iPhone Flames Up While Charging, Sparks Fly Between Owners and Apple Canada

Apple has won the ninth J.D. Power and Associates award for customer satisfaction, but in some cases even Apple fans seem unsatisfied with how the company treats them. Here is a story of unsatisfied Canadian iPhone owners who contacted us to share their case.

Smoking iPhone owners
Lisa Tschirner and her husband Tim have more roughly 10 Apple products in their home, but on January 8th, Lisa’s iPhone 4 caught fire as it was charging in the kitchen, and ended up fried. Although it did surprisingly work afterwards, it wouldn’t charge anymore.

After contacting the Apple Store in Oakridge Centre the next day, Tschirner was surprised to find that Apple representatives offered a replacement iPhone 4 at a cost of $169, plus tax. After such a catastrophic failure, he expected them to take the phone back to have it thoroughly checked out by a technician alongside a free replacement phone and an apology.

Seeing things weren’t going to go as planned, they emailed Tim Cook. In just about an hour, Tim received a phone call from the Apple Executive Relations team, and with the help of the Technician Support and some photos Tschirner sent in, Apple has found:

1. There are indications of corrosion on the dock connector.
2. They think the corrosion was caused by a contaminant.
3. The contaminant caused a short between a few pins on the dock connector.
4. The short of the pins caused heat build-up.

As they couldn’t agree in full with Apple’s position, the Tschirners contacted the consumer reporter Lynda Steele of CTV News, which has tried to contact Apple eight times for reaction, but the reply was “Apple declines to comment”. They also reached out to us with the details.

Finally Apple asked the troubled iPhone owners to send the device and charging cable in for a proper diagnosis, but the Tschirners are still waiting for the company to detail how to return the device and cable.

The Canadian case isn’t an isolated one: There are a few stories about smoking, burning or exploding iPhone 4 models. But in this case, the happy ending is still missing. Have you encountered any issues with Apple’s customer service? Or flaming iphones?

Technology enthusiast, rocker, biker and writer of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter or contact me via email: istvan@iphoneincanada.ca

  • iFone

    iPhone 4? Well, that’s out of warranty, I assume. Also, name another company that allows to replace your phone for such a ‘low’ rate. In addition, name another company that when you write an email to the president they follow up.
    Sick of people who wants everything for free. Also, why Linda doesn’t study their behaviour on how they treat their phones? So much bullshit these days on TV just trying to sell airtime too

  • paulokegles

    because when I buy a product I worry about my behavior, not. I want something robust and safe that I know for sure that when it’s plug in, my house won’t catch on fire, it’s simple as that

  • ShouldhaveboughtaDROID

    Can’t believe that people really tie their ego to the consumer products that sit in their pockets, we’ll that’s out of warranty? Phones, in or out of warranty, shouldn’t catch fire. And when is the last time you sent an email to a Ceo? He didn’t reply, his receptionist forwarded it to the appropriate channel, as would any CEOs receptionist would. Silly fanboys.

  • iFone

    Then don’t buy electronics. You will always have that risk, that’s why you pay home insurance (I hope you do).

  • paulokegles

    home insurance won’t save my kid from the fire

  • paulokegles

    agreed

  • iFone

    That’s implied you silly. Let me dumb it down for you then. When do you have the secretary of the CEO, redirect the request of a customer to the appropriate channels so they can deal with the complaint and act about it? No ego involved either. Just think that if something it’s out of warranty, the contract the company has with you over the product or service it’s over. Grow up and live in the real world!

  • paulokegles

    on a second note I won’t have that risk as I don’t own any Apple products anymore

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    Hahahahaha what a loser!
    Obviously she’s looking for the quick way out to replace her damaged iPhone. That’s what happens when you treat your phone like garbage. It looks like Apple can see the issue is caused by the consumer and I hope they just ignore this woman! This is like legalized fraud!
    People complain like this because they have a channel through Apple to complain. If your toaster has a similar problem, most people say nothing because there is no proper channel to complain through!
    Suck it up and take better care of your stuff!

