My experience with a defective iPhone 4.

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by Zubba, Jul 13, 2010.

  1. Zubba macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2007
    So, I've been a long time lurker on these boards. I've been snooping around here since... probably about 2007-2008. I come here to read all of the excellent insight into Apple products, and to get a heads up on what's coming out or expected to come out.

    Unfortunately my first post isn't exactly a positive one.

    Yesterday I received my iPhone 4 from the Apple store. I had ordered it about 3 days out from the initial release, and was pretty happy that Apple got it to me before the expected delivery date of July 14th. After un-boxing and restoring my new phone I noticed that the screen was defective, I was hoping it was the glue issue that was so prevalent, but the defect was a dark spot of what appeared to be damaged pixels. I called Apple Care and let them know about the issue within an hour after I received the phone, and was told to take it in to my local Apple store so that they could verify the issue, and that if there was indeed a problem they could swap the phone out for me. Great.

    I showed up at the Apple store for my appointment, and immediately the genius says "That's not glue, that's all kinds of wrong. We'll get you a new phone." At this point, I let him know that I would not accept a white box replacement, as I had just received the phone that day and would not accept a refurbished phone as a replacement. "No problem" was the reply, I was handed off to a sales associate who then needed a full time employee to grab the replacement phone to swap mine out. This is where things turned really bad.

    The "full-time" guy asked why I was receiving a retail swap and the genius wandered over to let him know. After the genius walked away the full time guy proceeds to turn to me and say. "I'm sorry, we will go ahead and get you an Apple replacement phone, however I can't give you a retail replacement because of our limited stock on hand."

    I was pretty much floored. I asked for him to repeat what he just told me... and he condescendingly replied "You're not getting a retail version, sorry."

    I was with two friends at the time, so they knew to remind me not to lose my temper, and I simply repeated that it wasn't acceptable to me to receive a white box when I got the phone that day. I also let him know about a negative experience I had with a previous white box replacement I received with my original iPhone. I will NEVER settle for a white box replacement for new product again... lesson learned.

    So in a nut shell I was told that despite the acknowledgment that the phone was defective out of the box, despite that the store had stock for sale, that because stock was limited I would have to settle for a white box (which are now black boxes apparently).

    Anyhow, his response was that because the iPhone 4 was so new and in demand that the white box replacement "would probably be a 100% new phone".

    I didn't spend $360 for a refurb, nor for the "chance" of getting a new phone.

    This is getting entirely too long, so to sum it up quickly... after the store manager and Apple Care got involved, it was decided that they would create a special case for me and order me a new phone... which will arrive in two to three weeks.

    I'm wondering if any of you who have had your phone replaced have had the same sort of experience.

    For the first time since I bought my first Mac in 1994, I'm starting to feel like I should take my business elsewhere. I really wish Apple had some competition within the OSX sphere, it would be easier to send a message with my dollars.
  2. F123D macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2008
    Del Mar, CA
    Those black boxed iPhones are brand new. Those are set aside just for replacements. There shouldn't be any refurbs at this point.
  3. llustig macrumors newbie

    Feb 13, 2010
    Think you should just calm down and take the refurb. Who knows man, it may be better than the "new" one. Life is like a box of chocolate bro.
  4. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    Puh-leeze. The white box replacement at this time is gonna be a new phone. Even if a refurb, you are getting a phone gone over with a fine tooth comb. You have your original box, manual, working all opened and will have to be repackaged. Even if the phone wasn't in short supply you should only expect the defective component (the phone) replaced.
  5. Givmeabrek macrumors 68040


    Apr 20, 2009
    Pretty silly. There aren't any refurbs anyway. They are all new. :)

    I have always had good luck with refurbs.
  6. Zubba thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2007
    The thing is guys... the white boxes (black boxes these days I guess, when I worked for Apple they were white boxes) are not all new, nor have they ever been. Some are, some are not. I paid for a new phone, not a refurb.
  7. F123D macrumors 68040


    Sep 16, 2008
    Del Mar, CA
    Each store in the US seems to have an unlimited supply of black boxed iPhones for exchanges. How is it possible apple has soo many refurbs a couple weeks in? I exchanged mine.. how is my "refurbed" phone 4 weeks newer than my original? (Based on serial number)
  8. Chwisch87 macrumors 6502

    Sep 30, 2008
    Well within the 30 day period, you should def. get a new one. That being said, they all come with warranties and your apple care transfer over so you could always just replace it?
  9. Jtuner77 macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2008
    You really think they have taken returns, shipped them to a Apple testing facility and gone over all the refurb phones and had them retested, repaired and reshipped to stores in 2.5 weeks time and the "black/white" box phone you received is a refurb? WOW just WOW

    Upon every iphone launch they have brand new phones sitting just for this exact issue. Say if this was 8-10 weeks later I could understand your issue but there isn't even enough time to get a refurb into a store yet.......
  10. Zubba thread starter macrumors member


    Aug 20, 2007
    No doubt, the vast majority are new phones or are comprised of mostly new components. "Chances" are I'd get an entirely new phone at this point. The point is, that historically white box items can be:

    1. Entirely new.
    2. Of mixed components from the Sacramento facility (are they still doing it there? It's been a while since I was entirely in the know).
    3. A hodge-podge of formerly used components.

    The original iPhone white box replacement I got was about 6 months after the initial release; it was NOT new.

