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Ric Ford

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... I am a fairly assertive guy but I was just floored by “his” position on the matter so I left the store and decided to fight this battle another day (and at another store). I would sincerely appreciate any thoughts fellow MacInTouch readers have to offer. Thanks!
If your iPhone is truly not bent, then this sounds like a scam. I would want to gather all relevant facts first (including identities or photos of the people involved), then proceed to explore your various options (e.g. state attorney general, consumer advocates, etc.) as well as alerting Apple management to the issue, as I can't imagine they really want Apple Stores to get a reputation for ripping people off. You might try Apple Customer Relations, or just go straight to Tim Cook and/or Angela Ahrendts (who sure gets a lot of prime keynote time under Cook to promote Apple Stores). And please let us know here what transpires.
 


I’m still in a bit of shock after an Apple Store experience this past weekend.

I made an appointment to have my iPhone 6 battery replaced for $29 before that offer expires at the end of the year. When I sat down at the “genius table” I proceeded to remove my iPhone from its Otterbox Defender case (the Hummer of iPhone cases for those unfamiliar).

As the Apple Store rep sat down next to me the first thing he did was to turn the iPhone on edge and look at it along its axis. “I don’t think we’ll be able to do the battery replacement because your phone is bent”.

I said calmly…”my phone has never been used outside of the Otterbox case and never been placed in a pocket.” When I looked at the phone along its axis I saw no bending whatsoever.

He said he would check with the technician in the back but reasserted his opinion adding that the Otterbox cases were known to do this. What?

I asked him to clarify how a case could bend a phone if the phone was always used in the case and never placed in a pocket. He really wasn’t able to do so, just that the phone was bent and they couldn’t do a battery replacement.

Trying not to be fully obnoxious I asked if I were to pay the full price for the battery replacement ($79?) would they replace the battery. He said “no, the only thing I can do is give you $150 off the $300 for a new iPhone 6”.

I am a fairly assertive guy but I was just floored by “his” position on the matter so I left the store and decided to fight this battle another day (and at another store). I would sincerely appreciate any thoughts fellow MacInTouch readers have to offer. Thanks!
No advice but thought you might be interested in a similar experience in Perth, Australia. My daughter inherited my iPhone 6 and has been experiencing lots of battery issues. As advised by Apple, we decided to avail ourselves of the battery replacement program.

On meeting with the “genius” at our local Apple store we too were told the phone was bent. The genius said that while this wasn’t an issue in itself, it would cause problems fitting the iPhone into the automated battery replacement machine. He then somewhat infuriatingly left the conversation hanging without offering any further advice.

My daughter being a teenager just accepted this advice and was prepared to leave and just live with poor performance and erratic battery life. Being somewhat older and a bit of a curmudgeon, I informed the “Genius” this was not acceptable and the phone was well looked after and that I couldn’t see any perceptible bending.

Fairly ungraciously he said it would have to fail a battery test (contrary to advice provided by Apple itself) and only then would they would they attempt to replace the battery - but he made it clear he wouldn’t give any guarantees. That was fine with me as he hadn’t provided anything of value since we walked into the store.

Anyway, the battery did fail their test and while we waited the battery was successfully replaced. The whole experience has left a bitter taste in my mouth and it’s pretty clear to me Apple are putting barriers up to discourage people from participating in the battery replacement program.
 


As the Apple Store rep sat down next to me the first thing he did was to turn the iPhone on edge and look at it along its axis. “I don’t think we’ll be able to do the battery replacement because your phone is bent”.
...
I left the store and decided to fight this battle another day (and at another store).
If the technician/genius made a note, "bent iPhone", on your device's service record, you might not succeed at the next Apple Store.
 


I took in my iPhone 6 Plus (no appointment) to get the battery replaced. It passed their test just fine, but they said they would replace the battery anyway if I wanted to pay the $29 plus tax. The new battery charges to 100% of capacity instead of only 89%.

Something I hadn't looked at before: I leave the phone on but never touch it (no sim card), everything I can find to turn off is off, except Find My Phone, and battery charge drops 5% per day. I doubt anyone reading this never uses their phone, but I wonder if this is normal behavior.
 


Something I hadn't looked at before: I leave the phone on but never touch it (no sim card), everything I can find to turn off is off, except Find My Phone, and battery charge drops 5% per day. I doubt anyone reading this never uses their phone, but I wonder if this is normal behavior.
Battery drain when doing nothing is not normal. I've seen it with an old battery and I've seen it when there's background processing going on (including for a few days after any OS update), but not under normal circumstances with a good battery.

