If your Ford had a Matthew McConaughey, it would be a Lincoln

Sigh. As much as I hate the direction that Apple is going with their hardware and software, they still have the best customer service around.

My iPhone has had really crappy battery life for a few months now. I took it to the Apple Store twice under warranty, but there wasn’t anything they could do to fix it, since the diagnostic was showing that it was holding 85% of its original charge (warranty replacements happen at 80%). Both times, the techs were really apologetic and gave me “you didn’t hear it from me” advice on how to destroy the battery while it was still under warranty (“I would go home and put the phone in your freezer, but I didn’t tell you that.”).

My warranty expired two weeks ago, and since I’m going to be on vacation in December, I decided to just bite the bullet and pay $79 to have the battery replaced, since I wouldn’t be buying a phone without a headphone jack any time soon.

I went to the store, explained that it was out of warranty and that I wanted to get the battery replaced.

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Against my light protest, the tech ran a battery diagnostic. 83%.

I said again that I’ll just pay to have it replaced.

“Well, you’ve documented having this problem while it was under warranty, so I don’t think you should have to pay anything.”

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“No. Really. It’s cool.”

“No, try restoring the phone from backup and if it doesn’t fix anything in a week, we’ll just do it for free.”

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After a bit more back and forth, he went to run a detailed diagnostic of battery usage, but it returned saying there was an error.

Then he went through the history of my visits and saw it noted that I would do a restore.

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He went away to speak to a manager, came back and said “I have good news and bad news. The good news is that it’s not clear if it’s hardware or software problem causing this problem, so we’re just going to give you a new phone, because you really shouldn’t have to pay to fix this when you came in about it while it was in warranty. The bad news is that we don’t have this phone in stock, so we’ll call you in 3-5 days and you can pick up a new one for free.”

So, in the end, rather than pay $79 for a battery replacement, I’m getting a brand new replacement phone for free, which usually costs $300 (I had to sign the service order, which said the cost of a full replacement was $300, but it was amended to say that I wouldn’t have to pay anything).

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I can now add my iPhone 6s to the very long list of Apple products that have been replaced for free out of warranty. As much as the new MacBooks anger me, I’m probably stuck with Apple as long as their costumer service is still this great.

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