Praise for Apple’s iPod Warranty Support | iLounge Article

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Praise for Apple’s iPod Warranty Support

Because we’re interested in sharing and hearing about users’ experiences with different parts of the iPod ownership experience, this news update discusses our pleasant surprise with an iPod warranty experience we had within the last 24 hours. We’d like to hear about your experiences - positive or negative - primarily with iPod technical and warranty support, so please use the comments section at the tail end of this message to share your thoughts.

Ugh! Time to Call for Repairs!

If you hate dealing with warranty-related repairs and replacements, join the crowd. In the past two or three years, American consumers have watched almost helplessly as their warranties have become harder to enforce, with all sorts of sneaky new corporate techniques rearing their ugly heads. Outsourced offshore technical support and warranty repair departments have become more common, as have Byzantine “resolution” bureaucracies and other downright dishonest practices.

Apple’s iPod support isn’t perfect - in fact, even though an iPod’s warranty lasts for a year, Apple mandates an unusual $29.95 “shipping and handling fee” for any iPod repair performed after the first six months, which we don’t like. And we haven’t always liked how certain “Geniuses” at Apple Store Genius Bars have handled iPod-related support issues, either - no offense to any particular Genius out there, as many of them (and most of the non-Genius staff of Apple Stores) are great.

That said, when we had to call Apple recently for replacement service, the AppleCare staff sure impressed us with three aspects of their warranty support. And because they did such a great job, we wanted to take the time to praise them here.

Our Three Good Experiences

First, given that we’re living in an age when technical support requests to companies such as Dell frequently take hours to resolve or go unanswered (not to mention underanswered, improperly answered or dishonestly answered), we were impressed by the wait time for an Apple representative: only around two minutes. The company’s AppleCare telephone menu system was easy to navigate and quickly delivered our call to a friendly, understandable human support assistant who had the authority to resolve our concern on the spot. This was especially impressive by contrast to the bureaucracy and delays that characterize so many other companies’ warranty support departments.

Second, we were happy to learn that accessories included with the iPod are apparently not subject to Apple’s $29.95 shipping fee. Apple offered to replace our accessory, which had a plastic problem we were not responsible for, without dispute, delay, or an extra charge. This too was a welcome change from the lengthy, pointless and generally dilatory procedures we’ve previously experienced.

Third, our replacement arrived in fewer than 24 hours from the time we called about it. While this used to be a common enough occurrence amongst major electronics companies several years ago, we were impressed to see it happen today.

It’s worth noting that we never mentioned that we were reporters or otherwise requested special treatment - we were just “average joes” on the phone and yet felt very well-served by the end of the call. The net result of Apple’s warranty service in this case was some very happy customers who felt even better about the somewhat higher purchase price of the iPod.

What Have Your Apple and iPod Technical/Warranty Support Experiences Been Like?

Our experiences may or may not be typical, so we’d like to hear about yours. Please take a minute to post your stories and thoughts in the comments box below.

For a complete list of Apple resources, including service and support, check our Links page.

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Comments

1

I needed my ipod remote replaced. It has a shaky contact. So i went to the apple store i bought my ipod from (next byte), and two days later apple gave me a new remote. They didn’t need an id or proof of purchase. Only my ipod serial number. Very quick

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 12:23 AM (CST)

1

My PCI Firewire card fried my 2G iPod, but it was in warranty and Apple said it was no problem to return it for a refund.  Their carrier picked it up from me, but after six months of promises I’d have the money “within 5 working days” I eventually had to take Apple to a small claims court.

Apple’s technical support in Europe really sucks.  Really.  They told me I had to deal with their Windows-specific iPod support team, but they had never used Windows—and freely admitted it.  The guy told me what to do with Finder, and I had to translate into Explorer (not difficult, but funny for a Windows specialist).

I was lucky if I was put through to someone who spoke English, too.  One time, I was directed to a recorded message in French.  Most of the time, the agents spoke in such badly broken English, it was impossible for them to be of any help.

They settled my claim out of court, I got a very friendly phonecall from the London office, and I swore myself off ever owning another iPod…

...until the 3G came out, and I got a better Firewire card.

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 4:05 AM (CST)

1

My ipod needed a new battery and my 90 day warenty had ended the day before i called and apple would not replace the battery unless i bought the $60 care and protection plan!

