Weird iPhone and iPad issues plus Apple Genius Bar/Warranty Service?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by BuddyRich, Jun 3, 2013.

  1. BuddyRich macrumors member


    Mar 21, 2012
    I had my first Genius Bar experience today and I was not impressed.

    On a recent European trip, my Apple devices went 0-2 on surviving.

    My iPhone 5, bought on launch day, crapped out during my first week while in Paris. It just stopped charging though continued to function until the battery was drained. At first I would get red streaks on the screen as it faded out and then a hard reset at random. Diagnostic Logs would show a CRC error but nothing else. Before this, I had noticed that my battery was "loose" in the case but the phone was otherwise OK and as time was tight for trip preparation I never got a chance to take it in to the apple store. The other weird thing was that the battery percentage wouldn't change until reset once the resets started happening and it became more sluggish.

    After the battery was completely drained, it would no longer turn on unless plugged in, and then it would just loop the apple logo. I had no computer on my trip but did try a restore once I got home, but it could not restore. Just got a 1602 error.

    On the same trip, after almost 3 weeks in Europe and 2 days before coming home from London, the iPad 3 stopped working. Rather the screen died. I now only get a weird gray/white screen with horizontal bands, and then only after it "warms" up almost like it was only showing the backlight only. The iPad itself is still running as I get the cover closing sound, and the charging connector sound, as well itunes can still communicate with it, the screen was just dead. A restore did not fix it, but it did restore from itunes just fine, even still able to sync via Wifi. The first few times I could open and close the smart case a few times and I would get the screen back but it hasn't worked since.

    So I go to genius bar. My iPad 3 was out of warranty by a couple of months so no dice. I was hoping for a but of leniency but not expecting it. I was also hoping I could at least get just the screen replaced but no luck, just an offer of a $300 refurb. C'est la vie, its out of warranty, so my fault. Is the ipad really sealed and no-repairable while the iPhone can at least be opened?

    However for my iPhone 5 I was told there was water damage so no replacement, but I never saw it as they took it to the back to do the work. Is that normal? The liquid indicator in the SIM slot was not pink, just white, but I didn't check before I brought it in but there are 2 internal ones as well that I can't see. I never dropped it in water or spilled anything on it. Only thing I can think of is sweat but I find it odd that the SIM indicator isn't on if its sweat, as that is right at the edge near a seam. I should have asked to see the damage but I didn't. Not that I don't believe the genius, but I am thinking that its actually a problem with the battery given the way it died and the way it was loose. Whats my recourse, if any, or is the genius' word final? There are two apple stores here, I could try my luck at another and ask to see the damage this time? If it is, is the iPhone really that sensitive to moisture, perhaps it isn't the phone for me, though I never had any issues with my 3GS or 1st gen iPod touch.

    $229 for a refurb replacement is steep, especially for something that should be covered via warranty, IMO.
  2. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    The iPad, I would just try and sell on ebay or Craigslist. You can use the money to buy a new or refurb (save about 15%) direct from Apple. I personally don't think $300 is worth a repair when a new one is $500 and a refurb is $450 (granted this I'd assuming 16gb model)

    As for the phone, try your luck with another Apple store. If they do claim water damage, ask kindly to see it. If there is water damage you are SOL, for now. Granted, there is a lawsuit (regarding the 3GS) but that could go either way. They should be able to show water damage if its present.
  3. SnowLeopard2008 macrumors 604


    Jul 4, 2008
    Silicon Valley
    iPhone 5. Personally, I'm very "careful" with my phone. I don't let other people (besides trusted friends/family) use it unless it's an emergency. If you don't recall it near any source of water, did you lend it to a friend or family member who may have handled it near water? That's the only thing I can think of that can cause water damage but isn't caused by you personally. Your symptoms besides that does indeed sound like a loose battery. But a general rule of thumb with electronics is that small problems spread and grow. So you should have taken it to an Apple Store when you first notice a problem and not drag your feet. Who knows, maybe the water damage happened way later and you walk away with a new phone. If you ever doubt a claim made by any employee working at the Apple Store, always ask for them to show you. Doesn't hurt anyone.

    iPad 3. Again, I personally wouldn't get a refurb/new unit for $300 (assuming the 16GB model like guy above). It's a bit steep because you can't resell it for that much or at least it'd be hard. It's a somewhat good reason to upgrade to the 4 and just sell the broken 3 for parts on eBay/Craigslist.

    As for the durability of Apple devices, my Dad's iPhone 4 still works 100% apart from a home button that only works 80-90% of the time. He got it on launch day and he's been to many (30+) business trips to places where weather isn't so great and 100+ degrees F extremely humid (95+% humidity) summers. Aside from a slightly wonky home button, everything else works 100%.
  4. BuddyRich thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 21, 2012
    Durability was why I upgraded to the i5 over an Android device (and ecosystem lock-in). My 3GS was awesome. Over 3 years with it and no problem.

    I can honestly say I never lent my phone to anyone nor did I ever drop it in water, etc.

    As I said, only thing I can think of is sweat. I use it as a cycling computer and keep it in the back pocket of my cycling jersey. I used the 3GS the same way and never had an issue but perhaps the i5 is more sensitive to it?
  5. G-Mo macrumors 6502


    Nov 6, 2010
    Auckland, NZ
    If you took it in to one Apple Store and they marked it water damaged, as soon as the next Apple Store enters the serial into the system it's going to come up with the repair notes from the first store visit... And they don't take kindly to you trying to "game" them.
  6. dave420 macrumors 65816

    Jun 15, 2010
    Sorry to hear about your devices breaking. A trip to Europe is just about the last time I would want my phone to break. I hope it wasn't too inconvenient for you.

