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MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 9, 2014
820
285
Belgium
Last week I went to the Apple Store to have the battery of my iPhone 7+ replaced. After three years it was still working perfectly fine, but the battery capacity was down to 81% and clearly not lasting very long anymore. I was considering upgrading to an 11 but dreaded the procedure of getting all banking accesses (some of which are linked to the phone IMEI) set up again. So I thought let’s get another year out of the 7+.
Apart from the weak battery, it was fine, no scratches on the screen, no dents, just quite a bit of chipping in the anodized finish – it’s a black matt one, so this seems to be a common issue.

When I got back to the store two hours later (the time announced to get the battery changed), I was told they were unable to change the battery but would give me a new (replacement phone). I thought ok, maybe in the process of changing the battery they broke it but to my surprise, after having confirmed that I have a backup, they brought my old phone out so that I could erase it – in other words it was still working and in one piece.
So in the end I just had to pay for the battery replacement cost (55 Euros) and got a new (refurbished) phone out of it, unfortunately that meant the pain of calling the banks etc.
So here are my questions:
  • Any explanation / clue why they would replace the phone. They didn’t tell me anything, so I am curious if there was some kind of recall or the likes for 7+
  • Would have loved to be given the possibility of paying extra and upgrading to a newer phone, apparently not an option. Is this common practice?
  • The phone is obviously a refurbished one which is not a problem. But when I checked online the serial number it said no warranty – shouldn’t there be at least some warranty on it?
  • Has there been a silent upgrade on the screen? My old phone was from 2016 (got it right when it was launched) while the new one was (according to Coconut battery) manufactured in 2019. The screen looks a lot more vibrant - or could there have been some degree of deterioration of the old one)?
Curious to hear some feedback. To be clear: I am very happy overall, not many companies would replace an out of warranty three year old device no matter what the reason. Although as mentioned it is bittersweet, because now I have less of a reason to upgrade in 2020 which was the plan J, but hey, I got a brand new (refurbished) phone :)
 

dmillar74

macrumors regular
Apr 22, 2011
214
115
Livonia, Michigan
There are certain iPhone 7’s that had issues with losing cellular access due to some malfunction. I know two people that it happened to. I bet your phone was one of those phones that could have those issues.
 

lostOzone

macrumors member
Oct 18, 2017
60
32
Same here I had a 7 sent for battery replacement and got a whole new phone. It was mentioned a problem with the ringer switch but the phone was out of warranty. And the switch was perfectly fine. In fact the whole phone was fine too. Very strange.
 

JPack

macrumors 604
Mar 27, 2017
7,659
13,248
Usually, it’s because they’re unable to remove the battery on the old iPhone. Sometimes, they tear/snap the double sided adhesive tape holding the battery to the iPhone. This means they have to slowly heat the iPhone and remove battery. It’s a hassle and if the customer is waiting, they’ll give a replacement device.
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There are certain iPhone 7’s that had issues with losing cellular access due to some malfunction. I know two people that it happened to. I bet your phone was one of those phones that could have those issues.

That only applies to some 4.7” iPhone 7 and models in Europe are unaffected.
 

jagolden

macrumors 65816
Feb 11, 2002
1,217
924
Same thing happened with my 6S+. Battery replacement didn’t work out and other issues with some of the innards.
For the cost of the battery (~$30 US) I got a perfect refurb with warranty, and even better, it had twice as much storage than my original!
 

Abazigal

Contributor
Jul 18, 2011
15,254
14,573
Singapore
Same with my 8+. So in addition to a new battery, I get a fresh 8+ (and everything is smooth and speedy again), plus it qualifies me for a year of free TV+. Not gonna complain here.
 

alpi123

macrumors 68000
Jun 18, 2014
1,688
2,200
Same thing with my 6s and I too live in Europe. It's either something that certain countries do, or they found out other issues and it would be better if they just replaced the phone instead.

But what's the big deal? You now got a brand new looking device, I couldn't complain. The least you could've asked them in person.
 

MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 9, 2014
820
285
Belgium
Same thing with my 6s and I too live in Europe. It's either something that certain countries do, or they found out other issues and it would be better if they just replaced the phone instead.

