my experience: hairline cracks white iPhone and water damage! (replacement)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by B737, Feb 8, 2009.

  1. B737 macrumors 6502a

    B737

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Jersey Shore
    #1
    Background,
    My phone got DRENCHED while mountain biking yesterday (it was inside a 'waterproof' bag) but there was so much water it was hopeless.

    phone started freaking out, (alerts for accessories ect), water behind the glass, speakers muffled, microphone muted ect.

    i was afraid to even turn it off thinking itd never come back on. I put it under a warm halogen desk lamp for 6 hours, long story short, speakers dry up, mic starts working again, even the water behind the glass goes away. phone seems to be working 100% good as new, dodged a major bullet but now im worried what long term health issues this will have on my iphone.

    Meanwhile, the white iphone has always had hairline cracks around the corners of the white casing, at the vibrate switch and some near the sleep button, they never bothered me but i thought it would be my silver bullet to get a new phone.

    i researched the water indicators on the phone before bringing it to apple, there are 3. the one in the bottom of the headset jack which turns pink/red, mine surprisingly stayed white. theres another one, at the bottom inside of the dock connector (i was not aware of this one), mine was scarlet red. and theres a 3rd somewhere inside the case itself.

    the tech agrees to replace the phone for the hairline cracking, no questions asked. (took 3 seconds) but after examining the bottom water indicator with a flashlight, he rightfully, refused the replacement (understandably). He said hes never seen one that dark red and the phone still worked. i argued (immorally so) that the indicator must have been fouled up somehow or malfunctioning. (a losing battle of course)

    longer story short, they replaced the phone with a new one for $100 bucks. which i felt was more than fair.

    depending on how, uhhh, morally flexible you are about apple inc., i suppose if you were careful you could gently cover the water indicator on the bottom dock connector with a white dot or piece of paper using a very small set of tweezers. i suppose it can be easily done to the headset jack indicator as well.

    i was not fully aware of the location of the other water detectors and where the bottom one was visible from.

    Just a post to the forum if anyone has similar issues, cracking case, and or water damage. I got lucky in this story on more than one account.

    also points of interest. He said that those indicators can turn pink simply by being in moist ENVIRONMENTS! which is REALLY frustrating because once they change colors apple pretty much voids any support. He said even keeping it in a steamy bathroom while showering can change them. I dont think that leaves the consumer with any assurance that these indicators are fair or function properly if they can be changed that easily. Thats not fair to the buyer.

    mine obviously worked (water indicators) but i thought to put this info out there.
     
  2. jlwillia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #2
    The "moral flexibility" you speak of has another name: fraud. I might be willing to give it a try if the indicator changed colors for no apparent reason (like the humid environment you speak of). However, I wouldn't recommend it to the average person.

    I'm glad things worked out for you! Apple customer care at it's finest...
     
  3. Resist macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #3
    If the phone was in side a "waterproof bag" then it wouldn't matter how much rain there was. Waterproof means WATERPROOF, not water resistant.

    I can understand being upset about the cracks but you lied about the water issue to get a new phone. While the cracks suck, they didn't cause your iPhone to fail. Your inability to properly secure the phone inside a so called waterproof bag is what caused the phone to get wet and fail. It was your fault, not Apple's. I agree with jlwillia, this was nothing but fraud!

    Next time I suggest using a real waterproof case for your iPhone, OtterBox makes a good one.
     
  4. B737 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    B737

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Jersey Shore
    #4
    easy turbo, im not disputing anything here just simply writing of an experience, im not even mad about anything, the cracks, the water indicator, i didnt lose any sleep over this. In fact im very thankful.

    the waterproof bag was simply the phone stuffed inside a seat pouch on my mountain bike that hangs below the seat, the bag itself is water proof the zippers are not! ;)

    indeed a lesson learned, next time the phone goes on the bike with me its getting put into 2 ziplock bags which will be more than sufficient.

    i didnt blame this event on anyone other than myself. just alerting fellow users to heed cautions with their water indicators.

    i got off easy!

    take care!

    ps, the phone NEVER failed! it worked 100%! hats off to apple. but to be honest, i dont feel bad about what i told them in order to get a new phone for $100
     
  5. Resist macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #5
    People that commit fraud rarely ever do feel bad about the lie. :mad:
     
  6. cmwade77 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    #6
    I think that you should have had one of the water proof cases that guarantees the contents,I have one for my iPhone for such situations, jut my opinion though.
     
  7. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #7
    Is this really fraud?

