Apple Iphone warranty question!

  Flak999 12:07 14 Mar 2013

Here is my dilema, I was bought an Iphone 4s last year for my birthday, for 10 months it performed faultlessly. Two weeks ago I plugged it in to its charger and left it to charge overnight, the following morning I could not connect to WIFI (the button was greyed out) I performed the usual checks (hard reset) to no avail. I then reset phone to factory condition and restored my latest back up from Itunes, still no WIFI (button greyed out)I then made an appointment with the genius bar at my local Apple store (Watford) the representative was very helpful, ran some diagnostic tests and said that yes, the phone was defective and as it still had two months of it's one year warranty left, duly replaced it with what I thought was a new phone.

Except, it wasn't a new phone! When I queried this with the Apple rep and said was the phone just a reconditioned return, he said that no, it wasn't reconditioned it was what Apple term "re engineered!" But he assured me it was to all intents and purposes a new phone! I accepted this and duly went on my way, now here's the rub. Two days later and the phone has developed touch screen lag, when typing a text or scrolling a menu the screen lags behind input by a couple of seconds. Also the phone does not charge properly, I had it on charge for the whole day yesterday and it did not charge beyond 35%, whilst plugged in to the charger the phone kept switching off and rebooting.

Needless to say, I have another appointment at the genius bar at the Watford store tomorrow and I have no doubt that they will replace the phone again with another re engineered example.

My question is as the warranty expires on the 3rd April (you only get the balance of the warranty from the original phone) can I insist on a brand new replacement or must I take the re engineered example that will be offered? Apples terms and conditions state that they will repair or replace a faulty phone at their discretion, what are my consumer rights in this matter?

  spuds 15:37 14 Mar 2013

They are quite within their rights to offer or give a 'refurbished' unit, but the refurbished unit must be 'fit for purpose'. The warranty will continue until the unit you have is 'fit for purpose' or the alternative is a refund or new model. Not sure how it works out, but the refund might not be full cost or value due to previous usage of the original item.

Might pay to look at the CAB or Martin Lewis websites, they seem to have all the answers regarding this subject?.

  Flak999 16:26 14 Mar 2013

Thanks for the reply, I have looked at the MSE site and also the CAB site and as usual with these things the advice is not definitive. As the phone is over six months old and almost out of warranty the advice seems to say that it should last a "reasonable" time.

What is "reasonable" seems to be open for debate, but I would have thought an item such as this which cost £499 less than a year ago should still function properly. The water is muddied somewhat by the fact that it is the replacement phone which is now playing up.

I shall see what they say tomorrow and will report back!

  carver 17:36 15 Mar 2013

If you get a replacement phone then a reasonable time for that phone could be 12 months because of the price and the image that Apple products are a prestige brand.

Don't be fobbed off with that it's only a 12 months warranty, that is in addition to your rights and a phone of that price should last longer than 12 months.

If they are going to give you a refurbished unit then ask for a proper warranty or demand a new phone in the shop in a rather demanding voice.

  Flak999 18:32 15 Mar 2013

I have to say the Apple store employees are extremely helpful, took my phone back today and there was no quibble they replaced it on the spot. I explained that I didn't really want another re engineered example, however that is all that they are empowered to give.

They assured me that these phones really are as good as new, the only part that is re used (if it passes their quality control) is the processor. So reluctantly I now have Iphone number three. The new phone has been performing well for the last six hours so fingers crossed it will be OK.

Fortunately I had a recent cloud backup and also a manual one on my home PC, I have restored this backup and I'm back in business. With regard to the warranty they have given me another three months on this replacement phone but have said that in practice as my case is documented if there were a repeat episode outside of this they would still replace the phone.

I don't think I can reasonably expect more can I?

  Forum Editor 19:27 15 Mar 2013

"I don't think I can reasonably expect more can I?"

Not really. Your ultimate sanction would have been to take the matter to a court, and push for a brand new phone on the basis that an item of this value might reasonably be expected to last longer than 10 months.

That would have involved you in some cost and inconvenience, and there's never a guarantee of success in such cases. Frankly these re-engineered phones are - as you've discovered - as near to a new item as makes no difference. They're usually very good, and I think you were unlucky to get a bad one at first. On balance I think you've been treated fairly, let's hope you and the phone have a long and happy life together.

  Flak999 23:52 15 Mar 2013

Forum Editor

let's hope you and the phone have a long and happy life together.

I do hope so FE! To be honest as I am retired this phone is a useful convenience to me, it is not a mission critical tool that some business people find essential to their lives.

Nevertheless, it is an expensive gift that I enjoy owning and using and as you say, one might expect it to last longer than ten months! I do feel that I have been treated fairly by Apple, and so long as my new iphone continues in it's current state I will be happy.

As you say, perhaps I was just unlucky with the first replacement? Although saying that, as I was waiting at the genius bar in the Watford store, there were an awful lot of other people coming in with similar problems!

There is no doubt that modern technology, as it becomes more and more sophisticated does not come without those problems and glitches associated with highly complex electronic equipment.

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