The Apple Genius Bar: Doing the Right Thing

I wanted to share a recent experience I had with Rogers, Apple, and the Genius Bar. Recently, I had some issues with the touch screen on my iPhone 4S. I started to notice the far left side of the screen was not responding to touch controls. I noticed it mostly in games, and thought it might have something to do with some faulty code in the game or something. Then it got worse. The whole first row of apps and folders on each screen could not be opened, because the screen was simple not responding. If I was lucky, I could find them in the switcher, and open them from there, but most times I would have to open them from Spotlight. It was also quite frustrating trying to type any word containing letters on the left side of the keyboard, if I couldn’t use an app in landscape.

After looking online to see if this was a common problem, (it’s not really), I found a few suggestions to try and fix this. The usual, ‘Reboot the device’ and ‘Restore the firmware’ suggestions were there, but I figured this was a hardware issue. I read that it may be caused by a loose connection inside. Well, the back is easy enough to remove, so I opened it up, but there was nothing obviously loose. I didn’t want to poke around in there too much, so I just closed it back up.

I had purchased my iPhone 4S in October of last year, so I knew my warranty was still good. I got it on contract from Rogers, so I went back there to ask them what they could do. Well, it turns out the Rogers will not do warranty work or equipment replacements at their retail locations. You have to get the Rogers rep to send away your phone, and Rogers mails you a new one. How long is that gonna take?! Is there a “loaner” phone, while I would be waiting for my new iPhone? The Rogers rep was really up front with me in saying, I would probably be better off going to the Apple Store myself, as they would just swap it for me. Great advice, except there is no Apple Store where I live, in Victoria, BC. Ugh.

So, 2 days later, I’ve got some time to do some traveling. From my place, to the ferry, to a bus, to a Skytrain, and then walk to Richmond Centre, and find the Apple Store in the mall, it took about 4 hours. I get an appointment right away with someone at the Genius Bar, while giving a quick explanation of what was wrong with my iPhone. The guy booking the appointment did a quick test to confirm the issue (also checking for water damage, which is NOT covered by the warranty). The Genius Bar guy did some quick tests, then took the device out back. Said he’d be right back. 10 minutes later he comes back and asks if I have a recent backup saved. Of course I do. I back up a couple of times a day. 🙂 He says, “We are going to exchange it for you then.”. Those were the nine words I wanted to hear!! He already had the new phone in his hand. He swapped the SIM card for me, and got me to Erase and Reset my old iPhone. I signed the screen on his modified iPod Touch with my finger, and I was done. I walked in there at about noon, and was out before 12:30pm with a new white 64GB iPhone 4S. Superb customer service.

A quick foot note to my story: My old iPhone had some previous software issues, which made me need to restore the firmware. I was jailbroken on iOS 5.0.1, and had to restore to iOS 5.1, losing my jailbreak. The new iPhone 4S I just got from the Genius Bar was still on iOS 5.0.1, so I was able jailbreak and get all my favourite Cydia apps and tweaks back. Happy ending! 🙂

Feel free to share your Rogers or Apple experiences in the comments below, good or bad.