But the fact that you have no SIM card might be affecting this. I know that phones (including iPhones) will draw a lot of power if they can't find a cellular signal. They max-out the gain on their amplifiers in order to search for a signal, and that does consume a lot of your battery. I don't know what the system does when a SIM card is missing, but I'm wondering if you might be in the same situation.

If you have your SIM card removed, I would recommend putting the phone into Airplane mode (you can re-enable Wi-Fi while leaving Airplane mode active), which will disable the cellular radio circuitry. See if that changes anything.
 


I don't have experience with Otterbox cases, but I have recent experience with battery replacement at the Apple Store, in this case for two iPhone 6S's. After the initial exam the store rep said that if any damage was found, they may not be able to complete the battery swap. I asked if I could back out of the repair if that was the case, and was told that I could. When I got them back, the rep said that the tech noticed one of them had a questionable home button, so he had done a full home button and screen replacement to fix the issue, at no extra charge beyond the $29 battery replacement fee.

In your case I wonder what the outcome would have been if the repair had moved forward from the front-line rep to the back-bench technician. Perhaps the tech would have had no problem completing the battery replacement. I think it would be worth another shot at a different Apple Store, if you have one available, this time taking the Otterbox off before entering the store.
Wow, happy to hear of your great service experience Scott. I have to wonder if Apple keeps "device notes" whereby if I go to another Apple Store I will be told that they have already examined the phone and found it ineligible. I placed my iPhone up against a metal straightedge and for the life of me I can't see any bending. I'll likely try another Apple Store and since I live in the "home town" of Otterbox (Fort Collins, Colorado) and they have a flagship retail store downtown I'll go amuse myself there and report anything of interest.
 


Two random thoughts:

1. You might be able to view any Apple case notes on your devices by requesting your account dossier from Apple. Go to
2. In my city, a lot of office supply stores and mobile phone repair shops are matching the $29 battery replacement. I also recall reading something here that said Best Buy was matching as well.
 


Two random thoughts:

1. You might be able to view any Apple case notes on your devices by requesting your account dossier from Apple. Go to
2. In my city, a lot of office supply stores and mobile phone repair shops are matching the $29 battery replacement. I also recall reading something here that said Best Buy was matching as well.
In our city, Best Buy is an Apple certified repair place, and they replaced my battery for $29 last week.
 


I’m still in a bit of shock after an Apple Store experience this past weekend.

I made an appointment to have my iPhone 6 battery replaced for $29 before that offer expires at the end of the year. When I sat down at the “genius table” I proceeded to remove my iPhone from its Otterbox Defender case (the Hummer of iPhone cases for those unfamiliar).

As the Apple Store rep sat down next to me the first thing he did was to turn the iPhone on edge and look at it along its axis. “I don’t think we’ll be able to do the battery replacement because your phone is bent”.

I said calmly…”my phone has never been used outside of the Otterbox case and never been placed in a pocket.” When I looked at the phone along its axis I saw no bending whatsoever.

He said he would check with the technician in the back but reasserted his opinion adding that the Otterbox cases were known to do this. What?

I asked him to clarify how a case could bend a phone if the phone was always used in the case and never placed in a pocket. He really wasn’t able to do so, just that the phone was bent and they couldn’t do a battery replacement.

Trying not to be fully obnoxious I asked if I were to pay the full price for the battery replacement ($79?) would they replace the battery. He said “no, the only thing I can do is give you $150 off the $300 for a new iPhone 6”.

I am a fairly assertive guy but I was just floored by “his” position on the matter so I left the store and decided to fight this battle another day (and at another store). I would sincerely appreciate any thoughts fellow MacInTouch readers have to offer. Thanks!

Try Batteries and Bulbs+ or another such store. It will cost you out of pocket, but they will replace your battery without pushback. (Just a happy customer, no other relationship.)
 


Am I reading this correctly? Is it true that one of the 'enhancements' from AppleCare to AppleCare + is that coverage is now global on everything? The old AppleCare applied anywhere for portable devices but coverage for desktop machines was limited to the country of purchase. Has that really changed?
 


Two random thoughts:

2. In my city, a lot of office supply stores and mobile phone repair shops are matching the $29 battery replacement. I also recall reading something here that said Best Buy was matching as well.
One thing to be careful about when using third parties for a battery replacement: If they use a non-Apple battery, Apple will probably never service the phone again.

I replaced a battery in an iPhone 6 via a store-front repair shop before handing it down to another family member. After about a year, the phone was left plugged in for several days, and it caused the battery to bulge and actually bend the screen. I took it into an Apple Store seeking to have both things repaired. The genius said they could repair it, but after they opened it up and saw it had a third-party battery, he brought it back to me and said they are prohibited from working on anything that has a non-Apple battery because they couldn't guarantee the state of the rest of the phone.

