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

Baymowe335

macrumors 603
Oct 6, 2017
6,139
11,239
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.
Wow, really? I hadn’t heard that. /s

I’m talking about revenue, profit and other details.
 

HacKage

macrumors 6502
May 14, 2010
432
728
This is not an OS problem. It is hardware, and requires the U3101 audio IC to be replaced along with a C12 jumper. I know, because the company I work for does them every single day, regardless of OS. If it was an OS issue, a fix could be issued, but it's not.

The only solution is to replace the IC and do the jumper to ensure it doesn't happen again. Apple do not have the ability to do this quickly and at large scale, so they would rather overcharge the customer than admit the real fault which would cause them to be sued.
 

Leonard1818

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2011
2,459
401
This is not an OS problem. It is hardware, and requires the U3101 audio IC to be replaced along with a C12 jumper. I know, because the company I work for does them every single day, regardless of OS. If it was an OS issue, a fix could be issued, but it's not.

The only solution is to replace the IC and do the jumper to ensure it doesn't happen again. Apple do not have the ability to do this quickly and at large scale, so they would rather overcharge the customer than admit the real fault which would cause them to be sued.
Legit question: Why, if a hardware issue, does it seem to come to fruition when iOS is updated to 11.3 or higher? I'm genuinely curious b/c I'm on 11.2.x now and hesitant to update.
 
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cfountain72

macrumors member
Dec 5, 2002
71
15
Tampa, FL



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
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
5,669
8,612
This is not an OS problem. It is hardware, and requires the U3101 audio IC to be replaced along with a C12 jumper. I know, because the company I work for does them every single day, regardless of OS. If it was an OS issue, a fix could be issued, but it's not.

The only solution is to replace the IC and do the jumper to ensure it doesn't happen again. Apple do not have the ability to do this quickly and at large scale, so they would rather overcharge the customer than admit the real fault which would cause them to be sued.
Like touch disease, even if the device is replaced, there is no guarantee this problem won't return down the road. Replacement units are refurbished so it's unlikely the logic board design has been changed.
 

cfountain72

macrumors member
Dec 5, 2002
71
15
Tampa, FL
This is absolute garbage. I recently brought my wife's 7 to our local Apple Store (International Plaza Mall) showing these exact same microphone/speaker symptoms. After some diagnostics by the Genius, I was told that the repair would cost $300+...or they would take it in trade for $250 it in trade for a new iPhone Xr. I assumed it was just the result of an older phone, and might be a warning sign of more issues down the road. She did mention it was related to a recent iOS upgrade, but that it only effected a small number of phones and that, since we were out of warranty, we'd have to pay for the repair if we wanted to keep using this model, or trade it in on a newer one. We chose to pay off the remaining balance and trade it in for the Xr. Had we known about this crap, we would've definitely lobbied to get the repair and keep the 7. Not sure how effective it would be, but I'd encourage anyone else with similar issues to push harder for the 'free' repair.

MacRumors, thanks for the good work here. Just wish I had read this before we went to the store.

Peace be with you.
 

groadyho

Suspended
Apr 26, 2018
406
367
Colorado
Maybe I've just been lucky but I never had a problem with a phone. Whether it was 3 Nokia windows phones or past 3 androids. Even dropped my s9+ on concrete face down. Think the tempered glass protector saved it but still no issues.
Not so sure iPhones are all they're cracked up to be.
 

brendu

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2009
2,438
2,412
USA
This is one area I think its safe to say Steve would have done better. Tim doesn't seem to care about issues like this, rather leaving them to lower executives and employees to deal with. Steve wanted to control everything and would not have made customers pay for an issue his software engineers caused.
 

Digital Dude

macrumors 6502a
I guess this is what Tim Cook referred to (in effect) as 'we deeply love our customers' in an earlier interview. While I continue to buy Apple products (Google and MS, still lacking), I don't like the way Apple has transformed into a sub-par retailer, with latent defects and nitpicking warranty issues.

It's a shame, insomuch as exceptional customer service used to be one of the hallmarks that separated Apple from all others'.
 
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Preed08

macrumors regular
Dec 5, 2011
183
253
I had the same exact problem with my wife's 7. It failed exactly 24 months after purchase (right before I made the last payment on it). I also received the info that it was covered for a bit but now I would have to pay $300 for it. Straight BS.
Would be great if it actually qualified to be traded in, but since it cant make calls, i assume it isnt eligible.
 
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alphaod

macrumors Core
Feb 9, 2008
22,173
1,216
NYC
At the Apple Store, I have seen two types of customers
1) DYIWIA types who get turned down every time.
2) Nice people who get free out of warranty repairs all the time. Just get a manager to override cost.

If you’re nice to the Genius and they reflect this to the manager most of the time you’ll get the repair done free of charge.


I avoid calling them because you don’t know who you’re talking to and the other person is bound by some sort of rules they can’t break or they’ll get reprimanded.
 

JPack

macrumors 603
Mar 27, 2017
5,669
8,612
Legit question: Why, if a hardware issue, does it seem to come to fruition when iOS is updated to 11.3 or higher? I'm genuinely curious b/c I'm on 11.2.x now and hesitant to update.
This issue affects hardware running older versions of iOS, not just 11.3. At the time, there were probably audio bugs with older versions of iOS and updating to 11.3 fixed some of those. But if the device had 11.3 and still had audio issues, then it was clear it's the hardware.

 

racerhomie

macrumors 6502
Aug 14, 2015
342
618
Maybe I've just been lucky but I never had a problem with a phone. Whether it was 3 Nokia windows phones or past 3 androids. Even dropped my s9+ on concrete face down. Think the tempered glass protector saved it but still no issues.
Not so sure iPhones are all they're cracked up to be.
iPhones are one of the most popular phones in the world. So even if a problem exists with a small percentage it will still affect a lot of people. In my case of using them for over 8 years ,never had a issue.
 

TTTedP

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2017
156
149
This is not an OS problem. It is hardware, and requires the U3101 audio IC to be replaced along with a C12 jumper. I know, because the company I work for does them every single day, regardless of OS. If it was an OS issue, a fix could be issued, but it's not.

The only solution is to replace the IC and do the jumper to ensure it doesn't happen again. Apple do not have the ability to do this quickly and at large scale, so they would rather overcharge the customer than admit the real fault which would cause them to be sued.
From what you've seen, is it only affecting 7's? I've been getting told the mic on my X isn't good either (hollow, muffled calls). Wondering if it was more than one gen of phone.
 

gavroche

macrumors 65816
Oct 25, 2007
1,251
1,071
Left Coast
Reading the posts here genuinely makes me sad for humanity. We've developed into such an entitlement country. There is an option to buy extended warranty coverage... which some opt to buy, and some do not. And people apparently seem to think if you opt not to, it's someone else's fault.... and "greed." Everyone else should have to help pay for your choice, in the form of higher prices, right?
Any electronic product... especially when talking about billions of them... are going to have occasional issues. That is why warranties, and extended warranties, exist. If you decide to take the risk... and not pay to buy the extended warranty... that is your fault. Take responsibility for your own choices.
 
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