Apple: We'll Only Help You With Your iPhone After It's Too Late To Return It

Darin’s iPhone was defective, so he tried to return it to the AT&T store where he purchased it. No dice. AT&T told him that Apple was responsible for the device. When Darin tried to exchange the phone with Apple, they told him he’d have to deal with AT&T for the first 14 days.

That’s odd, Apple has a 14 day refund policy on the iPhone. As in, you can’t return it for a full refund after 14 days. Darin writes:

So I made the 15 mile drive to the AT&T store and as soon as I walked in I was told that they will have nothing to do with the iPhone the moment you leave the store. So I drove 15 miles back home and called the nearest Apple store. They told me that they will handle any issues after the first 14 days, but AT&T is responsible for any issues within the first 14 days.

I then called AT&T and talked to a very friendly and helpful rep who told me that she believed that Apple would have to replace the phone but would verify, I spent several minutes on hold before she returned and after verifying the policy did confirm that AT&T policy states that Apple is responsible for all phone issues.

I explained what the Apple store told me and she volunteered to call them, I spent about 10 minutes on hold and she came back on and let me know that she had talked to the Apple store manager who stated that Apple policy states that AT&T is responsible for the first 14 days but that she would work with me if I went to the store.

Darin eventually got a replacement iPhone, but it seems that Apple and AT&T have their wires crossed on this issue. Apple is responsible for the actual phone, don’t let them make you wait 14 days to replace a defective unit because of a contradiction in policies, or you may find that you cannot get an full refund on the phone. Darin thinks it might be better to buy the iPhone from the Apple store, because that AT&T store wasn’t equipped to help him.

Darin writes:

I purchased an iPhone Friday night from a local AT&T store, took it home and activated it with no issues. AT&T was relatively up front about the fact that it was covered by the Apple warranty.

After spending some time using the various features I noticed that the external speaker didn’t work. I tried calling Apple tech support but gave up after being on hold for about 15 minutes.

Saturday morning I woke up, called Apple tech support and after a hour was able to speak to a rep. She was helpful but not knowledgeable (I knew more about the menus than she did), but after working through the problem she said that it appeared as if the speaker didn’t work and to return it to the AT&T store. I asked several times if AT&T would replace it and she said that they would.

So I made the 15 mile drive to the AT&T store and as soon as I walked in I was told that they will have nothing to do with the iPhone the moment you leave the store. So I drove 15 miles back home and called the nearest Apple store. They told me that they will handle any issues after the first 14 days, but AT&T is responsible for any issues within the first 14 days.

I then called AT&T and talked to a very friendly and helpful rep who told me that she believed that Apple would have to replace the phone but would verify, I spent several minutes on hold before she returned and after verifying the policy did confirm that AT&T policy states that Apple is responsible for all phone issues.

I explained what the Apple store told me and she volunteered to call them, I spent about 10 minutes on hold and she came back on and let me know that she had talked to the Apple store manager who stated that Apple policy states that AT&T is responsible for the first 14 days but that she would work with me if I went to the store.

So I drove 45 minutes to the Apple store, walked in and asked for the manager; when explaining my issue to the Apple rep 3 other people spoke up and mentioned that they have the same issue with AT&T stating that they have to go to Apple. The manager talked to all of us, explained that fact that the AT&T and Apple policies do disagree but that she would resolve our issues. 45 minutes later I walked out with a new phone which is working perfectly.

I do want to warn people about purchasing iPhones from AT&T due to the potential support issues that they may experience if the receive a phone with issues.

Darin

(Photo: hanapbuhay)

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