I went to the Apple store yesterday, with the same friend that I went to the launch with. The Genius we spoke to wasn't very helpful. He exclaimed that we should be happy that we have working phones. He said the phone had no issues whatsoever. He told us it was perfect. He had an iPhone 2G.
Perhaps the iPhone 2G has the phone feature built in.
We asked for free Bumpers. He said no. We asked again, explaining our problem (again). He said there was no problem (again). He told us that, perhaps, if we had come in all angry and shouted at him, he would've given us free bumpers. Basically what he was saying is they give free stuff to abusive people, while the polite people get nothing.
The Genius told us that he could replace our phones a hundred times and it would still have this problem. He then told us he would not replace our phones because there was no problem. I then complained that the home button on my phone was loose (it was), and demanded a replacement - I had already backed it up, wiped it, boxed it all up, and travelled to the Apple store - So I wanted something for all this effort. He told me that if I did this, I would be unable to return my phone to the Apple store for a refund, I acknowledged that, even though I had actually purchased mine from Vodafone.
So he bought out the new phone, it came in a cellophane-wrapped black plastic coffin, It looked so sad. I got a screen protector out my bag, ready to apply to the new phone, and the Genius seemed horrified by this. He proclaimed that the screen does not get scratched (Just like how Macs don't get viruses!), and proceeded to show us his iPhone 2G screen. It was cracked. He covered that bit up with his thumb. He told me that covering up the screen (he referred to it as art) was a crime (he was joking, but he meant it).
I left an Apple store with the new phone, got some more cookies, and went home.
So, as the Apple customer support people told me to, I called them back when I got my new phone. I told them how this had affected my signal issue (it hadn't), and demanded that they send me a free bumper, as they said they would the last time I called if a replacement phone didn't fix the issue. I was transferred to a senior adviser (yay). It turned out to be another queue (boo).
I listened to some trashy music on speakerphone for about 10 minutes before the first helpful Apple employee I have spoken to in this whole saga picked up. His name was Ethan. Ethan was in the American call centre, and was the first American I had spoken to, so I'm guessing they hire competent people over there.
He basically told me that there was an issue, and that they are aware of it, and they are working on fixing it and finding a solution for customers.
What's that, Genuis? There's no problem? Oh, ok. Why don't you come back when you have Senior in your title.
I asked Ethan about a Bumper, and basically told me that they aren't even allowed to give them out anymore. And you know what? I believe him. He'd been honest so far. I then asked him a question about possible compensation in the future, and if buying a Bumper would exclude me from that. He emailed me all his contact details, and told me that if any compensation of any form was announced, or if I had any other problems, I could contact him and he would help me and get me anything I needed.
I was actually satisfied with this outcome. I had finally spoken to someone who had admitted there was an issue, given me a direct way to contact him, and was polite about the whole thing.
But I would be contacting Ethan again sooner than both of us thought.
I activated the new phone, restored it, I hate iTunes, etc etc. When it was all up and running, I noticed two things:
- The home button was even looser
- There was a dead pixel in the corner of the screen
I emailed my new buddy Ethan. Ethan told me that there would be no problem getting a replacement. Now I have to go and see my arch nemesis at the Genius bar again. Perhaps I'll bring him some cookies.
All this drama for a problem that doesn't exist.
Or does it?!
We'll have to wait until the next episode to find out!
I'll post again when something mildly interesting happens.