The scene: At my desk, my phone is working.
Much of this long summer holiday is being spent rather idly around the house, while my phone provides a crucial communication device between friends when organising things to do. As I sit at my desk my iPhone 4S is usually off to the side ready to be used.
I decide to pick up my phone to look up something, and upon hitting the home button… nothing. I press and hold the sleep/wake button to see if had been turned off somehow, then try and plug it into the charger to see if it will turn on. Next into the computer, look in device manager, into another computer, with another cable, even trying to put it in DFU Mode to restore it.
Out comes my SIM Card in order to put it into my ageing iPhone 3G, leading to a slightly odd situation of having to tape up the micro SIM into a cut piece of a gift card.
The finish I was hoping for (Credit: Gizmodo)
I managed to position the SIM card well enough that it would be read by the phone, although I did manage to get a piece of tape caught inside the phone which is not ideal.
After spending a little while trying to set up crucial services such as email and messaging, I quickly realise that there are basically no apps available which still run on the iPhone 3G. In fact, Google Translate was the only app which did work, but really only because it has not been updated in about 2 years.
Late in the evening, I book an appointment at the ’Genius Bar’ all the way in Covent Garden because the two closer stores did not have any appointments available…
Two days pass and I head into town with my father…
It wasn’t quite this empty… (Credit: Martin Deutsch – Flickr)
On route, I decide to press and hold the power button to see if it would come on as I had multiple times over the previous few days, to find that the phone was now working, although had a low battery. At this point, I thought I had perhaps not left it in the charger long enough, although even on arriving at the store neither the store employees or I could get it to boot even after connecting it to a charger.
The phone was also taken behind the counter to be opened and examined internally, revealing a small amount of water (perhaps that was a rain drop?) had entered through one of the speakers and was unlikely to have caused damage to that extent based on the pattern of the internal marks.
Having established that the phone was in fact faulty, they offered me a refurbished phone at a cost of about £130, which I probably would have accepted. However, the employee suggested that we should use the EU guidelines which I would have considered anyway thanks to Martin Lewis and his website Money Saving Expert which sets out the rules which apply when buying goods and services.
After a little squandering over technicalities to show that the phone was still my father’s (technically :p) we manage to claim for a free replacement phone.
After spending 15 minutes longer in the store because I kept putting my SIM card back into my phone the wrong way up, I returned home. On the way back, I realise that there have been battery issues in the past, which I have mentioned during various trips, so perhaps this was an ongoing problem.
One of the other great things about the ‘new’ phone is that the sleep/wake button works now, meaning that I do not have to apply pressure against a table or my nail just to get it to work.
My previous experience at the Apple Store was far less satisfactory when they misdiagnosed the problem with my old MacBook and revealed that it would cost £400 instead of £80 to fix. This time was far better, although perhaps the only difference that Apple offered was less arguing when trying to claim under Consumer Protection than other companies might.