Can AT&T say I've returned "too many" iPhones?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by XciteMe, Sep 6, 2010.

  1. XciteMe macrumors 6502

    May 21, 2009
    Santa Monica, CA
    OK due to my severe OCD, things like dust particles in the screen and loose home buttons make me crazy.

    I am on my second iPhone 4 (the first one, bought at launch, was returned within 30 days because of the reception issue).

    This second one has dust particle and that was out of the box.

    I am considering returning it to AT&T (I've had it for about 2 weeks), which would be my second return.

    "Why not just swap it at a Genius Bar?"

    Because I REFUSE to get a refurbished, non-new iPhone 4 when I just paid for mine. I refuse to play a "cross your fingers and hope for the best" game, since many Genius people have been known to shut you down and tell you they cannot help you. I just refuse.

    So my question is, if I return this iPhone 4, wait a week or two until my account status resets back to where it was before, and then RE order the iPhone 4 again (yet again), do you think AT&T Might deny me and say "Uh why have you returned 2 already?"

    Or am I just worrying about nothing? They don't care about that, right, as long as I pay my bill each month?

    What's your take? Who's done this?
  2. spades1412 macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009
    You will most likely get a better replacement from the genius bar. It may be a refurb, but would have gone through far more testing by apple to meet their requirements. I don't understand why people are so against receiving refurbs as replacements.The refurbs are in overall better condition than a new off the line phones. I bet if you put a refurb next to a new phone, you wouldn't be able to tell the 2 apart.
  3. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Dec 25, 2003
    Northern Virginia
    You are right there, but those of us of us with OCD want a new item at times... I am one of those that will look through a book or magazine on the front of a rack... Only to take from back of the rack....
  4. Warbrain macrumors 603


    Jun 28, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    You've obviously never dealt with the Apple store. They rarely turn you away and some workers will go beyond what is expected to help you. Go to the Apple store, exchange it, and you'll get a phone that works and may even work better than before.

    If anything, you need to get out of the at&t process. They will tell you to **** off very soon.
  5. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    You know, I'm beginning to think that purchasing Apple Products, and then NOT being allowed to return them, would be excellent Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for OCD patients. Seriously!

    Last I checked the back of a retail receipt from when I bought something at a store, AT&T's policy on this is: you're allowed ONE exchange or return. After the Exchange, you may not return the phone a second time. The best they will do for you is have it serviced under warranty.

    You'll probably get away with a full service cancellation, however, if you say that coverage was the problem and you swapped phones because you thought the first one was defective and the cause for dropped calls.

    There is no certainty that you will get a refurb. In fact it's possible that they will repair YOUR phone - the one you have now - by removing the screen, cleaning the speck, and replacing it, and then returned to you in short order.

    You may also get a new phone that was set aside upon production as a warranty replacement.

    With all due respect - and I DO respect you for admitting your OCD on this issue - it is generally this kind of behavior and attitude when you approach genius bar employees that causes them to shut right down. If you come on the attack, they will get defensive. That's how it is in a LOT of support situations, not just at Apple.

    Assuming you can get a manager to authorize the return at the store, I suspect that yes, the fact of your having signed up and canceled service in the recent past will be noted and available to any store rep who tries to sign you up for another iPhone. How they act upon that information will be up to them.

    AT&T's primary business is not refurbishing phones, and after a while, they are not going to let people continually open up their merchandise and return it used claiming that microscopic specs of dust render the device unacceptable. Nor are store reps going to give you much heed when they know that within days of having signed you up, their commission is going to be yanked because you're on a quest for the "perfect" iPhone 4.

