How Apple Lost A Dedicated Customer Over A Stupid Pink Dot

For several years, we’ve been writing about the iPhone’s built-in humidity detector and numerous customers’ complaints that an incorrect reading had voided the phone’s warranty. Now one Consumerist reader explains why he’s voided his long-term relationship with Apple over this little pink dot.

Reader Jon says he’s stuck with the iPhone since it first launched: “I’ve never had issue with its price, the fact that it cant be modified beyond Apple’s policies, that the iPhone 4 lost antenna power without the bumpers, that there were cheaper, more customizable models with Droids. No – I just was happy that I had a phone that was perfect for everything I need. After nearly 5 years it’s stayed my most reliable electronic device.”

That is until about a month ago when Jon’s latest iPhone began freezing up and and its Home button became unresponsive. A call to Apple support walked him through a factory reset and all was back to normal for a couple of weeks.

Then the iPhone began acting up again so after it froze on the loading screen, Jon took it to the Genius Bar:

The guy behind the counter was nice enough to try and help, but told me that a small pink dot hidden in the charger slot had appeared, meaning that there was water damage to the phone, and although I still had time left before my year warranty ran out, I didn’t qualify for a replacement.

He did however inform me that if the dot was not pink, they would immediately have been able to switch it out my obviously faulty iPhone for a new model that did not fail continually. He spent another 10 minutes behind the counter with my phone plugged into a computer before handing me back my phone with a half-sincere, “This is the best we can do for you.”

Jon says the Apple staffer was eventually able to do a forced restart of the iPhone but that the Home button wouldn’t work and there was still a ton of lag. Yet all the Apple employee could say was, “I’m sorry, but there’s a pink dot.”

He was told that the dot would only appear if the phone had been submerged in water, but he also says that he takes every measure to avoid getting any water on or in the device. “The phone has never been in my bathroom during a shower or in the kitchen while I’m cooking because I am paranoid about steam,” says Jon. “The phone never goes into the gym with me because I’m paranoid about sweat or dropping a weight on it. But somehow THAT phone got submerged in water.”

Jon’s roommate works for Verizon and when he heard Jon’s tale about the pink dot, he laughed and said the indicators can change because of anything from humidity to sweat on your hands and that stores use the humidity detector as a first option to refuse to service to a customer because it saves money.

It was at this point that Jon’s decade of Apple fan-dom ended. The man who had learned to type on a lime green iMac, whose first laptop was a MacBook, who had rocked the original iPod, he went out and bought his new laptop — a Sony VAIO.

He and his roommate had also been talking about getting an Apple TV, but this weekend they purchased a Roku box instead. And it almost goes without saying that he’ll be switching to an Android phone.

“Maybe Ive been too obsessed with Apple products over the past decade,” Jon writes. “Maybe that pink dot was just the wake up call to make me realize that Apple cares little about their customers when there;s a bottom line… Congrats Apple. I hope you choke on your pink dots.”

PREVIOUSLY:
Can High Humidity Void Your iPhone’s Warranty?
Is The iPhone 3G Liquid Sensor A Filthy Liar?