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 5:04 AM (CST)

1

Mauly—

“I needed my ipod remote replaced. It has a shaky contact.”

EXACT SAME THING happened to me.

I called Apple, and I had a new remote on my doorstep in 19 HOURS.  WOW.

^^^^  Has happened to me twice.  I’ve gotten the same service both times.

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 6:26 AM (CST)

1

i have more of a question—can you buy the extended warrenty on your iPod if you are still within your 1 year warrenty?

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 8:51 AM (CST)

1

Had to send my first 3G 20gig back because HDD just died.  It went there and back in just a little over a week.  So overall a good experience.  Only negatives were:
Apples website for getting support sucks
Apples website for tracking support sucks worse
There is no feedback about status of support
Still got a new one back and am happy once again.

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 9:10 AM (CST)

1

I’ve never posted here before however I’m a constant reader of these forums. My apple support experience is unique from all of these others in that it did not deal with an Apple iPod but a Graphite iMac DV (450 Mhz G3 processor?). This computer was my mom’s new iMac that I’d pushed on her telling her how much better Macs were than PCs. After she bought it she got it opened it up and set it up… it worked great for about a week until files started disappearing and the computer just decided to stop booting sometimes. We called Apple and asked what was wrong and they lead us through several steps including hard drive replacement, motherboard replacement, OS Reinstall, OS Fresh Install and nothing fixed the problem. Finally my mom got so tired of dealing with them she started screaming to the sales associates that she just wanted her money back. They wouldn’t listen so we threatened to go to small claims court. My mom tried one more thing. She opened up Sherlock and typed in “Steve Jobs e-mail address” and out of the random results picked a few and e-mailed them. The NEXT day my mom got a call from Steve Job’s executive secretary asking about the problem and promising a full replacement. About a week later we had a brand new Indigo iMac (550 Mhz w/ CD-R (vs. the DVD-ROM in the iMac DV)) < it took about 3 months to get here. I was quite happy to get this but it made my mom a bit weiry of Apple products. When OS X came out I immediately upgraded her using the free OS for Teachers program (she’s a librarian for the public schools) and ever since the replacement of the iMac things have gone great. Its been about 5 years since the initial purchase and the only work since it was replaced that I’ve done to it has been the software updates and an upgrade to the RAM. My mom loves macs now and is thinking of buying my older brother in New York (I’m in Alabama) an Apple Powerbook for his birthday. Apple Support is always nice and always tries but sometimes you have to try going beyond them if things get bad (e-mailing the CEO/ threatening to take to small claims court). I

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 10:27 AM (CST)

1

When I got the dreaded “folder with exclamation mark” logo on my iPod screen, that would not go away no matter what I tried, I logged onto the Apple service website and set up a repair job (my iPod was still under warrenty).  In a couple of days I received a return box, and pre-paid shipping label.  I sent my iPod back to apple and it was returned within a week.

Altogether it was a painless experience (apart from being separated from my iPod)

In contrast to Abahd’s experience (above), I found the Apple website informative.

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 11:13 AM (CST)

1

can someone explain why there is a 90 day and a 1year warranty? i thought there were only the 1 year warranty and then you could extend that to 2 years…

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 1:18 PM (CST)

1

My iPod got the ‘folder & exclamation point’ that would not go away. I when to Apple’s website and put in a request for repair.  When my request finally went through (it took several tries before it did) I received a package with instructions about 2 days later.  I mailed the iPod back on a Thursday and received my new 30 gig iPod on Tuesday of that next week.  I was still in warranty.  My experience with their support service has been a good one even with trying to order and getting an error message but my credit card ends up being charged for an Apple purchase that wasn’t.  E-mailing support has been a good experience for me with my problem being resolved quickly and friendly.

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 1:27 PM (CST)

1

I had a faulty 3G iPod remote.  I went to the Apple Store in SoHo, told a worker there that it wasn’t working properly.  He promptly took it from my hand and 5 min. later presented me with a new remote.  He never asked for a receipt, my serial number or even my name.  Wham, Bam, thank you Apple!

