iPhone 6 - Apple Refuse to Replace Battery

Hi all,

My sister in law asked Apple to replace her battery for $39, however when she went there, the Genius staff told her, it would cost $800 for her as her screen was bent. She was surprised by it, as she always used a tech21 case.

When I heard this, I was quite sceptical, she never put her phone in her pocket, always in a handbag. I can see some sort of bending, but definitely does not look like an accident from a fall. By looking online I saw that Apple has declared that iPhone 6 bent naturally in a US case court.

Do you think it is worth going back and asking them to replace it according to Australian Consumer law?

Cheers,

Francoz

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Comments

  • -1 vote

    Never hurts to ask, but I'm guessing it's long out of warranty if your sister was offering to pay to have the battery replaced? (Within warranty it'd be free iirc).

    And it only takes one awkward time in a pocket to bend it, so yes - the iPhone is easier to bend than later models, but the lawsuit hasn't finished that I can see from a quick google.

    But yeah - go ask, mention the bendgate issue, and see what they say.

  • +2 votes

    My experience with Apple has been so varied between stores that now I shop around if they give me an unsatisfactory answer. Some stores seem mightily reluctant to accommodate customers and others will bend over backwards.

    I kid you not, it resulted in a replacement computer from one store after two others refused even though there was a clear logic board failure from manufacture. It saved me thousands. Mind you, the computer was in warranty and I always buy applecare to extend. I always tell them that fact, so they know I am a serious customer (read: phanboi).

    I encourage you to take the phone to other stores with appointment at Genius Bar. And don't be afraid to print case outcomes ie. bendgate and take that along too. Maybe the trillion dollar company can look after you rather than being tightarses.

    • +1 vote

      two others refused even though there was a clear logic board failure from manufacture. It saved me thousands. Mind you, the computer was in warranty

      Wow. I've run into different answers between different Apple stores too but not to that huge of an extent.

    •  

      Thanks I might try that, my understanding of the bent issue is definitively manufacturer's fault, and as Australian Consumer Law's states, i should get it repaired and then I can ask for a new battery.

      I know the iPhone is out of Apple Warranty, but will it be still under Australian Consumer Law? My argument would be that iOS 12 is available for iPhone 6 which by result shows that Apple believes the iPhone 6 is still 'alive'.

      •  

        I tried the it's still under ACL with a 2.5yr old 6s. Several managers, phone calls, complaints later I was referred to their lawyers. Told get stuffed it's past Apple's 2yr warranty

        •  

          I think ACCC gave their opinion that ACL consumer guarantees apply for 2 years for flagship mobile phones.

          •  

            @HighAndDry: What about the fact that phones are sold on 3 yr plans? Surely that would mean they expect the phone to last at least 3 years

            •  

              @knobbs: Not really relevant - I'm sure if you offered, the telcos would be happy to lock you into a 10 year mobile plan. Nothing stops you from using a different phone on the same plan after all.


              Edit: I shouldn't say it's not relevant at all - but it'd only be one factor amongst many to be considered, and honestly "how long does the contract last" doesn't really go to the quality/price of the phone itself, so it'd be a minor consideration.

              •  

                @HighAndDry: Yeah I can see what you are saying. Considering the circumstances I thought it should be more relevant than you are saying though. The ACL states that a product should be free of defects for a 'reasonable period of time'. Taking into account the quality of the product/price paid/brand and such.

                So if I buy a phone on a 3 yr plan, if it has a major defect before the end of 3yrs (my partners camera stabiliser was going crazy, it is a known issue) they phone become unsuitable for its intended use of being a phone and camera. I would then have to go out and buy another phone while still paying the old ones's plan to have a usable product.

                I dunno maybe it is pulling a long straw, maybe I am just angry that the manager told us "Do you think Apple would try and rip its customers off?"

                •  

                  @knobbs: Presumably the plan is from the telco - and the phone too. You should've gone to the telco for ACL issues as the ACL only applies to the retailer. Apple would only deal with warranty in the case that the phone wasn't bought directly from them, which is set at 2 years.

                  Though lol:

                  I am just angry that the manager told us "Do you think Apple would try and rip its customers off?"

                  I'm not sure what answer they expect, because all I can think of is "Of course, duh?"

      •  

        my understanding of the bent issue is definitively manufacturer's fault

        I mean, firstly your understanding isn't really relevant - the class action case is still ongoing. And Apple has only said it's easier to bend than later models, which says nothing about whether it's their fault or not. I have a lot of things which are easier to bend than an iPhone - if I broke them by bending them, that's still my fault.

  •  

    Welcome to Apple. This is why I gave up Apple long time ago. They're stealing too much money on repairing. The rear glass replacement of phone x can cost you up to $450

    • -2 votes

      If you can pay $1500+ for a phone that will be obsolete in 2 years' time, you can also pay $450 for a back replacement.

      Reminds me of the whingers on Whirlpool who get enraged having to pay $2000 for each service on their $100k car.

      •  

        Except iPhones have updates for up to 5 years so it's hardly obsolete while other devices are lucky to get a year's worth of updates nowadays.

        Also, a 5 year old iPhone still has a higher resale value than any other device of that age.

        Different perspectives.

  •  

    I would go for a second opinion at another store and request the manager if it doesn't happen.

    Simply show them the outcome of that court case and that you want the battery replaced as per

    https://www.apple.com/au/iphone-battery-and-performance/

    There shouldnt be an impediment to replacing the just the battery..

  • +1 vote

    Screen bent- Maybe attempting to do battery could crack it?