    I always recommend getting some sort of extended warranty on the iPhone, such as Squaretrade or AppleCare+. I'm not sure if AppleCare+ was available with the iPad 3 initially, but the regular AppleCare would have covered you there. It's just so easy to break these mobile devices, so I think it's a good idea to pay a little extra so you know it will work for two years without any expensive fixes.

    There may also be independent places that can fix your devices for cheaper than Apple. When Squaretrade fixed my first generation iPad they used iResQ, and I had a great experience with them fixing it.
  7. BuddyRich thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 21, 2012
    I had a tada moment regarding the iPad. As its only 2 months out of warranty, and I used a credit card to buy it, one of the features of the card is a doubling of a manufacturer's warranty. It may be a hassle to claim, but it should give me more for it than for parts on craigslist. Ive never actually used that feature of my CC before.

    As for the phone, I need it, so I am going to the store and getting the refurb for $229, though I am going to ask to see the water damage personally as the LDI indicator in the SIM slot is not activated but I am going to be honest about it.
  8. AlphaDogg macrumors 68040


    May 20, 2010
    Boulder, CO
    I keep my iPhone 5 in the back pocket of my cycling jersey when I ride. I've seen people use plastic bags to prevent sweat from getting in the phone, but I haven't found it to be necessary. I sweat a fair amount while I ride and none of that sweat has infiltrated my phone.
  9. BuddyRich thread starter macrumors member


    Mar 21, 2012
    So i went in this AM and got great service. Told my story as the prior genius left no notes so she checked out the SIM slot ldi which showed nothing and said she would take a photo of any water damage and looked at it in back. Comes back and said none of the ldis were on and no obvious signs of water damage just a bit of discolouring. Moreover a new battery got the phone to turn on again so i could get some photos from my trip off it and will exchange it for new phone after work under warranty as it was still crashing with screen streaks and crc errors in log just while plugged in and charging but at least allowed me to salvage data.

    And also printed a repair estimate for ipad on apple letterhead needed for CC warranty.

    Totally different experience!
  10. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    The first genius was probably either clueless, new, or in a bad mood. Happens sometimes. But, good that you had a better experience the next time around!
  11. Chris092881 macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2012
    Apple has completely switched up their customer service policies if no one else had noticed. Gone are the days of leniency, for the most part anyway. With Android gaining ground at a fast clip you would think Apple's CS would be as good as ever, but that doesn't appear to be the case. It's unfortunate.
  12. remarkable macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2013
    Good customer service ≠ exceptions for everyone. Good customer service is providing the best possible solutions while providing a consistent experience for all customers. You can't grant an exception for one customer and deny another based on arbitrary rules.
  13. charlituna macrumors G3


    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    That lawsuit has nothing do with the current phones given that they changed the indicator material.

    As for seeing the damage, don't hold your breath. It's Apple policy not to crack a device open on the floor as it's not a clean room or ESD safe environment. It's not likely that they will given in even if you scream for a manager.
  14. KUguardgrl13 macrumors 68020


    May 16, 2013
    Kansas, USA
    Glad you had a better experience! It took two trips with my MacBook Pro. The second time it was out of warranty! They do occasionally pull through for a customer.
  15. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    I am very well aware of that. Point being is, at the time they were not honoring replacements, they didn't know there were issues. That very well may be the case today, or tomorrow, in different ways. That is all, nothing more is meant to be implied here.
  16. Chris092881 macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2012
    I have a friend that recently upgraded his home entertainment system. He spent over $4,000 for his television. Now, surely there are cheaper options out there that are very comparable in the specs department, but he paid the extra for the brand name and the craftsmanship. When he got to the register the woman asked him if he wanted to purchase the extended warranty in case some manufacturing defect happens with the TV. His answer was, "Why am I paying $4,000 for the television then"?

    I didn't think much of his response at first, but now that I consider it, he's right on point. Why do any of us pay more than we have to with any purchase we make? Because we are hoping to get quality that will last longer and perform better for the period of time in which we own it. Clearly my friends experience has nothing to do with Apple, or the OP's situation, but it's highly relevant nonetheless. Apple charges more for their products. Why is that so? Just because they feel like they can?

    I agree with your general explanation of customer service, however.
  17. citivolus macrumors 6502a

    Sep 19, 2008
    Now let's say the first genius actually entered his comments about seeing water damage in the system records for the OP's phone. What recourse would he have?
  18. remarkable macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2013
    You said the magic words. You're hoping to get a quality product that never needs service and performs to your needs. Regardless if you're paying $300 for a Vizio tv or $4000 for a Samsung SmartTV that does your dishes there are always going to be the duds that fail inexplicably. Maybe a connection was loose, a faulty LCD, etc. These situations aren't the norm, but manufacturers and retailers provide limited warranties to guarantee their devices are free from those defects.

    They offer an extended warranty because the manufacturer/retailer feels "confident" the device will hold up to the stresses of time. You typically can't extend these already extended warranties because the manufacturer can't say the integrity of the product will hold up that long.

    Yes, I'd be pretty upset if my Mac went up in flames one day or decided to fizzle out, but I take comfort in the fact that I have a warranty. If I'm out of warranty and it fails I at least know where I can go to get a fast and fair solution.

    Along the lines of exceptions and customer service go, I believe an exception can always be made. I wouldn't go in expecting it because it's just that. It seems when word gets out that someone received an exception it's all of a sudden owed to everyone that heard about it. An exception should be a pleasant surprise and you shouldn't be up in arms when you don't get one.


    It depends if the person that took the second appointment or the customer got in touch with the original store. If there was a record of the appointment, and notes left within, you can see which person owned it and the proper conversation would be up to the management in that store.

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