  • iFone

    Like I said, then don’t have electronics in your house. Simple

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    But when you leave your iPhone outside/in the water/whatever else this women did, it’s no longer the phones problem; it’s the user!

  • paulokegles

    That’s the same as saying, the air we are breathing is polluted therefore is making me sick. then someone telling me not to breath anymore… you have no argument

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    hahaha
    +1

  • iFone

    No, for that new analogy my answer would be move out of that city to rural areas where air pollutants are known to be much less. See, I do have an argument

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    Holy hell! People, please watch the video before you comment! Hahahahaha this woman is useless! It’s CLEARLY corroded and she’s not even using the right dock connector that came with the phone! Ussseeeeelllleeesssss!! Listening and looking at her hurts my eyes.

  • paulokegles

    I agree, and that’s my point if a apparatus catches on fire I will buy something more reliable and not, not have any electronics that’s extremely unrealistic, I’m glad you agree with me…

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    User “iFone” = my hero

  • paulokegles

    and no, you still have no argument, you just proved my analogy to be found.

  • iFone

    No, my argument still holds. You have no way to determine that a non-Apple product will never catch on fire. If you want to remove that risk, you will have to stop buying consumer electronics because that risk will always be there. Period.

  • iFone

    Exactly! You can’t fix stupid.
    Finally someone sees what I am saying. You ARE my hero!

  • Jon

    Wrong. If the phone catches fire, regardless of warranty, the company is responsible for it. It isn’t responsible for USER abuse, but self-combustion is an entirely different, legal, issue.

  • paulokegles

    I never said only Apple products catch on fire, or that non Apple products are better I just analyze the facts that are presented to me and use the statistics to come to the assumption that the iPhone 4 catches on fire more often that non iPhone 4s

  • paulokegles

    I don’t own the truth, but I am entitled to my opinion as you are too yours thou logically you still have no argument lol

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    It didn’t combust. The user did something to corrode her phone and that caused the problem.
    If you pour gasoline all over your car and toss a match, I guess you email the manufacturer for a new car? LOL

  • http://twitter.com/shameermulji Shameer Mulji

    don’t have kids. /s

  • paulokegles

    too late my friend, what is done can’t be undone

  • paulokegles

    have to give it to you, she’s comically stupid…

  • iFone

    Well, you said in another comment that you are safe from that because you don’t own Apple products. Just stating the truth here

  • iFone

    You make no sense. I will stop my argument with you since you proved to be unintelligent, for lack of a better word

  • paulokegles

    I wouldn’t say unintelligent, eccentric genius maybe, keep your mind open and you may be able to get trough that superficial life of yours…

  • iFone

    I beg to differ. Buy him an iPhone 4

  • WatDaPhuck

    People these days are trying to use the media to their advantage waaaaay too much, but in the end, all it really reveal is their own stupidity. After reading the comments and watching the video, I can’t believe some people still think this is Apple’s problem. Haters gonna hate.

  • http://www.iphoneincanada.ca/ Ex

    Amen

  • Ax

    Yeah toaster analogy works, silly sheep. Keep buying inferior apple products at premium prices. No ego tied to it yet you keep rebutting with the intellect of a house plant.

  • ward09

    LOL, I have that same 8 year old charger. I like to use it because it is a bit longer than the newer ones, but I think I’m going to phase it out. Maybe I’ll send it to her to use with her replacement model.

  • Tim

    Two of my iphones have been replaced on warranty, the 3G and iPhone 4. Each time it wasn’t much of an issue to get them replaced, but in both experiences the “Geniuses” did act somewhat condescending, while trying to make me feel like they were doing me a special favor. In the case of the 3G, the back of the casing cracked around the dock connector (a widely reported issue on the internet), and on the iPhone 4 calls kept cutting out and dropping 90% of the time and the rep was able to duplicate the problem on my phone in the store. Both were in warranty. In the case of the iphone 4, my camera lens ended up getting scratched bad enough that there was a spot on all my photos, so I was kinda happy that it kicked the bucket :)