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Great letter, I recommend you print copies with all of your case numbers, and mail them individually to each member of the Executive Team, and the Board of Directors, at their other respective addresses (so Apple doesn't filter them out of the mail delivery). Company management, especially the Board, needs to know when Support is lacking - otherwise they assume everything is fine. Big companies have "Executive Relations" teams that deal with complaints to the top - you'll likely get a call back from a call center in Texas. You might get a politer form of denial, but there is some degree of chance they will take your complaint more seriously.
Thanks for the advice, George. I'll do that. Take care.
 


I have never received this kind of service from Apple before. I usually pride myself on fixing my own machines when they are out of warranty, but this is still under factory warranty and I still have AppleCare after that. I feel as though I have not been heard.
#applequality #applecare #applewatch
[I had the] same Apple Watch repair experience. Took three returns over four weeks to finally receive a replacement. My note to Apple simply questioned spending the time of 5 or 6 employees, 2 phone support people, and 2 repair center employees on diagnosing a $500 product. Just exchange the watch.
 


[I had the] same Apple Watch repair experience. Took three returns over four weeks to finally receive a replacement....
Thanks, SAronian. One of the 5 or 6 people I have spoken with said "you might want to use one of your "incidents" on this, but when I asked the next one about that, she said "we can't do that."
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Louis Rossmann's take on the new out-of-warrantee repair program by Apple.
And some news reports:
Reuters said:
Apple to supply parts to independent repair shops for first time
Apple Inc. said on Thursday it will begin selling parts, tools and repair guides to independent shops to fix broken iPhones, a major change after years of lobbying against laws in some U.S. states that would have compelled it to do just that.
The Verge said:
Apple will let more independent repair shops buy ‘genuine’ iPhone parts
... The big limitation is that Apple is only offering parts and tools for “the most common out-of-warranty iPhone repairs.” That likely means battery replacements and cracked screens. For more specific or complicated repairs, these shops will still be on their own. Unlike authorized service providers, they won’t be required to send customers with other problems to Apple, though; they’ll be able to attempt repairs on their own with third-party parts if they choose to.

iFixit editor-in-chief Kyle Wiens said the announcement was “a good thing” for repairs, but noted that it ignored individuals who want to perform repairs and still allows Apple to reject any shop it wants. iFixit writer Kevin Purdy called it a “bold move” and pointed to a prior leak showing that available parts could include speakers, vibration motors, cameras, and more. But he also added that there’s a risk of costs going up.
 


Thanks, SAronian. One of the 5 or 6 people I have spoken with said "you might want to use one of your "incidents" on this, but when I asked the next one about that, she said "we can't do that."
Here's one on the iPhone:

In December 2017 I purchased two iPhones X, one for me and one for my wife. I did not purchase AppleCare. In April 2019 my wife's iPhone developed a swollen battery. I replaced it with a XS.

Last this week my iPhone X also developed a swollen battery. I intended to replace it as well with a XS. I mentioned it to a close friend who advised me that her son had a similar problem and Apple replaced the phone at no charge even though it was almost two years old and had no AppleCare. I thought I would take it to Apple to see if they would do anything.

The first tech took the phone to the back for examination. She reappeared and advised me that Apple would do nothing as the battery contained air. I asked how it could contain air but she had no answer. I asked to speak with a supervising tech. The supervising tech advised me that there was air in the battery. He also said that when batteries swell up from outgassing they swell on the left side. Mine was swollen on the right side. When I asked how air could get in there he responded that it had been injected. How? With a needle. I advised him that the iPhone had never been opened or serviced in any way until the battery swelled up. He responded by saying "I'm not saying you did it." I advised him that I wanted to speak with the store manager but he was not available at the time. I gave him my card and told him I would return later to speak with the manager.

I called Apple and opened a case. I set up a meeting with the manager later that day. I had spoken with the manager a couple of times over the years (yes the same person) and had found him to be most helpful and friendly. When we spoke this time I found him to be most unfriendly. He told me that my iPhone battery was swollen from air injection. He told me there is a scam where people buy used iPhones, then inject them with air to make the battery swell up. They then bring them to Apple for a new replacement. I told him I thought it was not a good idea to puncture a lithium battery for fear of fire or explosion. I also expressed my displeasure at what I felt to be an accusation of attempting to perpetrate a fraud.

