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

airwaytostation

macrumors newbie
Apr 23, 2010
20
1
I was able to text to (800) 6902-7753 from my iphone with someone at apple who helped me do an exchange by mail. The original apple employee transferred me to an apple watch specialist, who was able to do the exchange. I ordered the Charcoal Braided Solo Loop. I was only able to change it for a smaller size, he wasn't able to change it to the green one instead. He said I'll receive the new one in the mail and would return the one that came with the iPhone originally in the same box the replacement will come in.
 
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mikethemartian

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2017
586
842
Melbourne, FL
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
Are you dealing with the Apple Store or Apple Care? Several years ago I learned it was much easier to do a complete return of a newly purchased item to the Apple Store than try to resolve an issue with Apple Care.
 
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gomichaelgo

macrumors member
Sep 21, 2016
48
35
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.

They are in separate boxes, but sold as a package, and that's the problem. Their POS wasn't allowing you to return just the band, as it was part of the package. That was the initial problem.
 
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Jony Ive and Co.

macrumors regular
Jul 9, 2020
141
170
Do we get a free Sport Band (traditional) if we exchange sizes? So this means we get a free goodie if we purposefully order the wrong size?
 
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HMFIC03

macrumors regular
Jan 19, 2011
242
222
AZ
In the end, the Apple Watch solo loop and braid shipping back forth vis returns will cost Apple the same amount it saved removing the charging block

My wife’s came before mine so I know I ordered my size too big
 
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Namara

Contributor
Apr 16, 2020
2,973
2,834
East of the sun, west of the moon
I'm hard of hearing and the phone is hell. Come on, Apple. Make it right.

Texting anyway in hopes they'll help with that fact explained.

Followup: They did, though the rep who helped me said I was her first case! She was so relieved I was understanding and patient. (I've had friends who've worked tech support. It can be a thankless job. And they're doing everything they can to help out.)

She agreed with me that the third hole from the largest on the M/L sport band is a size 6.
Just an FYI about being hard of hearing, depending on which country you live in, there's also chat support available. Just go to https://support.apple.com/contact, tap through the product prompts and you'll get to a chat option.
 
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PickUrPoison

macrumors G3
Sep 12, 2017
8,022
10,430
Sunnyvale, CA
They are in separate boxes, but sold as a package, and that's the problem. Their POS wasn't allowing you to return just the band, as it was part of the package. That was the initial problem.
Nice! Apple is listening to customer feedback and fixing stuff fast!
Visibility on Twitter, or here actually, might have lit a fire under Apple but the whole Watch rollout seemed pretty glitched. Instead of being ready a week or two early, they were a week or two late.

Removing the 5W adapter from the high-end Watches after a week? Lots of demand or not enough inventory? Seems a bit of a slapdash, “hey we’re launching, wtf, get your act together people” kind of moment. Probably a lot of folks running around with their hair on fire trying to make things happen faster than they can.

Not to let them off the hook; it’s been a little rough and I’d hope a few lessons were learned. It sure didn’t seem very well thought out. Looks like they’re getting things rolling now.

Hopefully, anyway. If the iPhone launch is anything like this things are going to get ugly fast 😬
 
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n3sh

macrumors newbie
Jun 21, 2016
28
116
Are you dealing with the Apple Store or Apple Care? Several years ago I learned it was much easier to do a complete return of a newly purchased item to the Apple Store than try to resolve an issue with Apple Care.
I was talking on the phone / chatting (tried both). Apple store would've been straightforward.
 
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InsideApple

macrumors newbie
Sep 24, 2020
3
3
So I measured myself with both the cutable sizing thing and with a tape, and I get to a 10 (44mm) which is wrong. I wear my Apple Watch 44mm with Sport Band always on the 2nd hole for a comfortable fit, or 3rd for a thighter fit. But the size 10 on Solo Loop was too thight. Now I‘m not sure if it‘s an 11 or 12. Because when I add like 3mm, it suggests me an 11 for active lifestyle, or 12 for more comfort.
Is anyone using it the same way I do and can feedback what Solo Loop should be good for me?
Even though with the updated policy I dont want to wait ages to get the right size.
 
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moxxey

macrumors regular
Feb 27, 2011
186
5
In case this helps anyone, I sized up my wrist using Apple's cut-out guide and it was bang on a size 8. Strap arrived, far too loose.

Went to the local Apple store, even a size 7 was still too loose. Ended up size 6, two sizes down from the guide's selection.

Conclusion? Go a size down than the recommendation!
 
