iPhone 4 power button broken after 20 months, can I get Apple to replace for free?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by alexjholland, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. alexjholland macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2011
    Bali, Cambridge, Sydney.. anywhere.
    Hey, I have a 20-month old iPhone 4 16GB, which I purchased with cash at an Apple Store.

    Recently it's top power button has lost its 'click' and has to be pushed hard to work: In fact it seems increasingly hard; and others report that it eventually stops working altogether.

    I armed myself with the EC legislation promising a two-year warranty; and an article from the BBC website stating that Apple have not been informing customers that it exists.

    Sure enough, I was told by the 'Genius' that I was no longer covered by their one-year warranty; and that I could buy a new iPhone 4 for £119.

    Upon presentation of the article, he called a manager over, who obtusely reiterated the one-year warranty which is Apple policy; and told me that he knew nothing about the EC legislation.

    He then revealed that he was possibly lying, by swiftly identifying an article specifying that to use the EC legislation after six months, you have to demonstrate that the fault was pre-existing.

    I countered by citing the circumstantial evidence that many others have had the same problem, which he refuted. I then reminded him of the many thousands I have spent on an iMac, Macbook, iPhone, iPad etc in recent years and asked him whether he thought it was reasonable to pay over £500 for a phone that would break in just over a year-and-a-half.

    Of course he used the standard sales principle of empathising, then reminding me that it's store policy; although he said I can take it up with their legal department.


    Legal Department: Has anyone else done this? Or are there any other Apple routes that can yield success?

    £119 for a new handset: I'll do this if nothing else, because I am about to get an iPhone5 on contract and want a 4 as my business handset to replace my Blackberry..

    I note that the iPhone 4 is now only available in 8Gb, so would I get a 16Gb iPhone 4s, or a refurbished 16Gb iPhone 4?

    Also, does the £119 option give me another 12 month warranty?

    Any other thoughts on the best way to proceed and/or similar experiences would be appreciated. I read stories about some people who smash their iPads and get free replacements; then people like me who spend thousands and get nothing back - Apple's customer service policies seem wildly inconsistent!
  2. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    Before you do anything I should check the facts re EU Warranty Legislation.

    Apple compares the various warranties here.

    As you will see, in order for a valid claim, the relevant fault must be present when the customer takes delivery of the item. In your case, this does not apply.

    It therefore appears that the Apple employee was correct and the offer of £119 for a new iPhone 4 seems a good deal. As far as the warranty on the new 'phone is concerned, I would think that being new, it would have a full one. However, if you want confirmation, why not ask?
  3. Chris092881 macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2012
    Your phone is showing wear and tear after over a year and a half of use. Seems reasonable to me. Suck it up and spend the money. Apple has screwed people over before, but you're not one of them.
  4. likethesoup2 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 29, 2011
    Orlando, Florida
  5. MaxxTraxx macrumors 6502

    Jul 2, 2008
    BS. This is a manufactoring defect with the iPhone. I went through about 2 iPhone 4s. Hell, I had my iPhone 5 replaced after about 2 months of ownership because of it.
  6. alexjholland thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 3, 2011
    Bali, Cambridge, Sydney.. anywhere.
    I'm prepared to spend the £119 if needs be; and another six months or year down the line I'd be quite pleased by the offer to get a new handset for this price..

    It's when a phone is just over 18 months old and cost well over £500 in cash that I take an exception (especially when they've enjoyed thousands of pounds of my cash on other items).

    I don't think that's a reasonable level of build quality; and the fact that many other phones are even worse is no excuse.

    I've looked after my phone and kept it in a bumper the entire time. In addition, many others have reported the same fault.

    If there is any constructive information anyone has to help me escalate/negotiate for a replacement under EC legislation then do let me know - otherwise it looks like £119 will be the price..

    Again, does anyone know what they'd provide me with, considering the 16Gb iPhone 4 is discontinued?
  7. bradkb macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2012
    As you are quoting £ I asume you are in the UK, if so there is the sale of goods act, that states goods must be -

    1. As described
    2. Reasonably reliable
    3. Fit for purpose

    Dont know how you can use that one, but there is also the fact that all electrical goods are covered in the UK for 6 years from point of manufacture, and if you can prove its a manufacturing fault, it must be either repaired or replaced. If you can get the spec of the button they use, and its time before failure, you could possible use that in your argument, but I doubt apple will give in, unless you can find a "sympathetic" genius....

    Good luck

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