I asked how he could tell if the battery was swollen from outgassing or air injection. He replied that the surface of the battery appears different, either smooth or rough depending upon whether the cause is air or outgassing. When I asked to see the battery he refused. He also told me that the battery can't be replaced as it is glued in. Hmmm.

Since I didn't want a swollen battery in my house I left the battery for disposal with Apple and obtained a receipt.

I've researched this air injection issue on the internet and have found no mention at all about it. Has anyone ever heard of this?

#applequality
 




... I called Apple and opened a case. I set up a meeting with the manager later that day. I had spoken with the manager a couple of times over the years (yes the same person) and had found him to be most helpful and friendly. When we spoke this time I found him to be most unfriendly. He told me that my iPhone battery was swollen from air injection....
I don't know why, but this store manager is clearly trying to scam you out of a legitimate warranty repair.

In order for him to be telling the truth, all of the following would have to be true:
  • You bought an aftermarket/clone/knockoff iPhone from Apple
  • People are injecting air into batteries, this being such a major problem that Apple has been alerted to it, but somehow has not been noticed by anybody else — not in the press, on social media, nor anywhere else.
  • Apple glues in batteries such that they can't be replaced (which we know is a flat-out lie).
Unfortunately, you gave them the battery, so you no longer have proof of anything, but I think this needs to be escalated to Apple's corporate office. I don't know why this store is refusing to fix your phone, but someone there needs to be booted out of their job.
 



... He told me that my iPhone battery was swollen from air injection....
I agree with everyone. If no one can tell you how, or show you how, then calling Apple Relations is the best way to professionally complain about this. They could easily date your iPhone, especially if you bought it there. If all service or no service has been via this store since you bought the iPhone, then you have a very strong case.
 


I don't know why, but this store manager is clearly trying to scam you out of a legitimate warranty repair. In order for him to be telling the truth, all of the following would have to be true:
  • You bought an aftermarket/clone/knockoff iPhone from Apple
  • People are injecting air into batteries, this being such a major problem that Apple has been alerted to it, but somehow has not been noticed by anybody else — not in the press, on social media, nor anywhere else.
  • Apple glues in batteries such that they can't be replaced (which we know is a flat-out lie).
Unfortunately, you gave them the battery, so you no longer have proof of anything, but I think this needs to be escalated to Apple's corporate office. I don't know why this store is refusing to fix your phone, but someone there needs to be booted out of their job.
I never claimed the phone was still under warranty. I was merely checking with Apple based upon information I received from a friend whose son had an iPhone replaced due to a swollen battery at no charge when it was out of warranty. At no time did Apple even ask me where or when I purchased the phone. Had they asked, I would have provided the information.

The only information I received about this was a link to AppleInsider with a post about this, which I received from one of my user groups. It doesn't fit the facts of my case.

My iPhones X were both purchased new directly from Verizon Wireless on their 24-month, no-interest plan. I have the receipts and took a photo of the information page of the iPhone showing the IMEI number, which is also shown on my Verizon invoice.
 


Just to report my own positive experience related to a similar 'expanding battery' issue with an iPhone X: Last Saturday morning I knocked my iPhone X off my bedside table - in a pseudo-leather protective case, but when I opened it, I found the glass face bowed out and clips visible along both edges.

The phone still worked, and I could operate it. I forced a quick backup to iCloud but was concerned about battery issues (although I didn't then realize that this was the expanding battery problem, exacerbated by the fall) so took it into the Apple Store here in Geneva, Switzerland later that morning. One of the 'welcomers' took a look and managed to give me an appointment with a Genius an hour later.

When I came back the Genius took one look, showed it to a couple of other Apple people there, and the store manager, and after a few minutes of seeing if they could lend me another phone while mine got sent back to a factory for repairs, which for some reason didn't seem to be possible, they just gave me a new replacement - identical model, just new. The Genius led me through setting up the new one from the old, and in less than half an hour I was out with an operating phone again. All in all a smooth and relaxed experience, with friendly and supportive interactions, and a much better outcome than I was expecting. Although I do have AppleCare for the phone, I was told they wouldn't deduct an 'incident' for it, and I had absolutely nothing to pay.

