Changes coming to AppleCare coverage

Mike Campbell, AppleInsider:

In a town hall session held on Thursday, Apple informed tech staff that major changes to the AppleCare and AppleCare+ service programs will be enacted starting this fall, with a broadening of current policies likely to cut costs and make the service more attractive to consumers.

The bit about how they’ll be handling iOS device repairs worries me. As it stands now, if your iPhone or iPad doesn’t work right, they’ll swap it for a new or refurbished unit on the spot, but this suggests they’ll repair it instead. I’m not sure many customers will be happy waiting to get their iPhone fixed instead of just swapped out, especially if it introduces a wait of several days, as having your Mac fixed customarily does.



  • Eric Johnson

    Hey Jim… I agree although I question just how much opportunity there is to “repair” iOS devices. They’re not really designed to be very field serviceable as far as I can tell.

    • lucascott

      Sure they are, with the right tools and training. Both of which in store techs have.

    • http://twitter.com/gorskiegangsta Agarun Ilyaguyev

      I’m pretty sure it was Peter who posted this ;)

  • http://twitter.com/DumaStudetto Duma Studetto

    It sounds like John Browett was re-hired.

  • Gonji

    Apple has done a good job keeping the accountants out over the years; let’s hope it continues. Once the accountants get in and start being mesmerised by the self importance of their Excel sheets and then speading their message, it’s curtains for the poor customer. Nothing’s more important than a set of beautifully presented numbers.

    • lucascott

      It’s less about accountants and more about resellers and OCD nuts freaking wanting perfect devices to resell. If you come in saying your speaker doesn’t work well to get a pretty phone to sell now you get a new speaker. So when I come in 20 minutes later with a water logged phone that can only be swapped that last unit is there for me

  • http://tewha.net/ Steven Fisher

    There’s an updated added that explains the new policy: It’s for out of warranty devices.

    “Update: In a follow-up correspondence, the person briefed on Apple’s upcoming changes pointed out that in-store repairs would also be a plus for those customers whose products are no longer under warranty. Instead of paying a universal “swap out” fee, out of warranty hardware issues will be fixed on a per device basis. Apple has reportedly deployed advanced in-store repairs at select locations, with customer response being largely positive. “

    • lucascott

      Nope. It’s for all devices. I carry in devices for work. Been in about a dozen times in the last couple of months. Three bad speakers, bad camera. All in warranty. All part replaced.

      No issues with any of them

      • http://tewha.net/ Steven Fisher

        Fixed on the spot, or delayed?

        If they’re fixed on the spot it wouldn’t bother me. If it takes a few days… that’s more of a problem. But, honestly, still not bad.

        • lucascott

          Walked out within the hour.

          • http://tewha.net/ Steven Fisher

            I’d prefer that to a swap. I’d back up my data anyway, of course, but a restore takes much more of my effort than me getting a coffee while they work. :)

  • Ben

    They will only repair an iPhone if it takes less than 30 minutes to be fixed. They won’t keep the phone for several days, and if they miss any part they might need, they’ll just swap the unit.

    There’s no con here, as repairs will be much cheaper than swaps when possible.

    • matthewmaurice

      Agreed. I just had the back glass repair on my iPhone 4 complete before I could get a latte at the Starbucks across the street.

  • http://www.johncblandii.com John C. Bland II

    Apple Care is head and shoulders above the competition so even if it gets slightly worse it’ll still be better than any other company in the same industry.

    • http://twitter.com/DumaStudetto Duma Studetto

      Not really. Computer and laptop repairs can still take a week and sometimes longer with AppleCare. It took them 8 business days to replace a hard drive in my iMac back in March. Insane. Competitors can do on-site repairs in less than 24 hours.

  • lucascott

    They have been doing repairs for a while. Takes about 30 minutes. Better for cx cause they don’t have to rebuild content, don’t have to fuss with calling carriers to transfer service. And no lopping back cause the replacement has an issue with another part that was fine on your old one.

  • lucascott

    Make note that this is allegedly by an unnamed employee. Who knows how much if any of it is legit.

    And it is all within terms that have been around for ages.

  • dr.no

    Blame the Chinese and all the counterfeiters trying to game the system. Now everyone pays.

    This is also expected for cheaper iphone.

    • lucascott

      That’s more the reason why it takes 20 minutes of inspections and testing for phones that don’t power on, not charge and a few other issues. To make sure the phone is legit

    • The Mandarin

      Blame the Chinese for complaining about receiving a used replacement for a defective product.

      • lucascott

        Other way around. They were getting repairs and heard everywhere else was getting swaps. Although that was not necessarily true. And at least in the US right to repair has been in the terms since day one

  • http://geekfun.com/ Erik S.

    Perhaps they’ve added clarification since you posted your link, but it seemed clear to me that while fewer people may be having their whole device swapped-out, most repairs are going to be handled on-site and in short order.

  • Dennis Madrid

    As long as they keep the service times to something short like 30 minutes, or even an hour, repair is better than replacement. When a device is replaced the owner has to go through the whole restore/download process, since its a new device. Given the choice between a “new” (refurbished) replacement or a repair, most customers would take the latter to avoid the inconvenience of setting up a new device, downloading apps, music, etc. all over again.

  • bradproctor

    While swaps are fast and efficient for those who have and understand how iCloud backup and iTunes sync works, unfortunately most customers have no idea. Apple will allow you to stay in the store while the recovery finishes which depending on size of backup can take quite a while. This creates an abundance of people hanging around the Genius Bar waiting for a restore to finish – I know I watched many customers just stand around waiting, anxiously. It doesn’t help Apple makes customers reset device before the replacement. Backups fail meaning recoveries fail which then puts the customer and Apple in a very bad position. Repair reduces this issue and while it may take longer it creates happier customers.