Apple voids warranty for liquid damage when sensors are snow white

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by MacGyver84, Jun 16, 2010.

  1. MacGyver84 macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2009
    I recently sent my white 3GS in to apple to be replaced under the factory warranty due to cracking around the buttons and bezel. Many people here have done the same thing as the plastic Apple used on the white iPhone is prone to cracking. I have already had mine replaced once and my replacement is cracking so I wanted to get a fresh case before my warranty was up.

    I spoke with Ariel back on 06/03/10 and she was very helpful! She setup a return ticket for my iPhone and even sent me a box to send the defective phone back to Apple in. She said the problem was common and they would be glad to take care of it for me and I would have a new 3GS in about a week.:)

    I took some pictures of the cracks and the moisture sensors to prove that they hadn’t been activated (they are still snow white) and I sent my phone to Apple.

    Much to my surprise I received an email about 3 days later saying that my phone had been subject to abuse or accidental damage. My phone was returned to me unrepaired with a note saying my warranty was void due to liquid damage. I was baffled because both sensors that are visible are still snow white.:confused:

    I called up apple iPhone support to see what the story was and got the run around for a while. After being persistent and not accepting the answer that the internal moisture sensors “must have” gotten activated even though the external ones had not I finally got to talk to a senior advisor. He said he understood my concern when I explained that I am fanatical about my iPhone and it doesn’t get out of my sight and I am 100% positive that it has never had any form of liquid on it. That and the fact that the external sensors were not activated made me question the warranty being void. He told me he would call the service center and get back with me.

    After the first senior advisor left me a voicemail I called Apple back with my case ID and spoke with senior advisor #2. He was able to tell me that the technician had found “corrosion” on my dock connector. Even though the moisture sensor was about 0.060” from the connector it is still snow white. This tells me that whatever moisture caused the connector to corrode was not enough to activate the sensor.

    Is it just me or shouldn’t at least one moisture sensor be some shade of red before the warranty is void “Due to liquid damage”? btw… the phone works perfectly so I KNOW there has been no damage to any components due to liquid! I just wanted my cracks fixed before chunks of plastic start falling from my 3GS. Is that too much for a loyal Apple customer to ask?:confused:

    I am still waiting on an email reply from senior advisor #2 so hopefully I can talk them into reconsidering their verdict on my "liquid damage"

    Edit to add email to senior advisor #2:

    Here are the pictures you requested. They show the cracks in weak areas of the plastic case (Picture 1&2) as well as the two external moisture sensors (Picture 6&7) which have not been activated (still white). I believe the possible corrosion came from a charging cable that may have contained some moisture. I would like to point out the fact that if this is the case there was obviously not enough moisture to even activate the moisture sensor which is approximately 0.060" from the connector.

    I also included the dock area with no screws in picture #5 (which is how I received it back from Apple service). I really appreciate your help!"
    ^ Last picture shows NO SCREWS! ^

    Edit to add new email from Apple senior advisor:

    "Thank your for your prompt reply! I am wrapping up my administrative tasks for the day and have finished researching your case. I'm confident you'll be pleased with the conclusion. Would it be permissible for me to call you about this issue tomorrow at 4 (CST)? I'd like to arrange for your replacement device. I'd also highly recommend you consider the AppleCare Protection Plan, as the phone is nearly out of warranty. This will ensure you have another year of hardware coverage, which would otherwise expire in 10 days. Technical phone support and battery coverage are also included. If you would like to set this up, I would be happy to do so tomorrow. Although resolution of your issue is not dependent on this. Please let me know if 4 is inconvenient for you, so we can make other arrangements.

    Thank you,"

    It looks like Apple is going to make it good! Yay!!!:D I'll update after I talk to him at 4pm (CST)

    (UPDATE 6/18) I received my replacement 3GS today!!! Thanks to the Apple technician who forgot the screws! :D Haha!! All is well and a big thanks to Ian... AKA senior advisor #2!!
  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Do you live in a humid area, or place where it gets ice cold during the winter?

    Either of these can lead to water damage, a phone or camera that gets freezing cold and in brought into a warm room can sweat, much like a ice cold glass or soda can.

    If you lived in Arizona likelihood of the above happening is rather small -- unless you sweat a lot and the iPhone or iPod can get damp that way.


    Now there are a bunch of people who say stuff about corroded dock connectors, so it is a problem ... don't know much about it though.
  3. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Hmmm. Are you being 100 percent snow white honest with us?

    "I explained that I am fanatical about my iPhone and it doesn’t get out of my sight and I am 100% positive that it has never had any form of liquid on it."

    "Is it just me or shouldn’t at least one moisture sensor be some shade of red before the warranty is void “Due to liquid damage”? btw… the phone works perfectly so I KNOW there has been no damage to any components due to liquid! "

    Sounds like perhaps you did have some liquid issue but not enough to trip the sensor (or cause failure) so you were hoping you'd pass their tests.
  4. LFSimon macrumors regular


    Jun 13, 2010
    I could see why this could potentially be called into question if the issue at hand was one that could potentially have been caused by moisture. But it seems to me that the OP's issue doesn't seem to be moisture related at all - so why bring up the moisture issue when the sensors don't even indicate a problem.
  5. Applejuiced macrumors Westmere


    Apr 16, 2008
    At the iPhone hacks section.
    You should try another Apple store or another rep.
    They should just check the sensors and hand you another phone.
  6. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Are you asking me? I didn't mention moisture. I said that perhaps the OP HAD liquid damage but in a way that didn't trip the stickers. The OP's post, semantically, was vague at best on the 2nd quote I posted.

