My Terrible Experiences With Apple Repair Centres
I've had to send a few of my Apple products to Apple Repair Centres. Some of the issues were caused by me and some of the issues were caused, and made worse, by Apple. I will be equal and fair in pointing out who caused what issues. This article will be updated in the future, should I have any further problems.
Purchased: December 2018
"Repaired": June 2019
Who's Fault Was It?
Mine and Apple's.
I updated my Apple Watch to beta software before updating my iPhone to beta software. This then caused my iPhone to be unable to communicate with the Apple Watch, even after updating my iPhone to beta software. This essentially resulted in me bricking my Apple Watch and rendering it useless. So I sent it back to Apple.
Once Apple received my Apple Watch, they replaced it with a fully working new one. However, it had two very close-together grooves cut out into the aluminium case of the device. I didn't think this was a big enough issue to contact them about, so I just left it. Could I have sent it back again? Proabably. Did I think it was worth it? No.
This one wasn't an issue with the repair centre itself, rather it was a hardware issue that made it out of production before it was initially shipped to me, but I'm including it regardless.
Purchased: April 2021
Repaired: April 2021
Who's Fault Was It?
I ordered an iPad Air (4th Generation) which I now, quite frankly, don't use very often at all. When it arrived I turned it on and noticed that it kept locking up and boot looping. So I tried the usual iTunes Restore to no avail. I then phoned Apple and they concluded that it is most likely a hardware issue, so I took it to the nearest Apple Store for them to look at it. As soon as the repair employee plugged it into an iMac to run some diagnostics, the iPad began locking up and boot looping again. The diagnostics came back that there was indeed a hardware issue, so they replaced the iPad. All good, however, I'm surprised Apple doesn't check every device before it leaves production.
Purchased: November 2021
"Repaired": July 2022
Who's Fault Was It?
I wanted some new earphones, and since I'm an Apple user I decided to order AirPods Pro as it made the most sense. When they arrived there were fine to start with, and I was actually quite impressed with them and I enjoyed using them. Then I started to notice many issues, including, but not limited to:
Charging - One earbud, or both, wouldn't charge until I cleaned the case out.
Connection - Taking minutes to connect to a device.
Glitches - If I had them connected to my Mac to listen to music, and I was scrolling through Twitter on my iPhone and I clicked on a video to watch it, but not listen to it, the AirPods would assume that I also want to listen to it and so they'd switch to my iPhone, therefore, interrupting my music. Yes, you can disable this feature, but then why buy AirPods if you're just disabling features?
Material - The case would scratch very easily. By "easily" I mean put it down on a desk and you'll all of a sudden see 10 micro-scratches. Yes, I could use a case, but then why buy AirPods if you're just covering them up to prevent them from getting scratched? Apple should stop them from getting easily scratched - not you! This is £239 we're talking about here.
Gimmicks - Spatial Audio was good, but only when you initially enable it and try it. After a few days/weeks, you get used to it and it becomes "normal". The only time you'd notice the difference is if you turned it off again to compare. Pointless gimmick. Not even a "nice to have" in my book.
At this point I'd had enough of the issues and having to disable features I didn't want, therefore lowering the value it had to me (meaning I shouldn't have paid £239 for them), so I decided to send them to Apple to get at least the charging issue fixed.
They swapped out the earbuds and the charging case, however, the new case had some black grooves on it as shown to the right. So I decided that this time, even though it's a small groove, I should send it back. Black on white stands out much more than, say, the groove I had on my Apple Watch.
When I sent the case back, they sent me another case with some tiny black dots on it, but they were so small that I wasn't fussed. Then I sold them and got Beats Studio Buds. They are so much better!
Beats Studio Buds
Purchased: July 2022
"Repaired": April 2023
Who's Fault Was It?
A few months after I got my Beats Studio Buds, I noticed they would occasionally drop out during audio playback on my MacBook only, but not on my iPhone or iPad. I wasn't too sure whether this was caused by macOS or my MacBook itself. I just left it assuming that if it's a macOS issue then Apple will push out a fix for it in a software update. I then bought a Mac mini and noticed the exact same issue with that, so this pretty much answers the question - it's a macOS issue. I phoned Apple just to double-check this, and they told me to send my Beats to their repair centre so they can take a look at it. I didn't think this was the right thing to do, but I did it as it's what they suggested.
After the repair centre "fixed" them and sent them back to me, I found out that all they'd done is replaced the right earbud and left everything else intact (no additional damage for a change!). I was confused as to why they only replaced that one earbud considering it was happening to both, but I thought I'd give them another try with both of my Macs, however, the issue was still occurring. I then phoned Apple again to let them know it was still an issue, and at this point, I remembered that I have about 10 Case IDs and 5 Repair IDs, so it made it difficult to communicate the issue with them and get all of the cases set up correctly.
The reason there were so many Case IDs and Repair IDs is that they kept spelling my home address wrong, resulting in the empty shipping box that they send out going to the wrong address or not arriving in my area at all. Luckily, the one that got delivered to the wrong house did eventually get to me, thanks to the people who lived there, and I was able to send the Beats off to Apple. However, this did worry me that they could've ended up being delivered, with the Beats inside, back to that wrong house resulting in me probably never seeing them again.
While I was on the phone with Apple to let them know the issue was still occurring, they transferred me to a senior advisor who seemed shocked that I'd been told to send them in for repair. He said this is almost certainly a macOS issue, and I told him that I totally agreed. He then connected to my Mac to do some troubleshooting, and at this point, the call cut out and I never got a callback.
At this point I'm getting bored of the tediousness of all of this, so I think I'll leave it here as I don't seem to be getting anywhere. Maybe this will continue? Who knows. I think I'll just manage using my iPhone with my Beats for now. The Mac can do without it.
Apple needs to push out a software update to fix this, as there are a few forum threads online about this issue. It just clearly hasn't been reported enough to Apple for them to care to fix it.
I also seem to have a repair for my Beats dating back to July 2022, and according to the emails I did not send them back at this time. The repair was then closed in September 2022. I have no recollection of this, though it must've happened for it to be in my emails.
While Apple is a great company, you can see we don't like each other very much when it comes to repairing products. I wonder what will happen next. Check back here for updates on the latest "Apple Like To Break Things" news!