Saturday, February 24, 2018

Big Apple iPhone Mess

About a month ago, we found out that my daughter's iPhone 6 was a victim of Apple's battery issues, and we were scheduled to get a new battery.  The technician at our local Apple Store said the new battery would be available in 3 to 5 days.  We were happy to hear that her phone's battery issue was not a unique problem, and we awaited a phone call from Apple to return to get the new battery the following week.

I'm less patient than I may appear, but in this case, when we didn't hear from them for multiple weeks, I continued to wait.  After 4 weeks, on Friday afternoon right after work, I called Apple at the number I was given for the local Apple Store.  It instead sent me to Apple's national call center, though I didn't know that until I talked to the operator after spending 10 minutes navigating through their automated system, and another 12 minutes on hold waiting for the operator. 

I explained that we were waiting for a new battery for my daughter's iPhone, and though we were told it would be 3 to 5 days, it was now four weeks and we still hadn't heard anything.  She asked me for all of my information, even though I told her I had a work order number.  Then she put me on hold while she called our Apple Store.  She came back on the line about 3 minutes later, and I was transferred to a gentleman at the store, who immediately said that they had our battery, and when did I want to bring in our phone?  I made an appointment for that afternoon at 5pm.  I think they were worried that I might be a bit angry, but I decided not to ask them why they didn't call when the battery became available.  It just wasn't worth the effort.

I went home and picked up daughter Melody, and we made the short trek over to the Mall.  Once there, we went to the Apple Store.  One of the issues I have with the Apple Store is the assumption that we know what to do when we walk in.  We found out from our first visit, last month, that we have to "check in" with an employee in a designated spot in the back center of the store, and not just go straight to the table at the very back.  We also didn't know that there was another line after that, and we ended up offending several customers when we were helped before them.

Anyway, there seemed to be no problems, we dropped off the phone, and were told to return in an hour and a half.  Melody was nervous, and didn't know how to act without her phone.  But she was anxious about something possibly going wrong.  While we had backed up her pictures, just to be safe, that was all we did.

We went to dinner, then returned at exactly 6:45, just over an hour and half.  The young lady, McKenna, who helped us when we dropped off the phone, saw us and called us over.  It turns out my daughter was right to be worried:  there was a problem.  The battery, McKenna said, had "swelled," so we were getting a new phone.  She assured us that it was nothing we did.  It explained the sudden shutdowns and loss of power at any time, even when the battery was fully charged.

Anyway, we never would've guessed that we'd need a new phone, and Melody immediately panicked.  McKenna asked if we had backed up the phone to the iCloud.  We had not.  She said we could do it right then, but given how much was on the phone, we had to purchase the extra space for 99 cents per month.  I okayed it, and we started the back up procedure.  McKenna explained that it could take some time.

At 8:30(!), the back up stopped suddenly, and we got an error message.  It said that, due to a loss of wifi, the back up was unsuccessful.  We had wasted another hour and a half!  McKenna had gone on a break, so a different technician, Walle, explained our options.  It was almost 9pm, and the store was closing.  We would have to take the old phone home and do the backup using our wifi, then come back to the store and they would transfer the sim card to the new phone, along with setting it up.  We asked if we could come back the following day, and they said yes, both McKenna and Walle would be there.  We said we'd be back.

Friday, we went back and arrived right at 5pm.  We found Walle and he helped us get Melody's new phone set up.  We were there for less than an hour and left before 6pm with a new phone.  Our faith restored, we thanked Walle and headed for home.  Everything transferred perfectly, and the new phone is pretty awesome. Melody told me she is so happy.

So kudos to the folks at the Apple Store for making it all right after neglecting to call us when they were supposed to, turning our 3 to 5 day wait into a full month.  My daughter's new phone is great.

Have a great evening, everyone.

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