Or Should I Say U break I Scam
A little background. I work with tech both hardware and software. I have repaired a few phone including screen replacements before. Rebuilt laptops from parts, …. So when my daughter screen was broke I was tempted to fix it myself. But it is an iPhone. Not the latest and greatest model, but due to the issues and limitations by Apple, not something I was willing to undertake. I may have been better off then what happened with the repair. All I want is for them to honor their warranty.
Let’s start with the phone itself. It is an iPhone 8. This is her 3rd smartphone in 7 years. She has had this one about 1 ½ years. The previous 2 phones (Iphone 6 and an Android before that). Both lasted about 3 years before being upgraded. She uses reasonable cases on them and never had an issue. Not high end Otter Boxes, but enough to protect them. Her current phone was doing fine till a friend snagged it, carrying on and it fell. She was honest, told me what had happened and said she would live with it. Due to her excellent track record with phones I did not have insurance on it. I figure one screen replacement in 7 years is a good tradeoff. Plus she was honest with me. Who cannot admire that.
She needed the phone for work so could not be without it. She works as a staff member at a Summer Camp so phones are needed to coordinate activities. The local Apple Stores were not an option due to Covid. I called around checking places looking for someone who could repair it on a Saturday so not to impact her need for it. I found the Wake Forest location of https://www.ubreakifix.com/locations/wakeforest. Not Apple, but they claimed OEM spec screens with a 90 day parts+labor warranty. Higher in price then other places I checked, but workable with my schedule. Hesitant about a Non Apple place, but the timing counted for something. They said they are only taking appointments due to Covid. I arranged everything on the phone for a Saturday appointment. They said all set, all information they needed was entered, just walk in and drop off. They open at 10:30.
I showed up for the appointment July 11, 2020. 10:30. They could not find the info from my call. Should have set of alarms in my head. I provided all info again for the agent to reenter. About 2 hrs later I received a call and picked the phone back up. The technician tried to upsell me on liquid glass coating, but I refused. The original apple screen did not need it. After all, 7 years and 1 screen. Plus I was planning on replacing it around Christmas to get her a better model.
She took the phone, put it back in the case and protected it severely after that. No friends were allowed near it…. Try getting between a Teenager and her phone. She went back to work. Due to schedules, I did not see her phone for 3 weeks. There was a crack along the screen. Not an impact crack (I seen those many times). A hairline crack that was creeping along the screen. She said she did not know what happened. She went to use it the first week and saw the crack. No impacts or drops. Based on her history and the way she was caring for it, I believed her. I wanted to bring it back then, but his was a Sunday and she had to return to work. She said the crack was minor and could wait.
The next weekend, the crack had spread, glass flakes were falling off. I have not seen that before on a screen. The glass looked thinner than the iphone glass I had seen previously. I have had a few ipod touches and other smartphones that have cracked. I never saw one break this way. Even when I replaced screens myself a broken screen does not do this. I did have something similar happened when I replaced a screen, did not clean the bezel properly, and got a spec trapped. Took a few days, but the screen cracked. She insist she still needs it for work. She is going off to college next week. So I said, no problem, I’ll call the place, schedule an appointment and get it fixed. 90 parts and labor for an obviously defective piece should be no problems.
Tuesday, Aug 4 AM, I call. I speak with an agent. I explain the whole situation. They said they could not authorize a warranty repair. Since the glass was cracked, that meant it was damaged and probably not covered. But she would speak with the manager which should have no problem with it. They would call me back that afternoon.
Wednesday, Aug 5 AM, I call. I speak with an agent. I get the same person. She said that they were trying to get the manager. She indicated that the replacement glass was not OEM quality so it should not be expected to be as good as the original glass. The manager would be in at 2 if I could call back.
Wednesday, Aug 5 3 PM, I call back. I speak with the same agent. She said that the manager had not shown up. She promised the manager would call me as soon as they got in.
Thursday, Aug 6 1PM. No calls received. I call again. I get bounced around then talk to a different Tech. He starts explaining that due to the screen crack, that counted as damage to the device so it would not be covered. I ask him how he can make that claim without seeing the device. He said if the screen cracks, then it is damaged and no coverage. I explain the warranty on the website. He said that a manager would have to authorize it. I indicated that is what I have been trying to do for the last 2 days. He said the manager was right there and routed my call to them.
The manager comes on the phone and said that she spoke with the other agent the previous night and was about to call me back. She indicated that due to the damage she would not cover it under warranty. I asked what damage? She indicated the screen was cracked so it counts as damaged. They would give a discount on repair, but not cover it. I asked how she could claim it was damaged without inspection. She indicated the fact that it cracked was enough. I read them the warranty from the website. They said they did not care. I asked that does that mean that if they install inferior parts, I’m liable for the issue? She continued to insist it was my fault for damage. I asked for proof…. This went on for a few minutes so I decided to contact corporate instead. I was furious….
I got off the phone and cooled off.
I contact corporate. I explained the situation. I think they run the same script. She indicated the crack indicated damage so no warranty. I asked that if the part was defective (which it seems) then why should I be responsible for the repair? She indicated that it must be my fault. I read the warranty from their web page,
She indicated they did not care. She said if I took it in to the store they could evaluate if it would be covered under warranty. I asked if she really wanted me to take it to the store that already said it was already my fault. The very one I am calling about. She said they could evaluate it. I asked if they knew legal requirements for NC. She said no, they don’t care. I asked for their address for legal process if necessary . She provided
I asked to speak with her manager or someone higher up. She said she would pass it along. If they wanted to respond, it may be 24-48 business hour. I indicated that is unacceptable. I expect a call by noon tomorrow (Friday 7 Aug).
I am not asking for much. I just want the warranty repair as promised by their site. We are talking replacing a screen that cracked and chipped on a phone. This happened less than a few weeks after replacement. Handled by a girl who prizes her phone. Who in 7 years never so much as scratched her phone.