How Apple Stole $150 From Me (Another Genius story)

srxtr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
611
0
I noticed the other thread with iPhone 5 replacements and decided to share mine. I'm just copying and pasting my blog post:

I am angry and frustrated beyond words right now, but I am writing this while it is still fresh in my memory.

I bought the iPhone 5 on day one and it has had nothing but problems. Every time there is a problem, I did what most sensible people would do, which is to make a Genius appointment and let them deal with it. For the past 8 months, I went through 4 different iPhone 5s:

First iPhone 5 had the infamous Apple wireless problem. Wireless connection would be spotty and it couldn't connect to my office wifi at all.
Second iPhone 5 had a weird purple spot that started showing up through the camera lens. I use my iPhone 5 to take pictures of my baby girl, so this was a big deal to me.
Third iPhone 5 actually lasted a good while for me, until last week when the volume down button stopped working.
Fourth iPhone 5, which I got yesterday, had a single crack across the screen... which didn't happen until I got home.

The fourth and last iPhone 5 is why I'm writing this post. In no way did I drop and crack the phone myself, but the Genius (at Apple Store on Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica FYI), that was assigned to my appointment, told me I had to pay $150 to get the screen replaced.

I was stunned. The cracked screen was not my fault, and yet they were asking me to pay for the damage? This is the gist of how the conversation went:

Genius: The cost is $150 to get this repaired.
Me: What? But I didn't cause this crack. I had my iPhone 5 replaced yesterday due to a broken volume button.
Genius: It looks like the point of impact is right here (pointing at the bottom location where the antennagate used to be on the iPHone 4). There was probably some pressure here that caused this.
Me: Maybe there was tiny crack on the screen that caused this?
Genius: Yeah, well, the iPhone 5 didn't have a crack when it left the store yesterday. Also, your iPhone 5 had iOS 7 on it, and we don't officially support that, so you should have been charged $299 for yesterday's replacement.
Me: This is my fourth iPhone 5 btw, the ones I get seem to always have problems.
Genius: Yeah I can see that in the system.

This guy was putting more faults in my list, and he didn't seem convinced that the crack (and probably other defects) were due to them being defective units.

Me: But I didn't cause the crack! All I did was put it in my pocket, take it home, restored iOS 7 on it, and at some point it got a crack.
Genius: I keep MY iPhone 5 in my pocket all the time, and it doesn't crack. It uses gorilla glass, so it shouldn't crack that easily.
Me: This is so frustrating. I didn't do anything that might cause a crack.
Genius: I didn't say you did, but we have company policy and I just work here.

Needless to say, but I asked to speak to his manager, and when that didn't go well, I asked to speak to HIS manager. Same deal, I had to pay to get my screen repaired.

I was angry, and didn't want to pay the $150 when it wasn't my fault. As I left the store, I stood on 3rd Street, cleared my head, and thought of my options:

I can call Apple Customer Service or go to other Apple Stores and whine and complain until someone gets my screen fixed for free.
I can sell all my Apple **** (Mac Mini, MacBook Air, AppleTV, iPad Mini, 2 iPhone 5s) and switch over to using Android. But I don't want to use Android.
Pay $150 and move on.
I swallowed hard, went back in, and looked for the Genius that I dealt with.

Me: I would like to get my screen repaired for $150 please.
Genius: OK sure.
Me: Is it possible for me to upgrade my AppleCare to AppleCare+ for $99 and get my screen repaired for $50? (Which is the same cost, but with the benefit of AppleCare+ in case of future mishaps.)
Genius: No, sorry, that's for new devices only.

The Genius proceeded to estimate the waiting period and to update the system.

Me: What could have caused the screen to crack like this? I literally put it in my pocket after leaving the Apple Store, took it home, restored it, and it was on my table.
Genius: What, you're saying it was just in your pocket for 24 hours?
Me: No, I just left it on my table after discovering the crack yesterday, and here I am the very next morning.
Genius: Look, if my car engine breaks down then I'll have to pay for it even though it's not my fault, right?

What kind of analogy is that???

Me: I'm just so frustrated.
Genius: Well, don't take your frustration out on me, man.

It really sucks it had to come down to this. It's truly disappointing, but thinking about it from Apple's perspective, there really is no way to prove that I wasn't the one that dropped and cracked the screen.

Here are details of what happened yesterday that eventually lead to the crack. These are specific details I failed to mention to the Genius because I was so flustered and forgot.

