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  1. #1
    Member Beemer's Avatar
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    Default Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned it

    I bought an iPhone X in Oct 2017 from Vodafone NZ. In the time I've owned it, all that's been done to it is being fitted with a glass screen protector and a Lifeproof case.

    Recently the battery needing topping up, despite limited usage. I looked in settings and found replacement was recommended, and the battery was only being charged to 87%.

    I took it to an authorised Apple repair agent, but when I went to collect it later, they said they hadn't been able to open the phone as the screws on the bottom had been stripped. They asked if it had been repaired or opened and I said no. They told me it could have happened during the manufacturing process, but they would have to send the phone to Apple to have the battery replaced.

    Today they said Apple had returned the phone, with a note: ‘The reason your product isn't working is because of unauthorized modifications that were made to it. Our warranty doesn't cover issues caused by unauthorized modifications.
    If this product is sent to us for the same type of repair, we might charge a diagnostic fee of up to NZ$150. For more information, see our Repair Terms and Conditions at apple.com/legal/sales-support."

    The repairer said apart from the screws being stripped, there was no external evidence of tampering and the phone was in immaculate condition. They were going to put in an appeal with Apple, because they believe they should have replaced the battery.

    The repair agent told me to call Apple, who would probably tell me to give the phone back to them, and they would send it back to Apple. I spent 42 minutes on the phone to Apple only to be told the phone had been modified and even questioned on the purchase, despite having the original sales receipt.

    I brought the phone home, and am now restoring it from a backup. I was more than happy to pay to get the battery replaced, but now I have no idea what I can do. Apart from the fading battery, the phone is still working fine and I don't want to replace it.

    The repair agent couldn't get into the phone and sent it back to Apple. I asked Apple what 'modifications' they discovered, but was told they could not disclose that. It doesn't even look like they opened the phone, because I've had a look with a magnifying glass and the screws still look stripped to me. If they didn't even open the phone and are going on the fact the screws are stripped, which could have happened during manufacture, then I am not happy. If they opened the phone they could see it hadn't been touched.

    I currently have seven Apple products, but if this is the way they treat customers, I won't be replacing any of those items with the same brand in future. I've been a loyal Apple devotee for more than 10 years, and I was prepared to pay for a battery replacement to give me a few more years from my iPhone X, but I have a phone with a battery that is now showing 86%, minus the screen protector I'd paid to have fitted, and I'm livid.

    I went to the repair terms and conditions on their website and found this under section 2: ‘If Apple determines, while inspecting your product, that repairs are needed due to failures of parts that are neither supplied by Apple nor Apple branded - or are needed due to damage caused by abuse, misuse or misapplication - Apple reserves the right to return the product to you without repairing it, and will hold you responsible for the diagnostic fee on the reverse side (this fee includes any applicable tax).’

    So stripped screws (which have obviously been there since I bought it) are enough for Apple to claim the phone has been tampered with and refuse to repair it unless I cough up $150 first for them to 'diagnose' the problem, then charge me $129 to replace the battery, which is the only issue with the phone.

    Has anyone else encountered this before? I don't even know how to contact Apple by email to dispute this, and I certainly have no desire to spend more time on the phone dealing with people who refuse to accept the phone has not been tampered with.

    I posted this initially on the Apple support forum but it was removed, and I got an email to say: "We’ve removed your post 'Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned it unrepaired' because it contained either feedback or a feature request that was not constructive."
    Last edited by Beemer; 29-04-2021 at 06:17 PM. Reason: Adding extra information

  2. #2
    Computer "Specialist" Agent_24's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned

    Apple hate repairing anything and will make as many excuses as possible not to, thus trying to sell you the latest one instead.

    Your best option is probably a good third-party repair shop unless you want to take the gamble of them investigating it.

    Deleting forum posts that cast Apple in any negative light is standard operating procedure for them.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Default Re: Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned

    Apple services are bad. I don't like them servicing my stuff.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned

    There are "shops" in shopping malls that do battery replacements. You could try one of them in say Palmy to see if they can fix your problem. They could also use new screws too.

  5. #5
    Computer Technician wainuitech's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned

    As far as I know all the Apple phones are similar, the screws are often Security Screws, and unless you have the correct driver bit its VERY easy to strip them, someone (and could even been the 1st Repairer) "May" have done the damage. (unless you saw them stripped BEFORE taking it to them)

    Where you mentioned
    The repair agent couldn't get into the phone and sent it back to Apple.
    I'd be a bit suspect - They normally are a sealed unit (for water proofing and construction) requiring some sort of heat to pull apart the Case, its not just a case of undoing a couple of Screws and the case falls apart. If the "Repairer" Didn't know that Id be steering away.

    So Apple them Selves more than likely didn't pull it apart either, the stripped screws would have been enough for them to say its been fiddled with. Note: its VERY rare for places like apple and Authorized Agents to Supply a Phone with Stripped screws, they have the correct tools.

