Leaked Apple Document Outlines Apple's iPhone Repair Rules

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 1, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    A leaked Apple "Visual/Mechanical Inspection Guide" shared this afternoon by Business Insider provides some insight into how Apple's repair policies work, highlighting how Apple determines when to offer an in-warranty repair, an out-of-warranty repair, or a denial of service.

    Dated March 3, 2017, the document is known internally as the "VMI" and covers the iPhone 6, 6s, and 7, along with Plus models. An Apple technician told Business Insider that there's a similar document for all of its products, and that it's generally used for training.

    The guide is divided into three sections. The green section denotes problems where Apple will provide a warranty service, the yellow covers issues where Apple will offer out-of-warranty repairs, and the red section contains examples of issues Apple will refuse to fix.

    Click to enlarge​

    Debris under the display glass, a pixel anomaly, FaceTime camera foam misalignment, and a single hairline crack to the front glass are all problems that Apple will fix under warranty, even if there's additional accidental or liquid damage to the device. These are the only issues that can be fixed automatically even with additional damage to a device.

    Apple will provide out-of-warranty replacements for liquid damage confirmed by the user, evidence of corrosion, LCD fractures, camera damage from lasers, cracks at a point of impact, damaged Lightning/audio/microphone components, extreme abrasion or puncture holes, and a bent or split enclosure.

    Devices that have user-replaced parts, intentional tampering or damage, non-Apple batteries, or catastrophic damage are not eligible for service at all. Enclosure damage, like scratches and scuffs, is not covered and cosmetic problems do not warrant a replacement or repair if there are no other issues.

    Apple also has a special set of rules for water damage. Employees are instructed to look for signs of water damage both internally and externally when diagnosing issues, and if there is evidence of contact with water, employees are told to deny some in-warranty repairs and instead offer an out-of-warranty repair.

    Click to enlarge​

    According to Apple employees, the VMI isn't often used unless there's an "oddball issue," and it's also more of a guide than a hard and fast rule when it comes to replacement, as there are many issues that arise that aren't covered here. "There are always those one-off issues that the phone is technically not covered under warranty but we swap the phone anyways under warranty," an Apple technician told Business Insider.

    These rules don't apply to devices covered by AppleCare+, as that warranty entitles users to two device replacements or repairs, even for accidental damage, so long as the fee is covered. For out-of-warranty repairs, Apple charges $130 to $150 for screen repairs and $300 to $350 for other damage. With AppleCare+, a screen repair costs $29 and other damage costs $99 to fix.

    Article Link: Leaked Apple Document Outlines Apple's iPhone Repair Rules
  2. thedarkhalf macrumors member

    May 15, 2008
    they wont fix that catastrophic iPhone that was hit by a grenade? lame...
  3. robeddie Suspended


    Jul 21, 2003
    My sense is that Apple uses this as a guideline, but tends more often than not to honor fixes under warrenty that could arguably not qualify if you went with this document as strictly as possible.

    All in all, when it comes to covering fixes, Apple tends to be one of the best in the business.
  4. scrapesleon macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2017
    what about the recycling program I want to dispose my iPhone 6 and MacBook Air for some new hardware their in perfect condition
  5. Menopause macrumors 6502a


    Feb 26, 2011
    Not an earth-shattering leak. :) This is a standard issue document (also called 'Visual/Mechanical Inspection (VMI)), available to download from Apple's online portal (GSX) for all Apple Technicians / Authorized Service Centers.

    Source: responsible partly for putting the guide together.
  6. niji Contributor


    Feb 9, 2003
    its really interesting to see this.
    it confirms that apple is really doing a great job of trying to accept repairs in a fair manner.
  7. rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    I have this "foam misalignment" on my 6 plus. Wonder if I should take it in? o_O
  8. macTW Suspended

    Oct 17, 2016
    So basically, nothing we didn't already know. Just confirmed though.
  9. QuarterSwede macrumors G3


    Oct 1, 2005
    Colorado Springs, CO
    You should. I had mine fixed last year and it hasn’t moved since.
  10. mariusignorello macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2013
    Oh they’re doubling down on leaks alright....
  11. Populus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 24, 2012
    Valencia, Spain.
    Anyone knows where to download the entire document from? I cannot find the link in the source.

    You can PM me if you find it, thank you.
  12. Jimmy James macrumors 601

    Jimmy James

    Oct 26, 2008
    Yes, they're applying pressure to make leaks spew out quicker.
  13. coolbreeze macrumors 68000


    Jan 20, 2003
    Now nerds are going to print and laminate this, go to get "free" service, then argue when it's not covered (while whipping it out).
  14. dooganau macrumors newbie

    Sep 7, 2016
    Rejecting service for non apple battery could get them in a little trouble in countries with strong consumer&/competition laws (AU, NZ). Otherwise everything else is what one should expect.
  15. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    I took mine in and they wouldn’t fix it.

    It says they’ll fix it if within warranty. Is your 6 still within warranty.
  16. luvbug macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2017
    Characterizing this doc as a "leak" seems to me to be a bit of a push. I don't think you'd call it a "leak" if I posted a NY Times article from behind their paywall, would you?
  17. rawweb macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2015
    It is no longer under apple care. Not that this 'foam misalignment' is effecting the camera or anything.
  18. ani4ani macrumors 6502a

    May 4, 2012
    Unfortunately not my experience with Apple...my first gen IPod Touch developed a headphone fault after around 14 months and all they offered me was a 10% voucher against a gen 2 device.

    Because my iPad Air 2 was purchased in Singapore (duty free purchase at airport) and developed a fault after around 6 months, they initially refused to service it at all (I live in UK). Ultimately they did swap it, on the understanding that a signed a waiver that I would not receive a replacement if another fault developed.

    I read plenty of stories about Apple any their tremendous aftercare, and I have no doubt that they are true, but sadly not my own personal experience....very ordinary indeed.

    Edit: to be fair I did benefit from the first gen iPod nano replacement program
  19. Neepman macrumors 6502

    Jul 31, 2008
    Whats most interesting is that these documents don't leak more often. Those NDA read-ins must be brutal events.
  20. willmtaylor macrumors G3


    Oct 31, 2009
    A Natural State
    My understanding from the document was that the repair would be covered if stil under warranty but not if out of warranty. I could be misinterpreting though.
  21. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    I wonder how bendable these rules are in some nations.
  22. JosephAW macrumors 68000


    May 14, 2012
    Apple denied a 30 pin connector repair for my 4S because the LCI was red. They told me I submerged it which I didn't and wouldn't even schedule me in the Genius Bar.
    I got it working again by cleaning the connector. The false LCI was because I would go in and out of a cold environment and condensation would form on the stickers.
    The phone lasted me another 2 years and sold as a good phone.
  23. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    My 6 has this, and I always suspected if I complained about it Apple might fix it--looks like I was right. Since it's entirely cosmetic, and barely even that, I never bothered, though--seemed pointless to mess with unless I needed to have it serviced for some other issue.
  24. Blackstick macrumors 6502


    Aug 11, 2014
    Sunny South Florida
    I was a Mac Genius for 7 years until '14. We never used the VMI much, veterans could do it by eye.
  25. BreakingApple macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2013
    I wouldn't really call this a "leak". I used to work at the Genius Bar this information was public. We always told the customers what things were and weren't covered by the warranty.

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