I understand Apple's position on this, and I was ultimately able to get the phone repaired at another third-party shop. Just a cautionary tale for anyone who cares about keeping their device in good standing with Apple.
 


If the technician/genius made a note, "bent iPhone", on your device's service record, you might not succeed at the next Apple Store.
Yes, I suspect this might be the case, yet I'm also wondering if Apple-authorized battery replacement centers like some Best Buys. Simply Mac, etc. have access to that data. I will follow-up on this in the next couple of weeks and report back to all.
 


A friend of mine just had a remarkable experience at the genius bar in his local Apple store in Long Island. His wife's iMac would no longer start up, and after trying lots of secret-handshake startup routines, I figured the hard drive was probably dead. She had no backup, but already had an appointment at the genius bar. I told her that if they replaced the drive, to make sure she got her old one back, since we might be able to recover the data.

Well, this is my friend's reply to my email asking how it went: "Failing hard drive. Apple store recovered all the files we wanted and put them on an external drive, took multiple tries and three hours, no charge. New iMac is humming along nicely."

"New iMac" – maybe the techs went out of their way because my friends bought a new machine...
 


Yes, I suspect this might be the case, yet I'm also wondering if Apple-authorized battery replacement centers like some Best Buys. Simply Mac, etc. have access to that data. I will follow-up on this in the next couple of weeks and report back to all.
I have two comments to offer.
  1. Two years ago, I had a similar, bizarre Apple Store genius experience - bizarre, as in, I was dumbfounded by the genius's actions. I wanted to use Apple's safety recall of power charger adapters. I bought an early batch (over 10 years ago) of the world kit, which included only five adapters and lacked any special identifiers. The genius could not identify them, but instead of asking for higher level help, promptly concluded they must be counterfeits. He then treated me with the insinuation that I was trying to cheat him and Apple - over a $30 set of adapters which probably cost < $3 to make.
  2. My friend tried Staples service to replace her iPhone 6 battery. After a week, the battery would not hold a charge, yet Staples would not replace, refund, or offer any remedy. I ended up replacing the battery, but in the process, also noticed that the phone case was replaced improperly. This is only one Staples store experience, but my advice is to seek out an independent Apple dealer if possible.
 


promptly concluded they must be counterfeits. He then treated me with the insinuation that I was trying to cheat him and Apple
That's especially appalling because wasn't the point of that recall program to get non-Apple chargers out of circulation? As I remember, my spouse was able to exchange a no-name charger without any problems at an Apple Store.

The sad thing is that since I am an ex-retailer, stories of horrendous service never surprise me. As in pretty much all public-facing jobs, the weakest link is finding and retaining good people. Even with the attempts in many areas to micro-legislate how businesses treat their front-line workers, the core problem persists: retail jobs rarely attract top-tier people. Further, in my experience, when a star worker does appear, the sales floor gig usually is not their first priority. They are typically empty nesters who want to make some extra cash, university students, or people who need a second job.

My personal strategy for the times I am forced to deal with the Apple Store in person (yes, I hate going in there, too) is to never present a device or machine with non-Apple components or accessories installed. I also try to blame any problems on the company, not store workers, and to get across that I do not think the people I'm talking to are personally responsible for difficulties. The idea is to help Apple Store people want to solve your problem and to not make them feel defensive. Remember, people are yelling at them all day long. So somebody who seems to be calm, confident, and solution focused–even if you're seething inside–truly stands out in a good way.

For fans of the Godfather, you want to be Michael, not Fredo or Sonny.
;-)
 


Battery drain when doing nothing is not normal. I've seen it with an old battery and I've seen it when there's background processing going on (including for a few days after any OS update), but not under normal circumstances with a good battery.

But the fact that you have no SIM card might be affecting this. I know that phones (including iPhones) will draw a lot of power if they can't find a cellular signal. They max-out the gain on their amplifiers in order to search for a signal, and that does consume a lot of your battery. I don't know what the system does when a SIM card is missing, but I'm wondering if you might be in the same situation.

If you have your SIM card removed, I would recommend putting the phone into Airplane mode (you can re-enable Wi-Fi while leaving Airplane mode active), which will disable the cellular radio circuitry. See if that changes anything.
Thank you David Charlap. In airplane mode, 24 hours later it was still at 100%. I turned on wifi and a day after that it was down to 98%. I should be good for a long time if I leave both disabled, which is no hardship.
 


