Apple replaced 2 week old new iPhone 5s with refurbished model

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by JackieAprile, Jun 3, 2014.

  1. JackieAprile macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2014
    I am hoping somebody can give me advice on how I can handle a dispute I have been having with apple over the past week.

    My mum took out a 2 year contract for me through an online deal with carphone warehouse (for some reason I didn't pass their security checks so couldn't take it out in my own name)

    I was happy with the phone, except for an issue with the power button which was very loose, creating a rattling sound when it was moved, that was very audible in video/ voice recordings. This is a well documented problem with the 5S, many people have complained about this issue online. The carphone warehouse policy is that if you return within 28 days they will replace for a brand new model, but as my mum is the account holder she would have to do this herself, not practical given that she works full time and is hundreds of miles away in a different part of the UK. I would be without my phone for at least a week if this was to be an option.

    I phoned up apple and checked whether I was covered by them as well, and the advisor I spoke to told me I was, and that she was happy to arrange a replacement for me. I asked her for a case number to quote if needed and told her I live near an apple store so I could visit in person rather than having it picked up etc.

    When I went into the Covent Garden (London) apple store the advisor or "genius" so to speak, told me that he had never heard of the rattling issue before but would happily replace my phone. When I asked him, he told me I would be able to return the device again if the issue were to arise again, or if I would prefer, the next step would be a refund. He said that the defective power button was part of a sealed unit within the phone and therefore opening it for a repair would destroy the touch ID fingerprint scanner.

    I had brought the box and accessories with me thinking they would need them and replace the whole thing, but it turned out he just had to replace the handset. He asked me to draw my signature and enter my email address on his ipad to confirm I had received a replacement, and then sent me on my way. I took it home in the box and then started setting it up when I got home. When I took off the protective plastic I noticed that the back and sides of the phone were marked with little dings and scratches. After a little google search I discovered that apple routinely replace their consumer's defective products with open box returns that are reformatted and reboxed, and also with refurbished phones / parts.

    I was fuming that they had palmed me off with a refurb of a two week old phone that will be costing me over 700 pounds throughout the next two years. It felt like a complete slap across the face, especially as this one had the rattling issue as well, which I was unable to hear in the crowded store but was loud and noticeable in a quite room.

    I phoned apple up for the second time as I couldn't make it back to the store that day in time to complain. I spoke to an obnoxious "genius" over the phone who claimed that the rattling was "perfectly normal behaviour" and I would be unlikely to get another replacement. When he was unwilling to help, I asked him to make me an appointment at another London (regent st) apple store near to where I was located the next week.

    Meanwhile it occurred to me that initial option of sending the phone back to carphone warehouse with my mum may have been invalidated by my replacement through apple. Turns out this was in fact the case, as they would need the original handset to be returned to them, and advised me to call the apple store and see if I could get it back. I called only 24 hours after my initial visit and they had apparently already sent it back to the factory (I seriously doubt this was true)

    So I attended my second genius bar appointment, this time at the regent st London store. I was told that although the poor cosmetic condition and rattling power button was noticeable and was considered a defect, (contrary to what the advisor said previously over the phone) I would be given another generic-boxed refurbished parts model and was unable to get a brand new one despite the original iphone only being 2 weeks old and was faulty right out of the box.

    Despite my protests that this was completely unreasonable, the advisor wouldn't budge and I had him call the manager over. She repeated exactly what he had said and told me that because I had purchased it through another company I was covered by their warranty but am only entitled to a refurb. (Again, I doubt this is true because I read online that this happened to customers that bought their iphones directly from apple.) Despite sounding apologetic, she insisted that this would have been explained to me when I signed the permission slip on the ipad during my previous appointment. This was not the case, however, the apple genius had not mentioned or quoted anything from the terms and conditions like they do when you place an order over the phone. In fact I had not even been been made aware I was signing a list of T&C at all.

    Rather than taking her offer of a second refurbished replacement, she printed me a letter stating that I have had the phone replaced under apple warranty and she included the serial number of the replacement one, telling me that it may be possible to appeal to carphone warehouse for a brand new one if they understood what had happened. I visited them on my way home and they were all ready to go ahead and do this until I told them that it was under my mother's name, and that it had indeed been replaced previously by apple.