    IMO if you do something to the phone (like dropping it) and that breaks it, then obviously you shouldn't be covered.

    If a totally unrelated problem occurs (in this case the well-reported crack issue) then why would harmless water damage be relevant?

    When he took the phone in, it was functioning correctly.

    I don't like the idea of water detection strips as it seems to be a lazy excuse not to fix a product. If there's genuine water damage surely that should be evident anyway.
     
  8. B737 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    B737

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Jersey Shore
    #8
    and that is a fantastic point.
     
  9. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #9
    I just saw the sensor at the dock connector, it is well hidden but you can make it out. I personally think if they're gonna judge water damage then it should be one thats not easily accessible i.e. the one in the actual phone. That way you have definite proof that it was submerged

    As things are both the headphone and dock sensors are waay too exposed and can easily be activated. Heck here the UK where the weather is pretty much cold/wet for most of the year is a good example, a stray drizzle/rain drop and you're SOL even though the phone works perfectly and wasn't submerged

    Another option is they offer some form of protection to the exposed ports on the phone i.e. the dock and headphone with some kind of rubber/plastic like other phones do as shown below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. B737 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    B737

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Jersey Shore
    #10
    My position to the tech was that these are voiding support in an unfair way. That a drop of water or moist headphone plug will void your guarantee.Or a drop of moisture on the dock connector that was wet on the outside metal bottom part, after resting near a soft drink, its not going to damage or effect the phone but it will certainly cause the paper to turn red.

    it was sobering to me, for the tech to tell me, that just having the phone in a steamy bathroom will change the color of the indicators, thats just not right. I spent a week in portland a few weeks ago hiking, the humidity must have been 100% for 6 days, that indicator may have been red even before the mountain bike soaking.

    it happend to me cause i was careless (assuming the bike) and i got off lucky cause the phone never hiccuped after it dried but it could happen to any person unknowing of the situation. then apple washes their hands of supporting a $500 dollar unit!

    Im almost afraid to use the phone now after having worked out or gone running!
     
  11. Resist macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #11
    Yes lying about the reason the phone got water damaged and claiming ignorance when you were the cause, is still fraud. It doesn't matter whether you agree with their policy or not.

    It would no different than lets say, you broke your TV and threw it away then filed a claim with your insurance stating it was stolen. This example is insurance fraud. What B737 did with his iPhone was warranty fraud. Did he plan to damage his iPhone, no of course not. But lying about it to get a replacement iPhone is fraud, no matter how you try to justify it.
     
  12. daneoni macrumors G4

    daneoni

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    #12
    How do you REALLY feel about it
     
  13. Knowlege Bomb macrumors 601

    Knowlege Bomb

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    Madison, WI
    #13
    I fail to see the fraud in this situation.

    He tried to get his phone replaced because of the cracks, not the water damage. When they saw the indicator was red, they refused the warranty replacement. He paid $100.00 for a replacement. :confused::confused:

    Get off your moral high horses. You're not winning any medals for spouting these stupid righteous comments about fraud.
     
  14. synagence macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    #14
    Making a false claim to an insurer to get something to what you're not technically entitled is fraud.

    Why do you think that insurance companies are starting to use voice-stress analysers to determine how honest claimants are being.

    He lied about his knowledge of how the water detector became triggered in order to get obtain a replacement item for which the warranty would not entitle him to

    Not on any high-horse ... just stating facts .... and also my general annoyance at the level of insurance fraud that goes on which makes premiums go up for the more honest individuals... hence why i personally have coverage which covers accidental and water damage.
     
  15. Daveoc64 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    #15
    The warranty didn't appear to cover it. He had to pay $100

    IMO it's very shady on Apple's part to offer a replacement at $100 if the water sensor has tripped. The fault he wanted corrected was with the plastics, not the electronics.
     
  16. Hutch1 macrumors 6502a

    Hutch1

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Guelph, ON
    #16
    There is a mistaken belief that these detectors on the dock and the headphone jack are exposed so a mere drop of water can activate them. They are visible in these locations but they are under a a clear shield, which requires a significant amount of water to activate them, mere humidity or a drop of sweat won't do it. These are actually harder to activate than some of the ones found on other phones that are a sticker in the battery compartment.

    That said I see nothing wrong with what the OP did, he was returning it for a problem which has nothing to do with water damage. He is no more wrong than Apple is in seizing on something that has nothing to do with the problem to deny a claim.

    If Apple has an issue with the water sensors being activated they could just replace the plastic back thus fixing their manufacturing defect, repair or replacement is at their discretion.
     
