was 25 minutes past my appointment time which was at 3PM. When I asked, they told me that even if I have an appointment, I gotta take a coupon/token and wait. What dafaq! I don't understand. This was the store where I purchased my laptop from. I only visited the store front and didn't actually go inside the service centre which is in the abck.

    Anyways, long story short, they took my airpods. They told their technician would "examine it"; even though they didn't notie down what I was saying the issue I've been noticing was. They gave me an estimate of 7-8 days; after that they would contact me with updates.

    Not impressive.
     
  6. LordEntropy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #6
    I an expecting them to test them there and then. It won’t take long to test them. They will need to use them for maybe 10-15 mins and see what battery drain they are getting. 5 hours use is 20% per hour, 10% every 30 mins. I am draining 10% in 10 mins. Easy to see I would hope.

    I think I may have more rights here. Both people at the Apple shop I spoke to spoke of consumer rights, which I think means that as the AirPods have degraded so quickly in such a short space of time, despite being out of warranty, I am still entitled to some help. Especially if the AirPods are in good condition, which they are. I have used them but not excessively and despite their age they shouldn’t have lost so much battery life just yet.

    Anyway , I will report back.
     
  7. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #7

    I was "lucky" enough to get a pair very soon after launch. As the year rolled on I had to exchange them 3 times until I finally got a pair that didn't go wonky or conk out on me within a few months. All those bad pairs would charge unevenly, sometime one would just stop charging. Sadly, I've now lost that pair that was working well. D'oh!

    But I'm confused that they took your buds -- there is nothing to examine based on my experience with my visits to Apple Geniuses. I would come in, show them on my phone how one bud wasn't charging right or acknowledged by my iPhone. They'd to the standard unpair/repair just to make sure then once confirmed they'd go in the back and get a white box replacement. Two occasions they gave me a complete "new" set, both buds and a case. Once, they gave me a case and L bud.

    If your AirPods are out of warranty check to see if your credit card offers extended warranty. Many do. I've had stuff repaired/replaced that way many times with AMEX. Just get a repair estimate from Apple and file a claim.
     
  8. Sovon Halder thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sovon Halder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Location:
    India
    #8
    Hearing your story makes me jealous and upset.

    Update - Disappointment

    Today afternoon, after 4 days, I got this a mail from iCare (apple authorised service centre). Just see the Diagnosis part to see how pathetic their response is.

    Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 8.44.26 PM.png

    I called their centre to talk to the "technician". I couldn't. Ultimately I sent them a mail.
    Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 8.46.03 PM.png

    To which they replied with this...

    Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 8.47.08 PM.png

    To which I replied with this...
    Screen Shot 2018-04-10 at 8.48.55 PM.png

    I talked to apple customer care. They told me to collect it since the centre says it's serviced if the issue still exists, I could visit another service centre. I'm curious how the hell can they tell me that they serviced it. How the F can they service an Airpod without destroying it. Apple doesn't even have any retail store in India, let alone repair shops.

    Didn't hear back from anyone after that. Maybe tomorrow they will tell me to go f**k off.

    Just great.

    Never come to India.
     
  9. LordEntropy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #9
    OK, that sucks. I had a similar issue years ago with Casio regarding a watch. I detailed what the issue was and how to recreate it and they would keep sending it back saying there was no issue. Yet I was immediately able to recreate the issue as soon as I got the watch out of the package.

    Maybe another service center may help. It will be interesting as to whether I get any luck this Saturday. I am doing an 80 mile round trip so I won't be too impressed if I get the brush off.
     
  10. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    #10
    Clearly Apple's level of customer service is different in the US than India, though it should be uniform. You are correct, AFAIK, there is no way to bench test an AirPod. In my case I had screen shots showing the uneven charging buds and bud that would not connect.

    You might try emailing Tim Cook (tcook@apple.com). It goes to executive CS. Since India is a market Apple is trying to grow they might be more interested in your story and poor treatment. I'd play up the India angle for sure. But make it short. Good luck.
     
  11. Sovon Halder, Apr 12, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2018

    Sovon Halder thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sovon Halder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Location:
    India
    #11
    Update 2.0 - Frustration, Anger & more Disappointments

    To my last mail on Tuesday, they did not reply back. More than 24 hours later I mailed them aghain asking whether there is an update. And they replied back with the same pre written set of text.
    Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 1.47.40 AM.png

    I tried calling this time, instead of mail. Turns out, there is no way to connect to the iCare office where my device at. The call goes to a centralised call centre located somewhere else in the country. Regardless, describing the situation to an agent & asking whether she can arrange a call from the technician, she tells me that I will get a call in an hour. 2 hours later I call them again saying that I didn't receive any call. After describing situation again, an agent tells me I'll definitely get a call by end of day. Didn't get any call that day.

