Fastest way to get a Watch exchanged / repaired?

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by AN1, Jun 10, 2015.

  1. AN1 macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2015
    Hi all,

    My Watch has a few issues, like a sticky crown that just goes back to being sticky 1-3 days after cleaning and some quality issues with the display, etc. It's nothing completely debilitating, but nonetheless unacceptable for a device at this price point.

    At launch when I got it, I hesitated to have it swapped as there were no replacements available and it would've left me without my Watch for several weeks right after getting it. Recently, at the Apple Store, I was told there are still no in-store repairs and they'd likely have to sent it in.

    Has anybody managed to get a Watch with various issues swapped quickly? I have AppleCare+ and would hope that there is some way to just get it exchanged on the spot or have a new one delivered to me / the Apple Store before I have to sent in mine. Any advice or magic words I have to say? ;-)

  2. mr.anthonyramos macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2015
    Hong Kong
    Sorry to hear about your issues.

    I know that the sticky crown issue exists but what specifically is the issue with your screen?

    Also, the best way to see and make sure you get a replacement ASAP is calling AppleCare.
  3. AN1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2015
    My Watch screen has what looks like dust / smudges / water stains on it. The issue is masked most of the time as the UI design of the Watch features mostly sparse graphics / text on a black background, and you can't really see non-uniformity display issues on a display that's 90% black, fortunately ;-) But yeah, it looks a bit like backlight clouding on older LCDs. I checked on some store models, and saw the same defect on a few of them. A friend's Watch seems completely free of the artifact, though. If you want to check your Watch, the easiest way is to fire up Maps, zoom in all the way till you only have 1-2 solidly colored shapes in the screen and see if you can spot a fixed pattern of smudges / stains that stay in place when you scroll around.

    Like I said, neither the sticky crown nor the display issue is a dealbreaker. I was simply hoping that at some point Apple Stores will have the ability to perform on-site repairs or I could just get an exchange once they're stocked.

    Thanks for your suggestion, I'll give AppleCare a call. I'd still like to hear from anybody that tried just that and what response they got, how and how quickly they got a repair or even a replacement etc.
  4. H3rman macrumors 6502

    Apr 16, 2015
    AppleCare+ express replacement. They send you a new watch body (without straps) and you swap it with your current one, then return the faulty one back to them using the pre-paid packaging.

    Means you don't have to be without a watch at all, not even for a day. Did this with mine when I dropped it and bent the corner. Watch was still usable, but the link band wouldn't fit, so was stuck with the sport band until it got replaced.
  5. Trius macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2008
    This. Had my replacement watch in two days.
  6. amermoose macrumors newbie


    May 26, 2015
    Going to the store took my watch 11 days. They lost the serial number / watch for 6 of those days. I've read that AppleCare by phone can be quick.
  7. AN1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2015
    Ok, thanks for sharing all that info! Looks like the AppleCare+ express replacement is the way to go, 11 days would really suck, sorry to hear that. The genius at the store told me there was no such thing as an 'express replacement'. Will call the hotline tomorrow!
  8. iConnected macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2011
    You should mention that "genius" to them when you call - he needs some retraining! :)
  9. Rok73 macrumors 65816


    Apr 21, 2015
    Planet Earth
  10. iConnected, Jun 10, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2015

    iConnected macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2011
    The OP has it - see the first post (or indeed read the whole thread). ;)
  11. Eightyone macrumors regular

    Apr 29, 2015
    A lot of AppleWatch/Apple owners are unfamiliar with OLED screen technology.

    Here are problems, well associated:

    The screen is not backlit, it organically lights itself.

    OLED screens do not like direct sunlight.

    OLED screens are subject to screen burn-in/image retention.

    Colors will shift and degrade over time; blue degrading the fastest and red becomes orange.

    Bright white backgrounds, kill the screen and battery fastest.

    Lastly, a problem you stated with your watch is an inherent characteristic of the technology - not actually a problem, as ALL OLED screens have it (some more, some less):

    The Mura effect, pure black screens have splotches that appear like water/oil stains; or vertical streaks on gray backgrounds.

    You may end up with another AW with more Mura or less; it is a immutable with OLED.
  12. AN1 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 28, 2015
    Interesting! I was aware of all those OLED characteristics you mentioned, but I did not expect the "splotches that appear like water/oil stains; or vertical streaks on gray backgrounds" part. I never noticed this when playing a PS Vita 1st gen with OLED display. I would consider it unacceptable on such a device, but think it is tolerable on my Watch because of the 90% black UI design, which hides it the majority of the time. It's quite noticeable in apps like photos and maps, though. It's as if the screen has a paper like texture (think iOS reminders app). Some of the floor models at the Apple Store also had it, some didn't, some had quite bad burn-in, yeah. I'd hope, just like cloudy LCD backlights, this is at least partially a quality control problem and I just got a particularly bad specimen.

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11 June 10, 2015