According to an AppleInsider report, Apple has made it clear that Apple Watch repairs should not be sent in with protective cases or bands since these “extra items” will not be returned to the user when they send back the watch. Citing anonymous sources, the report says that Apple has explicitly asked the users to “please remove them.”
Previously, Apple’s approach was to bundle together any items received alongside an Apple Watch and return them when sent back. While the bands would not be re-attached, they were sent back to the user with the repaired watch.
But now, Apple has updated its policies on how to “Get Your Apple Watch Ready for Service” and has detailed what happens in its revised support document.
“Your Apple Watch band and any other accessories that you send won’t be returned so please remove them before sending your Apple Watch in for service.
If you have a Link Bracelet band, remember to separate the links before you remove the band.”
It must be noted that the updated instructions are specifically about mailing an Apple Watch in for repair yourself.