Exposed: AppleCare Training Document On iPhone 4 Reception Problems

This week, BGR claims to have received a copy of Apple’s internal training documentation for assisting AppleCare staff with handling customer issues regarding the iPhone 4 reception problems.

The document, detailed below, instructs representatives to work with the customer to diagnose the issue but when issues appear when the iPhone 4 is held at the lower left corner or the iPhone 3GS is held at the bottom right side, customers are told to hold the phone differently or use a case.

1. Keep all of the positioning statements in the BN handy – your tone when delivering this information is important.

a. The iPhone 4’s wireless performance is the best we have ever shipped. Our testing shows that iPhone 4’s overall antenna performance is better than iPhone 3GS.

b. Gripping almost any mobile phone in certain places will reduce its reception. This is true of the iPhone 4, the iPhone 3GS, and many other phones we have tested. It is a fact of life in the wireless world.

c. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 3GS, avoid covering the bottom-right side with your hand.

d. If you are experiencing this on your iPhone 4, avoid covering the black strip in the lower-left corner of the metal band.

e. The use of a case or Bumper that is made out of rubber or plastic may improve wireless performance by keeping your hand from directly covering these areas.

2. Do not perform warranty service. Use the positioning above for any customer questions or concerns.

3. Don’t forget YOU STILL NEED to probe and troubleshoot. If a customer calls about their reception while the phone is sitting on a table (not being held) it is not the metal band.

4. ONLY escalate if the issue exists when the phone is not held AND you cannot resolve it.

5. We ARE NOT appeasing customers with free bumpers – DON’T promise a free bumper to customers.

From the document, it would seem that Apple is taking the position that nothing is wrong with the iPhone 4 antenna. Telling customers to hold the iPhone differently or to use a case are not solutions to this signal problem.

The part I like the best is the Apple representatives are told not to promise free bumpers to customers experiencing the reception problem. In other words, expecting customers to pay an additional $29USD to get their already $200+ device (on contract) to work.