Re: Apple Store repairs with non-standard parts... Aside from making data backups in advance (if possible), be sure you get some form of receipt acknowledging your add-ons before handing over any device to Apple or an Apple-Certified service location.

Things may have changed recently, but last time I brought in a MacBook Pro for service with RAM and SSD upgrades in late 2015, Apple's iPad ticketing system had no way to record these details besides a generic checkbox for non-Apple parts. The tech could not add detailed comments to the ticket.

I had to become forceful about getting something in writing that identified the replaced parts for my client. Without this itemization, there would be no evidence if the service center had swapped in standard parts during the repair for whatever reason.
 


I took in my iPhone 6 Plus (no appointment) to get the battery replaced. It passed their test just fine, but they said they would replace the battery anyway if I wanted to pay the $29 plus tax. The new battery charges to 100% of capacity instead of only 89%.

Something I hadn't looked at before: I leave the phone on but never touch it (no sim card), everything I can find to turn off is off, except Find My Phone, and battery charge drops 5% per day. I doubt anyone reading this never uses their phone, but I wonder if this is normal behavior.
Check Safari. There is a 2-box image on the bottom right. When you select it, all the visited sites will come up. I was draining faster until I learned to do this. I had over a dozen pages that contributed to draining my battery. If I am right, then this should help.
 


Brief story about Apple support. And, of course, it has to do with Apple ID (the most frustrating, incomprehensible thing in the Apple universe). I was trying to straighten out and organize my Apple IDs (turns out, I have 4(!)). And, a couple of them are "legacy" IDs, not email addresses. Also, in one of the legacy accounts I had downloaded a significant amount of software, including several OS updates, so I wanted to be sure to keep that one. After attempting to do the change to a new ID myself, I had things totally hosed. Using the online access to Apple Support, I got a call back in about 1 minute. The fellow from Apple spent more than 45 minutes with me to get everything straightened out. Turns out I had the same "rescue email" tied to three of the accounts and that was the email I was trying to use to verify the legacy account. For all of this Apple didn't charge a dime, didn't flinch when I didn't have the most current software, and didn't ask if I had anything new that was under AppleCare. I must say that for all the times I have cursed Apple for their changes, they do still provide exemplary service in many cases.
 


I can endorse Bruce T's experience [with AppleCare], which I have used on several occasions this year, always polite, always caring and so patient.
 


I had a good (after bad) experience with AppleCare this week.

My MacBook Pro 13 (early 2015) went on the fritz last Monday. I closed the screen, and it never woke up. I restarted numerous times, reset SMC and PRAM, tried to restart in repair mode, etc. After about an hour of tinkering, the machine rebooted into recovery mode. I quit the set up process and resumed working. All seemed to be OK.

The next day, in the middle of surfing the net, the machine locked up -- cursor would not move and keyboard was unresponsive. Tried the solutions from the day before to no avail. So I made an appointment at the Georgetown (DC) store to see a Genius.

I took the machine in, and from the start of the appointment, it was apparent the Genius thought I was full of BS. You see, I had dropped the laptop a few months ago, and came into the store in September to see about a top case replacement. When I heard the price, I balked and figured I could live with a dented corner, especially since the ports all work. I believe that he thought I was trying to scam for a case. I even said explicitly that this was not the case. Anyway, the machine started up in recovery mode, and the Genius ran a few utilities which he claimed "repaired a software issue." The machine rebooted fine, and I was able to surf the web for a few moments before he excused me.

I brought the laptop home, opened it up, and within 3 minutes of use, the screen locked up again. I went to the Apple support website to see if I could bring the laptop back, but the earliest appointment was in two days. So I turned to the phone.

I called AppleCare and spoke to a very nice agent to whom I told the whole story -- and added that I had broken my ankle a few days before, and running to and from the store was not a good option for me. She arranged for a box to ship for pickup and repair. Within a few minutes, I received the FedEx notification that the box was en route.

The next morning (Thursday), when the box arrived, I had the FedEx guy wait for me to take the box back. Friday morning, I received a FedEx and Apple email that the unit was received and in repair. By 7:00pm that evening, the machine was out of repair and already prepared for shipping back. Saturday morning at 12:05 (a few minutes late), my MacBook Pro was back in my hands -- with a new screen unit, and re-installed 10.12.4 Sierra. All in about 48 hours.

Lesson learned -- next hardware issue goes straight to the repair depot (where the Georgetown store would have sent it, anyway).
 


I will also echo Bruce T's comments about Apple phone support.