    My last resort (that same day) was to return to the covent garden london store that originally sent me away unknowingly owning a refurb, and trying to appeal to their better nature, telling them that it was not explained to me in the slightest that their terms and conditions state they are able to do this. The guy I spoke to this time was probably the most unhelpful of all the people I have had to deal with - he not only told me that the rattling phone was not defective despite me showing him that the noise is picked up in video recordings, but he also implied that the second-rate cosmetic condition it was in was my own handiwork or due to a lack of care on my part (even though I had presented it to him in their own apple brand £35 microfibre lined case). Despite him even trying to turn me down a second replacement with a refurbished 5S, I lost my temper at this point and he backed down and let me inspect one to see if it rattled. When I found one that wasn't as bad, I figured I was out of options and begrudgingly took it home feeling severely cheated.

    So I've just brought this thing home and again, it is a second rate machine. It has serious lag when scrolling through texts and entering passcodes etc. I am going to try and fix this if it is a software issue but this whole situation is stressing me out and I'm not enjoying using this supposedly "state of the art" phone.

    Needless to say I am at a complete loss as to what to do, I have just committed myself to a very expensive contract and I am being continuously misled and screwed over by apple, being told to settle for something that is sold at a largely reduced price on their website. It seems like every different employee of their company has told me something different and I only used their warranty service due to false / withheld information.

    Has anyone else had a similar problem or can anyone offer advice as to whether I would have a leg to stand on if I made a case against them?

    Sorry for the very long post, any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    A couple of things to note.

    1. Apple did you a favor by taking back a phone that they did not sell you. They are under no obligation to honour another company's warranty.

    2. How they do that is entirely up to them. They met their obligation by replacing a phone. They have no obligation to you to replace the accessories or the box it came in.

    3. What would you have them do with the accessories and the box? Can they resell those things after you've opened it?

    4. Apple replacements come in a white box. It's been this way for a very long time and it's how they do things. The phones in the white boxes are actually a mix of refurb and new. Whatever you get is dependent on the luck of the draw.

    5. Apple refurbs are as good as if not better than new. When Apple refurbs an iPhone they strip it, give it an entirely new shell and replace any parts with new parts if they fail under testing. When they're done with that Apple runs the phone through the same battery of tests as the new phones. You got what you perceive to be a set of bad phones one after the other. Apple makes a gazillion phones at a time and there are always some defects. Which leads to number 6.

    6. You should have examined the replacement in store and pointed out your problems to the Genius right then. There would have been no denying it and the Genius would most likely have opened another box until you were satisfied. There are plenty of stories here on MR of people going through 8 or 9 boxes before they finally got what was acceptable to them. You walked out.

    I will grant you that Apple has some jerks working for them and that you've been treated poorly customer service wise. But, again Apple chose to help you when they didn't have to. Your problem was with a third party store. You really are at the mercy of Apple's good graces at this point.
  3. JackieAprile thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2014

    Thanks for your reply, you make some valid points here. I hadn't considered the level of testing they go through or them being stripped down cleaned etc.

    However they are actually obliged to replace it as in the UK you have a warranty both with the company you purchased the product from and the manufacturer itself. I just wish apple had explained theirs before acting on it because I would have got a better outcome with carphone warehouse.

    Both phones I got from apple had the same defect or a different one.
  4. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Dec 14, 2007
    1. Apple did not do him a favor. They warrant their products regardless of seller.

    2. A 2 week old phone gets replaced with a new one. Period.

    3. Useless information

    4. True.

    5. True, but he deserves a perfect condition phone on a 2 week old unit.

    6. Excellent advice. Never leave the store without inspecting a replacement.
  5. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I think it's actually the same here, it's just that Apple is more accessible than trying to get warranty service directly from say HTC or Nokia, or what have you. There's no direct way. So most people deal with the party that sold them the device.

    In any case, I agree, they should have been more up front with the policy. And I do think you were treated very poorly. They could have been nicer about it all instead of being jerks.
  6. 869639, Jun 3, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2014

    869639 macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2014
    Another point:

    -- Apple does not sell refurbished iPhones on its website -- and they have never ever done so either.

