Exchanging (hopefully) my 4S today, do I need the box?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by filmfanatic24, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. filmfanatic24 macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2007
    Headed to the Apple Store in a few hours due to my crackling speaker in the earpiece. Do I need to take my box and everything to do an exchange? I've done it before but it was back when the 3G first came out.
  2. isoft7 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 3, 2011
  3. bruinsrme macrumors 603


    Oct 26, 2008
    No you don't. However, you most likely walk out of the store with only the phone.
  4. filmfanatic24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2007
    Well that doesn't matter to me, the box and accessories aren't broken.

    It would save me a trip home, but then the serial number on the phone wouldn't match the box. Not really sure if that is a big deal or not for resale purposes down the road.
  5. dave006 Contributor


    Jul 3, 2008
    Just West of East
    If you are just getting a warranty exchange then no you don't need the box or other items. Did you purchase at Apple?

    Right now the warranty units are brand new, only difference is that serial number will not match your box. Once you do a warranty exchange you will be unable to return your iPhone 4S for a refund to any retailer.

    If you have OCD and have to have a new boxed iPhone 4S, then you should take everything with you for the exchange but again only if you purchased it directly from Apple.

    Note: Apple is unable to accept returns that were purchased from other retailers but Apple handles all warranty exchanges for the iPhones.

  6. filmfanatic24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2007
    I ordered it on Apple.com. I guess I'll take back everything just to be safe. :-/
  7. djpuma macrumors regular

    Jul 13, 2010
    I exchanged my iphone 4s yesterday for a bad camera.
    Bought through ATT, exchanged at apple store. Brought the entire box and didn't need it, just got a new phone.

    They have different stock they use for exchanges that aren't in a box, they are in a plastic case that they keep. Phone was new though and my camera works great.

    good luck.
  8. Brookzy macrumors 601


    May 30, 2010
    Late reply, but just some clarification on the serial number on box situation...

    When the "Genius" assesses your broken, or malfunctioning iPhone, they should print off a few stickers. One is a sticker detailing the phone you are sending back to Apple (e.g. serial number, IMEI, etc) and the fault, for example "cracked screen", and below this a section where the Genius should type how the issue was resolved, for example, "replaced phone".

    Then, this sticker is attached to a black box, which your now old iPhone is placed inside, and sent back to Apple for refurbishment (turned into a "5K" serial number model)

    Out comes the new iPhone, along with its new serial and IMEI numbers. Another sticker printed by the genius details these new numbers, and is conveniently just the right size and format to fit over the old sticker on the box. If you have the box with you, they'll probably stick it on. I didn't bring my box on one exchange, and the genius just gave me the sticker.

    I hope this info is useful,


    (source: exchanging 7 iPhones over the years. Not all mine! :p)
  9. filmfanatic24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2007
    Just an update.

    Went to my appointment tonight, waited 30 minutes past my scheduled time and I was finally helped. I explained the situation and I was instantly told it was a network thing. No, I replied, I never heard this noise on my 4 or any of the other models before it.

    He took the phone to the back of the store to do whatever he did with it. Came back and said that he couldn't hear the sound (shocking since it was sporadic to begin with and it was a loud store). He said that one of the other "geniuses" had another customer bring in a phone with the same issue and it was so bad they replaced it. Clearly, since I took the time to bring mine in, it wasn't bad enough. He said that if it got worse they would replace it.

    Ok...instead of being reactionary (I was upset and tired) I decided to leave and let it settle in at home. Before I could leave, however, he tried to sell me Apple Care. Why on earth would I buy Apple Care from this guy who wouldn't help fix what it was supposed to cover?!?!?

    So I have an appointment for tomorrow. I'm taking my box and all the accessories. They will exchange me phone and if they won't I'm just going to return it. Hardly the customer support I expect from Apple.

    TL;DR - They said it was a network problem, wouldn't replace the phone, tried to sell me Apple Care.
  10. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    I am a little surprised they wouldn't exchange it. They can't process returns in store for an item purchased on Apple.com though. You will have to mail it back to them and then you can purchase a new phone once your upgraded eligibility resets (assuming you used an upgrade).
  11. filmfanatic24 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2007
    Hmmm, well one of the other posters mentioned purchasing at AT&T and being able to swap. We'll see, I have an appointment this morning. It could just be I got a person that wasn't willing to help, it's happened before at Apple Stores. I'll go back a few days later and get a different person and they instantly will do it.

    We shall see.

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