Other applecare is saying "water damage" but this phone hasn't been in contact with liquid?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by jrm27, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. jrm27 macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Hey guys:

    About two weeks ago the mute switch on my iphone broke off... i went to put it in silent mode and the switch came off. i called applecare, they said "no problem". they overnighted me a new phone, i put my old one in the box, and everything was hunky-dory.

    Today, i get a box in the mail. Surprise, its my old iphone! i call support and they tell me that my old iphone had "water damage" and therefore they were sending it back and charging me for my replacement phone.

    I told them that isn't possible... I've never spilled anything on the phone, never dropped it in water, never left it in the bathroom while i took a shower, never exposed it to a humid environment... heck it stays at about 20% humidity here where I live. The sensor must be faulty. He tells me that it's not and that I'm out of luck because those water sensors are really hard to set off. In fact, they've put iphones in the shower and not had those sensors go off.

    He then asked if it gets cold where I live. yep, i live in the rocky mountains and it snows here. He said that is probably the culprit. If I have it in my pocket outside and it is really cold, then when i bring it inside condensation probably forms and causes water damage. Seriously? I can put my iphone in the shower and not have the sensor go off, but if I take it from a cold place to a warm room i can set the sensor off? Either way, they said that I should send them my new replacement phone (with working mute switch) and fire up my old one (that doesn't work properly). If they get their new phone back without damage, they might refund my money.

    Sorry for the length of this, but has anyone else experienced this? Is there something else I can do? Some higher power? Thanks for any suggestions/insight!

  2. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Condensation, taking a cold item outside to a humid indoor condition.

    You've probably seen condensation on you soda can and glass when having a drink, same idea.

    Can happen with cold electronics, though only the camera people tended to really worry about it and try all sorts of things to avoid it. Since you tend to notice moisture on the lenses quicker than on the inside of a cellphone or computer.
  3. IonutZ macrumors newbie

    Mar 5, 2009
    Somewhere in Michigan
    I'd be pissed thinking they poured water on it on purpose...
  4. lavrishevo macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2007
    I would call back and ask your for your case to be elevated. Talk to a supervisor or whatever they call them and be respectful explaining the situation in detail. You are really at their mercy so work the gift of gab to your benefit and they may send you a new phone. Explain about the cold weather and how this has never happened with other phones you have owned and such.. Good luck.
  5. jrm27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    well, i called back and talked with a really nice fella (technical service rep). However, looks like I'm still hosed. Unless I want to pay money that I don't have, apparently I need to box up my new phone, hope for a refund and figure out how to make my broken phone work for me. sweet. I'll try and get them to cancel my applecare too since it won't be applicable on my busted phone.

    Does anyone know of a different dept to call and try and work it up the ladder? The guy I talked to was vert nice and understanding, but apparently there's just nothing he can do.

  6. lavrishevo macrumors 68000


    Jan 9, 2007
  7. JForestZ34 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 18, 2007
    I would definatly tell them to BITE ME.... Why would they put moisture sensor in there for them to be that sensitive... I would call back and see if you could talk to a supervisor and see if they can help.. My phone has never been close to water so who knows if they are telling you the truth or not.. If I ever have to bring my phone in, I WANT to see the sensor for myself, not any of this taking it into the back room for a couple of minutes and then coming back out and then checking the sensor.. NO WAY... I wouldn't doubt that at some store's they do this so they can deny some claims...

  8. jaw04005 macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Call Customer Relations or e-mail sjobs@apple.com and let the Executive Customer Service team deal with your case.
  9. SFStateStudent macrumors 604


    Aug 28, 2007
    San Francisco California, USA
    +1 ^^^ Customer Relations will work with you on this one. Not sure how close you are to a Apple Store, but if you are close, ask to speak with a manager and if they don't answer your questions or take the damaged iPhone, then ask for the manager's business card and ask for a phone number or email address for Customer Relations and go home and call or email Customer Relations... Good luck! :(
  10. jrm27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    I wrote an email to executive customer services last night, included some pics of the phone, and explained my situation. Hopefully I hear back from them soon!

    The nearest apple store is 2.5 hours drive (one way). That's why i bought the applecare and had the "advanced replacement" option. Arggggg! Fun times. Thanks for the input! If anyone else has any thoughts or advice, they are most appreciated!
  11. macfearless macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2008
    honestly, what are people who live in the cold supposed to do? sounds ridiculous. i feel for ya, man.
  12. gianpan macrumors member

    Nov 22, 2008
    I don't know but if they want to screw you they probably can, but I am with you man:)
  13. KingCathcart macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2008
    How the hell could water damage cause a broken mute switch anyways. The water damage indicator should only prevent repair if the fault could actually be caused by water damage, surely.
  14. teiresias macrumors regular

    Oct 15, 2007
    This is my thought as well. He's asking for a repair for a purely mechanical fault that would have nothing to do with whether there was any water damage to the device (which would cause a more electrical-based fault in usage of the device).