    As for Two weeks old...well it depends how many exact days has it been, Apple would have taken the device back if it was purchased from them, At the end of the day if purchase was made elsewhere then the best Apple can do is honor warranty, they are in no way obligated to provide you with a BRAND NEW device. They will give you a replacement unit (be it new or refurbished) that has gone through extensive testing to make sure it speaks for the quality Apple has been providing for years.

    As for OP having tiny scuffs around edges etc, Honestly having owned iPhone 5 and 5S right out of the box from Apple and gotten my iPhone 5 replaced twice (due to screen issue and because I wanted the AWS T-Mobile USA Compatible one), both my iPhone 5 replacement units along with brand new came that I originally purchased came with some tiny tiny marks on the shiny edges, but it didn't bother me because my iPhone worked perfectly and I ended selling my iPhone 5 11 months into the year for amazing price and the buyer was extremely happy with it as well.

    Some people take the tiny scratches too seriously....if they didn't come with it from factory then I can promise you that no matter what case you put it on, within weeks time they are bound to appear as its the normal nature of the coating that is applied to the aluminum.
  7. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

    Jun 24, 2010
    I stopped reading at your first post number 1. If i buy an iPhone through Best buy, it still comes with a APPLE ONE YEAR WARRANTY. Does not matter where you buy it from, its the exact same warranty as buying it through the apple store.

    OP you were screwed plain and period. This happened to me too with the iPhone 5. I learned my lesson and did not make that mistake with the 5S last year.
  8. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    I've been schooled in UK warranties. OK.

    Show me where that happens in the USA if I buy a phone anywhere other than Apple.

    I disagree. It's pertinent as to understanding why they don't give you a new phone. Apple has no use for your returned accessories if they are replacing your phone with one in a white box. They certainly are not obligated to replace the accessories. At least in the US.

    This isn't a return under a 15/30 day return policy. It's a replacement. Different guidelines.

    Yes, from the store he bought it from. At least in the USA. I guess in the UK it may be different.

    I agree.


    Sure. But Apple isn't obligated to replace with new (as in brand new in box with replacement accessories) or to honor a third party's return or exchange policy.
  9. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX
    The OP was treated rudely but he was not screwed "plain and period."

    You are confusing a warranty with a return policy. They are not obligated to return/exchange a device that was purchased elsewhere. If it had been purchased at the Apple store and taken back within 14 days the OP could have gotten a sealed replacement.

    Since he bought it elsewhere Apple did what they did with most warranty claims and gave the OP a refurbished phone.
  10. AndrewR23 macrumors 68040

    Jun 24, 2010
    No I'm not confused. There is a way he could have gotten a sealed one as I once did even buying it from BB. Its hard but it can be done.
  11. AppleFanatic10 macrumors 68030


    Nov 2, 2010
    Encino, CA
    That's normally what Apple does, especially since the iPhone 5s has been out for some time now. If the iPhone 5s was brand new (as in just released) they would have probably gave you a brand new iPhone. Also, when you're returning/exchanging an iDevice, Apple doesn't take the accessories that came with it.
  12. TWO2SEVEN macrumors 68040


    Jun 27, 2010
    Plano, TX
    Yours was likely an exception to the policy. The fact that the OP did not get the same treatment does not mean he was screwed.
  13. Saint.Icon macrumors regular

    May 11, 2014
    1. They did. He got a replacement, which is what Apple's warranty covers. And surprise, something like the incessant bitch-fest that the OP put up over a power button moving isn't normally covered.

    2. Unless it's a warranty repair. Then it's a refurb/restock/white box model. If OP wanted to return for a new replacement, he should have gone to the original seller with his mother to do so. Or he should have had better credit in the first place in order to set up his own cell phone account.

    3. Just as useless as your post. Apple can't resell the OP's grubby EarPods. I'd imagine that they don't even want employees touching them.

    4. OP got what he was entitled to; a white box replacement.

    5. He deserves a standard replacement phone in working condition. He went through a warranty repair claim - not a return. These are expected to be in good condition, and that's what the OP got. Further, he was able to get it replaced a second time, and even more so, got to pick and choose through units. That's unheard of.

    6. Something we actually agree on. Only a fool doesn't look over a replacement device.

    OP, you brought this on yourself. Entirely. You had the option to return for a new iPhone, but you weren't willing to wait. So you pushed your agenda with a warranty repair while not being educated in what that entails, as well as not reading the documentation and contracts that you signed. That's your own fault, and it serves you right for being a nitpicky whiner to such an extent.

