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Old 12th August 2009, 20:58   #1
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Default Terrible experience with i-Phone, dealer and service; advice needed

Recently I had some trouble with my iPhone.
While putting back the small tray/slider which holds the sim-card, the tray was accidentally inserted upside down. When I realised this (it had only partially gone inside) , I tried to pull it back. But to my surprise the plastic slider was stuck inside.

I was really surprised that the phone allowed the slider to be inserted (which is very symmetrical expect for a tiny hole on one side) in the wrong way. Even moderately well designed products employ mechanisms to prevent such human induced errors. And when they do, they allow you to recover without much damage. Here you have a product from a renowned manufacturer who is known to design great products, but the product allows such mistake and doesn't let you take corrective action.

I was not sure, if this is is a design flaw or some issue with my piece.

Without trying to pull it with force, I took it to the i-Store in JP Nagar from where I had purchased it. The person in the shop first tried to pull it and when it did not work, he informed me that I need to go to Airtel since they are the service provider. He tried to tell me that it is such a finely designed product and I needed to be careful with inserting the sim in the right way, to which I told him how a well designed products tend to be fool-proof and forgiving (by not allowing 'common' mistakes from taking place and not punishing when they happen)

I went to the Airtel customer care and met the concerned person. It took 3 trips to finally leave the phone with the person who was going to send it to the service center. The person informs me that it takes 7 working days.

When the 7-8 days have gone, I started chasing him. When the phone calls did not work, I went to the center again. He informs me that it is a physical damage and I need to pay Rs. 3500 for the repair.

I got angry, for 2 reasons. Firstly I expected the entire repair to be completed in 7 days. After 7 days all I am hearing is that I need to pay and they are sending the phone back as it is.
Secondly, I couldn't agree that it can be termed as physical damage, because of the reasons mentioned above. The person also tells me that I need to go with him to some location to make a payment to the service guy directly and get receipt. I am really shocked at the kind of arrangement Apple has with Airtel.

I went back to the dealer, who shrugged away and told me that they are just the sales point.

Since I am in need of the phone, I will pay and get it repaired anyway. But I would like to invite suggestions on what could be done potentially.
Going to a consumer court is perhaps an option, I am considering.

Last edited by Guna : 12th August 2009 at 21:01.
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Old 12th August 2009, 21:09   #2
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From whatever has been narrated by you, the case, to the best of my understanding does not qualify for consumer court. Airtel is not the right company to complain for the service lapse in this case. You need to take it up with Apple (in USA if need be). If you are convinced that the slot does not have physical polarity and no clear markings to help insert the part in the correct manner, please take it up with Apple and you will get a refund on service charge.

All the best!
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Old 12th August 2009, 21:19   #3
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Consumer Court for a 3.5k damage? I dont think that Bro. please dont take me otherwise, but company would term it as a Physical Damage as YOU inserted ot wrongly.

Also, there are a number of iPhones in the market and if that is the design flaw, company would have done something to rectify it.

I think you are simply justifying your fault.
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Old 12th August 2009, 21:59   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThE Godfather View Post
Consumer Court for a 3.5k damage? I dont think that Bro. please dont take me otherwise, but company would term it as a Physical Damage as YOU inserted ot wrongly.

Also, there are a number of iPhones in the market and if that is the design flaw, company would have done something to rectify it.

I think you are simply justifying your fault.
Well it is matter of principle here rather then question of 3500 rupees.
Even I would think that there is no design flaw as there would be many such cases reported. It may be an issue with my particular phone.
You may think that I am justifying my fault but I have no problem with that. I myself am invloved in making products more usable and I know what is the best practice in these matters.
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Old 12th August 2009, 21:59   #5
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1) There is no point in going to consumer court. Pure waste of resources.

2) Regarding being pushed around. This reminds me of our system that is based on British system ( I have posted this fact many times ). We were slaves so to an officer we had to say sir. This still continues.

This brings me to my main point. Its as simple as this, people will simply tell you that they are sales point only, they are dealing with only this, only that, etc., but at the end of the day you will not find the appropriate person you need to interact with.

3) Apple displayed arrogance when they launched the iphone with only two service providers. Next time be careful before choosing a phone. Right now many options are available that have better flexibility.