Got iPhone 5 replacement and left Apple Store with the phone in my pocket.
Got home, walked to work (I live couple of blocks from work) with the phone in my pocket.
iPhone 5 was left charging on my table at work.
Stayed for a few hours and walked home with iPhone 5 in my pocket.
Restored iPhone 5 to iOS7. Went to a local basketball court, left the iPhone 5 under the seat.
Came home, played around with the iPhone 5 in the living room, put it in my pocket, went to my computer, took it out to discover a crack on it.
I've come to the end of this post and now that I've vented I feel better. All those stories of iPhone 5 production problems was no joke, and as soon as iPhone 5S (or the cheaper iPhone) comes out, I'll probably upgrade right away even though I don't have upgrade eligibility.

Curses.


CONCLUSION

I picked up my iPhone 5 and paid $166 after tax for the repair. For those of you asking about my pocket that I use to keep my phone in:

1) I don't wear skinny jeans.
2) I never physically ran into anyone.
3) I never ran into a wall.
4) I never did anything outside my normal routine.

It may be hard to believe, I expected 95% of the Internet to think that I somehow did it. In the end, even if I'm right, there's no way to prove it. I'm moving on.

On a side note, I'm now protecting my iPhone 5 with just a full body Ghost Armor, and no case. I used to buy different cases in different colors to swap cases once in awhile for fashion purposes but since a case won't stop the screen from cracking anyway I'm just gonna enjoy the design of iPhone for once and not have something cover it. It's not a bad thing since all my engineering friends/coworkers at work always make fun of me for using cases. They've never used cases and not once have they cracked the screens, even after dropping them.

Anyway, I'm glad I could share my story with MacRumors. Thanks for reading!


----------

Sorry about the formatting. My blog has better formatting, didn't realize it wouldn't get included.
 
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rockitdog

macrumors 68020
Mar 25, 2013
2,462
804
I'd blame iOS 7 for your screen cracking. Either way, if the screen was fine at the store its not Apple's responsibility to replace it. Sounds like you've had a raw deal when it comes to their iPhone but as far as they are concerned a cracked screen is not covered under their policy. Sorry.
 

N e e k

macrumors 6502
Jul 15, 2011
263
0
The crack could've just appeared out of nowhere, however, for all Apple knows, you could've just been acting it out... they don't know.
 

vonWachtstain

macrumors regular
Nov 20, 2011
165
1
I think I'm still with Apple because of how easy it is to replace when something goes wrong with my iPhone. I will mention here that I only had to replace my iPhone 4 once. My iPhone 4S was fine. And my iPhone 5 has signs of WiFi problem but only at workplace and its not that bad so I just ignore it. Androids are so much better now so temptation is there to switch but I know I don't have patience to deal with replacing the device if it breaks on me. With iPhone I just take it to the store where they replace phone on the spot. If somehow Apple policy changes and they start being really proactive in trying to get out of their obligation then I will go Android.
 

taedouni

macrumors 65816
Jun 7, 2011
1,105
25
California
I highly that the crack was there when they gave it to you. And if it was then I'm sure that you or the genius who replaced or would have seen it. P.S. if you're really a developer (iOS 7) then you should have known to do DFU then restore to iOS 6.
 

srxtr

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jul 1, 2010
611
0
That's what they all say.
The cracked screen was not my fault. It cracked on its own....
I'd blame iOS 7 for your screen cracking. Either way, if the screen was fine at the store its not Apple's responsibility to replace it. Sounds like you've had a raw deal when it comes to their iPhone but as far as they are concerned a cracked screen is not covered under their policy. Sorry.
Geeeeezzzzzzz

It is what it is.. it aint what it aint.

Deal with it
It's the OPs fault. Pay up or shut up.
The crack could've just appeared out of nowhere, however, for all Apple knows, you could've just been acting it out... they don't know.
I think I'm still with Apple because of how easy it is to replace when something goes wrong with my iPhone. I will mention here that I only had to replace my iPhone 4 once. My iPhone 4S was fine. And my iPhone 5 has signs of WiFi problem but only at workplace and its not that bad so I just ignore it. Androids are so much better now so temptation is there to switch but I know I don't have patience to deal with replacing the device if it breaks on me. With iPhone I just take it to the store where they replace phone on the spot. If somehow Apple policy changes and they start being really proactive in trying to get out of their obligation then I will go Android.
I was expecting these responses, though I was hoping to hear from people with similar experiences.

This is a situation where you won't know what I'm going through unless you were in my shoes. I'm saying I never dropped my iPhone and it should never crack like that, but for all you know I did drop it and I'm simply mad that Apple doesn't replace it without question.

