Dear Consumerist,

I’m sharing my experience with Apple Store. Here’s the story.

Recently I got lucky and won a gift card for the iPhone. Since I am not a fan of AT&T and use T-Mobile I used my friend’s SIM card to activate the phone and use it for music and surfing. Note that I did not use any 3rd party software, did not unlock or jailbrake or didn’t do anything to actually void my hardware warranty.

After couple of weeks of use I noticed that my battery lasts only for 3-4 hours of use – and it should be much longer. So I restored my iPhone in order to get rid of any personal information (didn’t bother to activate) and went into the same Apple Store I’ve bought it in. That, by the way, was the store in Cambridge, MA.

My first attempt failed miserably: one of the Geniuses told me that I have to have an activated phone in order to have my warranty service (battery/phone replacement). So I went home and read closely my hardware warranty (read Apple’s Hardware Warranty <a href=http://images.apple.com/legal/warranty/docs/iphone.pdf>here in PDF</a>). And, of course, it doesn’t say a THING about iPhone activation as part of the warranty. So I went there a second time.

This time I talked to the manager, showed her printed warranty and asked her to show me where is says “Activation or No Warranty”. After about 15 min in the backrooom she went out and stated that BY USING NON-ORIGINAL AT&T SIM FOR ACTIVATION I HAVE MODIFIED MY IPHONE THUS VODING THE WARRANTY. She said that included AT&T SIM card is the part of the phone and must not be replaced. So they refused to service my phone again. She also said that iPhone must be used as a phone and if I don’t want to use it’s phone features I should buy an iPod Touch. And how is this any of her business, I wonder? So I went home and had some more educational reading and talked to some people. Guess what? AppleCare Service Phone says <a href=”http://www.apple.com/support/iphone/service/faq/#ac6″>here</a&gt; that SIM card is user-replaceable – thus is NOT part of the phone.

I’m going to print that and go there again. See what happens.

Declined? Yes. Defeated? No! I will fight Apple until they give me a new iPhone and start treating their customers with some respect. Also, I will try to escalate this to the corporate level.