4) Go to that man who told you " its such a greatly designed product that..." and tell him that even a mobo costing Rs. 4K has design such that common human errors can be avoided.

Right now, cool off but only after blasting at each and every person who messed up. Pay the money but before that they need a blast, specially i-store.
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Old 12th August 2009, 22:05   #6
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its common in india for people to make money of such issues.
i remember my nokia n82 getting screwed when i tried to update the software.
the phone got bricked and needed to be flashed. It was under warranty and i went to Nokia authorized service centers around bangalore. I insisted that the phone be repaired under warranty but each service center gave different reasons for warranty being void (one said it was water logged,other said it was a victim of physical damage,some 1 said i tampered with the phone etc etc)
so i asked them to give me a quote on what will be the costs of repairing it.
they said 4-5k !!! i told them give the phone back to me ill take care of it.
i went to a small shop in brigade road bangalore he took the phone and gave it back to me in 4 hrs(cause he had to download the entire OS) and charged me 300 bucks.

i suggest you look for similar shops in your area and you can get it repaired for a fraction of the costs quoted to you.
i suggest try this shop called jauhar telecom in national plaza brigade road.You may not be convinced the first time you see the shop but he will get the job done.

Last edited by vinaydas : 12th August 2009 at 22:06.
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:04   #7
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Default More issues

I got the phone back after 2 weeks and paying Rs. 3500. When I noticed that the phone was yet to be activated and enquired the airtel person, he says it is a new 'piece'
(I am yet to get the receipt as I did not have direct access to the service person and the Airtel person had to mediate.)

Meantime the new phone developed a new problem. It is not getting charged properly and drains off in no time.

When I went back to the Airtel office, they informed me that they are no more servicing iPhones bought through other channels.

I visited the i-Store wich sold me the phone, only to be told that I need to go to Airtel. I explained him what I was told by Airtel and get both of them to talk to each other. They could not come to agreement and the I-Store guy gives me a toll free number asks me to contact them.

When I called the number they repeated the same thing, that I need to approach Airtel.

Again I call the I-Store but they still sing the same tune. After persisting for some time, they have agreed to talk to Airtel and try to sort out the matter of who should be responsible for the service.

When I had gone to iStore, there was a foreign national who had come there to seek some help and apparently he is also facing the same problem with Airtel service. They are not willing to service his phone as it was not bought from them.
Keeping my fingers crossed…

Last edited by Guna : 24th September 2009 at 12:05.
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Old 24th September 2009, 12:12   #8
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If the phone is not charging, no use breaking your head with AIRTEL. Go to the iShop, tell the moron at the counter that it is a issue with the phone. Ask him to take it as a complaint against the phone, its under warranty so he can't say no.

Which iShop is this? Please post the name and the details on here.
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Old 28th September 2009, 21:32   #9
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This is what happens when a company like Apple ties up with RELIANCE. iStore is managed by Reliance and with this company behind your product for service, you are bound to suffer.

maybe, Apple will research a bit before contracting service providers. :(

I had a similar problem with my Macbook Pro with iStore lunatics not providing satisfaction as is expected from Apple. I researched on Apple Website and found Authorised service centres other than iStore and received top class service and prompt resolution. I don't know if same could apply to iPhone though.

Last edited by akhilesh51 : 28th September 2009 at 21:35.
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Old 28th September 2009, 23:30   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire View Post
If the phone is not charging, no use breaking your head with AIRTEL. Go to the iShop, tell the moron at the counter that it is a issue with the phone. Ask him to take it as a complaint against the phone, its under warranty so he can't say no.

Which iShop is this? Please post the name and the details on here.
The iStore is the one in 5th Block Jayanagar (it is called Reliancedigital Retail Limited)
Yes normally you dont go to the service provider for the problem with hardware but that is the kind of arrangement Apple has here.

Latest update is that Airtel person called me and asked me to get the iPhone as in yet another developemnt they have been instructed to service 'SOME' iPhones even if they are not bought at Airtel outlet.

Last edited by Guna : 28th September 2009 at 23:31.
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Old 21st October 2009, 12:29   #11
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I have got the Phone back after 2 weeks of chasing. They have replaced the old phone with yet another brand new piece. I am thinking of selling the phone without activating as it may get better resale. I can't think of running around again if something goes wrong.
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