    I go back to mailing again, saying the situation, mentioning that they didn't call me despite my repeated attempts of trying to get in touch with the technician. And again they reply back with the same pre written s**t.
    Screen Shot 2018-04-13 at 1.53.33 AM.png

    I left office early today and went to the iCare centre. I have never met a person more unprofessional, ignorant & rude than the woman (the technician) in my life so far. [Her name is Kalpana. If anybody is reading this from India and you live in Hyderabad, be aware of the Dilsukhnagar iCare care.] In all their bulls**t mails with pre-writen text they repeatedly mentioned to replicate the issue at the centre itself in front of them. When I asked to do the same, they told me to use some other device because something might be wrong with my phone. They disregarded me saying that, I had already tried with another iPhone, a MacBook Pro and an iMac, so I didn't argue further. Another "technician" gave his phone and I sat there for 35 minutes taking reading in my notepad in 5-7 minutes interval; the technician himself dictated the battery percentage. Turns out the buds discharged 30% in 35 minutes. Honestly I have never seen the battery drop that fast either; it was bad; but not quite that bad. So... I tell them to check it cause it's been a while.

    That lady "technician" was busy with her computer facing towards the opposite of the customers aisle, in a glass room with the door open. A junior agent takes the readings to the woman. It's hard to describe how her reaction was. I heard her saying to the agent that 30 minutes 30% is right; there is no problem. The technician comes back to me and tells me that she said "30 minutes 30% is right; there is no problem". I laughed and couldn't say anything.

    The events that took place in the next 15 minutes changed my mind about this franchise Imagine. Never again I'm stepping a foot in their store, after I get this situation solved. The lady started arguing saying that they(she and another technician) "diagnosed" it and they found it to be working fine. She said about 10 times that - she played music for 1 hour 30 minutes and it only dropped 6%; which would be like 25 hours in a single charge. And each time I told her that it's wrong, whatever they have done is wrong, mathematically speaking. I kept telling them that I literally just sat on your face taking reading from YOUR technician's phone. Look at the battery. it's not okay. She kept arguing, what can say sir, we tested, the battery is right, we can't do anything, if you have any problem contact Apple please. I told her YOU ARE Apple. I was like what the f**k are you talking about!! She was acting crazy, the head technician. She tells me 1% per minute isn't a battery issue. Why in the hell can someone argue with a person like this??? Note that - Imagine is the biggest apple franchise in India, and the only franchise in many states.

    With some difficulty. I called Apple main customer care, long conversations took place where I described s**t to two different support agent. I was told to submit my device to them again. They took my Airpods again to diagnose. I came home empty handed with zero positivity about the situation. In the evening, the way the technician told the agent that go tell the customer he can check about battery whatever he wants; and the way she disregarded the readings that I took literally sitting 6 feet away from them; hence disregarding my effort & my time, earns them a big slap across the face.

    I take my statement from the early post back. Come to India. But never visit Apple authorised reseller Imagine.
     
  12. Sovon Halder thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sovon Halder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Location:
    India
    #12
    11 Days later : Update 3.0

    I just got back from the iCare centre. They gave me two new airpods (left and right), didn't replace the case - perfectly fine by me.

    Listening music connecting to my iPhone. 10% dropped in 31 minutes. Perfect.
     
  13. LordEntropy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #13
    Glad you got that sorted out ok.

    Ok so that makes me think then that I should do some more testing and then go back to Apple if I think mine are defective.

    So can I just confirm how old yours are please?
     
  14. Sovon Halder thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sovon Halder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Location:
    India
    #14
    11 Months 10 days. :D
     
  15. LordEntropy macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2007
    #15
    Mine are a bit older but the more I think the more I believe the degradation I have experienced may be excessive.

    I am out all day Saturday when I will be able to give them a good test. After that I will decide what to do. But I think if I decide to take it further then I am going to Tim Cook direct. I know he won’t read it himself but someone will take a look at the situation I am sure.
     
  16. Sovon Halder thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sovon Halder

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2016
    Location:
    India
    #16
    Replacing parts of a product like this isn't very common for Apple, in India, as far as I know. Apple is spreading business more on the support side these days I guess.
     

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