Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

Apple Now Allowing Band-Only Returns For Ill-Fitting Solo Loop

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,083
27,662
They actually are separate now (or at least they were when I purchased my series 5), there’s one box with the Watch and charger, and then the band in a separate box (the same box it would come in if you bought it individually) and those two items are put together in a fold up box which isn’t sealed. That’s why I thought it was silly that they weren’t just doing exchanges of the band right from the start.
I think they’re still treated as one SKU which is confusing.
 
Comment

Neepman

macrumors 6502a
Jul 31, 2008
544
729
They really need to make the watches a separate package from the bands moving forward... that way they can ship and do the combos more efficiently / faster.
No way they will ever do that. If they did a la carte, people would just buy cheaper knock off bands and save 30-40 bucks. Which is about 45 bucks or more that could leave apple's margin on each sale.
 
Comment

bdub786

macrumors member
Jun 15, 2010
37
21
Just got off the phone. Resolved in 29 minutes, involved talking to one computer and three people. All specialists were polite and the final one has clearly been doing this all day.

The biggest goof here is Apple releasing it for pre-order sale immediately after the Tuesday media event. Everyone knows Apple products quickly have long lead times if you don’t order within minutes of pre-orders opening up, so people hastily measured their wrists after the event and scrambled to order as quickly as possible. Apple should have released the sizing instructions/tool in advance of accepting pre-orders at a later date/time so people could confirm which size they want up front.

Also agreeing with others who have pointed out the hypocrisy of “protecting the environment” by not shipping the power adapter but forcing customers to buy a watch band when maybe the customer (like I do) have several bands from prior watches.
 
Comment

Sean Paquette

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2020
1
1
Ottawa, Ontario
On the phone with Apple now from Canada and the support person has no idea about this...

I just called from Canada as well and the person was great. They said I would be receiving my replacement braided solo loop band one size smaller within about 5 business days. I asked if I needed to return the band that came with the watch and they said to do that they would have to initiate the return on the whole watch order. So, giving customers a free band to fix a messed up sizing/ordering system seems about right. I’m happy with this and only spent 5 minutes on the phone. Looks like mileage varies. I’ll count myself lucky for today 😄
 
  • Like
Reactions: Howyalikdemapls
Comment

curdy

macrumors newbie
Jul 5, 2009
14
15
BC, Canada
I just called from Canada as well and the person was great. They said I would be receiving my replacement braided solo loop band one size smaller within about 5 business days. I asked if I needed to return the band that came with the watch and they said to do that they would have to initiate the return on the whole watch order. So, giving customers a free band to fix a messed up sizing/ordering system seems about right. I’m happy with this and only spent 5 minutes on the phone. Looks like mileage varies. I’ll count myself lucky for today 😄

Same thing happened to me in the end. Sending a size 9 solo loop and I don't need to return the size 10 that came with the watch.
 
Comment

Branmonkey

macrumors regular
Oct 2, 2016
120
104
Englewood, CO
No way they will ever do that. If they did a la carte, people would just buy cheaper knock off bands and save 30-40 bucks. Which is about 45 bucks or more that could leave apple's margin on each sale.

I meant to pair the two together for pick up... it would be way easier to have them apart so that you can create (especially at the store) more combos and get more customers their orders. Also, a lot of people already do other bands. I rarely buy extra besides what comes with the watch. I just mean the band shouldn't be IN the watch box so they can mix and match more to accommodate orders especially with the solo bands! Too tough to have specific boxes dedicated to only one band size!
 
  • Like
Reactions: ronntaylor
Comment

aardwolf

macrumors 6502
May 30, 2007
364
135
Confirmed. I just called in and did the whole process. They're expediting a new watch band to me, and I just send the old one back once I get the return packaging.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Howyalikdemapls
Comment

joeblough

macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2006
404
256
The biggest goof here is Apple releasing it for pre-order sale immediately after the Tuesday media event. Everyone knows Apple products quickly have long lead times if you don’t order within minutes of pre-orders opening up, so people hastily measured their wrists after the event and scrambled to order as quickly as possible. Apple should have released the sizing instructions/tool in advance of accepting pre-orders at a later date/time so people could confirm which size they want up front.

100% true, this is what happened to me. i just went into a store where i found that i needed a band 2 sizes smaller than what the instructions gave... the next size down did fit OK but i felt that after a while if it stretches out i might be unhappy, and the smallest of the 2 sizes did not hurt or anything so i went down 2.

unfortunately they didn't have the blue band in stock in the size i needed, so i opted for a green one. if i didn't do that they wanted to take the whole watch+band back and order me another one from scratch, which is stupid. i'm sure the lead times are up to a month or something now. when they told me that i told the guy helping me that i'd rather eat the $50 for a new watchband. luckily though they had the green one in stock.

covid wise, they were only letting about 15 customers into the store at a time but there were easily 15 apple employees in there as well. not super crowded. they took my temp and asked me to sanitize my hands a couple of times.
 
Comment

Senseotech

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2009
780
25
NC
Currently on hold after the first rep said I could either return the entire watch or just buy another band. Mentioned that's not what I seeing online and she dropped me onto a hold I guess to figure it out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Howyalikdemapls
Comment

Rogifan

macrumors Core
Nov 14, 2011
22,083
27,662
No way they will ever do that. If they did a la carte, people would just buy cheaper knock off bands and save 30-40 bucks. Which is about 45 bucks or more that could leave apple's margin on each sale.
So they’re forcing some people to spend money on a band they don’t need because somebody might choose to buy a 3rd party band? I’m guessing most new watch owners wouldn’t do that as it would be easier to just buy an Apple Watch/band combo from Apple. But it would benefit longtime Apple Watch owners who have a large selection of bands and don’t need any new ones.
 
