Apple Still Charging Customers Over $300 for iPhone 7 Microphone Defect Despite Previously Offering Free Repairs

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Dec 17, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    In May of 2018, Apple acknowledged a microphone issue affecting some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus models running iOS 11.3 or later in an internal document made available to Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers. MacRumors obtained the document from a reliable source earlier this year.


    An excerpt from Apple's document:
    Apple's document then provided troubleshooting steps for its service providers to follow, including disconnecting any Bluetooth headsets or accessories connected to the iPhone. If the issue persisted, and the iPhone was out-of-warranty, Apple advised service providers to "request a warranty exception" with the company.

    For a short time, Apple Stores and Apple Authorized Service Providers were able to proceed with repairs at no cost to the customer.

    "I just had my wife's iPhone 7 replaced this morning," wrote one MacRumors forum member on July 30, 2018, in a discussion topic about the issue. "Out of warranty and Apple took care of the bill. The mic on the device had failed."

    The exemptions abruptly ended in July of 2018, though, when Apple deleted its internal document related to the microphone issue and prevented free repairs from being processed through its service portal. Since then, many Apple retail and support employees have refused to acknowledge the policy ever existed.

    MacRumors has received several emails from affected customers since we published our article in July, but there has been little we can do to help. Apple did not respond to our original request for comment, so we've followed up today.

    The microphone issue appears to remain a problem as of iOS 12.1.1, but Apple's document never identified a cause. Based on the number of users affected, it is almost certainly a hardware defect, so it's unclear why Apple is no longer offering free repairs and forcing customers to pay out of pocket for a fix.

    Apple's out-of-warranty repair fee for this issue is over $300 in the United States, according to affected customers on the MacRumors forums and Twitter. iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus devices still within Apple's limited one-year warranty period or covered by AppleCare+ remain eligible for a free repair.

    "I had this issue a month ago and paid $349 for a replacement," said one MacRumors reader in an email. "Two weeks ago my brother in law started having the same issue with his iPhone 7 Plus and today my wife's iPhone 7 started doing the same thing. It's a new phone and barely 15 months old."

    "Unfortunately, I like hundreds have been told by Apple that 'we don't know what you're talking about,' and Apple wants $319 to send me a refurbished phone that they can't tell me won't have the same problem," another reader emailed.

    Twitter is home to similar complaints:

    It's worth noting that a few customers have managed to argue their way to a free repair, but this is not the common result.

    Apple has a track record of great customer service, and it offers several different public repair programs for hardware issues on various products, but it appears to be leaving customers in the dust here for reasons unclear. We'd love to hear Apple's side of the situation if the company chooses to respond.

    In the meantime, repairs can be initiated by booking an appointment at a Genius Bar or at an Apple Authorized Service Provider via the Contact Apple Support page: iPhone -> Repairs & Physical Damage -> Unable to Hear Through Receiver or Speakers -> Built-in Speaker -> Bring In For Repair.

    Article Link: Apple Still Charging Customers Over $300 for iPhone 7 Microphone Defect Despite Previously Offering Free Repairs
  2. nburwell macrumors 601


    May 6, 2008
    Apple needs to make up for lackluster Xr/Xs sales somehow.o_O
  3. fcapriles macrumors newbie


    Apr 17, 2008
    Got mine replaced around September in Toronto.
    They did run a couple of tests, showed Mic failure and initially were going to charge me but ended up being free.
  4. busuan macrumors member

    Feb 24, 2016
    Apple's marketing and customer service deserve a very very rude awakening ...
  5. bobcatou macrumors newbie


    Jan 6, 2009
    It's sad because buying the Applecare+ is becoming more of a necessity rather than a safety net. In fairness, I have needed it much more with their MBPs than phones.
  6. strukt macrumors regular


    Aug 8, 2012
    Apple should fix this, it wouldn't be any issue in Norway where we have consumer law that forces apple to fix the issue.

    Hope you get it fixed!
  7. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

    Oct 23, 2010
    Apple is going to obsolete your phone one way or another.
  8. thadoggfather macrumors G4


    Oct 1, 2007

    I pointed this out last week but every iPhone since 6 (be it plus or regular version) except SE and not including xs/max/xr (2018 iPhones... yet), has had an exchange repair program for separate issues

    Apple support can definitely be great, its what keeps me around when thhey do the right thing... but at the same time, they need to own up their mistakes and not shovel it under the rug

    imo they handled 6+ touch disease (making people pay for a replacement that dont have physical damage) and this 7 mic fiasco incredibly poorly.
  9. Heineken macrumors 6502a


    Jan 27, 2018
  10. fel10 macrumors 68000


    Feb 2, 2010
    Woodstock, GA USA
    And that's why anytime time I have any issues with my devices, Im going third party.
  11. Wags, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

    Wags macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2006
    Nebraska, USA
    A benefit for Apple! They seem to be slowly dialing back their quality to be just within the warranty window.
  12. Orlandoech, Dec 17, 2018
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2018

    Orlandoech macrumors 68040


    Jun 2, 2011
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Naw, Apple is the most moral and ethical company around, plus they care about your privacy!
  13. JMPATLANTA macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2011
    And yet, the Class Action trolls file suits over notch cutout screen resolution false marketing claims. This is the type of thing that need class actions. As the price for these devices go northward, becoming larger and larger part of a consumer's expendable income, the more pressure that will mount on these technology hardware companies to provide a longer lasting and more reliable product or the shine they once had will start to dull.
  14. avanpelt macrumors 68030

    Jun 2, 2010
    I hope people make a big fuss about this. As I recall, this was one of the shortest duration repair programs I've ever seen. Didn't it run for only a month or two? The article says "for a short time". I'd like to know why it was shut down so quickly. I don't buy the idea that they wanted to sell more phones. If they wanted to do that, they could've just never opened a repair program in the first place.
  15. RedWing512 macrumors regular

    May 14, 2014
    Yup. This is the perfect example of why third-party repairs are both important and necessary.
  16. Wags macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2006
    Nebraska, USA
    As these companies seem to want disposable electronics and increase purchase times.
  17. MikeSweden macrumors newbie

    Feb 17, 2010
    My wife updated her iOS on her Iphone 7 last week with the result that the speaker stopped working. After a visit to the genius bar they told her that they could clean the speaker. They went in the back and came back with her phone fully functioning after 10 minutes. No cost. So she was happy. But I highly doubt that the problem was dust related. I couldn't see dust as a feature in the latest update. Anyway. It works for now and at no cost from Apple.
  18. Dominicanyor macrumors 65816


    Apr 1, 2012
    It sounds like is a product defect. Apple knows is an issue why not just fix it or replace it.
  19. Baymowe335 macrumors 68040

    Oct 6, 2017
    Y’all are going to be so upset when they report their numbers in January. ;)
  20. terryzx macrumors regular


    Aug 27, 2007
  21. QCassidy352 macrumors G4


    Mar 20, 2003
    Bay Area
    They’re not reporting unit sales anymore, so there won’t be a definitive answer.

    Haven’t had an issue with mine, thankfully, but charging hundreds to address a hardware defect on a two year old phone is a really bad look for Apple.
  22. bland1 macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2014
  23. JPack macrumors 68040


    Mar 27, 2017
  24. Haiku_Oezu macrumors newbie


    Oct 31, 2016
    I dread the day I actually have a serious issue with an Apple product because their technical support is frankly appalling
  25. KPandian1 macrumors 65816

    Oct 22, 2013
    See, Apple customer service (and some products) more like Comcast and AT&T!

    Same thing with the lightning port getting fried in iPhones and bricking the entire device - contents gone, no recourse.

Share This Page