But what's the big deal? You now got a brand new looking device, I couldn't complain. The least you could've asked them in person.
I didn't complain, I am just curious. As to asking them in person: I did but didn't get much of an answer and in general the lady at the checkout was not very friendly to say the least. I have to note that this was in Brussels, Belgium, where the concept of good and friendly customer service is in general unheard of unfortunately.
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That only applies to some 4.7” iPhone 7 and models in Europe are unaffected.

My phone actually originally came from China (was bought there with a China Mobile subscription while I lived there), but if indeed that only applies to the 4.7" that isn't the explanation.
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Usually, it’s because they’re unable to remove the battery on the old iPhone. Sometimes, they tear/snap the double sided adhesive tape holding the battery to the iPhone.

Don't think so - the gave me the old phone in order to delete everything on it myself and it looked perfectly fine and was working. But I can related to the adhesive issue. On my old iPhone 6 I changed it myself and that was indeed a painful and lengthy job to unglue that battery. That was one of the reason I preferred the Apple shop to do the swap on my 7+
 

JPack

macrumors 604
Mar 27, 2017
7,659
13,248
Don't think so - the gave me the old phone in order to delete everything on it myself and it looked perfectly fine and was working. But I can related to the adhesive issue. On my old iPhone 6 I changed it myself and that was indeed a painful and lengthy job to unglue that battery. That was one of the reason I preferred the Apple shop to do the swap on my 7+

If they snap the adhesive strip, the phone will still look and work fine.

If the intent was to give a replacement phone for battery service, the Apple Store wouldn’t ask you to wait two hours before coming back.
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
6,898
12,252
Florida, USA
I helped two people get battery replacements at the Apple Store for iPhone 6 units (my mom and my girlfriend) and in both cases I hoped they'd botch the replacement so they'd get new/refurbished phones.

Nope, both replacements were successful.

It's always a gamble when you get your battery replaced that you might end up with a new device; this is why they ask you to make sure you have an up to date backup. You won the gamble; congrats. :)
 

JPack

macrumors 604
Mar 27, 2017
7,659
13,248
My phone actually originally came from China (was bought there with a China Mobile subscription while I lived there), but if indeed that only applies to the 4.7" that isn't the explanation.

This is a good example of why Apple wouldn’t automatically replace an iPhone for battery service.

Your China Mobile iPhone 7 Plus is a true global phone and supports more bands than a Belgium iPhone 7 Plus. It uses a better Qualcomm modem. The replacement Belgium iPhone 7 Plus uses an Intel modem with support for fewer bands.

In short, Apple aims to repair the device so you don’t lose features you bought. Only if they fail do they replace it.
 

Aydy

macrumors 6502a
Nov 22, 2015
627
452
They did the same with my iPad Air 2. Decided to get battery replaced to give to my daughter to watch her cartoons on. Went in for battery service back in April and returned as a new refurb air 2. Couple of months later it started exhibiting touch issues and the screen started separating from the top (cellular area) and frequently needed to be popped back in place.

Apple refused to exchange it due to just missing the 90 day warranty period. TBF, I was aware of the issues from the 1st couple days of receiving the refurb but my dad had passed the same week and I put off reporting the issue thinking I’d get around to it within the 90 day period but I left it too late. I was only just a few days shy ?
 

BugeyeSTI

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2017
4,670
3,151
Arizona
Don't think so - the gave me the old phone in order to delete everything on it myself and it looked perfectly fine and was working. But I can related to the adhesive issue. On my old iPhone 6 I changed it myself and that was indeed a painful and lengthy job to unglue that battery. That was one of the reason I preferred the Apple shop to do the swap on my 7+
@JPack is absolutely correct. If they tear the adhesive strips they automatically stop and replace the phone no exceptions. They reassemble the phone and have you delete all data but I guarantee if the phone wouldn’t power up, you would of never seen the old phone and they would of handed you the new one and wished you a pleasant day.
 
