Apple’s battery replacement program helping the brand more than its customers
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A report by the BBC has pointed out how Apple service centres in the UK are pointing out unnecessary faults in devices forcing customers to pay up, for what would have otherwise been a reasonably priced battery replacement.
The battery replacement program was implemented after consumer backlash when customers discovered that Apple was intentionally slowing down iPhones to keep up with used batteries that could no longer hold a full charge. Apple’s reasoning behind the same was that a user would rather be better off with a slower iPhone, than their iPhone shutting down abruptly when the power needed was not available. However, the outcry over Apple’s battery issue, was not because the Cupertino giant slowed down iPhones intentionally, but over the fact that Apple never told users that it was doing the same.
Apple’s battery replacement program which was supposed to be an apology to its customers over lying about slowing down it iPhones (coaxing some to buy new ones) seems to have turned into a money making business for the technology brand as per BBC Watchdog.
As per the report, Apple seems to be finding minor defects and charging customers huge sums of money to get those defects replaced before going in for the battery replacement program.
Some customers in the UK have reportedly been charged 10 times the sum that was referred to in its apology email, which was $29 for battery replacement (after discount) with Rs 2,000 being charged in India.
A customer going by the name of Josh Landsburgh sent in his phone to have his battery replaced. A few days later he received an email with a quote of £200 before Apple would go ahead and replace the battery in his iPhone. Landsburgh had his smartphone returned from Apple and then replaced at a local repair shop instead. According to Apple, it was a dent on his iPhone’s body that was preventing Apple from replacing the battery inside.
“They're trying to regain trust and they come back to you with, 'Give us more money than you were planning to initially.' I think it's just shocking, they've got enough money, they're Apple,” Landsburgh told the BBC.
In another case, a customer’s iPhone was in “perfect condition” but Apple came up with a reason specifying that the front microphone and the speaker were “faulty” with a quote of over £250 to complete the battery replacement as a part of the program.
In its defence Apple sent BBC the following response.
“When it comes to iPhone battery replacement, if your iPhone has any damage that impairs the replacement of the battery, such as a cracked screen, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the battery replacement. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the repair.”
While the above response sounds believable, we wonder what a faulty microphone and speaker has to do with a battery replacement?
Our best guess, is that Apple wants to deliver a fully functional iPhone and is not willing to take chances by delivering a phone back in the hands of customers, only to receive more complaints from them about failing iPhones a few months later.