The $200 iPhone "water penalty" (do NOT get it wet!)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by SilentCrs, Jul 19, 2008.

  1. SilentCrs macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    #1
    Well, just got done with a rather frustrating afternoon.

    Backstory

    Apple customer for a number of years. Spent thousands on their products. Purchased an iPhone the second day it came out. Purchased an iPhone 3G the second day it came out as well. Been recommending Apple products to coworkers and family.

    And Now Today...

    This morning, I did something incredibly moronic: I left my iPhone 3G in my pants pocket and washed my clothes. I damaged my iPhone 3G. It's waterlogged. It turns on, but there's water under the screen and it's constantly complaining about an accessory that doesn't exist.

    I schedule an appointment at the Genius Bar of my local Apple Store. I bring it in, say that it's water damaged, know that'll cost money to fix/replace it and I want to start the process. After consulting with the manager, the technician says it's a $299 repair.

    Well, $299 is what I paid for it a week ago (I was an existing iPhone customer) so I said "Ok, I'll just buy a new one then."

    "$499."

    Excuse me?

    It turns out, if you damage your iPhone with water, you have to pay the UNSUBSIDIZED price to get a new one. Even if you've an existing AT&T customer.

    Ok, I'll get it repaired then. "Sorry, we don't repair water-damaged phones." Huh? But he just said... Now there was confusion. The tech speaks with the manager and comes back with the final price: $499.

    I called up Apple personally (with another phone, obviously) to verify the policy. After the person speaking to their manager (apparently, only managers know these things, they confirmed it).

    So, here's the irony:

    1.) Damage your iPhone and claim it "just stopped working": $0.
    2.) Damage your iPhone and say it was damaged: $299 repair.
    3.) Damage your iPhone and say it was damaged with water: $499 unsubsidized new phone.

    The moral of this story? Apparently, don't be an honest customer when it comes to explaining what happened to your phone. :p
     
  2. wronski macrumors 6502

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  3. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #3
    4.) Take care of your possessions and don't damage your iPhone.
     
  4. illutionz macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #4
    I'm never be honest if I spoil my product :D

    Once, I bricked my Playstation Portable and I told Sony that one morning I woke up it just don't turn on whereas it was fine the night before... Got a new one replaced in 2 days :D In reality, I tried to flash a firmware downgrader and it bricked the PSP :rolleyes:

    However, In the case of iPhone, they will know if it's under water or not because if you take a look at INSIDE your headphone jack, there is a white sticker and it will turn PINK if it got any contact with water :rolleyes:

    Plus, you say the water was like under the screen which makes it kind of hard to lie :eek:
     
  5. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    #5
    Although, I'm sure that as with other phones there is a water sensor somewhere in it...that would redflag it to any tech as to how it was damaged.
     
  6. skwoytek macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2005
    #6
    Sounds fair to me.

    Also, the iPhone has a water indicator inside. So as soon as they opened it they'd know you were full of it.
     
  7. theLimit macrumors 6502a

    theLimit

    Joined:
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    up tha holler, acrost tha crick
    #7
    I guess you could let it dry out, run over it with your car to create some visible damage, then take it to another Apple store and get the $299 repair.
     
  8. w4rmk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2006
    #8
    Sorry for your issue but they are exactly correct in what they are telling you. You can only get the subsidized price once every 2 years (they made an exception for existing iPhone users since the original iPhone has only been out for 1 year). If you damaged your phone 5 times you cannot get the subsidized price every time, that wouldn't make sense. FYI, you should consider getting an extended warranty with accidental damage protection from SquareTrade.com. I got one the day after I got my new iPhone 3G and it would have covered your phone in your situation.
     
  9. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2008
    #9
    Or see if your homeowners insurance has a policy you can add it to for personal belongings...or even car insurance. There's a thread on state farm offering personal belonging coverage for theft, loss, or damage. (Although, because at&t hasn't set the replacement value 'officially' yet...the iphone doesn't fit most statefarm plans. Due to the subsidized original purchase price.