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Reactions: Devyn89

Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,800
7,995
New Hampshire, USA
Last week I went to the Apple Store to have the battery of my iPhone 7+ replaced. After three years it was still working perfectly fine, but the battery capacity was down to 81% and clearly not lasting very long anymore. I was considering upgrading to an 11 but dreaded the procedure of getting all banking accesses (some of which are linked to the phone IMEI) set up again. So I thought let’s get another year out of the 7+.
Apart from the weak battery, it was fine, no scratches on the screen, no dents, just quite a bit of chipping in the anodized finish – it’s a black matt one, so this seems to be a common issue.

When I got back to the store two hours later (the time announced to get the battery changed), I was told they were unable to change the battery but would give me a new (replacement phone). I thought ok, maybe in the process of changing the battery they broke it but to my surprise, after having confirmed that I have a backup, they brought my old phone out so that I could erase it – in other words it was still working and in one piece.
So in the end I just had to pay for the battery replacement cost (55 Euros) and got a new (refurbished) phone out of it, unfortunately that meant the pain of calling the banks etc.
So here are my questions:
  • Any explanation / clue why they would replace the phone. They didn’t tell me anything, so I am curious if there was some kind of recall or the likes for 7+
  • Would have loved to be given the possibility of paying extra and upgrading to a newer phone, apparently not an option. Is this common practice?
  • The phone is obviously a refurbished one which is not a problem. But when I checked online the serial number it said no warranty – shouldn’t there be at least some warranty on it?
  • Has there been a silent upgrade on the screen? My old phone was from 2016 (got it right when it was launched) while the new one was (according to Coconut battery) manufactured in 2019. The screen looks a lot more vibrant - or could there have been some degree of deterioration of the old one)?
Curious to hear some feedback. To be clear: I am very happy overall, not many companies would replace an out of warranty three year old device no matter what the reason. Although as mentioned it is bittersweet, because now I have less of a reason to upgrade in 2020 which was the plan J, but hey, I got a brand new (refurbished) phone :)

My brother went to an Apple store to get a new battery for his iPhone and they broke the battery clip so were unable to replace the battery.

He took his phone home (it still worked fine but had the original battery).

The Apple store made arrangements for my brother to come back later in the week and they replaced his phone.
 

aakshey

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2016
2,768
1,266
In India the service is so bad that if they break your phone, they don’t even replace it. It’s just bad luck.
 
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Reactions: Aydy

aakshey

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2016
2,768
1,266
So if they break it during a warranty repair you have to contact Apple directly to get a replacement?

Apple doesn’t do anything. If they break it, if it’s in warranty they try to repair. There is a very bleak chance that they might replace it if it doesn’t turn on or something. If it’s not in warranty, there is no resolution. Apple only directs you to these same AASPs and AASPs have more power than Apple support in India.

Apple India doesn’t directly provide support in India. So they don’t deal with replacements.

Apple India Customer Support usually recommends to get warranty service done while travelling abroad.
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For things like the iPad Pro 10.5 White Spot there is no resolution in India. They don’t swap them out even while in warranty. You’ll need to buy a replacement for like USD 600 or so.

There is no Express Replacement service either.

AppleCare+ isn’t available either. You have to buy it online from USA. AppleCare Extended Warranty is available which extends the warranty, that’s it.

AC+ is honoured however. That’s a recent change. And the deductible is 0. But it’s incredibly hard to make them honour it unless your iPhone is plain broken.

There is also no returns policy. You can’t buy stuff directly from Apple. You can’t return stuff no matter where you buy it from. Usually even if it’s defective, you can’t return it. With rare exceptions. And these are retailer policies from Amazon. If you buy at a partner store and it’s dead on arrival, you need to go for warranty service where you’ll get a refurb. Even if it never turned on.

There are no Apple stores in India yet.
 
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BugeyeSTI

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2017
4,670
3,151
Arizona
Apple doesn’t do anything. If they break it, if it’s in warranty they try to repair. There is a very bleak chance that they might replace it if it doesn’t turn on or something. If it’s not in warranty, there is no resolution. Apple only directs you to these same AASPs and AASPs have more power than Apple support in India.

Apple India doesn’t directly provide support in India. So they don’t deal with replacements.