    The only person you can blame here is yourself. No one is cheating you or misleading you. In fact, it sounds like Apple employees are the ones getting the shaft - having to deal with your complaints and your own admittedly irate behavior. They could have had security remove you from the store, but instead STILL assisted you in resolving your issue under the terms YOU AGREED TO. If you wanted a new phone, you should have returned it to the original seller with your mom present. Your impatience got you to this point, and you made your own bed.

    As for your second replacement being laggy, I'm assuming it's in your head and utter BS. You need a reason to throw a fit, and if your replacement phone is working properly, you have nothing to piss and moan about. :rolleyes:
  14. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    This post pretty much seals it, though you went a bit too far at the end.

    That being said OP, if you had researched this issue online, you should have also checked exactly what Apple would offer you in terms of a replacement: in this case, a white box swap. They did this and though the replacement also wasn't up to snuff, no one besides Carphone owes you a new replacement.
    Regarding your comment about them shipping off your original - they weren't lying. RTW phones are shipped out every single night.
    Regarding the Genius' comment about the power button: lmao that's not even close to being accurate.
  15. Saint.Icon macrumors regular

    May 11, 2014

    Someone needed to say it. OP strikes me as the kind of person that's unsatisfied with anything and everything. This time it bit him in the ass, and it serves him right.
  16. sunking101 macrumors 604


    Sep 19, 2013
    This would have seriously annoyed me too. At the end of the day, Apple make the damned phones and the Carphone Warehouse would still have ended up returning the defective one to Apple, and giving you a new one (which Apple would have ended up crediting to CPW).

    You'll know the score next time.
  17. IGregory macrumors 6502a


    Aug 5, 2012
    Apple Return Policy

    This explains it. The policy is plain and clear items not purchased from Apple ought be return to the place where purchase. As one commenter noted - Apple did you a favor. I purchased my iPhone 5s from Sprint. Sprint return policy says a return maybe replace with a refurb. If you are not having a problem with the refurb be happy.
  18. I7guy macrumors P6


    Nov 30, 2013
    Gotta be in it to win it
    Unless there is a hardware problem with the phone, lag etc is all software. Set the phone up as new without installing apps. If it still lags, bring it back to apple and show them how the phone is operating.
  19. braddick macrumors 68040


    Jun 28, 2009
    Encinitas, CA
    Sure, but what about the rest of us?
    I read the OP's entire statement, yet should have stopped right after the words, "for some reason I didn't pass their security checks so couldn't take it out in my own name".
  20. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    This is one of the major reasons I bought my iPhone 5 direct from Apple (with AC+).

    I don't deal with Sprint. I don't deal with TEP. I don't deal with Asurion. And I don't deal with what Sprint and Asurion may try to pass off as a refurb.

    In fact, I don't deal with Sprint at all anymore except to give them money each month for service.
  21. F123D macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2008
    Del Mar, CA
    This is why I purchased my iPhones directly from Apple. Any problems within the return period and they'll bring out a brand new sealed retail box to exchange.
  22. JackieAprile thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2014
    Hey could you tell me how this can be done? I've been considering calling up and trying to get as far up the ladder as I can on the phone and trying to appeal this decision.

    Also, to everyone who is backing apple and telling me to be happy with it etc, I am having problems with this second replacement as I mentioned in my op. It's not scrolling anywhere near how smoothly it should be. Very jerky, have reinstalled, reset etc. seems to be a hardware issue again. These are not very well made phones.
  23. JackieAprile thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 3, 2014
    Ok I've just read the whole thread, I really didn't intend to start an argument on here, between myself or between others. For all the people that are using it as a means of insulting other people you have never met, I think there's a lot to be read into that as well. I think it's pretty ironic that I'm being told to get a life by people that use the internet all day as a means for letting off steam and posting nasty judgements about people they don't know. Maybe you should do it on Instagram like everyone else or find a post to which you can actually contribute useful information towards.
  24. MonkeySee...., Jun 4, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2014

    MonkeySee.... macrumors 68040


    Sep 24, 2010
    If his/her replacement phone had dents in it They didn't do a very good job did they.

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