Comment

joeblough

macrumors 6502
Sep 30, 2006
404
256
total disaster. because the band exchange was processed as a cancellation of the original apple watch order and a re-sale, they just cancelled my trade in... which, you guessed it, i shipped out via UPS yesterday. now i have no idea what is going to happen.

this is a total F-up on apple's part. just a complete CF.

edit: well, they tell me that the old watch will just get bounced back to me, and then i need to do a trade-in for a gift card, and then optionally call in to have them apply the gift card balance back to my apple card. sigh.
 
Last edited:
Comment

CodeCrusher

macrumors newbie
Oct 17, 2011
12
7
In case anyone is curious like I was, they are only doing the exchange for the solo loops. I bought a series 6 with the sport loop and hate the color of the band. I have several other bands from my last watch so not worth sending back the entire watch because of this. I was hoping this would be a new process for all bands but sadly not at the moment!!
 
Comment

rp2011

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2010
1,742
1,693
Yay Apple. It’s nice when a company tries to make things right.
 
Comment

bchah

macrumors newbie
Sep 16, 2015
5
46
Toronto
My journey so far trying to exchange an 11 for a 10:

- 45 minutes online chat - couldn't submit the replacement request despite multiple attempts, advised me to call in.

- 45 minutes phone chat - wouldn't replace, requires return first.

- 5 hours later, received a shipping label and order confirmation for a size 9, not 10 - with a lead time of 30 business days.

Want to do this properly but is this a 'nice guys finish last' scenario? Should I just be returning and re-purchasing the whole watch to avoid what's already looking like another wild Apple-goose chase?

🤦🏼‍♂️
 
Comment

n3sh

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2016
28
116
I called and they would not ship me a band first.
They want me to return it and wait 10+ days to receive replacement one.
 
Comment

n3sh

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2016
28
116
I don't want to ship the band back and then be at their mercy regarding ship times.

I will call again but the lady said that's the only option they have.
I told her that's not what I'm reading online but she didn't budge
 
Comment

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,738
1,043


Apple has reversed course and created an online band-only return method for customers who purchased an Apple Watch Series 6 or Apple Watch SE with the wrong size Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop band.

Apple's new Series 6 and SE models can be purchased with new Solo Loop or Braided Solo Loop band options that have no clasp or fastener, instead using stretch to fit over the hand. As there is no on-band sizing mechanism, the Solo and Braided Solo Loops come in nine sizes, leading to fit issues.


As we reported on Monday, customers who ordered and received a new Apple Watch with a Solo Loop or a Braided Solo Loop and then found that the band did not fit properly were told by Apple's staff that the only online return option involved returning the entire watch.

Following customer complaints and the attention the issue received, MacRumors can confirm that Apple has changed its policy and is now allowing bands to be swapped out online without the need to return the entire watch.

We were able to initiate an online band swap without needing to return the Apple Watch this morning, something that we were not able to do yesterday, suggesting the policy change happened today. Customers are able to send back the poorly-fitting band and will receive a new one when the old one is received.

GameClub exec Eli Hodapp, who first raised the return issue, was also able to initiate a return of his Braided Solo Loop without having to return his entire watch, and he was also provided with a free Sport Band for his trouble.


We have seen other anecdotal reports of similar situations on Twitter, where Apple has allowed customers to return their bands online without having to return the entire watch and wait for a replacement, which is a much improved solution as the wait for a new Apple Watch online is weeks at this point.

From the launch of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple has been able to do in-store band swaps for those who got an ill-fitting band after getting the wrong result with Apple's measurement tool, but not everyone lives near a store and not all stores are open at this time.

In-store returns can be somewhat confusing for employees and the process can take some time as the swap is worked out, but MacRumors has initiated two separate in-store band exchanges with success.

For those who need to do an online band swap and want to be able to send the band back without returning the entire watch, a phone call is needed. The online support staff is not able to initiate this return process and it must be done over the phone.

Online support should know about the new process and will direct users to call, but if you're having trouble with the online chat, try an over the phone support solution.

Article Link: Apple Now Allowing Band-Only Returns For Ill-Fitting Solo Loop


So if I have to call, then its not an online band swap. Its a customer service band swap. Online would imply that I could make the request unassisted or via chat. Neither of which is true.
 
Comment

ZipZap

macrumors 603
Dec 14, 2007
5,738
1,043
How exactly does this help one determine the right band size. For example, I used the sizing tool and it was on the 7/8 line. I ordered an 8.

This week I took an existing Nike band and pieced it together at the notch I normally use. I laid it on the measuring tool. Got a 6. Not truly sure this is accurate either. So basically, you get 1 free guess. Well I ordered a 6 already and if it fits when it arrives then I will simply ask them to credit it back. If it does not I will know its either a 5 or a 7.

What a PIA.
 
Comment

Maconplasma

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2020
613
401
Nah. It’s more like “Mr. Cook? Yeah. Ummm, so we have 2 million refurb Series 6 we need to sell already.”
I was referring to this article and the several other fixes that were put out today. You do realize Apple can sit back and ignore customers and never fix anything like several other companies do right?
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.