I’ve been a user of Apple Products since the early 2000’s. I have always felt like I’ve been taken care of at Apple stores when I had a product problem as there was always a reasonable solution. This is one of the main reasons why I’ve stuck with Apple over the past 20 years. I always felt that while Apple products cost a bit more, they also offered a level of service that gave me a piece of mind.
My most recent experience however has put put a wrinkle in that reality.
Long story short, I own an Apple Watch 4. This past March the battery started to deplete quickly and it eventually stopped charging. Basically, my watch recognizes that it’s connected but the screen never goes beyond the icon that shows a small lightning symbol in the top corner with the lightning cord attached it.
I went to the Genius Bar at my local Apple store and they told me that since it doesn’t get past this, they can’t diagnose it and it would cost me $299 to fix. The person at the Genius Bar told me I should just buy a new watch. A bit stunned by the response, I decided to leave the store and text Apple when I had a moment.
Once I got around to texting Apple, the representative on the other side said the same thing as the store rep and that maybe I could be helped by a Senior Advisor.
Once on the phone with a senior advisor, I acknowledged my watch was out of warranty and mentioned I was not asking for a handout. I explained my thinking that paying $299 made little sense when all I want to do is to put a new battery to see if my watch will work. I mentioned that
given an out of warranty battery is $79 on the Apple webpage, I couldn’t understand why Apple wouldn’t just put in a battery for me if I was willing to pay for it. I told the representative that if I pay for new battery and the watch still doesn’t work, then I was just an unlucky consumer who got an Apple Watch that didn’t last, and I would be out $79 for the battery. That’s the chance one takes with technology and I can own that. Giving my experience though, I wouldn’t go out and buy another Apple Watch.
The senior advisor was kind, and understanding, she said her hands were tied because there is not process for this.
It looks like my next step is to go to a third-party and have them put a battery in to see if my watch works. It’s just super disappointing, for me, that this is where Apple is at which is so different than my experiences over the past 20 or so years.