How to get Apple to do a non-warranty repair [Tip]

iphone_3g_broken_spotlight

What's the best way to get Apple to do a non-warranty repair on your bricked or broken iPhone or iPad? Simple: tell the truth.

I have seen all kinds of schemes cooked up by people who have done something ill-advised to their devices. They have a strategy. They know how to fool the liquid sensors. They have a story for the dent they couldn't pound out. They play innocent when their product is mysteriously bricked. They have a plan for every contingency.

When all else fails, they make noise, complain to the manager, write angry letters to SJ and the media. Finally, they post on internet forums and try to win in the court of public opinion. Well, I'm here to tell you, there is a better way.

Last night, I called the local Apple store to tell them I had bricked my iPad. I made it clear that it was my fault. They told me to go ahead and bring it in anyway and made an appointment for that night.

When I was called, I repeated that it was bricked because of something that I did, and just hoped they could reset it. They gave me no guarantees, but promised to try, and try, they did. After about an hour, they told me that it was as good as fried. I thanked them and did my best to hold it together.

The rep was not done talking. She said they would consider it a warranty repair, and simply gave me a brand new, 32 GB 3G iPad. I was shocked. I told her I couldn't accept it, as they owed me nothing. It was not a warranty issue and I didn't want anyone to get in trouble over my mistake. She told me that Apple was more interested in making me happy. She also told me not to ever do that again.

My wife was also floored by the generosity of service. I know that if I had gone in with some lame story, I would have been out of luck. No need. This was not my first, such experience, but it was the most dramatic.

If you damage your device, don't try to hide the evidence, or make up a story. Just tell the truth. There is a reason why Apple keeps getting the highest scores for customer satisfaction.

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How to get Apple to do a non-warranty repair [Tip]

86 Comments

I wouldn't expect Apple Retail to do out-of warranty or non-warranty repairs, and certainly don't think anyone should feel entitled to them, but I have been told repeatedly that Apple wants their Geniuses and Specialists to empathize and sympathize with customers -- to think how they would feel in that situation or circumstance.
They have some latitude to help people and they can use it, first and foremost Apple wants customers to have a great experience. Don't try to cheat or con them or you'll likely get nothing, but if they can, they'll often help you out.

Not to be negative, and I will admit this is well-written piece, but let's not be handing out false hope when in fact you very likely got a very kind service rep on a VERY good day.
I'm not saying you yourself might get lucky, but don't COUNT on it -- this story, as uplifting and as nice as it sounds, makes it sound to the reader like they can expect this kind of service if they're nice and honest; and frankly - they can't. Apple folks are good CS people, but they're still people and most people are going to follow the rules they're given. This story should at least be renamed to "a good service experience". And maybe a YMMV at the end.
As good as it is, I don't imagine it's going to happen to everyone, or even a small minority.

Yeah, this. I called the Apple Store today, because my iPod suddenly went staticky after three years of working perfectly (not surprising; I take great care of it and keep it in a protective plastic case), and I was told it'd be $35 for phone support, or $109 to replace. I was honest and followed everything the article said, but nobody wanted to help me in any way, even verbally, without some outlay of cash.

Ummm i don't know where you guys are going? But i meet nice people in apple stores every single apple store I go to. This is not a Rare occurrence, this is a it happens all the time occurrence.
Maybe what some of you are experiencing is you go into the store with an Already chip on your shoulder expecting bad service to happen, which in result (in a retail environment) will actually provoke it on you.
Try smiling people, enjoy life, it actually works.
Well written piece.

Granted, this sounds like an exceptional experience. You cannot expect to always get this lucky, but it happens more often with Apple than any other company I've ever dealt with. I think the real message here is to always do the right thing. You win some, you lose some. But don't try to game the system. Even if you don't luck out, you'll feel better (or you should) that you didn't try to cheat and you aren't ruining it for everyone else. People hate insurance companies, and they are definitely evil, but in fairness there are a lot of people who file fraudulent claims. That increases costs for everyone and makes them even more unsympathetic.

That great. My 12 yr old grandson had to replace a cell phone dropped in pool. 2 wks later we were on vacation and the cell phone slide in glass of coke. The sales people just told us tough luck, no discount on new one. Thats US Cellular for you.