    They want you to pay your bill each month, but returning fully functional phones as used, returned, unresaleable merchandise costs them money. They WILL care if they have reason to believe it will keep happening.
  6. Solange82200 macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2010
    It's quite simple. Pretty soon those refurbs will start selling for 50 to 100 dollars less than new. Why should he pay 50 to 100 dollars more for a refurb phone? I understand that what you all are saying is true, that refurbs are just as good, but the principle stands. You are getting a 150 dollar product when you paid 200 bucks for it....
  7. Roofy. macrumors 6502a

    Jan 24, 2009
    People who complain about things like that are ridicuous. A speck of dust? wow
  8. mackmgg macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2007
    Those refurbs are from AT&T not Apple. Theres a huge difference :p Apple never sells refurb iPhones
  9. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    Then the answer is simple: he can go return his iPhone 4 and wait at least a couple months for the refurbs to show up on AT&T's website. And when he finds out they ARE on sale, he needs to hope he gets the order through before the stock runs out.

    Yeah, good luck with that one. Who knows? He might even get one of the phones he returned to AT&T! :D


    He can go to the Apple store now, where they may very well repair his existing phone, the one he paid "full price" for by either blowing out the spec or replacing the screen with a new component. And if not, his payment guarantees him a working phone which MAY be a refurb or MAY be new, but he gets it right then and there. Not just whenever they have some spares to sell on the website.
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Are you imagining the problems? Maybe photos next time?

    Apple did.
  11. mackmgg macrumors 65816


    Nov 2, 2007
    When? I know they sell refurbished Macs and iPods (usually better quality then the new ones, and cheaper) but I've never seen a refurbished iPhone other then from AT&T
  12. uberamd macrumors 68030


    May 26, 2009
    Yes, thats one thing. But seriously, 99% of the time I buy from Apple's refurb section and it is impossible to tell the difference from a new one. And better yet, the refurbs have gone through testing to verify they are in perfect operating condition.
  13. detroit1 macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2008
    just go to the genius bar and ask for a brand new phone lmao.
    if they say no then say youll return and reorder. complain till you get it and for the love of God please look at the phone and make sure it meets your standards before you leave the store hahaha jkjk

    but seriously look at it
  14. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    I agree with taking the refurb. They've gone through more quality control.
  15. kdarling macrumors P6


    Jun 9, 2007
    First university coding class = 47 years ago
    Not necessarily. Apple themselves say the requirements aren't any more than what they normally do:

    "Refurbishment procedures follow the same basic technical guidelines as Apple's Finished Goods testing procedures. "

    That doesn't make any sense at all. They've been used by someone, disassembled and reassembled.

    Someone compared it to buying a new car, then returning it for warranty work... and getting back someone else's car that's been repaired and washed. Sure, the other car might be "better" than you one you brought in, but it's not "better than new".

    That said, I often buy Apple refurbs myself. Not because I think they're tested better (I don't believe they are), but because they're better priced.
  16. chembox macrumors 6502a

    Feb 17, 2010
    For a $400 phone (excluding 2-year contract pricing), I expect it to be 99.9% perfect.

    The beauty is in the eye of the beholder, anyways. :)
  17. Carlanga macrumors 604


    Nov 5, 2009
    I'm assuming you can actually see w/ your naked eyes this 'dust particles' then they should be at least around 40 microns across, I was wondering if you could show us a pic of said particles to evaluate....
    If you are so picky why didn't you check it in store before leaving, since this is your 2nd one already?
  18. uberamd macrumors 68030


    May 26, 2009
    It makes perfect sense. A device that was new had a defect or was returned, Apple replaced all faulty parts and parts with any sign of use and now it has been hand inspected and verified working. More attention is paid to a refurb product than a new one.

    Your car analogy is also not great. A better analogy would be someone returning a car for warranty work, getting someone else's car that has been repaired, has a new body that shows no signs of use, and has been hand inspected to verify that there are no issues. Side by side with a brand new car, there is no way to tell the difference no matter how closely you look.

    Have you ever purchased a refurb laptop? Based on your post, I will assume you have. Then even you will admit that the keyboards show NO signs of use. The trackpads show NO signs of use. The screen is in perfect condition. It is impossible to tell it was ever used. So whats the problem? You can't return a car for a new one if there's a problem, so why should you be able to do the same with an electronic item?
  19. asleep macrumors 68040


    Sep 26, 2007

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