    I didn't pay a new price for the privilege of unwrapping what could potentially be a used item. Maybe if I had actually used the phone for more than 5 minutes I would be more inclined to accept the "Chance" of getting a new one.
  11. iphoneZ macrumors regular

    Jul 15, 2008
    its true apple really treats its customers like dirt now
  12. Wolfmore macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2008
    I'm with the Original Poster. If Apple refuses to give retail version then they should offer gift cards in these least $50 but should be $100 if it's the 32gb one. The retail version replacement should be mandatory within 30 days...come on he paid good money for a Brand New item Period.

    Not Apples to Apples no matter how good the chances ;) (w/ all intentions)
  13. tokiidokii macrumors regular

    Feb 23, 2008
    i too had to get a new phone from the black box. and guess what? it WORKS and has no problems compared to the first 2 (ok the volume buttons are very slightly loose but it's not a big deal. my first 2 ip4s had loose silent switches but solid volume buttons).

    i guess i can kinda understand why you're mad but at the same time, i think you overreacted a bit.

    if you really didn't want the new phone from the black box, why didn't you just ask for a full refund of the phone you got in the mail? this way, you can just go to a diff apple store (if there are others near you... or just come back the next day to the same store) and buy a 'retail' one.

    anyway i hope you get a working phone in 2-3 weeks. goodluck.
  14. shakenmartini macrumors 6502

    Apr 29, 2008
    Yes this way over reacting. Apple refurbs are always BETTER than new in my experience because a technician goes over it with a fine toothed comb. With the iPhone 3G I had to get a replacement due to a screen defect and the refurb didn't have all the rough edges that I saw on all my friends 3G that were new.
  15. insidmal macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2010
    did you ask to talk to someone other than a pee on?

    and what the **** is a genius bar and why do you have to make appointments for it?
  16. supremeMilo macrumors member

    Jun 9, 2010
    The phone they were offering you is the same as the retail box one....

    They can't give you a retail box one as people have them reserved etc.

    Remember you could have just gotten a refund, the fact that Apple is replacing so many phones right now is great for customers, they probably could have made all of them into retail boxes and when people had defective phones they could have said oh you have to wait two months to get a replacement.
  17. josielinnea macrumors regular


    Dec 15, 2007
    Of course they could had just told you like this but it doesn't change anything:

    The retail boxes are of course reserved for those that have already been waiting for 1-3 weeks.
    Someone who are probably on their way to pick it up.

    Or are you seriously considering that you should have the new plastic-wrapped retail box and someone else who should get the exchange unit?

    Get real.
  18. WeegieMac Guest


    Jan 29, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    I have to agree with the OP.

    We have paid a lot of money for a product, and within the first 30 days especially, it is ridiculous to accept a refurbished unit.

    I paid £499 for my 16GB iPhone 4, and while it's not certain that any replacement is a refurbished unit, I didn't pay a premium price for a second hand unit.

    If I had to exchange mine within the first 30 days I would want a brand new unit.
  19. barachus macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2010
    i fully agree with you, i would completely expect to get a brand new retail boxed phone on a 1 day old replacement
  20. BadMoon macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2010
    I have mixed feelings about this. Either way I will start out by saying I received a (black box) phone as a replacement. It was in better condition then the one I received out of the new box. So who knows?

    I also understand the principal arguement. However, I believe in most cases this is a form of OCD. Just read some of the threads around here about people talking about scratches and what not. IMO its a phone, you use it. You shouldn't have to put it in pouches and cover it with military grade armor in order to use the thing. I also get a chuckle out of the "pouch" people. I would die laughing if I ever heard someone's phone ring and then watched them remove a pouch and open it up to answer their phone.

    When I worked at Best Buy about 10 years ago every Tuesday we would have the "DVD Inspectors" waiting outside for the new releases. They would come in and litterally pull 20 or so copies of the same movie off the shelf and inspect each one. They would run their fingers up and down the packaging and hold it up to the lights, shake the case and all of that. This wasn't just one customer (we had several that did this). So needless to say Tuesdays were one of my favorite days to work because I would just stand there and shake my head and laugh.

    So I guess where do you draw the line between principal, overly anal, or worse IMO flat out OCD?
  21. drew0020 macrumors 68000


    Nov 10, 2006
    I disagree. I'm more concerned with getting a working replacement rather than the packaging it comes in.
  22. WeegieMac Guest


    Jan 29, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    The packaging is not the concern. Read again.

    The packaging merely confirms that you could be getting a refurbished unit.

    Within the first 30 days, any replacement should be a brand new unit. We did not pay this money for a second hand unit.

    That's the point, not the box it comes in.
  23. BadMoon macrumors 6502

    Jun 21, 2010
    I don't believe they are refurbished at this point. So one could argue that it is the packaging it comes in. :D
  24. samcraig macrumors P6

    Jun 22, 2009
    Granted I replaced my phone twice the first weekend they were out (Both because of bad cameras) - but I didn't care about getting a new box despite the phone being less than 24 hours. I just wanted a phone that worked.

    Again - it was launch weekend, so I had no fears of getting a refurbished. But it still wouldn't matter to me, personally if it was.

    I don't disagree you're entitled to a new phone. But since you made that decision - while I can understand you're frustrated - it was your decision to put yourself back on the list to wait.
  25. TroyBoy30 macrumors 68020


    Jun 9, 2009
    Atlanta GA
    this close after roll out there are no re furbs no matter what box they come in

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