Similar experience with iPhone 3GS. Left it in my jeans pocket and tossed in with laundry. Had an "Oh Sh1t" moment halfway thru the dry cycle. Took it to Apple and told them exactly what happened. The Apple rep and I had that "you idiot" moment, then she proceeded to tell me that Apple will be interested in tearing the phone down to see what happens from complete submersion in liquids (her exact words) and she handed me a new (refurb) 3GS and sent me on my way.
Sometimes the truth doesn't hurt.

Even if do not get lucky i think honesty is the best policy. I have ongoing issue with AT&T regarding IPHONE 4. Basically dropped calls. But this time its not Iphone but some service related issue. Even AT&T also is being honest about it and is trying to resolve the issue.

I agree, but unfortunately this isn't the type of service everyone should expect every single time. Understandably, Apple would go broke doing this for every customer for every issue.
But it does go to show why Apple has led the satisfaction ratings since the iphone was released in 2007. No doubt they at least try to take care of their customers, as much as they possibly can.

Well. I guess my method of telling them they put faulty SuperDrives in certain MacBook pro models is why I didn't get it replaced for free from them.

I wish I could reply to everyone, but this will have to suffice. To the one who wanted to know how much Apple paid me for this propaganda piece, I thought I made that clear. They paid me a new iPad after I hosed mine. Perhaps they wrote it off as a part of the marketing budget. So be it. I am happy to do my part.
Did I get lucky? Could I have come at a worse time and encountered a less accommodating person? Sure. But what some of you are missing is that excellent, above-and-beyond customer service is not an anomaly at Apple. It is a part of their DNA. My experience is not new or unique, just dramatic.
You should know that they can most likely tell what happened to your device, so trying to trick them is just insulting and disrespectful. In such cases, you should always err on the side of humility and low expectations. My point is that Apple responds very well to that. They are not out to get you. And, they go out of their way to help you as a matter of policy, not luck. While many companies try their best to avoid warranty repairs, Apple goes out of their way to make customers happy, even if that means ignoring the warranty. Good CS is not a matter of contracts, but of principle.

I think you got a new iPad because yours was still under warranty. They didn't give you a new iPad out of kindness. They gave you the new iPad because yours was fried and was still under warranty. Nothing exceptional here.

You got lucky but really no luck would have been needed if you had just said it bricked and wasn't working, they would have replaced it for you anyway.

Indeed, all iPads should still be under warrenty and as long as they can't find water damage to them they should replace them if they break-down (not if you physically smash them). How did you brick your iPad? If you did it in some method not physically detectable then I see no reason that they wouldn't be willing to replace the device for a warranty claim, the people at my local BestBuy will do this all the time as long as there is no physical damage outside normal usage ware that could have caused the problem.

Back in January, I went in with my iPhone 3G (Oct 08 purchase) and MBP (July 08 purchase) because they both were having battery issues. The Genius Bar tech just gave me a new iPhone 3G and MBP battery for no charge. Not worth as much as an iPad, but that saved me a TON of money and pretty much ensured I'll be buying Apple for a long time.

You were lucky! I recently took my iPhone in because of a drop I had. Seriously the first drop since I got it, and I ha waited on line the first day to get it. And considering I'm pretty clumsy it was a big deal for me not to have dropped it in so long! Haha but this one afternoon while going to my car it fell, I dont even know how! And it shattered so bad that the screen was falling off and the insides of the phone were exposed. Went to the store the next day, told them what happened, turns out I was speaking to the manager. And he was like, well there is a fee unfortunately, 199 ( aka 212 after freakin tax!!). Moral of the śtory, told the truth, and had to pay the price. Conclusion: you were one of the lucky few, congrats.

Actually, I agree and have had similar experiences with Apple. Not to that extreme, but they have been very generous repeatedly and with 4 people in the house, all with iPhones, touches and pads- it gets complicated! I have been pleased with their service and they have replaced batteries out of warranty at no charge even. I like knowing they will at least be fair.

SEEMS TO ME THE DOUBTERS HERE HAVE NEVER BEEN TO AN APPLE STORE.
WALKED IN, SPENT 1-1/2 HOURS WITH THE APPLE REP WE WALKED OUT WITH A MACBOOK PRO. WOULD HAVE STAYED AND TALKED WITH HIM FOR HOURS. FELT LIKE I KNEW HIM FOR YEARS. I CAN BELEIVE THAT HAPPENED, NO PROBLEM.