    And do we KNOW that the OP didn't replace his stickers in an effort to deceive Just throwing it out there.
  7. dmx macrumors 6502

    Oct 25, 2008
    Are you near an Apple store where you can make an appointment with a genius?

    Otherwise, try calling Applecare and asking for customer relations.
  8. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    The Apple Store doesn't even look at the internal sensor. They check the dock and headphone sensors, and if they look good, hand you a new phone. Should have gone that route, I suspect.
  9. Dr Kevorkian94 macrumors 68020

    Jun 9, 2009
    SI, NY
    that is the most retarded thing ever. u have the photos of it beforehand so y wouldn't they fix it for u. but that sucks for u if that happened to me i would start screaming into the phone
  10. Pushkar macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2009
    SW London, UK
    When I got my iPhone 3G replaced, the first time I went to the Genius Bar - The 'Genius' misdiagnosed my iPhone as Liquid Damaged (Water Damaged whatever). When I got home, I researched the topic, checked my sensors and they were perfectly fine to me. Called up Apple Support and they said it make another appointment.

    Went back, saw another Genius who was immediately better, I told him about what had happened (Needless to say the other 'Genius' no longer works there) and he checked it and it was perfectly fine. Got a replacement on the spot.

    They could have just made a mistake..
  11. gadgetfreaky macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    Good lord that sounds like an awful story. If you are "waiting for an engineer" you are in deep doo doo. Just call apple care CS and try and go through them. Going thru the engineers I have found is like getting my head hit against a wall.

    Would be interested to know how you got corrosion so quickly.
  12. MacGyver84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2009
    WOW! So many replies all at once! I'll just touch on some of what was said...

    I live in KY so we have lots of humidity... The only thing I can figure is that a charging cable that I used may have been corroded and it got transferred to the phone's connector. Otherwise the moisture that corroded the connector should have activated the moisture sensor under the dock connector.

    I don't have an Apple store near me but if you guys think that would be a quick fix even with them having all of this on file I'll drive 2 hours to get to the nearest one...

    It has absolutely never had liquid on it... I don’t even know where you would get replacement sensors or how you would replace them bc you would have to take the phone apart to even get to them...

    Oh, btw... Apple sent the phone back to me without the screws at the bottom! :mad:
  13. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Well - that being the case - you should call them immediately. Tell them you sent out your device and have been inconvenienced by not having your device and now - no replacement. And furthermore - the original was returned in worse condition then when it was sent - missing screws. I would elevate this to a manager and plead your case and that you plan on writing a letter to corporate to have this matter investigated further. It's on thing to reject a phone for replacement (which sounds like they had no basis). But returning a phone that wasn't re-assembled correctly is POOR customer service.
  14. gadgetfreaky macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    returning the phone to you unassembled is just plain rude.
    i would call apple care and do the CS thing. they resolve **** fast.
  15. Gizmotoy macrumors 65816


    Nov 6, 2003
    This. If you take it to a store now, they're not going to replace it. They'll notice the missing screws and assume you've tampered with it. You should have mentioned this on the phone when you called back to complain!
  16. StvPtrsn macrumors newbie

    May 25, 2010
    About 6 months ago my 3GS slid into a large trash bin that has come in from the rain. It got just wet enough to trigger both visible moisture indicators but was in a case and didn't actually see any impact (it slid down the side of the bin) so didn't cause any physical damage. The phone didn't have any moisture related problems from this. Worked perfectly after the spill.

    About a month ago I discovered the power button had lost it's throw and that there was a sizable crack in the case next to the dock connector.

    I scheduled a genius appointment figuring the worst they'll say is no. I went in there and told them up front that the moisture indicators were tripped but that the phone worked fine but I was concerned about the crack and power button. They ended up replacing it under warranty without issue. They replaced it based on the crack, not the power button. They said the power button was most likely due to impact. I didn't argue since it didn't matter.

  17. MacGyver84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2009
    I did mention it when I called. I already emailed the guy that was helping me pics.
  18. gadgetfreaky macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    So what happens if your moisture sensors go off...but there is no actual phoen damage. then something else goes wrong 5 months later. Say your screen cracks.

    apple then denies your claim on a 700 buck phone. what a bunch of BS.
  19. MacGyver84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2009
    If I don't hear back from him by tomorrow I'll call CS... That's a good idea!:cool: Thanks!
  20. MacGyver84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2009
    Yep! It IS a bunch of crap isn't it!?
  21. ThatsMeRight macrumors 68020

    Sep 12, 2009
    Apple only uses those external sensors to quickly check if there's water damage. You can demand that they also check your internal iPhone sensors, since the external iPhone water sensors are not really trustable.
  22. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Because 9 times out of ten - that's not the case. 9 times out of 10 - there has been water damage and someone is trying to pull a fast one.
  23. billy3785 macrumors regular


    Sep 3, 2008
    i'll have to say that we were very lucky when we had a water incident. I accidentally washed my boyfriends iphone in the laundry as he left it in his pants pocket. It didnt turn, it was fried. He painted the water sensors, took it in and they gave him a brand new one on the spot.

    this story is intense! corrosion around the dock connector. smh
  24. MacGyver84 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2009
    I updated the original post with pics and the email that I sent to the Apple senior advisor that was helping me if you guys want to check them out...
  25. gadgetfreaky macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2007
    A cracked screen would be caused by water how?
    under no circumstances should that ever happen.

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