  17. jlwillia macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    #17
    Just to clarify...

    I was the first to use the "F" word (fraud). However, I don't believe what the OP did was fraud. I was just stating that his hypothetical scenario about covering the water detector would be fraudulent.

    Why does everything on these forums have to turn into a bickering match? I feel like I'm in 2nd grade and riding in the back seat of my parents' car with my brothers...
     
  18. B737 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    B737

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Jersey Shore
    #18
    if it were up to Resist, he would have stroked out a check for $500 dollars to apple and 'slept' better at night.

    my particular case i felt had a fair outcome, i had to come up with some cash and apple came through with their support, replacement.

    did i withhold information from apple, yes. call it what you want.

    A poster above said that it takes a lot of moisture to trip those sensors and they are covered. I am going to respectfully disagree with you based on what the Apple Tech told me. He was very clear that it doesnt take much to trip the sensors and turn them 'pink'. The steamy bathroom, moist environments, wet headphone plugs were all examples that HE used.

    the very "SUBJECTIVENESS" of these sensors is what i have a problem with! The tech told me, that under certain circumstances, indicators that were light pink, may even be overlooked by apple techs and support carried through (replacements free of charge). My particular case my lower indicator was very, very dark.

    If there is any coloration, its boiling down to a very subjective support situation. With the customer on the losing end, and the deck stacked against you.
     
  19. Resist macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #19
    You didn't withhold information?....you straight out lied when they asked you about it! You didn't take your phone to Apple because of the cracks, you took it to them because of the phone getting soaked and using the cracks as your excuse. Per your statement, "the white iphone has always had hairline cracks around the corners of the white casing, at the vibrate switch and some near the sleep button, they never bothered me but i thought it would be my silver bullet to get a new phone."

    Apparently being truthful is hard for some people, But yes I would have man'd up if I broke my phone. To me having values means something.

    I will however agree that you paying $100 was partly fair. But I think you know Apple would not have even done that had you told the true about the water damage.
     
  20. veeco3110 macrumors 6502

    veeco3110

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    brick nj
    #20
    sorry to hi-jack the thread...where are the other two indicators? i know the headphone jack one. i looked under where the charger goes and cant see anything. any ideas...

    carry on fraud disputes.
     
  21. Hutch1 macrumors 6502a

    Hutch1

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Guelph, ON
    #21
    But you think its fair for Apple to refuse to fix a cracked case because the phone got wet? I have no problem with them refusing to replace the phone, but if that is the case they should fix the the cracked back. Just because they choose to replace phones rather than fix them that shouldn't become the customers problem.

    Now if they offered the customer the choice of replacing the phone for $100 or getting the back fix for free that is fair. They should have fixed the back free of charge it's a known manufacturing defect, and if they choose to replace then it should be on their dime not the customers.

    I'm glad values means something to you because they don't mean **** to Apple.
     
  22. Hutch1 macrumors 6502a

    Hutch1

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    Location:
    Guelph, ON
    #22
    One is on the inside and you can't see it until you take it apart. This is the one that decision should be made on, if the other two are activated. If this on is activated the phone was wet.

    The dock connector one you need a flashlight and you will see a white line on the bottom of the connector.

    Basically if the two external ones show nothing they should just replace the phone. If they have been activated the phone should be taken apart and if the inside is still white the phone should be replaced, if it's been activated then the phone has gotten wet and you are SOL. Basing the decision based on one of the external ones is a bit bogus.
     
  23. brax.j macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2009
    Location:
    Palo Alto, CA
    #23
    If the water detectors on the phone were soooo sensitive to humidity shouldn't the water detector at the bottom of your headphone jack be scarlet red also because your phone was "DRENCHED" in water. I just called my parents and had them check their water detectors and both are white (they live in Camas, Wa 30 min. away from Portland.) The warranty also states if water damage is evident your warranty will be voided so your lucky you got a new phone for $100 when you should have been charged full price for the phone.
     
  24. cjm3113 macrumors 6502

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    Nov 30, 2008
    #24
    Does anybody else find it comical that nobody on the internet ever does any wrong, but in real life every one is an ass hole?
     
  25. B737 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    B737

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Location:
    Jersey Shore
    #25
    Brax,
    Your correct, and thats a good point you make about their sensitivity. You would think they both would have changed as the phone was stuffed into that little bag. i think because the way the phone was positioned in saddle it was angled sharply. The top of the unit just wasnt as exposed as the back and bottom of the unit were as the water came into the saddle bag through the zippers.
     

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