iPhone 6(S)(+) iPhone 6 swollen battery redress

tugger

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 14, 2005
191
25
KTLH
A month ago I noticed that the left side of my out-of-warranty iP6 display was beginning to separate from the body of the phone. Over the next couple of weeks the bulge became more pronounced so that viewed from the side the display had raised almost 1/4 inch (.64 cm) from the body. Also, the phone periodically felt warmer than usual and battery life was significantly diminished. An authorized Apple repair facility nearby examined the phone and diagnosed a swollen battery. They said that Apple may or may not offer a replacement unit, and that the turnaround would be about 1 week.

If you're having this issue with your iP6 and it's beyond the 1-year warranty (mine was by more than 9 months), don't hesitate to ask Apple for a swap. Over the weekend I had to make an unexpected day trip to Jacksonville, FL where fortunately there's an Apple Store. No exaggeration that once the Apple tech looked at my phone, I was on my way with a replacement in less than 10 minutes. The encounter documentation (below) stated that the phone was replaced under the "iPhone Quality" program.

I'm posting this because I couldn't find anything online about how Apple has handled this problem specific to the iPhone 6.
__________
Warranty Status: Quality Program(E1)
USA Model: IPHONE 6
Date of Purchase: 19-Sep-14
IMEI: 354408063465923
Serial No: DNPND48VG5MG
Problem Description/Diagnosis
Issue: Customer's iPhone 6 battery is swollen and causing rapid depletion of battery life and overheating.
Steps to Reproduce: Observed swollen battery.
Cosmetic Condition: Customers iPhone shows a lifted display near the left hand side of the display.
Proposed Resolution: Offered to process the phone for a swap repair at no cost as per the iPhone quality program.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,104
2,099
Oregon
Apple is pretty good about battery issues like this. It'd be a pretty big deal if someone tried to get their battery replaced and was denied due to warranty status, and later had the battery rupture or catch on fire.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,448
2,778
Delaware
A "quality" program is provided by Apple, as needed, to support customer satisfaction.
A few may be publicized. Many are not, other than anecdotal experiences from individual customers
Certified techs (and "geniuses" :D ) know what those internal quality programs are. It's part of their job.
They are sometimes part of the more-public repair programs, but may not necessarily be related to those repair issues.
They might offer repairs (using internal codes to affect the repair), or simple swap-outs, as you experienced.
As mentioned above, batteries can often get one of those "customer satisfactions" results.
 

Peter K.

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2012
890
697
Philly / SoCal / Jersey Shore
I was told, by a Genius, that any iPhone with a swelling battery, which is less than three years old, will be replaced free of charge.

This, of course, included my iPhone 5, which I took in 3 years, 5 days after purchase. After a quick manager approval for the 5 day overage, I was on my way with a "new" white-box replacement.
 

RJnOC

macrumors newbie
Jun 3, 2016
6
0
I have an IPhone 6 with a swollen battery that is exactly 2 years old. I took it to Apple and they told me I'd have to pay $80 to get it replaced since it's out of warranty. Is there something specific I need to say to get them to replace it for free? I told them it was a safety issue. They still said $80
 

BrianBaughn

macrumors 604
Feb 13, 2011
6,971
1,151
Baltimore, Maryland
Perhaps a directive has been handed down from above. It could be a store to store decision. I don't think there's anything you could say.

$80 actually seems very reasonable considering the breakdown. Plus, you'll be getting a new, OEM battery.

You could buy one somewhere else and put it in yourself.
 

Peter K.

macrumors 6502a
Nov 6, 2012
890
697
Philly / SoCal / Jersey Shore
I have an IPhone 6 with a swollen battery that is exactly 2 years old. I took it to Apple and they told me I'd have to pay $80 to get it replaced since it's out of warranty. Is there something specific I need to say to get them to replace it for free? I told them it was a safety issue. They still said $80
That's lame. When I got my iPhone 5's swollen battery looked at, they told me as long as it was three years old, or less, it would be replaced for free. It turned out that mine was three years and four days old. A manager approved the replacement, anyway. Instead of replacing the battery, they gave me a white box (refurbished) phone for free.

You might need to try a different Genius and/or Apple Store.
 

Graeme43

macrumors 6502a
Sep 11, 2006
519
2
Great Britain (Glasgow)
That's lame. When I got my iPhone 5's swollen battery looked at, they told me as long as it was three years old, or less, it would be replaced for free. It turned out that mine was three years and four days old. A manager approved the replacement, anyway. Instead of replacing the battery, they gave me a white box (refurbished) phone for free.

You might need to try a different Genius and/or Apple Store.
I bought my 5 in 2012. It swelled up mid 2014 and now mid/late 2016 the free replacement has done the exact same thing :/
 

stulaw11

Suspended
Jan 25, 2012
1,391
1,624
It's cheaper to swap a phone with a potentially dangerous battery than be sued for injury or death; by many hundreds of times over.