A few years back, a friend upgraded OS X 10.7 to 10.9 and lost access to their iPhoto library, as the old app was no longer compatible. Mac App Store gave the usual roadblocks. Went through a dance with a helpful Apple support agent via phone and remote access. The installer had to be downloaded by someone else's Apple ID on another Mac, then transferred. The tech spent a bit of time and was clearly "owning" the case until it was resolved.

Side note: I have never agreed with this Apple ID lockout for the media apps that come bundled with Apple devices (iPhoto, iMovie, etc.) The computer costs quite a bit up front, then the OS upgrades are free but the media apps are frequently blockedm if you did not upgrade to each and every iteration that Apple released. (To be clear, I am not talking about Aperture or Final Cut Pro.)
 


Last July, my iPad Pro 10.5" developed a persistent bright blob in the bottom center of the screen. I made an appointment at the local Apple Store. The wait time was short. The Genius glanced at the screen and arranged for a replacement. I had to return the following day to pick it up. So far, so good, but I couldn't activate my T-Mobile data plan on the new device. Several long, tedious calls to T-Mobile and Apple followed. Apple dragged me through all the trouble-shooting steps I had already tried. Back to T-Mobile, who said the problem was definitely with Apple and transferred me directly to Apple. This time, a senior tech found that my replacement device serial number had not been updated in Apple's system, so T-Mobile did not recognize it as mine. The tech contacted somebody else in Apple to get that done, and soon after, I had my data plan back. There's no way to know how or where the original oversight took place.
 


I must have missed this some time back, but I had used an RSS feed to update a site with Apple's Software Updates. Well, Apple had dropped a lot of RSS feeds. Now, Apple mostly only offers iTunes RSS feeds or news....
 


Motherboard said:
Internal Documents Show Apple Is Capable of Implementing Right to Repair Legislation
According to the presentation, titled “Apple Genuine Parts Repair” and dated April 2018, the company has begun to give some repair companies access to Apple diagnostic software, a wide variety of genuine Apple repair parts, repair training, and notably places no restrictions on the types of repairs that independent companies are allowed to do. The presentation notes that repair companies can “keep doing what you’re doing, with … Apple genuine parts, reliable parts supply, and Apple process and training.”
 



Apple tells customers it can't recover data from their phones and then bans repair shops that can and do for saying so in Apple Discussions. I guess this is part of Apple's "service" business....
Enjoyed the video, so checked out the repair service: iPad Rehab in NY. Looks good; I like their attitude. Went to their YouTube channel, found a follow-up to the CBC program in progress live, now listed on their channel:
with live, real-time video of Jessa Jones' posts at Apple Discussions being deleted within minutes (and the scolding email she gets from Apple for her scrapbook).

Why? I note iPad Rehab's price list says, "Water damaged phones are taken in for Data Recovery only", which suggests that they aren't usually repairable back to usability – so it isn't like Apple will lose a sale of a new iPhone if the user manages to get their data back. And of course, the question: If a part-time home shop in a small town in New York can recover data off 95% of damaged iPhones, why can't Apple? Doesn't compute.

As she says, it's kind of heartbreaking to see all these trusting people being misled by Apple – and losing their precious photos. Cui bono, anyway?

And here's the original CBC piece on iPad Rehab's channel:
 


Apple tells customers it can't recover data from their phones and then bans repair shops that can and do for saying so in Apple Discussions. I guess this is part of Apple's "service" business....
I was an Apple service specialist in their retail channel back in the 1980's when Apple was truly a great company. Their philosophy has changed... and not for the better! Apple would bend over backwards to keep customers happy back in the old days, but now in the post-Steve Jobs era, it seems they're only concerned with the bottom dollar and [those people] who go blindly buying new products as Apple claims devices are unfixable or data is unrecoverable.

I'm an avid viewer of both Jessa / iPadRehab and Louis Rossmann's YouTube channels. Granted, most of us aren't going to have the ability to do component-level repairs on our own phones, but they prove most every day that data can be recovered, or abused laptops can be salvaged, in spite of what Apple and their so-called "genius" staff claim. Apple's anti-consumer stance has me writing people every day requesting that right-to-repair become a law in all 50 states! It's also the reason I'm milking the hell out of an iPhone 6s and refuse to buy another phone until I absolutely need to. (I only left my iPhone 5 behind as I was gifted the 6s.)

Apple's continued ploy of outright lying to their customers will only get those who are uninformed / misinformed to pony up for new hardware. If these people questioned how come Apple hardware is overpriced and poorly engineered, they might just start looking at alternatives, assuming they haven't discovered folks like Louis and Jessa to repair and/or recover data from their hardware.
 


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