Genius Bar Experience with alleged Water Damaged iPhone

jdoyle

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 29, 2004
81
43
I just wanted to share my experience today at Genius bar.
A few days ago my wife's iPhone suddenly stopped making any sound. When she answered the person ringing could not hear her and she could not hear them. No ring, no interface sounds. I did a factory reset, etc to no avail. So I booked in to Genius Bar. They took one look and said the indicator in the dock was red and the warranty was void.
So I was shocked. He insisted that it is only triggered when immersed for 90 seconds. There is no way that has ever happened. We take really good care of our iPhones ( I have one too ) It was going to cost me AUD$249 for a replacement. I remained calm but explained that I know for a fact that sweat has been known to trigger those indicators, and Apple is the only company that have indicators on the outside for quick diagnosis and it does not prove logic board water damage. He did not disagree with me, and then just when I thought I had no recourse other than fork out the cost he said it was highly irregular but he would crack it open and check for internal water damage and see what he could do.
When he returned he merely stated I had "dodged a bullit" and he would replace it under warranty at no cost.
The moral of this story is show your knowledge of this issue to them and insist they check the internal indicators. it only took him and few extra minutes to check, and I now know that if your external indicators are red and the internal are not they have the discretion to cover it under warranty.
If they can be triggered by something like sweat, then the procedure should always be to open it up and check internal.
So I really appreciated the staff member who went out of his way to hear my case and pursue the matter further to help me out.
 

John T

macrumors 68020
Mar 18, 2006
2,115
6
UK.
Well done and good for you! :)

I think the moral of your experience is the fact that you appear to have been polite and patient with the Genius - explaining the situation and giving him the respect that he deserved. In return, he obviously respected you were not trying to "con" him and he acted accordingly.

So often you can read threads on here from people who have ranted and raged at the Genius when he has diagnosed dampness penetration and explained that their warranty is therefore void.

As you have proved, politeness can work wonders!
 

QuarterSwede

macrumors G3
Oct 1, 2005
9,146
1,080
Colorado Springs, CO
Well done and good for you! :)

I think the moral of your experience is the fact that you appear to have been polite and patient with the Genius - explaining the situation and giving him the respect that he deserved. In return, he obviously respected you were not trying to "con" him and he acted accordingly.

So often you can read threads on here from people who have ranted and raged at the Genius when he has diagnosed dampness penetration and explained that their warranty is therefore void.

As you have proved, politeness can work wonders!
I work in retail with customers all the time and I can tell you that politeness is the best thing you can do to get what you want. The more upset you are/aggravated you get the less they want to help you. Would you want to help someone if they started yelling at you?
 

thelatinist

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2009
5,933
49
Connecticut, USA
I think the moral of the story is that you were very lucky to get a genius willing to violate company policy (and probably risk getting fired) to help you out.
 

androiphone

macrumors 65816
Dec 13, 2009
1,000
1
surely apple have to prove that the device is actually water damaged and not just rely on a water sensor on the outside of the device in order to void the warrenty, I think politeness and also knowlage had a large part to play here as think of all the money apple saves just by saying the water sensor is tripped its void to less knowlageable people.
 

jdoyle

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 29, 2004
81
43
I think the moral of the story is that you were very lucky to get a genius willing to violate company policy (and probably risk getting fired) to help you out.
I don't he was violating company policy. Genius Bar staff just don't do those things. I am quite sure the situation exposed a policy that Apple don't openly advertise. I.e if challenged on this water damage issue they have the disecretion to open the case and check the internal indicators. If they are not triggered they can make a judgement that could favour the customer. Externally the iPhone was in perfect condition and this may have helped my case.My knowledge definitely helped:apple::cool:
 

LIVEFRMNYC

macrumors 604
Oct 27, 2009
7,432
8,605
Well done and good for you! :)

I think the moral of your experience is the fact that you appear to have been polite and patient with the Genius - explaining the situation and giving him the respect that he deserved. In return, he obviously respected you were not trying to "con" him and he acted accordingly.

So often you can read threads on here from people who have ranted and raged at the Genius when he has diagnosed dampness penetration and explained that their warranty is therefore void.

As you have proved, politeness can work wonders!

QFT!!!! .......






I think the moral of the story is that you were very lucky to get a genius willing to violate company policy (and probably risk getting fired) to help you out.

I doubt he was in violation of company policy and/or put his job at risk.
 

Zyniker

macrumors 6502
Feb 14, 2008
309
0
I agree.
Definetelly got lucky. Thats the exception and not the rule.
Others have argued till they turned red and didnt get a free exchange.
"Others have argued..." and there's the problem. Being polite and remaining calm works wonders. I have had an iPhone replaced that had a triggered water damage indicator (I also had the genius check the internals). There are seldom problems when one is reasonable and politely requests further investigation. Problems arise when there is either 1) actual water damage to internal components or 2) a rude customer who thinks he is entitled to a replacement with no questions asked.

Those who stated this tech was violating company policy are flat out wrong. Apple has a general policy of keeping customers satisfied and happy. That policy does not, however, extend to caustic or rude customers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a tech's behaviour if all he does is check the internals for actual water damage. The indicators are just there to speed the process along, they are not the only factor considered when water damage is indicated.
 

Applejuiced

macrumors Westmere
Apr 16, 2008
40,650
6,403
At the iPhone hacks section.
"Others have argued..." and there's the problem. Being polite and remaining calm works wonders. I have had an iPhone replaced that had a triggered water damage indicator (I also had the genius check the internals). There are seldom problems when one is reasonable and politely requests further investigation. Problems arise when there is either 1) actual water damage to internal components or 2) a rude customer who thinks he is entitled to a replacement with no questions asked.