Sigh, I did pay for the damages and hopefully I won't have any more iPhone 5 problems. I never upgrade my iPhone when I don't have eligibility, but in this case I can't wait until I dump the 5 and get a 5S.
 

siurpeeman

macrumors 603
Dec 2, 2006
6,311
18
the OC
for future reference, if your new iphone (within 30 days) is exhibiting problems or if there's anything you're just not happy with, i'd steer clear of a genius appointment and just return/rebuy. it gives you a new device, and it extends the window for which you can return the device again. as for your most recent trip, you said it best:

but thinking about it from Apple's perspective, there really is no way to prove that I wasn't the one that dropped and cracked the screen.
especially considering the screen left the apple store undamaged.
 

Jeffrey Jeff

macrumors member
Jun 18, 2013
30
0
the genius said that there was a point of impact.

all refurbs come in immaculate condition... so you dropped it, hit your phone against the door while it was in your pocket, etc..
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,205
468
NJ
ill tell you what, if the phone was cracked out of the box, it would be a different story. but its just like any product you buy and walk out of the store or off the lot with. a crack is almost 100% unlikely to happen on its own or come that way out of box. cracks almost always occur due to impact, which would be your fault. if it was an internal manufacturing defect, like the other problems you had, it would be covered no problem. but unfortunately, as much as i would have hoped for them to cover the crack, its nearly impossible to prove you didnt cause it. i cant blame them for denying you another or a fix on their dime. i hate to say it, but they are right. im sure if there was a crack, you or the genius would have noticed it immediately.
 

FrancoisC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 27, 2009
524
263
Montreal, Qc
Putting iOS 7 on your phone voids your warranty. Complain about Apple all you want. Not their fault and not their problem.
Not sure about that.

I'm guessing they should be able to see with your Apple ID if you are a registered developper or not, and if you are I dont think it will cause any problem at all.

It would not make sense for apple to void the warranty of developper's devices :S

On the other hand, if you are NOT a dev, they can do what the hell they want!


Please note I am not 100% sure of that, just saying how I think it should be..
 

dictoresno

macrumors 601
Apr 30, 2012
4,205
468
NJ
Not sure about that.

I'm guessing they should be able to see with your Apple ID if you are a registered developper or not, and if you are I dont think it will cause any problem at all.

It would not make sense for apple to void the warranty of developper's devices :S

On the other hand, if you are NOT a dev, they can do what the hell they want!


Please note I am not 100% sure of that, just saying how I think it should be..
either way, its the same as if you jailbreak, yadda yadda voids the warranty. if you have ios 7 or are JB, just restore the device before bringing it for service since thats usually apple's catch all solution for problems and is the first thing they will ask you to try anyways. they will never know.
 

Elven

macrumors 6502a
May 13, 2008
860
1
UK
Rub some bacon on it ;)

Does suck though, it's one of reasons while I love my iMac and iPad, I'll not be getting another iPhone just too fragile really.
 

hamiltonDSi

macrumors 68000
Jul 29, 2012
1,534
232
Romania
Putting iOS 7 on your phone voids your warranty.
No, it doesn't. Lol, I just replaced my iPhone 5 due to a faulty lock button.
I even took it in with iOS 7 restored (that was the only IPSW I had on my mac) and they gave me a refurb in 2 minutes.

Edit : I'm a dev.
 

vistadude

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2010
1,423
1
Nobody knows what else was in your pocket or how many walls you bumped into or tripped over. After having 3 bricked iphones, hopefully you noticed people use cases or by plastic phones instead. The fact that you have an impact spot shows something hit your phone or your phone hit something.
 

Irishman

macrumors 68030
Nov 2, 2006
2,653
583
I'm saying I never dropped my iPhone and it should never crack like that, but for all you know I did drop it and I'm simply mad that Apple doesn't replace it without question.
I think what you're hearing is disbelief that a phone screen can spontaneously crack without being dropped or impacted against something. Just because you're not aware of what caused the crack once in your possession doesn't mean it didn't crack while in your possession. If you don't have a service plan that protects you against cracked screens, you shouldn't be surprised when Apple doesn't treat you like you do have one.

Further, I don't think you're necessarily mad about this phone. I think it's all the phone issues you've had (which, I'll grant, are a lot!), and this phone was the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak.

But, aside from that, Apple most certainly did not STEAL $150 from you. You may be mad Apple made you pay to get it fixed, instead of giving you a freebie, but they're not obligated to give freebies.
 
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BasicGreatGuy

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
11,945
11,026
In the middle of several books.
No, it doesn't. Lol, I just replaced my iPhone 5 due to a faulty lock button.
I even took it in with iOS 7 restored (that was the only IPSW I had on my mac) and they gave me a refurb in 2 minutes.