    This sounds like a load of BS to me (from Apple's end) and a horrid method of customer service from Apple.
  15. jrm27 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    Thanks for the solidarity folks!

    Apparently, the alleged "water damage" has nothing to do with the switch breaking off. The customer service rep I spoke with said that the first thing they do when they get a phone in is hook it up for a diagnostic. Once the diagnostic shows "water damage" they pack the phone back up and send it back to the owner. It doesn't matter that just my switch is broken and the phone works otherwise. Once they find a bigger problem (alleged), it takes precedence over the smaller issue.

    Doesn't even sound like they looked at the switch.
  16. tlj92 macrumors newbie


    Aug 21, 2008
    I had a similar problem at the Apple store, I went in and they told me the phone had water damage, so I left po'd. I went back on a different night and they told me they would replace it no problem. Inspection process was the same each time. The other people in line were all being told their phone had water damage. The phone's on display had there sensors all set off. Take the phone to Apple in person, speak to a manager if you have to.
  17. njohnson302 macrumors newbie

    Sep 30, 2008
    I could be wrong, but heres a suggestion. If your volume toggle still works you could always just hold it down to get it pretty close to silent mode and hold it up to get back into ring. I know its not a perfect solution, nor is it actually silent. But the only thing audible its the lock/unlocok sound, and barely audible at that.
  18. goosnarrggh macrumors 68000

    May 16, 2006
    That's the bureaucratic mentality showing through.

    In order to minimize how much impact their warranty program has on their bottom line, they refurbish their returned iPhones and resell them. Any damage of a nature that cannot be undone through the refurbishing process, also happens to be excluded from their repair eligibility requirements. That way, they don't have to deal with any returned stock which cannot be turned into new a source of revenue.

    Of course, if it is shown that the water submersion indicators are prone to showing false positive results in phones that have never actually been subjected to misuse or exposure to environmental conditions outside the recommendations, then the warranty ought to be still valid, and there's always the possibility to negotiate (or litigate) for a more favourable outcome.
  19. cara24 macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2009
    i had the same problem! i bought a phone a few weeks ago and on my way home from the store, i realized the silent switch was broke. when it's on loud, my phone randomly vibrates (sometimes 10 times in a row). i have no sound for incoming alerts, calls, and the keyboard clicks don't work.

    i called apple care the next day and they told me i need to go to the apple store. i finallly was able to go to the store yesterday and the "genius" told me they can't do anything because my phone has water damage. my phone was NEVER in water! the water sensor in the headphone jack is still white, so my phone was obviously not submerged in water.

    the genius asked if i have my phone in humid environments like a shower and i told him i use the ipod at the gym. i was told that going from the heat and humidity in the gym to the cold temperatures outside could cause the water sensor to turn pink. it can't be legal to void a warranty because the product is used as intended. so now my only option is to buy a new phone at retail value. there is NO way i'm buying a third iphone (i reallly did break my first one and didn't even attempt to get a new one for free because i new it was my fault).

    i thought apple was known for their customer service? i know i'll never buy an apple product again if they don't do anything to fix this.
  20. kas23 macrumors 603


    Oct 28, 2007

    Wow, this is very scary. This could happen to any one of us and we would be completely screwed.
  21. brax.j macrumors regular

    Jan 27, 2009
    Palo Alto, CA
    When you signed up for ATT service you signed a contract that says if water damage is evident then your warranty is void which means that no matter what you shouldn't get a phone. For those of you that say your headphone jack detector is white there is another water detector in your dock connector. Stop whining about how you have "never" gotten your iPhone wet but your detector has been activated it's not Apple's fault.
  22. Hardcoredan52 macrumors regular

    Mar 2, 2008
    I recently had to buy another iphone because of water damage. The guy at apple said that he had to replace his because he set his down in a cup holder of his car. I guess the condensation from drinks being in there left enough moisture to trigger it. It sucks trust me... I know...
  23. skye12 macrumors 65816


    Nov 11, 2006
    Austin, Tx
    I'd bet someone in your family did the deed and will not fess up.
    PS-a huge portion of identity fraud originates with family members also.
  24. Cola-Lola macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2009
    so does kidnapping and child abuse :rolleyes:
  25. freediverdude macrumors 6502a

    Dec 26, 2006
    Well I checked my dock connector sensor and sure enough it looks red. My phone has never been submersed in water, or even run under the sink or in the rain or anything. It works fine. The headphone jack sensor is white. Something is definitely going on with these sensors. I smell a rat.

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