Great story. I'm glad it all worked out for you. It makes me proud to be an owner of Apple's products. Thanks for sharing.

I have heard of this kind of above and beyond service at Apple Stores. My boss got an iPhone4 and 3 days later it slid out of her hand as she opened the card door and SMASH the front glass shattered tot he point of shards of glass falling out of the device. She cried. She called the Apple Store, told them what happened and they replaced it at no charge. She bought a case for it that day as well.
I worked for BOSE (as in the Bose Wave Radio company) awhile back and they instilled this kind culture in their employees as well. Do what's right, put yourself in the customer's shoes and treat others how you would like to be treated. And the company supported whatever decision you made. If a 3 year old radio came in for repair and you felt they should get a brand new replacement it was your call to do so. Apple seems to run their stores in a similar way.
Of course it doesn't hurt to give that kind of service when your profit margins are what Apple's are. They can certainly afford that kind treatment.

To whoever said apple would go out of business, there is an article somewhere about the profit margin on the new nanos being 70%. I'm sure it's similar on our ipads and iPhones. So all in all "salvaging" a broken piece of equipment which has a broken screen but everything else in if is fine which can be reused doesn't mean apple lost anything. They traded you. That's all.
Now to the author, I'm unsure you mentioned you jailbroke the iPad. You said it was bricked from your own fault but I assume you jbed it. If you didn't mention what it was you did; maybe they didn't know.
Now finally, Many companies now have this new policy. Make the customer happy. Happiness ensures returning business and that's all that apple wants. For example, I own a franchise subway. We often have promotions where the compan hands out booklets with coupons to everyone in the neighborhood. We get a specific instruction on how to deal with these. If the customer wants to use 2 coupons , make sure you let them know you're doing them a favor, but accept anyway, even though it's limit 1 per customer. So there you have it.

Honesty is the best Policy.... This happened when I broke my 3G, got a refurbished 3G which came with a 90 day warranty, broke the refurbed 3G just after the 90 days, got another 3G as a 'warranty' replacement. So yeah, it can happen.

what about if i replaced the back of my 3gs myself and now it doesn't work properly? also, its jailbroken and unlocked on t-mobile and i have no AT&T account. i could just unjailbreak it and might be able to drag a friend with a current at&t account with me. anyone think that would be worth it, or should i just buy another back and replace it again or get a local iphone repair dude to do it for me?

Yeah it may have been a fluke. The guy may have talked to a nice(er) rep that day. Whatever the case, try this with your HTC or Moto phones and see what happens. Since those owners would have to go through their respective carriers, I sincerely doubt anybody could get that kind of love from Verizon, Sprint, or even AT&T.

While everyone at an Apple Store has been nice to me. I would like to know why, if I have a PC, they wont help me. If I had a MAC and had a problem with my iPhone they would help me, but a PC means they cant. The fact is I cannot afford a MAC, so I have to use a PC. If it is your program and your peripheral why can I get no such help...?

i laughed out loud on this part :
"I told her I couldn’t accept it, as they owed me nothing. It was not a warranty issue and I didn’t want anyone to get in trouble over my mistake. She told me that Apple was more interested in making me happy. She also told me not to ever do that again."
righty o

I can corroborate this 100%. Apple has the best customer service of ANY company I've dealt with. I've had two iPhone's replaced and both were out of warranty, and I've never had Apple care. This article is dead on and Apple deserves the recognition for this.

With the tablet wars about to start i can see why apple would want to make sure their customers are happy. with that said, I can see how this situation can happen. i bet they want to get a look @ it to see how it fried.
i can also see the others point, i have had serious issues getting anything out of apple other than a smile.

This guy's iPad was bricked, not smashed. It is easy to pass off as a warranty defect.
Obviously if you take a smashed iPhone into the Apple store it is going to be hard for them to pass it off as a warranty defect.
P.S. For every heartwarming story you hear about Apple customer service, there's another story about Apple refusing to repair a product because it came from a smoking household...