Back home I started the restore from my iCloud backup, which took about 8 hours, but by the end of the day everything seems to be back again. So I'm happy with Apple right now :)
 


Just to report my own positive experience related to a similar 'expanding battery' issue with an iPhone X: Last Saturday morning I knocked my iPhone X off my bedside table - in a pseudo-leather protective case, but when I opened it, I found the glass face bowed out and clips visible along both edges.
The phone still worked, and I could operate it. I forced a quick backup to iCloud but was concerned about battery issues (although I didn't then realize that this was the expanding battery problem, exacerbated by the fall) so took it into the Apple Store here in Geneva, Switzerland later that morning. One of the 'welcomers' took a look and managed to give me an appointment with a Genius an hour later.
When I came back the Genius took one look, showed it to a couple of other Apple people there, and the store manager, and after a few minutes of seeing if they could lend me another phone while mine got sent back to a factory for repairs, which for some reason didn't seem to be possible, they just gave me a new replacement - identical model, just new. The Genius led me through setting up the new one from the old, and in less than half an hour I was out with an operating phone again. All in all a smooth and relaxed experience, with friendly and supportive interactions, and a much better outcome than I was expecting. Although I do have AppleCare for the phone, I was told they wouldn't deduct an 'incident' for it, and I had absolutely nothing to pay.
Back home I started the restore from my iCloud backup, which took about 8 hours, but by the end of the day everything seems to be back again. So I'm happy with Apple right now :)
Tim, nice to hear you had a pleasant experience. I've owned Apple products since 1987, and I have found, overall, the customer service to be excellent. On occasion, Apple has taken care of a problem where they were under no obligation to do so. Apple is a big company, and one has to expect that on occasion the customer will encounter an unpleasant person. Fortunately, it is the rare exception rather than the rule.

Sometimes, one just shrugs it off and moves on. In this case, being accused of attempting to perpetrate a fraud is not something I just shrug off and move on. My prior dealings with the store manager have been excellent. This seems out of character for him. He has been there a long time, and the store is generally well run. Perhaps I caught him on a bad day. Nonetheless, the manner in which I was treated is unacceptable, and I don't intend to just shrug it off. At a minimum, an apology is in order.

I've prepared a letter, along with copies of my iPhone purchase receipts, which I will provide to the manager, along with a request that he contact me after reviewing my material. We'll see what happens.
 


I never claimed the phone was still under warranty. I was merely checking with Apple based upon information I received from a friend whose son had an iPhone replaced due to a swollen battery at no charge when it was out of warranty. At no time did Apple even ask me where or when I purchased the phone. Had they asked, I would have provided the information.
Which makes this even stranger. If you're willing to pay full price for a battery replacement, then what kind of scam could you possibly be trying to run?

Unless the manager is actually so dumb that he thinks the battery isn't replaceable and you're trying to get a new replacement phone.

Definitely someone in need of corporate reeducation.
 


I received an email from a potential customer who had replaced his 2015 MacBook battery himself. Now it won't charge, nor will anything be recognized when connected to the USB-C port.

I did a quick check online and found that failing to first plug in a low-voltage power adapter before using the USB-C charger probably fried his motherboard.

Apparently this is a "2015 MacBook only" issue that was resolved by the time the 2016 models were released.

Just wanted to provide a heads-up about this. I directed him to the local Apple Store and MyGreenMacRepair.com. The latter company charges about $500 for a motherboard repair/swap. Yeah, an expensive lesson.
 



... Sometimes, one just shrugs it off and moves on. In this case, being accused of attempting to perpetrate a fraud is not something I just shrug off and move on. My prior dealings with the store manager have been excellent. This seems out of character for him. He has been there a long time, and the store is generally well run. Perhaps I caught him on a bad day. Nonetheless, the manner in which I was treated is unacceptable, and I don't intend to just shrug it off. At a minimum, an apology is in order....
I generally agree with your thoughts. Three years ago, I experienced an odd episode where an Apple genius strongly insinuated that I was perpetrating a fraud, claiming I brought in fake Apple products for product recall. With a total retail value less than $30, I lost $ from wasting two hours. Like you, I felt treated unacceptably. I sent an email to Apple, hoping for some response, but received nothing. The episode felt so bizarre that I just shrugged it off. Your similar experience makes me wonder if Apple retail training includes fanatical fraud detection. Anyhow, I genuinely hope you receive a better response.
 