Apple India Customer Support usually recommends to get warranty service done while travelling abroad.
That must be a lot to deal with. I think many don’t realize how lucky they are to be able to return an iPhone multiple times for minor flaws when in certain parts of the world you’re SOL even on basic repairs..
 

aakshey

macrumors 68030
Jun 13, 2016
2,768
1,266
That must be a lot to deal with. I think many don’t realize how lucky they are to be able to return an iPhone multiple times for minor flaws when in certain parts of the world you’re SOL even on basic repairs..

Ya. Every time I’ve needed support for issues that aren’t 100% objective according to Apple, it’s been while travelling (or via somebody travelling) to EU or USA.
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In India they often deny in warranty repair if there are scratches on the external body. Though that’s improved recently. But they still make a huge fuss about it. Never seen the same in USA or EU unless the phone is broken.
 

bushman4

macrumors 68040
Mar 22, 2011
3,274
847
I don’t think Apple has batteries in stock for any model under an 8
I had a 6+ with the same problem and they replaced the phone I asked why can’t I just have the battery replaced and was told they don’t have any batteries in the store Well the phone they gave me worked good so I was happy
 

ultramagnus

Suspended
Oct 22, 2019
21
8
Last week I went to the Apple Store to have the battery of my iPhone 7+ replaced. After three years it was still working perfectly fine, but the battery capacity was down to 81% and clearly not lasting very long anymore. I was considering upgrading to an 11 but dreaded the procedure of getting all banking accesses (some of which are linked to the phone IMEI) set up again. So I thought let’s get another year out of the 7+.
Apart from the weak battery, it was fine, no scratches on the screen, no dents, just quite a bit of chipping in the anodized finish – it’s a black matt one, so this seems to be a common issue.

When I got back to the store two hours later (the time announced to get the battery changed), I was told they were unable to change the battery but would give me a new (replacement phone). I thought ok, maybe in the process of changing the battery they broke it but to my surprise, after having confirmed that I have a backup, they brought my old phone out so that I could erase it – in other words it was still working and in one piece.
So in the end I just had to pay for the battery replacement cost (55 Euros) and got a new (refurbished) phone out of it, unfortunately that meant the pain of calling the banks etc.
So here are my questions:
  • Any explanation / clue why they would replace the phone. They didn’t tell me anything, so I am curious if there was some kind of recall or the likes for 7+
  • Would have loved to be given the possibility of paying extra and upgrading to a newer phone, apparently not an option. Is this common practice?
  • The phone is obviously a refurbished one which is not a problem. But when I checked online the serial number it said no warranty – shouldn’t there be at least some warranty on it?
  • Has there been a silent upgrade on the screen? My old phone was from 2016 (got it right when it was launched) while the new one was (according to Coconut battery) manufactured in 2019. The screen looks a lot more vibrant - or could there have been some degree of deterioration of the old one)?
Curious to hear some feedback. To be clear: I am very happy overall, not many companies would replace an out of warranty three year old device no matter what the reason. Although as mentioned it is bittersweet, because now I have less of a reason to upgrade in 2020 which was the plan J, but hey, I got a brand new (refurbished) phone :)
This happens sometimes.
My guesses are:
- they couldn’t safely remove the battery without damaging another part (like the screen) for some reason
- they don’t have proper parts, but refurbished units were readily available

In the end,they just wanted to fulfill your needs, ie. Getting an iPhone with a fresh battery.

I’ve even heard occasions where people got in with an older Mac for repair and ended up with a newer Mac model. Another reason to like Apple. :)
 

MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 9, 2014
820
285
Belgium
This is a good example of why Apple wouldn’t automatically replace an iPhone for battery service.

Your China Mobile iPhone 7 Plus is a true global phone and supports more bands than a Belgium iPhone 7 Plus. It uses a better Qualcomm modem. The replacement Belgium iPhone 7 Plus uses an Intel modem with support for fewer bands.

In short, Apple aims to repair the device so you don’t lose features you bought. Only if they fail do they replace it.

That's a very interesting aspect that I hadn't even considered, thanks for bringing it up.
But now it all makes sense: There is a CE sticker (!) applied on the back below the version number and I was wondering why. Turns out they haven't given me a Belgian/European version but what seems to be the American/International version A1661 - I think that is the one that has most bands and also has the Qualcomm modem. Surprising that they have that in stock here.
 
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