Sometimes it also depends on which Apple Store you go to; in the first one I went to, the staff were pretty rude and condescending, so I stopped going there. But in the second one, they were great; always very polite, helpful, and knowledgeable. So I stick with them. They've always been good to me and have even gone out of their way to help me find what I was looking for and answer all my questions. So I agree that this is not an anomaly. As long as you're honest and respectful toward them, chances are that they'll do whatever they can to help you out.
PEACE

Apple geniuses and customer service reps get paid off surveys, this us why ur iPad was replaced.

Funny, My cousin bought a phone once, called a iphone 3GS on contract as well. In the first week he dropped it. smashed the screen. Went to apple store, told them the truth and they gave him a new phone..!

Good story and I've had some very similar with devices. Apple ARE excellent, BUT, it does depend on who you get. This week after wanting to find out why my supposedly 'same glass as iPhone3G' was scratching every day while indoors in a flip-over case. I got the manager and he was blunt. His exact words were "all consumers are beta testers". "It's glass afterall and glass can scratch (bull)", "nothing I can do... buy a screen protector... sorry, no we don't sell them (ugh?)"... NOT happy. I feel we've all paid big bucks to find their faults for them.

Depends on which store you go to. In Los Angeles, the Glendale Galleria store has a bad reputation for snobby employees that refuse to help. In one instance I know, my friend had a top-of-the-line MBP that had a defect (he's an editor and there was a conflict with the i5 processor and that graphics card that would result in unreasonably long video rendering times). Still under warranty, the Glendale store refused to see a problem and refused to replace his brand new laptop. He then proceeded to go to The Grove location, the LA flagship store, and the guy there immediately saw and agreed there was a problem, and replaced his laptop with an i7 model. Problem gone.

I also know of a case where the Santa Monica store racially profiled a customer who was ready to buy a MBP and knew what specs he needed. Apparently, there was a code word they used: forerunner. He was surrounded by security personnel in moments.

Definitely something wrong with those iPad screens though! I think Apple know and are seriously keeping mouths shut.

I had the same thing happen. Told the truth. They took care of me. Be straight up with them folks. They will make it right.

When I went in with my wife who had dropped her iPhone 3GS and broken it's LCD and told them what happened, they said they would replace it for full price... how kind of them.
I'm not saying this doesn't happen, because obviously it does, but I would also say not to count on it, and if you don't have this experience, don't get angry.

While these are rare events, to be sure, honestly is also a very good thing to do. Trying to "cheat the system." Isn't a good thing and only harms us in the long run.
That being said, let me add my own little story.
I got one of the first Intel Macbooks. Like a lot of others, I had numerous issues with it (thankfully I had applecare). I think I had to take the device in an average of once per year (three times in the initial year) but they were always prompt at fixing it and replaced so many parts I practically had a new device by the time it was done. (repair costs were well over the value of the device).
Approx 6 months after my warranty expired on the device it fried itself again. I took it to the apple store to see what was wrong and to check the costs and they said they would look at it overnight.
WHen I came back the next day, they had:
-Replaced the Battery
-Replaced the palmrests and keyboard
-replaced several pieces/the whole motherboard
-replaced the hard drive+transferred all my information.
Final cost to me: $0
I might be critical of their "walled garden" approach to iOS, but I have yet to experience customer service anywhere near that good somewhere else, in ANY field.

At work sometimes I keep my iPhone in my apron pocket. A bad habit as when I am in a rush making drinks, I often get ice in my pocket and it melts onto my phone.
One time this happened and it caused significant damage to my phone. It was unusable!
I took it to apple, told them what happened, and they replaced my phone.
It was great!

That doesnt go just for Applecare. Generally works on out better to tell the truth in any situation. By telling the truth I've escaped 100mph speeding tickets, weapon charges, and angry girlfriends.

@Farbod21
Evidently you've never met anybody in sales. It would be easier for them to part the Red Sea than to tell the truth.

Oh, also, my first iPhone was replaced when the screen stopped workign even though it had obvious physical trama (I had dropped it about a dozen times at least!).
Another time that I took a broken iPhone back I had to pay $200, but that is still significantly cheaper than buying a full priced phoen, like I have to do right now. My iPhone4 was stolen! Wish they could replace that for free!!!!

Bought a launch day 3GS, had the battery problem. Apple sent me a new 3GS and allowed me to send the old one in when I pleased (within 30 days)

I have had the same experiences twice with apple! They were very understanding about how my iPhone 3G earbuds went through te washer and dryer, and sent me a brand new pair of iPhone 3G/iPhone 4 earbuds absolutely free. (the two pairs differ in the buttons one has volume control other doesn't, so it was a pretty good bump up for a single click!)