Perhaps when a situation like this arises people should bring it up to the consumer reporting divisions of the media, such as NBC Universal's television arm called NBC Investigates / NBC Responds (depending on the television market). I had to do this with a somewhat recent problem with a Verizon Wireless franchise dealer and they were the only ones who could get it resolved. It seems these big companies don't want bad publicity and I'd bet Apple would change their collective corporate tune if people went this route.
 


I had a pretty good experience earlier today at the W 14th St. Apple Store. My iPhone 7's battery was draining rapidly and needed to be replaced. They did pull the SIM to look for moisture (!). The repair was done half an hour sooner than they estimated, but of course they couldn't call me to tell me it was done. About 90 minutes for the whole thing.
 


I just received my beloved 2015 13" MacBook Pro back from Apple Repair. It had a few small spots on the display, which I found out were due to a failure of the anti-reflective coating. While the purchase date was a week outside of Apple's 4-year extended repair program, the store manager waived the service charges.
Macrumors said:
Apple Extends Free Repairs of Anti-Reflective Coating
Apple has extended free repairs of anti-reflective coating issues for select MacBook and MacBook Pro models.

Apple has authorized coverage within four years from the original purchase date of affected models, according to an internal document distributed to Apple Authorized Service Providers and later obtained by MacRumors.

Eligible models, listed below, qualify for a free display replacement within the four-year coverage period. Check your receipt to determine the exact purchase date of your MacBook or MacBook Pro.

• MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2013)
• MacBook Pro (15-inch, Early 2013)
• MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2013)
• MacBook Pro (15-inch, Late 2013)
• MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2014)
• MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2014)
• MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2015)
• MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2015)
• MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016)
• MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
• MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017)
• MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
• MacBook (12-inch, Early 2015)
• MacBook (12-inch, Early 2016)
• MacBook (12-inch, Early 2017)
This Mac was used exclusively in clamshell mode with a Thunderbolt 2 dock and external displays. (I was surprised to see the coating failed all by itself with hardly any exposure to the environment.) When I dropped it off at the Apple Store, I made a point to show the Genius that it was in absolutely perfect condition. To my surprise, there were no issues whatsoever with it after the repair. (FWIW, this is the first time in a while I've been very pleased with their service.)

#applequality
 


I recorded some video files for the radio station I work at on my iPhone 8 (after recently upgrading to iOS 13). I needed to quickly turn the files around for use for a deadline.

I connected my iPhone to my computer as usual and got a message that I needed to install some software to transfer files between my phone and Photos.app on my computer. I had just recently upgraded my iOS from the stable 12.4.1 to 13.1.2, and I was running a 2011 iMac with Mac OS 10.11.6 El Capitan. The error message looked very old-school, and I worried it was a hack of some sort, so I declined to install. But, sure enough, the connection to my computer was blocked.

I tried to sort out if the program was the real thing, only to find out it was. So I tried to find the program on the apple.com site but had no luck finding it. I kept reading and found that a system upgrade would likely solve the problem, so I upgraded to macOS 10.12.6, but that didn't help.

I tried using my work computer, which had the same problem communicating with the Photos program. This time I installed the suggested software. I rebooted the computer then, and the phone. It would show the photos on the iPhone but said the files were corrupted, though they would play normally on the phone itself. I then tried Image Capture, which could also see the video files but also gave me a corrupt file error. By then, the deadline was blown.

I called Apple Support, and their Tier 1 assistant asked me if I'd tried all the basic things (including rebooting). They passed me on to the "Creative Media Dept"... or rather put me on hold while they waited 10 min. for a call back, then 20, then 30, then at 35, the assistant came back on to say they haven't responded and that this is the busy time of day.

Needing to make an appointment, I rescheduled a callback for 5:30 EDT (not with the "Creative Media" dept., but with another Tier 1 assistant who would transfer me.) I waited until a little after 6, did a task away from the phone. When I came back I found an email with a time stamp of 5:57 saying we tried to reach you. So I called back. I got a Tier 1 assistant again, and went through another 10 minutes of waiting for "the Creative Media Dept." I decided to look for on-line answers while I waited another 10 minutes.

At this point, I thought maybe I should try using a Gdrive to offload the video, but that didn't work. While I waited for the progress circle to show it was working I had time to see a lot of on-line complaints about iOS 13. None about my issue, but the picture I was getting is that a lot of unhappy people are probably trying to get a fix for various issues on their iOS upgraded phones.