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tzm41

macrumors 6502
Jul 11, 2014
301
829
Boston
Okay so I was able to finally get a replacement order, but support told me their return label system is down. So I’ll either wait ten days for a shipping label, or had to visit an Apple store.
 
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recoil80

macrumors 68040
Jul 16, 2014
3,095
2,723
Agreed. Also for existing watch owners doing an upgrade they may not need a new band. They shouldn’t have to purchase one if they’ve already got a drawer full of bands.

This!
Why can't I just buy a new Watch? They said they care about the environment and don't ship the power adapter, yet they force you to buy a band together with your new Watch.
It doesn't make sense, just cut the price a little bit or give me a gift card if I chose to buy the Watch without a band.
 
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bobob

macrumors 68040
Jan 11, 2008
3,208
2,115
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AirunJae

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2008
196
260
Indianapolis, IN
while it's easy to say apple should have done this fast - the fact that they fixed it so fast is commendable. Breaking SKUs into components on the all ERP systems is nightmarish.

It is hard to imagine that over the past 6 years of AW existence, customers didn't feel the need to replace just the band, which could have given Apple that insight to set up their systems accordingly. I would have thought it might have happened enough because of post-purchase dissonance - you didn't quite like the color, or thought some other band was a better option because of which you wanted to return just the band. Or maybe people didn't mind replacing the whole thing earlier because the wait times were lesser? Or it had happened but the analytics just didn't reach the right people at Apple?

I've returned bands before but I live close to an Apple store and was able to do it in person, so that must make a difference. But as you pointed out, surely others have wanted to exchange bands before? To my mind, having to return the whole watch is just bizarre, especially since they've been packaging the watchband separately for a couple of years now.
 
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AirunJae

macrumors regular
Apr 14, 2008
196
260
Indianapolis, IN
Note the thread title MacRumors chose:

MacRumors is stoking the controversy by phrasing the title as if the entire Solo Loop production are ill-fitting, rather than clearly stating that because of the sizing challenges, some Solo Loops need to be exchanged.

Click$$$$$!
Eh, I guess, I just assumed others who have been following MacRumours were aware that it was an issue of sizing (and how Apple was initially dealing returns) and not that anything was inherently wrong with the band.
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
10,322
4,056
US
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?

Apple's bound by the existing return policy for the watches being delivered with ill-fitting bands.

They're not moving to a band-swap policy out of the goodness of their hearts.

They're trying to quell the flood of returned watches and the costs of sending all those watches to the refurbishment process.
 
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iPrabhu

macrumors member
Sep 25, 2012
76
101
Apple listened to its customers. Now, people will complain that they didn't receive a freebie (like mentioned in the post).
 
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iPrabhu

macrumors member
Sep 25, 2012
76
101
They are in separate boxes, but sold as a package, and that's the problem. Their POS wasn't allowing you to return just the band, as it was part of the package. That was the initial problem.
True. They might have updated the SKU now to separate the band which will make POS systems to recognize it.
 
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Patrick1970

macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2020
2
0
Just got off the phone. I have to return the strap AND watch. She recommended I visit an apple store (1hour away and no guarantee of stock). She also said I'll have to return the whole watch and strap at the store as well. So not sure why some folks have had success just exchanging the strap.
 
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wir43

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2018
46
72
I was able to change only the band today at a store here in Germany. The first guy told me, that this would not be possible. But after a short chat with his colleague he apologized and told me that he was not aware of the new policy.
The other guy than told me, that only the phone support and the store can change only the band, not the online chat.
 
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Patrick1970

macrumors newbie
Sep 25, 2020
2
0
I was able to change only the band today at a store here in Germany. The first guy told me, that this would not be possible. But after a short chat with his colleague he apologized and told me that he was not aware of the new policy.
The other guy than told me, that only the phone support and the store can change only the band, not the online chat.

Seems like a lot of inconsistency in the approach. I guess it's a lottery in who you talk to.
 
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deeddawg

macrumors G4
Jun 14, 2010
10,322
4,056
US
Seems like a lot of inconsistency in the approach. I guess it's a lottery in who you talk to.

Which signifies a failure on Apple's part to properly communicate the new policy through the organization and update the systems & procedures accordingly.

Don't misunderstand - I'm not anti-Apple.

I'm just a lowly process/operations guy that sees this whole debacle as a case study in how to fk up a product launch. :)

Someone somewhere ought to have realized that customer self-measuring was going to have a substantial error rate, and thus there needed to be a quick/simple/efficient way to handle those instances in a customer-friendly manner.
 
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