Apple replaced my 3gs 50 out of my warranty. I initially took it in thinking I would have to pay to replace the battery. They determined it was a software issue that was causing my battery to drain fast and eventually progressed to causing the phone to shut off when the level indicator was still at 80%. I was shocked when they decide the answer was to replace it. They said they were doing it because they knew I could spend my money elsewhere if I had to pay for a replacement.

Meh, they wouldn't replace the silent/ring switch on my 3G. I didn't drop it or anything, it just came right off.

Christinschu, they will offer you a new phone at a significantly reduced rate with a police report. At least, they did for me. Also look into to homeowners insurance or, depending on how long it's been since got purchaced, your credit card's theft protection policy (most big banks include coverage for free for 90 days). Good luck!

I can vouch for this.
I dropped my iPhone 4 while at disney, had it in a case and everything (with a lip that should have protected it) but it still shattered and spider webbed. Told the person at the genius bar and he replaced it for free for me.

After dropping my iphone 5 x's my mic piece was working improperly. After explaing this to Apple customer care they explained that my 90 support was over but would actually replace my iphone 4 at any local apple store thus i got a new phone!

I experienced the same thing: I spilled a couple of teaspoons of iced tea on my MacBook and half the keys stopped working and never came back. I took it to my nervy Apple store and explained the problem, admitting to the spill.
It was an $800 repair, but the guy gave it to me for free for, as he said, telling the truth. He said that he gets elaborate and unbelievable lies all day long and it was refreshing that someone admitted fault.

I have an iPhone 4 that has been sitting in the closet due to water damage caused by my son. He only had the phone for 3wks before he damaged it. With NO INSURANCE! I had tried to get the phone fixed by a few different repair shops that all told me the phone was not repairable. Earlier today my friend posted this webpage on Facebook. So I said why not, It can't hurt. I took it to the apple store, told the tech what happened and "whala" my phone was replaced!! So thank you for this posting.

Does anyone know if this will work for an iPhone 3G out of warranty that won't charge or turn on? I have a friend who jailbroke his and apparently there's some sort of charging issue...

The same happened with me.My iPod touch 2G was bricked and I took it to the local Apple service centre.The guy over there just looked at the iPod and said "it will be replaced and you will get the new one after a week".He didn't ask any questions just replaced it.I was so damn happy.NO doubt Apple is best.

I dropped my iPhone 4, a week after getting it. It had two cracks on the back. Of course there wasn't a case on it because nobody had any when the phone first came out. I went to the apple store, told them everything! They asked what kind of floor it was and how far the drop was. Then the apple angel went in back and came out with a brand new 32g iPhone 4! They are awesome! Love them!

The Truth Shall Set You Free!
The Genius Bar in Norfolk, VA's Apple Store (MacArthur Mall) is excellent.
I had a bad day of having my car towed, as well as not getting a free case for my iPhone 4 yet. To top it all off, I then dropped my unprotected iPhone from waist high onto concrete. It did not even bounce: just a flat "SMACK"
My iphone looked just like the one in this blog post's picture.
I told the Genius bar the truth, albeit I was thinking I am digging my own grave and costing myself a huge repair bill. But the guy gave me another phone. He just asked a few additional questions like how high was the drop, etc (things I already told him anyway).
Apple service rocks. Others may have had bad experiences, but I'm in that long line of satisfied customers.

He's right. I dropped ny iPhone 4 last week while changing my breaks and shattered the screen. Went to the Glendale, ca store told him what happened and mentioned I've heard of free replacements. He said it's at their discretion but they don't want people leaving unhappy so he said he could replace it this time. Took a total of 20 minutes and I had a free new iPhone 4. I'm buying a mac next just for the great customer service he showed me. I shatter was in no way covered by my warranty but they still did it for free. Reminded me why I like apple.

@ Rene
I agree that we are not entitled to the repairs out of warranty and obese thrilled with my replacement but I think they know they screwed up with this phone a little and might be more lenient and that don't let us do insurance so we are kinda effed. I'm clumsy and need insurance but in all of apples wisdom...no go. Oh and I have a buddy who works at Apple in San Fran, just HR but sees Steve everyday...and Steve is not happy with the phone. Expect another redesign and no more gorilla glass this June.