    Doing a quick Google search found this place - $145 for Battery replacement, Apple Authorized Agents.

    https://serviceplus.co.nz/brands/app...rised-repairs/


    Some places say they are iphone Repairers (like described in the above link) but in fact are not.

    Here's a Sample Video on how its done - So Doubt Apple took it apart as mentioned earlier. https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iPhone+...acement/103390
    Last edited by wainuitech; 30-04-2021 at 07:42 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned

    Perhaps the phone wasnt actually new when you bought it, but was a 're-manufactured' or 'refurbished' phone ?

  7. #7
    Member Beemer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned

    Quote Originally Posted by 1101 View Post
    Perhaps the phone wasnt actually new when you bought it, but was a 're-manufactured' or 'refurbished' phone ?
    A friend asked that too, but I had the phone on order from Vodafone before they launched in NZ and it was collected from the Vodafone shop in Levin the day they went on sale, so I find it hard to believe this could have happened.

  8. #8
    Senior Member 1101's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned

    It could be the repairer stripped the screws & he's now just trying to cover his arse .

    https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comme...new_phone_for/

    You may have to go to Disputes Tribunal to get this resolved. It may not be worth the hassels

  9. #9
    Member Beemer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned

    Quote Originally Posted by wainuitech View Post
    As far as I know all the Apple phones are similar, the screws are often Security Screws, and unless you have the correct driver bit its VERY easy to strip them, someone (and could even been the 1st Repairer) "May" have done the damage. (unless you saw them stripped BEFORE taking it to them)

    Where you mentioned 'he repair agent couldn't get into the phone and sent it back to Apple' I'd be a bit suspect - They normally are a sealed unit (for water proofing and construction) requiring some sort of heat to pull apart the Case, its not just a case of undoing a couple of Screws and the case falls apart. If the "Repairer" Didn't know that Id be steering away.

    So Apple them Selves more than likely didn't pull it apart either, the stripped screws would have been enough for them to say its been fiddled with. Note: its VERY rare for places like apple and Authorized Agents to Supply a Phone with Stripped screws, they have the correct tools.

    Doing a quick Google search found this place - $145 for Battery replacement, Apple Authorized Agents.

    https://serviceplus.co.nz/brands/app...rised-repairs/


    Some places say they are iphone Repairers (like described in the above link) but in fact are not.

    Here's a Sample Video on how its done - So Doubt Apple took it apart as mentioned earlier. https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iPhone+...acement/103390
    The place I took it to in Palmerston North is listed on Apple's site as an authorised Apple repair agent, which is why I took my phone there. I'm in Levin and there are a couple of repair guys here but I was reluctant to use them in case anything went wrong. I dropped the phone off in the morning and they photographed it before I left. The screws are absolutely tiny and until they showed them to me when I returned to collect it a few hours later (and was told they couldn't open the phone due to the screws being stripped), I was totally unaware of their presence. I initially didn't even know the batteries were replaceable as most Apple products seem to be made to die so you can't keep using them.

    The repair agent said they came across stripped screws now and then and send the phones to Apple because if Apple damaged them, they would replace them, so they didn't risk it. They said they had taken larger devices to jewellers to get the screws drilled out, but they didn't do it with phones because they were much smaller and easier to damage. They said normally they unscrew the bottom, use suction to remove the screen, then they can access the inside of the phone. Other than the stripped screws, they sometimes still had to send phones to Apple if the battery tabs were missing or came off when they tried to remove them. They said it wasn't a problem, it just took longer because they had to send the phone to Auckland.

    When they rang me yesterday to say the phone had been returned by Apple but not repaired, they were quite stunned, and told me this wasn't normal. They planned to appeal the decision because in their opinion the phone had not been tampered with and they felt the screws may have been like that when I bought it. I will certainly be closely checking any phone I buy in the future to ensure this doesn't happen again. I've had the phone since October 2017 and this is the first time I've taken it for repair and it has never been out of my possession, so it definitely hasn't ever been tampered with. I'm not the type to open things up to have a look at how they work, so there is no reason for me to even have attempted to open the phone.

    I'll wait and see how the repair shop's appeal goes, but if they don't have any success, I'll investigate other options. After all, the battery is slowly dying, so if I do nothing I'll need to replace the phone sooner or later, and if I do something and it doesn't work, that just means I'll have to replace the phone sooner.

  10. #10
    Member Beemer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sent iPhone X for battery replacement, Apple say it's been modified and returned

    Quote Originally Posted by 1101 View Post
    It could be the repairer stripped the screws & he's now just trying to cover his arse .

    https://www.reddit.com/r/apple/comme...new_phone_for/

    You may have to go to Disputes Tribunal to get this resolved. It may not be worth the hassels

    Possibly, but they appear to be authorised repairers who do a lot of work with Apple, so I am not casting aspersions on them. I wasn't there when they started the phone repair, but when I went to collect it later, it had a note on the paperwork saying they were not able to do the repair because the screws were stripped. I don't think they were lying, and they were confident they'd send it to Apple and Apple would replace the battery and return it.

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