My first exposure to the world of Apple products was back back in 2010 when I was studying to be a web designer. Well, to be honest it was back when my kids were in school and came home saying ‘Open-Apple’ something which neither of them profess to remember….but I digress. I fell in love with the MAC I worked on in class. Before I graduated, I took advantage of my student discount and bought a MacBook Pro.
From that point forward, I have purchased iPods, another MacBook, two iPads and eventually an iPhone 6. I have loved them all. The lack of viruses, the ease of use, the integration between them all – I have always been a fan.
Unfortunately, my iPhone 6 may be the bad Apple that spoils the whole bunch.
Let’s talk batteries. You cannot just take the back panel off and replace the battery. When the battery in my phone failed two years ago, I did what any Apple owner would do. I called and made an appointment with the Genius Bar at the nearest (an hour drive for me) Apple Store. After doing a backup (thank goodness!!!) making the drive, turning off my passcode, turning off Find My iPhone I turned the phone over to the ‘genius’ . Diagnostics were run and indeed, my phone needed a new battery. That would cost $79 IF they had a battery which (drumroll please) they did not. I was livid. 3 hours of my life consumed for nothing. I pitched a fit! So much so, they gave me a new phone (I was suspicious why they would give me a new phone let me tell you) for the cost of the battery. Following much hemming and hawing, I finally said ok. The tech let me purge all the data off my phone, I took the new phone home, restored it from my iTunes backup an Voila! All was well.
Fast forward about a month and my phone lost it’s ability to use cellular service. After hours on the phone with the support center (using WiFi calling), updating carrier settings, a trip to the AT&T store to get another SIM card (which did not make any difference) and a week of frustration, Apple agreed to send me a new phone. Of course, because I needed my phone until I had the new one, Apple put a $700 hold on my credit card until the old phone was received back at Apple. I returned my phone, got the credit on my credit card and all was well – for a while.
Over the last few weeks, I had to charge my phone several times a day. I just got tired of it. So, again, I called the Apple store and made an appointment. But this time, I was oh so much smarter! The day before the appointment, I called first to make sure they had a battery. That call took me to central Apple support. After many calls and exchanges, it was again confirmed that the Apple Store will not hold a battery for you – even though you make an appointment FOR a battery and Apple techs run diagnostics saying you need a battery it is strictly first come first serve. I had been down this road before.
So, the nice Apple Support guy found an authorized vendor (still an hour from home) that had batteries and could change it for me if I came that afternoon. Great. What he did not tell me was I would need to leave my phone for 2+ hours for them to change the battery. I had other scheduled appointments so I could not leave my phone. This was not going well. So….back to the Support Center.
Long story short, I made yet another appointment at the Apple Store (first appointment of the day because I am much smarter now) and the support person said he would work with the store to make sure they had a battery for me. Now I understood I would need to leave my phone for the repair an I planned accordingly.
Up at 7:30 am. Phone backup. Coffee. Breakfast. Shower. Get dressed and on the road for another hour drive. When I arrived at the Apple Store, it was already pretty crowded. The tech was nice. Very professional. Sorry for my trouble. He really put me at ease and bonus – it was only going to take a hour.
After shopping around the mall, I got checked back in and was called back rather quickly. It started going downhill from there. One of the techs came out rather nonchalantly, handed me a phone and said, ‘they had problems with your phone after the battery was replaced – it would not power up’. It took a minute to register. This was not my phone. They assumed it was some sort of logic board problem. My phone, was all packed up, ready to be shipped ‘somewhere’ with all my personal data on it. Somehow, this phone I had paid cash for – so I sort of thought it was mine – was somewhere in the back ready to be sent back to Apple ‘to be disassembled and melted down’ without any discussion with me.
My mind was slowly focusing on the magic trick I had just witnessed. I asked if the phone was new. The response was ‘no one has ever owned this phone’. Huh? So I said it must be refurbished. The response was, no, it was not refurbished. Again, no one ever owned this phone. After pressing the tech, I was finally told that the case was new but at least the camera had been replaced to which I again said, ‘so it was refurbished’. ‘It’s just a camera’ was hurtled back at me in a very condescending tone. This is when I requested the manager.
I will not bore you with all the assurances I was given about Apple and their fight to protect individual privacy. Surely I had seen the article in the news about how they refused to turn data over to the police. Bottom line, same story. I asked for my phone back. No, it was packed ready to mail back. What will happen to it I asked. He couldn’t really tell me because he wasn’t sure. He said I assure you no one is going to look on that truck for your phone. I told him I wanted my phone held in the store until I could get in touch with the support rep I had been working with. I was not happy. He told me the support people would not be able to help me (was he trying to discourage me from calling?). I told him I would call anyway – Of course that meant I needed to go home because now the phone I had in my hand had none of my data on it. No emails, contacts – nothing.
I decided to call my husband and get him to find the support rep’s email and give me his phone number and my case number. While I was on the phone waiting for my husband to call, the manager came back and told me they were going to try to wipe the phone clean. He eventually came back with a phone and showed me the phone had been cleared. Funny, the phone that would not power up, and had a probable bad logic board was powered up. I asked him how that could be. He then told me that sometimes when they try to restore a phone, it will work again. At this point I am beginning to think there is something fishy in Denmark. I looked at him and asked “How do I know this is my phone”?
At this point I copied the IMEI number, called and left a message with the support rep and drove an hour back home to restore my data on the phone. This is my fourth phone in two years if anyone is counting. Today was another 5 hours invested in what was to be a battery change.
Tomorrow I will let you know what I hear from the support center and will give you Apple users out there some advice if you ever need to take your iPhone in for repair.
Oh, and one last note, I have no idea how old the battery is in this phone (which no one has ever owned but yet the camera has been replaced.)