I Fought Apple and Won.
I purchased an iPhone XS in September of last year. The first week of December I accidentally dropped it in my sisters swimming pool at the shallow end – a depth of approximately 1.10m. Immediately, I jumped in an pulled the phone out, switched it off and let it dry for a few hours (as indicated in the steps of what to do when your phone gets wet on the Apple website). A few hours later I turned the phone back on and all was good. Fantastic!
A few weeks later, the Sunday before Christmas, my phone started bugging out restarting itself every 3-5 minutes. I restore it to an old backup from June 2018 to no avail, I restored it as a new iPhone which seemed to work.
Jump forward 4 days and it starts happening again. I go through the process once more. It seems to be working fine for now. I was at my parents place for a week over Christmas so I wasn’t able to get to an Apple store until around the 29th.
I went in and explained what happened to the genius tech, told her that it seems to be working fine now though. She agreed it may have just been a software issue, but made a case note so if it happened again then they would know it’s got a history.
Jump forward another 2 weeks and it starts happening again, this time worse. The restarting is less frequent, maybe once every 8 minutes, but the screen is flickering from bright green to dark green. I take it back to Apple and they say they need to open it up and see if there is any internal damage.
Two hours later I come back and they say the Liquid Contact Indicators have been activated, which means there is internal liquid damage and they won’t cover liquid damage under warranty.
I spoke with the store manager on duty for about 45 minutes because I disagreed with this policy given Phil Schiller, head of worldwide marketing for Apple, literally said [you can drop it in the pool and it will be fine (jump to 40:40)](https://youtu.be/wFTmQ27S7OQ). It was not fine. This was the only time my phone had been in or near water.
I continued the conversation with the store duty manager and she said the best she can do is take 25% off the replacement handset price of AUD$800 (or close to it). I was not about to pay an additional $600 for my phone after paying $1600 for it not too long ago.
She gave me a few other options but the outcome of those would most likely be no replacement due to liquid damage.
I was completely honest with her and said “I understand this isn’t you making the policy, but I feel misled and like there is a bit of false advertising going on here. You can’t just make a statement and then choose not to cover it under warranty” she apologised again and I said that’s fine, I understand it’s not her. I told her I would be filing a complaint with NSW Fair Trading (consumer protection department in my state) because of the misleading statements made by Apple. She said that’s good and she hopes I get the outcome I want.
I file the complaint. It goes to a complaints and compliance officer named Sharron (thanks, Sharron!). I spoke with Sharon today and she told me Apple Australia passed her through 6 different people before the complaint ended up on the desk of the Vice President of Executive Relations at Apple Australia. This woman conceded in agreeing to replace my phone at no additional charge.
Sharron said that in situations like this large companies will replace the item in the hopes that the consumer won’t make a scene. But I’m making a scene, because I beat Apple and their shitty selective warranty clauses.
I’m glad Australia has strong consumer protections laws that we have because there is no way in hell I would be paying an addition $600 for my phone. No phone is worth AUD$2200.
And for any other Australians here who feel like they’ve been slighted by Apple and their selective warranty clauses then I suggest you gather your evidence and lodge an official complaint.
I have no ill will towards Apple. I love their products. I have a Watch, an iMac, a MacBook Pro, Apple TV, and a very old unused iPad.
I just didn’t agree with their bullshit policy. Don’t make a claim if you aren’t going to cover it when things go wrong. Yes, I understand that the seal can degrade over time, but 6 weeks? Come on.
All of you commenting and private messaging me saying
>> it’s water-resistant not water-proof.
Cool. Thanks. I fucking get it. Did I once say I thought my phone was water-proof? No. I understand IP ratings are for resistance levels not proofing levels.
The whole crux of my argument is that the WORLDWIDE HEAD OF MARKETING FOR APPLE said “dropped your phone in the pool? No problem just pull it out and it’s ok”
They claim water-**resistance** for up to 2m for 30 minutes.
This blew up far bigger than I had ever anticipated it would.
Everyone messaging me telling me I’m a crying baby, a moron, a dickhead who doesn’t know when to back down, and whatever else, please keep it coming. You fuel my internal fire for justice and vindication.
The simple fact is that Apple have claimed in their advertising and through public statements by their senior executive staff that the phone can withstand the conditions my phone experienced.
Now, was my phone defective since leaving this factory? Who knows. If so, I can accept that this is a very rare occurrence, and happily take my replacement.
Did I some how break the *internal* water seal in the 6 weeks I owned the phone which then caused this problem? Who knows, maybe. If that *is* what has happened here then Apple need to look at how they’re sealing the phones so something as simple as everyday use of the phone doesn’t cause the seal to be breached as easily.
Thanks for the gold everyone. I don’t need it. Donate to a charity.
Everyone saying I’m an idiot for continuing to buy Apple products, I’ll have you know I have had zero warranty issues with Apple previously. If I have ever needed something replaced or repaired they have always covered me for no additional cost (even without Apple Care).
All of the Apple products I own have been purchased over the last 8 years. And to be perfectly honest, I’ll probably buy more in the future as the need arises.