The assistant came on again to tell me to wait another 10 min. Frustrated, I complained that I was upset that Apple is releasing this untested software and expecting us to pick up the pieces. I also said it was a bad business model to have so many releases with so little testing and no warnings about what you might have to do to actually get your phone to connect to the computer later. As I waited, I tracked the call length, it was up to 35 minutes. When I next looked, the call had been terminated.

Irritated, but better informed, I realized that I was likely completely on my own. After dinner I pondered what to do and thought maybe I should try wetransfer.com to export the video files. Taking one file at a time, I tried to send it to another email address. I expected failure but was surprised to find that it worked. So I eventually was slowly able to move the files. When I tested them, they worked. They weren't corrupt as the Photos and Image Capture programs indicated.

I still don't know what is wrong. Perhaps some other people are affected in the same way. It's clear to me that I need to do more research before installing iOS updates. It's also clear that the entire Apple model of all-beta software all the time is crumby. It is a nuisance to have to update your apps on the phone every few days. What for? Developers need to provide stable updates, but I guess if Apple is putting out such crappy software, I guess it's no wonder that their developers do, too. What other choice to they have? The idea of a machine that is as simple as a toaster seems to be forgotten these days.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... As I waited, I tracked the call length, it was up to 35 minutes. When I next looked, the call had been terminated....
While this miserable experience does point out problems with Apple's pace of change, lack of documentation, and possibly quality problems, the one thing that stands out as grossly unacceptable is the abysmal "support" you received. (Obviously, our time is worth nothing, because I've had the same kinds of unacceptable experiences lately, in contrast to how things used to be with Apple).

What's even worse, I'm guessing, is that the answer to the problem is likely very simple...


If Apple support can't even clue a customer in to its own simple, documented support solution to a problem it created itself, and, instead, wastes hours of the customer's time, while defaulting on promises... well, what's the point of paying double the price for Apple products that are becoming less reliable, more user-hostile, more intrusive, more abusive, etc.?
 



According to Apple Support, I successfully downloaded the recovery partition or whatever it takes to start the reinstall of the operating system. That did not ask for Apple ID. Nor did it ask when I tried to start the reinstall of the OS. When I did a successful internet reinstall of the OS the first time I got it back, it didn't ask for any information from me at all and it worked over my non-password wireless network (not WEP, no security at all). On the other hand, since it demanded a password for the network maybe the firmware is so screwed up it didn't know what it was supposed to be doing in the earlier installs.

I tried the Command/R and Command/Option/R recoveries, I didn't know about the third one.

I still don't understand why, with my bootable USB full installer, I would need an internet connection.
Finally winding up this long hiatus without a working Mac. It went back the third time on Sept 25, and Apple agreed Disk Utility didn't show the internal disk (on a soldered-in 2018 MacBook Pro). The repair report just said they did a fresh install and it passes hardware diagnostics. When it arrived back to me, it seemed OK, but it couldn't do an internet restore. The same 2002F error.

Apple Customer Relations agreed to send us a new 2019 model in exchange, and I hope it arrives in the next couple of weeks. It will have been two months in the repair process.
 


[FYI]
The Register said:
We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune
It can be tough in the repair industry, and no one knows that better than struggling corporation Apple.

Cupertino has long been criticized for trying to control what its customers can do with their products, and especially so for charging what critics have said in an unjustifiable mark-up on repairing everything from iPhones to MacBooks.

But it’s just not true, the iGiant revealed this week to US Congress: in fact, despite charging between double and triple what other repair shops charge for fixing problems, Apple (2018 profit: $60bn) actually loses money on its repair business...
 


The Register said:
In addition to the Register's article, I would add that another reason is because Apple doesn't ever do board-level repairs, and they don't allow their authorized service people to do them either. If a tiny $0.10 capacitor is blown, Apple will replace the motherboard. Presumably the board will be sent to a factory to be refurbished and used on another customer, but that's still creating massive amounts of unnecessary overhead, compared to a shop that is able to do the board-level repair, which will replace the capacitor for a few cents and an hour's labor.

The same arguments can be made for replacing other components that are unnecessarily permanently attached to other components, including batteries, keyboards, screens, charge ports, etc. They force most shops to replace entire high-priced subsystems when something smaller and less expensive is all that is actually broken.
 



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