Apple Replaced My 43 Day Out of Warranty iPhone for Free

I read an unfortunate story the other day. A good friend of mine mentioned she was having some problems with her new Android phone. The sad part about this is that neither her wireless carrier or Samsung could be bothered to send her home with a new replacement.

To give you a bit of backstory, a couple months ago she asked (on Facebook) about a good Android phone to get. Of course I chimed in and recommended an iPhone, but this isn’t because I believe Android isn’t a good choice for some people — it’s because I believe it was the right choice for her needs. I was blown away when I heard back from her, because she explained her rationale for not caring about my suggestion was because I was “biased” and not a trust worthy source. Perhaps this is the case, but I gave an honest suggestion — not from an iPhone user who doesn’t know about the alternative platform — but because I’ve used Android phones before (several I might add).

So flash forward to this week, and now my friend is stuck between a rock and a hard place. There’s no Samsung store she can walk into, talk to a technician and within fifteen minutes walk out with a brand new replacement. You can forget about her carrier being of any help, because they are absolved of all responsibility the moment she signed a contract. Her only recourse now is to RMA the phone with Samsung, and wait weeks until they can replace it — thus leaving her without any phone.

This is a really shitty position to be in, and I feel really bad for her. I haven’t talked to her about this yet, and I don’t plan to. She made her decision, but damn does it ever make me thankful for Apple and their wonderful customer service.

You see, with Apple, taking care of their customers is a massive priority. The buck doesn’t stop the moment you walk out of the store with a new piece of hardware. There is plenty of after-sales support as well as quick and painless in-store warranty replacement — providing the parts are available.

Last week, I ran into my own predicament with my iPhone 4. It had been exactly forty-three days post warranty, and I instantly regretted not buying Apple Care. The issue was my iPhone flat out refused to charge. I had tried different USB cables as well as cleaning the grease and lint build-up inside the connector. None of this worked. I made the trek to my local Apple store, and the Genius bar guy mentioned it would normally be $170 for the replacement. Although I was far outside the warranty period, they took pity on me and replaced my phone at no charge.

So I walked out of the Apple store that day with a brand new iPhone and continued my day as per usual — taking calls, sending SMS, emails and generally being productive. Apple was in no way obligated to offer me a replacement phone for free. I did not expect any such special treatment, but I’m grateful for it. I can’t think of any other company that would do such a thing for their customers.

For what it’s worth, maybe this will make you give pause prior to your next smartphone purchase.