Those who stated this tech was violating company policy are flat out wrong. Apple has a general policy of keeping customers satisfied and happy. That policy does not, however, extend to caustic or rude customers. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a tech's behaviour if all he does is check the internals for actual water damage. The indicators are just there to speed the process along, they are not the only factor considered when water damage is indicated.
I agree, but beeing nice doesnt always work :D
 

thelatinist

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2009
5,933
49
Connecticut, USA
I don't he was violating company policy. Genius Bar staff just don't do those things. I am quite sure the situation exposed a policy that Apple don't openly advertise.
I think you're overestimating your cleverness and underestimating your luck.

I doubt he was in violation of company policy and/or put his job at risk.
Why do you doubt that? Apple has made clear again and again that tripped water sensors void the warranty. How can Apple policy get any clearer than this one? I have no doubt that if this guy's supervisor knew he was replacing phones with tripped water sensors he'd be out of a job.
 

gigapocket1

macrumors 68000
Mar 15, 2009
1,641
932
Not neccessarily. I don't think the guy would have gotten fired.. I was at the genius bar one day.. Because I was having problems with my screen. While the genius guy who was helping me went to the back to open my phone their was a guy beside me getting his phone looked at.. And the guy was OUT OF WARRENTY by 2 months.. Apple still replaced his phone! The genius guy did a courtesy exchange......
 

WeegieMac

Guest
Jan 29, 2008
3,273
1
Glasgow, UK
When I returned my iPhone in December for a crack in the plastic casing, there was a gentleman beside me at the Genius Bar who got his iPhone replaced with a refurb, despite having a water sensor tripped in the headphone jack.

The Genius went away and opened the iPhone up to check if the internal sensors were tripped, and because they weren't, she was authorised to give a refurb replacement.
 

WeegieMac

Guest
Jan 29, 2008
3,273
1
Glasgow, UK
Just to add, I don't know if the general cosmetic condition of the phone goes in your favour when visiting the Genius Bar.

If you look at your replacement receipt/exchange note it has a section for "Cosmetic Condition" of your original iPhone, the top two "ranges" being "As New" and "Excellent".
 

littleburra

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2010
1
0
Water damage indicator

After reading this thread and suffering the same problems, I went to my carrier today (after being told by the carriers repair centre that the phone was void of warranty due to water mark being present) to collect my phone and mentioned this discussion - my carrier rang Apple direct who confirmed that if the marker inside the phone is not activated and the internal components are in working order they WILL replace it under warranty! I am about to ship my phone off direct to Apple today. so the moral of this story is.....don't give up. Apparently my carrier do not open the back of the phone - they use the external indicator to assess water damage!
 

island

macrumors 6502
Feb 19, 2007
478
0
CT
If anyone needs help getting around the red water sensor issue, shoot me a PM and I can give you a nice tip on getting passed that.

;)
 

iPhone85

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2010
3
0
iPhone 4

I spilled some water on my Iphone 4. The sensors did not trigger and are still white and silver in the audio jack. There was some water I could see through the screen when I was turning the phone off (which is now gone) to store it in a bag of rice.

If the sensors on the outside did not trigger, do they check any further? I am not sure if the inside sensors changed color.

Also, the home button stopped working but everything else seemed fine (sound, display, could make calls and receive calls, sms, mms, etc).

I will be taking it in to the Genius Bar tomorrow night to see if they can help me fix it, or replace it if I can get away by telling them that the button stopped working after giving me trouble which is something I have found people to have been having problems with this new iPhone.

Thanks!
 

Slip Jigs

macrumors 6502a
Feb 18, 2008
698
0
I don't know how you "dodged a bullet". Either the phone was water damaged or it wasn't. It sounds like he still thought that it was, but couldn't see definitive proof, or perhaps the manager decided to give you a break.
 

smf72

macrumors regular
Jun 28, 2010
156
9
Tripped Sensor

The cup holder in my car with a starbucks Ice Tea tripped my sensor, I have a replacement coming from apple since I dont want to deal with the genius bar in CT. What is likely hood they will only charge me 199.00. Everything else works perfect and the headphone sensor is fine.
 

samcraig

macrumors P6
Jun 22, 2009
16,610
34,939
USA
If anyone needs help getting around the red water sensor issue, shoot me a PM and I can give you a nice tip on getting passed that.

;)
You should stop perpetuating ways to cheat and commit fraud. Rather than PM you my nice tip - I decided to just post it here ;)
 

bobright

macrumors 601
Jun 29, 2010
4,754
17
The cup holder in my car with a starbucks Ice Tea tripped my sensor, I have a replacement coming from apple since I dont want to deal with the genius bar in CT. What is likely hood they will only charge me 199.00. Everything else works perfect and the headphone sensor is fine.
That is ridiculous. Where exactly is this external sensor?
 

smf72

macrumors regular
Jun 28, 2010
156
9
Tripped Sensor

It is only the sensor in the bottom of the iphone. The headset jack is obviously fine and I am sure the inside is fine. When I get my replacement tomorrow will they charge my full retail or 199.00. The phone otherwise works fine.
 

yankintx

macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2010
364
0
You should stop perpetuating ways to cheat and commit fraud. Rather than PM you my nice tip - I decided to just post it here ;)

Ditto to that. If it weren't for all the fraudulent claims, it wouldn't be as difficult for those with legitimate claims to get service.

Seems like these forums are havens for those trying to get something for nothing, or those bragging about how to rip someone off.

What a shame it is to be proud of being a thief!