How to Maximize your iPhone 3G One Year Warranty

July 11th, 2008–what does this date represent to you? Obviously it was the happiest day of your entire life (forget the wedding day, graduation, Driver’s License pass, citizenship, first job, first son/daughter, birthday, first shower/bath, anniversary, etc.–the iPhone 3G usurps all of that) 227 days ago, the iPhone 3G was finally available in stores across Rogers and Fido locations in Canada. Sure, the wait was painful and just downright excruciating for some, but in the end most would say it was worth it.

As the one year anniversary of the iPhone’s launch in Canada comes closer, it also brings forward another very important point: your iPhone 3G’s one year warranty will soon expire. For most, their iPhones are in excellent condition. For others, they can only imagine such a perfect scenario.

My Own Battles with the iPhone 3G

Personally, I had my battles with the iPhone 3G’s dismal battery life (have you read how to increase your iPhone 3G’s battery life?) in the beginning, but that was soon solved. My “refurb” replacement unit from Rogers arrived with a scuff on the back of the iPhone! Sure, did this warrant another call to Rogers to request a replacement? Well, I would assume so since most of us are committing well over $3000 over 3 years to enjoy the iPhone 3G.

We heard about iPhone 3G units developing random cracks in the plastic, which Apple quietly replaced in stores. Well, just yesterday I ended up with another problem with my iPhone. I dropped my iPhone accidentally and luckily the small drop did not result in any physical damage.

However, this bump caused a small amount of dust and debris to somehow dislodge from within the iPhone and show up underneath my touchscreen. The dust was clearly visible with the screen off. My worry with this was if the dust is there now, just how much more would accumulate?

Two Options for Dealing with Getting a Replacement iPhone

After doing some research online about others experiencing similar issues from bumping their iPhones, I realized this would be a legitimate concern that would fall under the iPhone’s warranty. In a nutshell, iPhone users in Canada have two options:

1. Call Rogers/Fido and ask for a replacement. Can be tedious if you run into CSRs that do not care about you or your stinkin’ iPhone.
2. Visit your nearest Apple Store and book an appointment with a Genius. Apple can make miracles happen in store.

So I called up Rogers today and took my chances, yet again. I explained my situation and how I was worried more dust would accumulate over time, past my warranty period and I would be out of luck. I didn’t have to put up a fight and surprisingly my CSR immediately issued a replacement to be shipped out!

The phone call was over in less than 10 minutes after it was all said and done. I was blown away at what just happened. Normally people get forwarded back and forth for hours on end when dealing with Rogers (we’ve all experienced it at one point or another!). I consider myself lucky!

So What About Visiting an Apple Store?

Apple Stores have iPhones in stock in the back that they can bring out and replace your damaged/defective iPhone on the spot. Obviously you must have a legitimate case for getting a new unit. Other people have been returning their iPhones successfully due to dust in Vancouver as well. If you are going to visit the store, I would suggest booking an appointment online with a Genius before you go.

Tips for Increasing your Chances of Getting a Replacement iPhone

Some users out there have had some bad luck trying to get replacement units on their defective iPhone 3G units. Here are some pointers that might work for you…

– Be calm, courteous and respectful (that means no swearing for you potty mouths out there). These CSRs are human beings after all. Don’t be a first class douche-bag and demand anything. Douch-bags end up getting their plans jacked up secretly after they disconnect.
– Ask questions for clarification, and also try using empathy to get your point across.
– Sometimes, utilizing the weak, uneducated role can play to your advantage as some CSRs just love to talk and explain everything. By doing so you empower them and they will feel positive that they are helping you through your difficult situation.
– Take the following dialogue you could try for example (this worked for me when the Rogers CSR did not seem inclined to take my previous battery issue seriously):

“I’m not asking for much, I just want to have an iPhone 3G that works. I’ve committed to a 3 year contract and I’m paying almost $100/month for a phone with Rogers/Fido. That works out to over $3000 after three years–a huge investment. I could put that money towards my mortgage/kids/retirement/life savings/groceries/rent but I have decided to give my business to Rogers. I’ve been a loyal customer for X years. Is it too much to ask that I just want a working iPhone as I’m not even 1 year into my contract? Am I being unfair or unreasonable? I’m just frustrated, as I’ve been forwarded back and forth and nobody seems to care about resolving my problem. Can you help me? Please? I don’t know what else I can do and I’m begging you to assist me. I have been losing sleep over this iPhone. What would you do and how would you feel in my situation?”

YMMV – Your Mileage May Vary

Use these ideas above at your own risk of course! The fact of the matter remains that if you have an iPhone 3G that has a cracked casing, dust under the screen, constant errors, sleep/wake/volume buttons are recessed, earpiece/mic issues, SIM card errors, etc., there is still hope.

Call Rogers or visit the Apple Store and see what they can do for you. Remember, ask and ye shall receive. In this case, not asking at all is quite possibly the worst thing you can do. Don’t forget that honesty also works too and will go a long way.

Have you received a replacement iPhone 3G before? From Rogers or the Apple Store? For what issue? I’d love to hear about what others have encountered as well.