@Christinchu, I feel for you, I lost my iPhone 4 after only 4 days and had to pay $250 for a refurbished iPhone 3GS to replace my old broken one.
Its great that you are happy with Apple's Customer Service. I too Have experienced such outstanding service whilst PURCHASING items However now I have a Dispute and am being sent on the wildest goose chase EVER.
The 3GS they sold me is locked to Vodafone, I am with optus. My original 3GS was purchased in CASH outright at the Apple store so after 3 iPhone 3GS's everything was fine until this one. Simply put I can't use my phone at all. Yes Yes I have gone through the ringer of technical resolutions but only to my dismay. Apple were adamant that they had nothing to do with the phone being locked and passed the buck to Vodafone. I had confirmed with Voda whether or not they had anything to do with the issue and they came back with a NO.
So I call Apple again and once again put through the same ringer. This time I didn't give up. Immediately I asked "what is the dispute resolution process and who do I register my complaint to" I was met with a "We do not have a complaints number or email address". You will have to speak to myself or a floor manager.
Hmmm. ok I will try again with you and I will not hang up until I have a resolution.
He put me on hold for 15 mins........comes back with "our Tech Support is doing what they can to see WHO is responsible for the lock, do you want to stay on hold while I ask them to do this? "
So i said " I'll stay on hold until I can't any longer because like you I am at WORK.
30 Mins later....." Hi you there? We admit that this problem is Apple's fault and we are trying to resolve the issue......I will have to call you back but I cannot guarantee when".
Me= " Ah ..... am I being punked?, because there are better things to laugh about. I am going overseas in 3 days and it is near impossible to return to a retail store or wait for an indefinite phone call. I need my phone that WORKS as we will not be travelling with your young child and we need to be easily contactable. I have a resolution, just do a SWAP and give me a different 3GS or simply unlock the phone -_-, it is really that simple".
Apple Rep: I am sorry about the inconvenience man however our techs need to see what they can do about this situation and WE need to decide the appropriate course of action".
OMG....In the last financial year I have spent just a little over 5000 Dollars on Apple products just for my own family which is me + Hubby + Child.... who do you know that is 5 and got an IPad for their 5th b'day. I am distraught and completely disappointed with Apple as a whole.
I finally said " If I do not get a call back by the close of business today which gives you 7 hours then I will appear at your store and will not leave until I have a working phone that is not locked".
Apple: You are more then welcome to visit our store.
Oooookay so what are you supposed to say to that?
I will call tomorrow morning and we'll see what happens. After this blog i'll visit the Department of Fair Trading and Consumer Affairs. Gosh what a way to begin my first big Overseas Holiday. Crikey Me Dingoes!!!
I'm Australian BTW. ;p Thank you for reading my rant.

My wife is now on her 5th IP4 and I am on my 3rd. Every time there is a legit issue with the phone software or hardware I have brought the phone into the Carlsbad Store and with no hassle or major movie worthy interrogation, they replaced them. My issues have ranged from camera not working, earpiece not giving audio, electronic feedback noises coming from the phone at random, etc...
I quote an Apple rep, "I am going to replace your phone because I know what this devices maximum potential is and I want you to be able to happily experience that when you walk out of here"
3 CHEERS FOR APPLE CUSTOMER SERVICE!!

Great to hear all of this, im planning on trying to get my cracked ipod touch screen repaired (or replaced) for free also. i guess its just how lucky you are with the member of staff you get. fingers crossed, eh?

My year old Applecare covered MacBook that I really loved has had the hard drive die. Apple denied the claim and negated the Applecare contract. I was told that was due to a presence of 'liquid' inside the unit, but could be repaired for $750. The two issues I have with this decision.
My MacBook was Apple refurbished so the reason it was returned from the first purchaser I do not know.
I know nothing has ever been spilled on it since I have had it. And by the way the hard drive did not die from moisture, but I do not think they care.
As for falsely confessing I spilled something on it, so an Apple employee can be 'right' does not work in truth as I know it. I am prepared to loose the money and along with it my respect for AppleCare and Apple's sense making things right. Apple makes a good quality, well engineered product charges a premium price for it and then tarnishes this image with less than stellar Customer Service. Oh, I will fix the MacBook myself and more than likely purchase more Apple products, however I will never buy another (used) refurbished item or AppleCare. The people I have always steered toward Apple simply for the quality will also be also be told this story, so I can know they are aware of weakness as well as strenghts.