    I don't know, however, if you bundled several items into a policy...how that would effect whether or not they would cover it.
     
  10. illutionz macrumors 65816

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    #10
    LOL Run over it with a car... ;)
     
  11. SilentCrs thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 2, 2006
    #11
    But I wasn't being "full of it". I went to both the Apple Store and AT&T and told them exactly what happened from the getgo.

    As for it being "fair", how so?

    1.) Buy it one week ago and get subsidized pricing. Total price I'm giving AT&T over two years is $2100 ($1800 for 24 months of $75 bills, plus $300 for the phone).

    2.) Take damaged item in one week later. Total price I'm giving AT&T: $2300.

    If we were talking 1+ year gap between when I purchased the phone and when it was damaged it'd be one thing. We're talking 1 week. $200 seems a pretty hefty penalty given that AT&T is still getting the same amount from me for a contract that was barely started (24 months * $75). The whole point of the subsidy is to lock people into the 2-year agreement. I'm already locked in from a week ago.
     
  12. sr5878 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2007
    #12
    if you used visa or amex, you should have automatic accidental damage coverage for up to 90 days from purchase with receipt.
     
  13. nickspohn macrumors 68040

    nickspohn

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    Jun 9, 2007
    #13
    It isn't Apple's fault you left it in your pocket carelessly.
     
  14. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    Apr 2, 2008
    #14
    They don't offer insurance for the new iphones though.
    So, as awful as it is...unless you insured it in any other way, they can charge you full price.
     
  15. BlackMax macrumors 6502a

    BlackMax

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    Location:
    North Carolina
    #15
    I'm surprised it turns on at all. If it were me I would leave it in a dry place for several days (or however long necessary) until it completely dries out. It is possible if it completely dries out it will work correctly again. I would definitely stop turning it on until it is completely dry.
     
  16. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    #16
    Would there be a way to replace the water sensor...so he could get the repair fee...instead of full price?
     
  17. sr5878 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 5, 2007
    #17
    that's fraud :cool:

    if he's gonna take it apart, why not just take it apart and air the whole thing out?
     
  18. Nicolecat macrumors 6502a

    Nicolecat

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    Apr 2, 2008
    #18
    true.

    How long until parts will be accessible for him to fix it by himself?
     
  19. skwoytek macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 15, 2005
    #19
    Airing it out won't work. The indicator turns red and stays red.

    @OP I'm saying you'd be full of it if, as in your "irony" section you said it was something other than water damage.

    And it's fair because you got it wet - it's electronic.
     
  20. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    Jan 8, 2005
    #20
    I love how people say this like there entitled to some magic Apple Fan Club special treatment.
     
  21. Type121 macrumors regular

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  22. Type121 macrumors regular

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    Northeast
    #22

    But that would mean AT&T would have to pay the subsidy to Apple twice on the same contract. That's not good business. You can only get one discounted phone per contract.
     
  23. islandtitan macrumors regular

    islandtitan

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    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    USA/Daniel Island/ South Carolina
    #23
    I believe this is probably the source of a god bit of his frustration, the OP is first told the repair would cost $299.00 and then is told they can't repair it.

    That would certainly frustrate me.
     
  24. HaroldC macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #24
    sucks. I dropped my old Blackberry 8700 in a bucket of water while washing my car, but was able to take it apart and dry it out completely. Worked like it did before, no problems other than the red water indicator.

    Let it dry out completely and then try it again. The only problem is that it looks like you tried using it before it dried out and thus the error messages.
     
  25. karmamule macrumors 6502

    karmamule

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    Jun 13, 2008
    Location:
    Waltham, MA
    #25
    Not that this will help you at this point, but if anyone else runs into a similar water-damage problem, you can try putting your iPhone in uncooked white rice and leave it for a day or two. Like silica packets, white rice will absorb moisture well. I've read of people doing this with other cell phones and it worked in some cases.

    Never tried it myself, but if you're phone is already dead it can't hurt to give it a shot.
     

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