    A while a go I had a 6 plus with a camera issue.. purple dots in photos.
    It was going to be repaired until the staff member asked about the slight bend in the phone? I think it was in the media then.

    After joking about how annoying the bend was (that I never noticed) my phone was replaced.

  • +1 vote

    I had the same issue with a very slightly bent iphone 6. The 'genius' said they could replace the battery, but there was a chance that they would not be able to put the phone back together again, in which case I would be required to purchase a new phone. It seemed odd and of questionably legality that by giving my phone in for a repair I would be agreeing to maybe purchase a new phone, but she assured me that's how it works.

    I just took it to a nearby phone repairs shop and they replaced the battery for $49.

    •  

      I remember being at the George St genius bar and the poor guy next to me had his phone taken into a back room. When they came out, the phone screen was returned completely cracked and were trying to force him to pay for a new phone. After a lot of back and forward arguing, they agreed to replace his phone because they damaged it.

      •  

        Yeah George st store is one of the stores that refused me on several occasions (see my post up above). I would recommend either Chatswood or Broadway, both fairly close to CBD.

    •  

      It seemed odd and of questionably legality that by giving my phone in for a repair I would be agreeing to maybe purchase a new phone, but she assured me that's how it works.

      This makes sense - you want a service but your device is defective in the way that makes the service more risky. It's up to you whether you want to take the risk or not, they're letting you make an informed choice. You're not "agreeing to purchase a new phone" either.

      •  

        It would make sense if the deal that was offered was "We're not sure if we'll be able to put your phone back together, so if we can't, we'll just give it back to you in pieces". But the staff member very clearly stated that by submitting my phone for battery replacement, I would be obliged to purchase a new phone if they could not put mine back together, at a cost of around $400.

  •  

    Why not replace the battery yourself? It is easy. Use the Ifixit replacement guide. Only takes 5 minutes. Buy the battery off eBay ~$20 and comes with tools.

  •  

    I just had my Iphone6 s Plus replaced…They knew they had battery issues with this mobile,tell her to google this model battery issues,go to the Apple Australia site under battery replacement,put your serial or IMEI number in,it will tell her if she is eligible or not,my mobile was bent to,they were only worried about if it had a broken scene which it did,although it had been replaced,not original,the mute ringer hadnt worked for ages he said sorry sir it's a hardware issue we'll have to replace the mobile with another 2 years warranty,can't complain only paid 50 bucks for it…..

    Goodluck

  • +1 vote

    Your best bet is to forget using the apple stores, but send it in for repair.
    It is a bit of a fiddle and you'll be without the phone for more than a week, but they will replace either (i) battery or (ii) the entire phone.
    I got lucky with mine, got an entirely new phone.
    Start here

  •  

    Thanks all, I will give it a try, and let you know how I go!

  • +2 votes

    The reason why Apple (or other manufacturers) don't replace parts when someone has a bent device, broken screen, etc. is because of the potential for breaking other parts. A friend of mine wanted a new battery put in their Galaxy S7 but Samsung refused to do it because the screen was fairly badly damaged. Samsung's reasoning (as with Apple's) is that an attempt to open the phone and replace the battery may result in the screen breaking completely, which isn't their responsibility. Imagine if they handed back the phone in pieces after replacing the battery; the customer wouldn't be at all happy, but the reality is that it isn't the manufacturer's responsibility to fix something caused by user damage. If they did, then every person under the sun with a broken screen or bent device would try to avoid the high cost of replacing the expensive part by asking for an inexpensive part to be replaced (e.g the battery) and hoping that their broken expensive part gets replaced for free.

    As for the bending issue, it's rather line-ball. These devices don't just spontaneously bend; they require external forces to achieve this. Apple sold millions of iPhone 6 and 6 plus models, with only a small percentage happening to bend (of course, this number would preferably be 0). I'm assuming that this phone was carried in a back pocket at some point (she has had it for years, hasn't she?), as this was the most common reason for it bending, or she likely had heavy items in her bag that would have caused the bending - after all, they don't bend by themselves. Of course, we would all like to assume that an expensive device should last and not fail due to relatively minor stressors, but would anyone here carry an expensive pane of glass in their back pocket (or in a bad with heavy items) and be surprised if it developed a crack after repeatedly bending/sitting on it? What about an expensive piece of aluminium? Just because the glass/aluminium is in a device that costs a bit of money, doesn't mean it automatically gains structural rigidity. Hell, I wouldn't place any device in my back pocket or rustling around with other objects, or in any other position where it may be bent/crushed/twisted, and I've never broken a single device.

    Yes, these devices should be sturdy, but a certain level of personal responsibility is required. Apple (and in my example, Samsung) are absolutely within their rights to refuse repair, or at least offer the opportunity to attempt repair but at the risk of the screen breaking due to the user-caused bending of the device, at which point the entire model would need to be replaced (at a cost, of course) since the glass can't be put back onto the bent body. Apple's admission that the device is structurally weak, in that internal document, is not a clear cut win in this instance - I'm sure manufacturers of plenty of devices made from glass and aluminium also acknowledge that their devices are weaker than alternatives, but that doesn't mean they need to replace them when damaged due to misuse.

  •  

    Some products have in the fine print they won't honour certain things if it's damaged, I'd go to another store, or call them direct and elevate the call till you get an outcome you can agree on mention C/A and they suddenly become more helpful.

    In regards to the battery, mine was eligible for the free replacement but it's surprising how much much a a full back up and restore does for it.

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