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So I have this iPod touch 4th Gen 8GB. I bought it off my sister and she had cracked it. Anyway i was having a race with my best friend and it fell out of my pocket. It was destroyed right across the top and both cameras don't work. I bandaged it up. It doesn't have a warranty or anything and i really need it all fixed up plz tell me what to do thanx

Sorry to wake up a relatively old thread. Here's my take:

I'm on my iPad 3. I'm a LOYAL customer. I used to NOT be an Apple fanboy but their customer service has made me one. I've had nothing but excellent experiences with Apple.

I live in rural north-central Oregon. I had an iPad 2 64GB 3G ATT. I had it on my nightstand one evening and a 3-point buck showed up at my bedroom window one early morning. Startled the cat (we'd just moved here). The cat dashed across the nightstand and tipped the iPad 2 over and it fell-face down, of course-right onto....a ROCK. Yeah, I know....weird. I found a big piece of obsidian and brought it in, cleaned it up and looked at it. Then I set it down by the night stand to show my girlfriend later. Anyway, the screen was cracked...smashed...spiderweb and all. The iPad functioned fine though and the glass stayed in place. Wow. A tank.

I live 3 hours from the nearest Apple Store in Portland. I called them to explain the situation and they suggested I come in. I drove all the way there and met with a rep. We went over everything and he took it to the back room while I wandered around looking at other stuff. He brought out a new iPad 2 as a replacement.

This was out of warranty by bout four months.

Now...onto my SECOND out-of-warranty situation.

My iPad 3, which I bought new and had shipped here when they first came out, just recently started having issues with the volume. After much fiddling and doing work, etc. it comes out that it's likely a hardware issue. I mean I tried EVERYTHING. I'm an intermediate to somewhat advanced PC/tech user and I repair people's PCs and tech devices as a hobby. So I know what I'm talking about when it really looks like a hardware issue to me.

Still, I contacted Apple today and went into an on-line chat with a rep. Then he switched me to a higher tier tech in about 3 minutes. I explained very nicely my situation, that I am hearing impaired, that I depend HEAVILY on this unit for home, for work (I'm a Paramedic) and for communicating with people, that I live in a very rural area (indeed, we have an AT&T 4G tower here in our town and I'm about the only using it, locally...with a grandfathered unlimited plan....greatness, considering our only other internet here is a craptastic DSL at 1mb down), etc.

The key is I was POLITE, RESPECTFUL and I didn't whine or bitch or complain. Just sounded disappointed when they said "well, it's been 600 days and there's not much we can do." Then I gave him a " :-( "

Right after that he said "However...there is something I can do for you." He left for a bit and came back with "I can give you this one time repair on me."

So he's sending an overnight box from FedEx. The unit will ship to Sacramento overnight and, according to him, I should have it back in 3 days. He says that's the average time. Wow.

But....my question is this....it's an iPad 3. They supposedly stopped making those. Hopefully they have parts to refurbish my unit. But....what if they don't? Let's say they get it in and they don't have any black 64GB 4G ATT units left and they have white ones or Verizon ones. I'm afraid I'll get something else somewhat different. Well, that's not so much a worry. They've GOTTA have iPad 3s and parts all over the joint. But maybe if they don't then they've gotta get parts from another facility and that'll delay time. I really depend on this unit (oh GOD do I ever. I am a Microsoft person who has learned to tame the PC beast over the many years but wow have I grown to love iOS devices! I have an iPhone 4S and am anxious to some day get the iPad Air and/or the iPhone 6). Or should I not worry?

In any case, whenever you're dealing with Apple...BE COURTEOUS, BE PATIENT, BE HONEST and just BE YOURSELF with these people. They put up with enough crap and they appreciate a good story or a good reason why you're running into an issue. Don't go into it expecting ANYTHING. I rolled the dice completely here, thinking I wouldn't get anywhere but I was utterly surprised.

Otherwise I'd have Darth Vader standing next to me breathing heavy down my neck and saying "I find your lack of faith disturbing."