Edit : I'm a dev.
I don't believe the OP is a developer. And just because you walked out of the store like you did, that does not negate what is in the contract you signed. Apple just didn't hold you to it that day. Unless I am misreading, both of those contracts state (in so many words) that installing the beta (developer or not) means that you are on your own, if something happens to your device while using said beta. An Apple employee "may" help someone when they aren't legally obligated. That isn't the same as it not voiding the warranty, which installing the beta does, in as far as both contracts are concerned.

The following is taken from Applecare:

"This Warranty does not apply: (a) to consumable parts, such as batteries or protective coatings that are designed to diminish over time, unless failure has occurred due to a defect in materials or workmanship; (b) to cosmetic damage, including but not limited to scratches, dents and broken plastic on ports; (c) to damage caused by use with another product; (d) to damage caused by accident, abuse, misuse, liquid contact, fire, earthquake or other external cause; (e) to damage caused by operating the Apple Product outside Apple’s published guidelines; (f) to damage caused by service (including upgrades and expansions) performed by anyone who is not a representative of Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (“AASP”); (g) to an Apple Product that has been modified to alter functionality or capability without the written permission of Apple; (h) to defects caused by normal wear and tear or otherwise due to the normal aging of the Apple Product, or (i) if any serial number has been removed or defaced from the Apple Product."

The following is from the Registered Developer Agreement

"13.
No Warranty.
APPLE AND ITS AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES, OFFICERS, DIRECTORS, EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, PARTNERS, AND
LICENSORS (COLLECTIVELY, “
APPLE
” FOR PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION 13 AND 14) DO NOT PROMISE THAT THE SITE, CONTENT,
SERVICES (INCLUDING, FUNCTIONALITY OR FEATURES OF THE FOREGOING), COMPATIBILITY LABS, DTS SERVICES, OR ANY OTHER
INFORMATION OR MATERIALS THAT YOU RECEIVE AS A REGISTERED APPLE DEVELOPER (COLLECTIVELY, THE “
SERVICE
” FOR
PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION 13 AND 14) WILL BE ACCURATE, RELIABLE, TIMELY, SECURE, ERROR-FREE OR UNINTERRUPTED, OR THAT
ANY DEFECTS WILL BE CORRECTED. THE SERVICE IS PROVIDED ON AN “AS-IS” AND “AS-AVAILABLE” BASIS AND THE SERVICE IS
SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. APPLE CANNOT ENSURE THAT ANY CONTENT (INCLUDING FILES, INFORMATION OR OTHER
DATA) YOU ACCESS OR DOWNLOAD FROM THE SERVICE WILL BE FREE OF VIRUSES, CONTAMINATION OR DESTRUCTIVE FEATURES.
FURTHER, APPLE DOES NOT GUARANTEE ANY RESULTS OR IDENTIFICATION OR CORRECTION OF PROBLEMS AS PART OF THE SERVICE
AND APPLE DISCLAIMS ANY LIABILITY RELATED THERETO. APPLE DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING ANY
WARRANTIES OF ACCURACY, NON-INFRINGEMENT, MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. APPLE DISCLAIMS
ANY AND ALL LIABILITY FOR THE ACTS, OMISSIONS AND CONDUCT OF ANY THIRD PARTIES IN CONNECTION WITH OR RELATED TO YOUR
USE OF THE SERVICE. YOU ASSUME TOTAL RESPONSIBILITY AND ALL RISKS FOR YOUR USE OF THE SERVICE, INCLUDING, BUT NOT
LIMITED TO, ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED THEREON. YOUR SOLE REMEDY AGAINST APPLE FOR DISSATISFACTION WITH THE SERVICE
IS TO STOP USING THE SERVICE. THIS LIMITATION OF RELIEF IS A PART OF THE BARGAIN BETWEEN THE PARTIES. To the extent that Apple
makes any pre-release or other products, services or information related thereto available to you as a Registered Apple Developer, you understand
that Apple is under no obligation to provide updates, enhancements, or corrections, or to notify you of any product or services changes that Apple
may make, or to publicly announce or introduce the product(s) or service at any time in the future."
 

Satnam1989

macrumors 65816
Nov 16, 2011
1,200
0
Illinois
if it was a Samsung or any other phone...You would be paying your way to the 4th one...consider your self lucky...people really think they "deserve" or are entitled something from apple...your getting quality what more do you want?

ps mistakes/accidents dont tell you when they are about to happen, maybe somewhere along your route something happened you didn't realize while you were dazed away in your thoughts or what ever else you were doing.