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 2:36 PM (CST)

1

“can someone explain why there is a 90 day and a 1year warranty? i thought there were only the 1 year warranty and then you could extend that to 2 years…”

90 days phone support 1 year parts.

apple care extends both to 2 years.

http://www.apple.com/support/products/applecareipod.html

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 3:33 PM (CST)

1

My son’s 2nd generation 20GB iPod’s screen was acting up, showing lines and artifacts.  He showed it to me on last Christmas Eve, which happened to be the last day of his 1 year warranty.  We were going to the Apple Store in Mall of America over the holidays so I planned on taking it in then.  But I knew the warranty would then be over, so at 11:30 PM (just minutes before his warranty would expire) I bought the extended warranty for $59 online.  When we got to the Apple store a few days later, they verified the extended warranty and handed over a brand new 20GB iPod.  Both my son and I were very pleased.

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 4:01 PM (CST)

1

The plastic insulation at the base of my Ipod earphone connector had come off, leaving the wiring inside exposed. I took it to the Apple store in Soho (NYC) and showed it to one salesman. He pointed to the cord, which was (loosely) wrapped around the Ipod, and said, We can’t replace it, the way you’re wrapping it has put “stress” on the earphone line. This was absurd, so I promptly unwrapped it and showed the Ipod to another salesguy. He gave me a slip of paper with the URL of the Ipod service site on it. I went to the site, filled out the form—they didn’t ask me to send in the connector, just input my serial number—and within a couple days I received a new set of earphones. (Well, the first half, anyway, up through the remote control.) So, other than the first bonehead at the Apple store, no complaints at all. (Though that guy was ridiculous…)

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 5:46 PM (CST)

1

My 1 Gen iPod was a month from the end of the warranty period when I got the dreaded file/exclamation point.  It also wouldn’t hold a charge.  I got on line explained the problem and received an email saying a box was coming to return it.  7 days later I received a replacement.  This happened about 8 months ago.  iPod still going strong.  Apple did not charge me anything.

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 5:53 PM (CST)

1

My 15 Gb 3gen iPod’s HDD went dead. I went on apples web site and had them send a repair box. I sent it unwillingly.. @ days later I got a box back and it was a new one.. No questions asked…  THANKS APPLE !!!!

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 8:05 PM (CST)

1

the firewire connector on my firewire cable detached from the white plastic protector that goes over the metal connection.  It still works, but it looks like crap (i like my things nice and neat…especialy those things i pay $430.00 for!).  i called the apple support line, and they said it would cost $30.00 for a new one.  i told them i wanted mine replaced, and they gave me a site to go to.  once i got there, not only did it not clearly lead me to where i wanted to go, but it told me replacing MY cable would cost $69.00.  this confused me quite a bit…$30 for a new, or $69 to glue the connector back on?  so i said screw it…now whenever i unplug firwire from the AC into the 6 to 4 pin adapter, the plastic overlay falls off and slides down the cable…sigh :(

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 10:38 PM (CST)

1

Consumer Reports did a large-scale survey, and among PC Makers, Apple is top in EVERY category for both support AND hardware reliability. (One of the categories was indeed the speed/ease of their phone support.)

http://forums.maccentral.com/wwwthreads/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=general&Number=618987

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 12, 2004 at 11:01 PM (CST)

1

I’ve had nothing but -GREAT- experiences with Apple’s Warrenty Support. I’m currently on my 3rd iPod. the first had battery problems (big surprise there :P ). And the second had some pretty serious hard drive problems, random reboots, skipping songs, etc.

Both times, I used Apple’s online form to request service, and literally within ONE week, apple had sent me a box to return my iPod in, ordered a replacent iPod, and sent it back to me. For less than 7 days I was iPodless, and it was a cross-country delivery (I live in NY). No fuss, just simple and fast service.

I am -very- pleased.

(I just wish I could get an iPod that worked, the battery on this one isn’t looking so hot :P )

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 13, 2004 at 4:30 AM (CST)

1

I had a 30GB ipod battery die on me and I called Apple Care and spoke to a Very nice service tech. I was on hold for no more than five minutes and he came back and told me that he was sending me out a BRAND NEW 40GB. I received the unit that weekend. Their ipod support is great.

Posted by Dennis Lloyd in Irvine, CA on March 13, 2004 at 7:10 AM (CST)

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