The case of the faulty iPhone

Earlier this year, a friend a mine bought a brand new iPhone 5. He was an avid Apple fan. He bought 2 iphones before, an iPod Touch and a MacBook Air. He was a happy and satisfied Apple products user until some time last month when his iphone's screen started turning greenish-purple. Since it's still 5 months under warranty, he sent it to the authorized Apple Service Provider here in KL. To his dismay the wouldn't fix the iphone because according to the the fault was "accidental damage". Meaning somehow the owner was responsible of causing the damage to the phone whether by accidentally dropping it or knocking it or whatever.

Not satisfied with their answer, my friend called up Apple directly at their number and explained his predicament. Well actually I did all the talking cause their customer service rep was an Aussie guy with a thick Australian accent. The conversation didn't go really well because half the time he didn't get what I was talking about. I don't know whether it's the noisy background or I talked much too softly. The gist of our conversation was that he stuck to the official report from the service center saying that it was "accidental damage". He told me to try to accept the fact that I somehow had damaged the phone myself based on the diagnostic from service center. In the end I asked for his email address so I can write to him directly and explain in details which I did and the email goes like this:

Dear Mr Ben,

Following our phone conversation earlier this evening, I'm writing this email to further present my case in detail.

I bought my iPhone 5 earlier this year and I've been a very satisfied user up until a month earlier. A purple hue started appearing on the screen of my phone and it got worse as time goes by. So I sent it for repair at an Apple Authorised Service Provider (Machines KL) since it's still under warranty. Imagine my disappointment when the result of the diagnostic was 'accidental damage'. I took really good care of my phone and as far I can remember, never exposed it to water or liquid save for my little sweaty palm from time to time (being human I suppose we all can't avoid that). I use my phone everyday and I don't recall abusing it or accidentally causing serious physical damage to it (whether you believe it or not).

The service engineer claimed that a small gap inside the screen had caused the liquid corrosion inside the phone which caused the the fault to the screen. What I would like to contest here is if I had deliberately damaged the phone why can't I find any scratch or dent outside the phone? Surely if I had knocked the phone on something hard, there'd be some sort of visible physical proof right? But no, my phone is spotless on the outside. Hardly a scratch on it.

I would love to admit that I had physically damaged the phone if I had actually done it but the thing is I can't since I didn't do it (believe it or not). Here you can see the gap on the external of the phone where I managed to insert a piece of paper into it. Could it be possible that my iphone is actually defective from the start to begin with?

You see, I consider myself a avid and loyal Apple user. I've bought an iPhone 3GS and an iPhone 4S before and they worked flawlessly for years, sweaty palm and all. But my iPhone 5, turns purple 5 months before the warranty expires. Today I'm beginning to think that I'm not very lucky with Apple products. My MacBook Air (s/n: REDACTED) has a bloated battery one week after the warranty expires and as much as I plead to the Apple Service Provider to consider my case they wouldn't have any of it. Furthermore I rarely use my MacBook Air and kept it stored much of the time so I couldn't possibly 'accidentally damaged' the battery as well. That said, I accepted the fact the MacBook is already out of warranty so I forked out my own money to have it repaired.

My iPhone however is still under warranty so you would understand my dismay when I can't get it fixed at the service center today. Yes I understand you probably get cases like this all the time and you can't possibly entertain all of them in good faith but I'm hoping that you would take my case into consideration as an exception. My friends and family call me the unofficial Apple evangelist since I have nothing but good things to say and promote about Apple to all of them. If I don't get a positive outcome the case of my faulty phone I'm afraid I would lose all hope on Apple and it's product in the future, once bitten twice shy? Yes, losing one customer wouldn't probably matter too much to you but it really matters to me. I've always find Apple products to be genuinely beautiful, reliable and a great investment for me. After this I'm not sure any-more.

Apologies if you find this email too lengthy or boring. Again I'd be grateful if you could take my case into your kind consideration. Look forward to hear from you soon. Thank you.

Kind Regards

Aaron Aziz

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

p.s my mobile number is +601[REDACTED], call me anytime

To be honest I didn't have high hopes even after sending that lengthty email. He did said he can't possibly entertain or give exception to every "accidental damage" case that they encountered. Still it's better to try than paying RM1,000 plus for a replacement phone which should be covered under the warranty in the first place. The day after sending the email, I got a phone call from a Singaporean number. It was from an Apple representative and guess what? They agreed to make an exception to this case and replace my friend's phone absolutely free. So now my friend is a proud owner of a brand new iphone 5 and a really happy and satisfied Apple customer again. All hope and faith on Apple Inc restored. I suppose my long and touching letter did had some effect on somebody at Apple so I'm glad I could help out a friend here.

The moral of the story is, even if all hope seems lost there's no harm trying and trying your very best to overcome a problem or obstacle. Explore and exhaust all avenues before giving up. Second, Apple products are not perfect and some of them do get faulty from time to time just like any other electronics device in the market. Third, I don't know about other manufacturers but at least Apple still have somebody decent and understanding at their Customer Service department. As evident here, they still value their customer's satisfaction over profit. Next time your Apple gadget broke under warranty, you could try this method and email Ben like I did.

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