Apple is pretty damn good with liberal swaps for something the customer couldn't have possibly done.
 

silverblack

macrumors 68030
Nov 27, 2007
2,676
838
I have always had to pay for replacing swollen batteries, once for MacBook Pro, once for iPhone 5.
 

janita

macrumors member
Jul 9, 2010
36
0
I have an IPhone 6 with a swollen battery that is exactly 2 years old. I took it to Apple and they told me I'd have to pay $80 to get it replaced since it's out of warranty. Is there something specific I need to say to get them to replace it for free? I told them it was a safety issue. They still said $80
My iPhone 6 battery swelled up almost 2 months ago, pushing the display up on one side just like the original poster's description. The Apple store replaced the phone with no charge under the "quality program".
 

dpks

macrumors newbie
Jan 13, 2017
6
3
Getting a free replacement under the Quality Program seems to be very much YMMV. That, or maybe the program for the iPhone 6 has ended.

I noticed swelling on my iPhone 6 a couple days ago, and brought it to the Apple Store yesterday. They said I'd have to pay CDN$99 to get a replacement. They did say it would be a completely new (non-refurb) phone, not just a battery swap.

I mentioned this forum thread and said the key words "Quality Program" which seemed to tweak some recognition in the tech's eyes, but after checking with colleagues they couldn't find a way to give me a replacement for free.

Called Apple to see if I could do any better, and it was basically the same CDN$99 response (slightly worse, since they didn't promise a new phone, just a battery swap).
 
Last edited:

dpks

macrumors newbie
Jan 13, 2017
6
3
Apple will always replace a phone like this due to the liability of possible fire and the bad press that would come later.
It seems they'll do a free replacement as long as you're still within warranty (original or AppleCare).

But outside of warranty, it seems a free replacement is very much YMMV. The Apple Store I went to refused to do it for free, and same response with Apple support over the phone.
 

Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,224
Jacksonville, Florida
It seems they'll do a free replacement as long as you're still within warranty (original or AppleCare).

But outside of warranty, it seems a free replacement is very much YMMV. The Apple Store I went to refused to do it for free, and same response with Apple support over the phone.
I know of two people who's phones were WELL out of warranty and Apple replaced them without hesitation because the battery was swelling.
 
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Septembersrain

Contributor
Dec 14, 2013
3,847
4,724
Texas
I know of two people who's phones were WELL out of warranty and Apple replaced them without hesitation because the battery was swelling.
I think it depends on the store and the person (People) you talk to. There were two other people in the Apple store near me complaining about a bent iPhone 6. They wouldn't budge for one guy, making him pay $299 (I felt like a stalker trying to overhear the conversation). The other gentleman they said will pay $99. When after being at the store about 5 hours, it was my turn. They were trying to stick me with the $299. About an hour later I paid the $99.

Yet I was seeing online and even showed the manager threads where people were getting free replacements. I guess YMMV.
 

dpks

macrumors newbie
Jan 13, 2017
6
3
I know of two people who's phones were WELL out of warranty and Apple replaced them without hesitation because the battery was swelling.
Sure, like I said, YMMV. Apple is clearly not applying a consistent policy across the board - there's discretion left up to the tech.
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,864
34,894
Sure, like I said, YMMV. Apple is clearly not applying a consistent policy across the board - there's discretion left up to the tech.
Every situation is different. I think Apple does a decent job of following policy and procedure, but I think it really depends on the customers situation, how long They had the device, condition, are they being honest about the situation, etc.
 

dpks

macrumors newbie
Jan 13, 2017
6
3
Every situation is different. I think Apple does a decent job of following policy and procedure, but I think it really depends on the customers situation, how long They had the device, condition, are they being honest about the situation, etc.
Agreed, but that's pretty much the definition of "YMMV".

(I was just taking issue with what Newtons Apple said above - "Apple will always replace a phone like this..." - when "always" is clearly not the case).
 
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Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
33,864
34,894
Agreed, but that's pretty much the definition of "YMMV".

(I was just taking issue with what Newtons Apple said above - "Apple will always replace a phone like this..." - when "always" is clearly not the case).
From my experiences and what I meant by my previous post, is it really depends on who you talk to you in Apple and how your situation is handled. If you're honest with Apple and explain your situation pending the circumstances, I've seen them easily bend and make exceptions to the rule. There was another forum member on here who had a very similar issue to this thread, and Apple went out of their way and not also just replace the battery on his phone, they completely replaced his iPhone all together, new in the box.

Personally, from my experiences, I really do believe it's who you talk to and how the situation is handled. Sometimes it needs to go beyond the normal Apple representative on the phone to reach a positive result.
 

spoon72

macrumors regular
Jul 3, 2011
189
18
singapore
In Singapore it might cost over 280 USD to replace the phone if they decided not serviceable when warranty over
 

deano1972

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2016
542
226
United Kingdom
I didn't realise how common this swollen battery problem is in an iPhone. I've owned mobile phones since the 90s and never had such a problem with any of them. In fact I have a 15 year old Nokia phone here and the original lithium ion battery still works/holds a charge.
Are Apple using poor quality batteries?

I guess the old saying is true .. they don't make em like they used to!
 
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