Faulty iPhone - 2.5 years old - Apple charging £500 for repair

I have a feeling I know the answer here but wouldn't mind some advice regarding an iPhone fault (sort of). To cut a long story short, I dropped my otherwise perfect 2.5 year old iPhone 13 in the bath and retrieved it after less than 10 seconds. I followed all of the directed instructions and right now the phone is fully functioning but will not charge via the lightning port, only wirelessly via the back of the phone.

I went to an Apple store and they said that 2 of the metal bits in the charging port are damaged from the drop, and they are charging me £500(!) for a replacement, basically the value of the phone.

I know the phone is 2.5 years old, well out of warranty and with no cover so I'm not hopeful but I'm feeling extremely hard done by because:
- firstly, they plaster all of the marketing that the phone can survive 30 mins at a depth of 6 metres. Well this phone has suffered damage after about 8 seconds at a depth of 20cm! It's an absolute joke that it has failed so quickly after all of the claims they made upon release
- if they hadn't made those claims in the first place, I'd absolutely not have been using the phone anywhere near the bath anyway
- being charged £500 to fix 2 small metal bits in a port is absolutely outrageous
- they're effectively holding me to ransom with regard to my memories and backups. Without a functioning lightning port I'm unable to backup anything without signing up to another service by them, or paying an insane fee to fix it

Given that they have supposedly legendary customer service I must admit I'm absolutely ****ed off and I feel completely misled by their marketing material. Do I have a leg to stand on here at all or am I completely screwed because it's well out of warranty? It's enough to make me want to bin off all of their products altogether and go to Android to be honest. I know I made a mistake but it's a mistake I wouldn't have made if they hadn't made what I now believe to be false claims in their promotion.

Thx
«13

Comments

  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,335
    First Anniversary First Post Homepage Hero Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 11 February at 8:36PM
    Given the published material saying the phone is water resistant (with an IP68 rating), you could have a claim under your statutory consumer rights for up to 6 years - these rights are against the seller, not the manufacturer (so if you didn't buy directly from an Apple store then Apple are correct to say they have no liability other than to offer you a repair at your cost). 

    First step would be to write to/email the seller (whomever they may be) quoting the relevant sections of the Consumer rights act re satisfactory quality and as described (here: 
    https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2015/15/part/1/chapter/2/crossheading/what-statutory-rights-are-there-under-a-goods-contract/enacted), and providing a copy of/link to the marketing, stating that you relied on the information provided re water resistance. 

    The seller MAY then accept this, or more will likely come back saying the damaged has been caused by you damaging the casing/dropping it... 

    If you disagree, as the phone is more than 6 months old, the onus is on you to prove the damage is inherent (due to a manufacturing or materials fault), not due to your use (such as any dropping it, or dents or scratches that might have compromised the protection) or how you dried it out (causing corrosion). This would generally be via an independent report (an authorised Apple repair shop most likely) at your cost - but if the report is in your favour then you can claim back the cost. 

    If they still refuse (and you still think/have a report to prove it's an inherent problem with the phone), the question would be how did you pay - if on credit card you may have a claim under s75 (which holds your card issuer equally liable), if it's a contract phone you may also have a claim depending on the nature of the finance agreement, or on debit card you may have chargeback protection. 

    Should those routes fail, the next step would be a letter before action and small claims. 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • PHK
    PHK Posts: 1,140
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Being water resistant is not the same as surviving a drop. You dropped the phone into a bath. The drop caused damage. That's not the same as taking a phone with you underwater. 

    The drop has damaged two metal parts this will obviously have allowed water in. So they'll need to replace the lower charging/speaker board at least. 

    You don't have any consumer rights because you caused the damage. There's nothing stopping you from getting a repair done elsewhere, which might be cheaper. 
  • Tucosalamanca
    Tucosalamanca Posts: 444
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    It's good practice to regularly back up, either via the cloud or connecting to a pc.
    In times like this it can prove to be invaluable.
    You seem to be abdicating all responsibility to Apple - I can't see that they've done anything wrong.
    Do you think that you would have a better outcome with an Android device?
  • born_again
    born_again Posts: 13,627
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    but I'm feeling extremely hard done by because:

    Yet admit dropping phone..

    Given it is still charging via wireless, you can still use the phone.

    They are charging you "main dealer" rates

    Well they are a main dealer & manufacture. So what do you expect.
    Pop to a local repair shop & see what they would charge, if you want back street prices.

    As to back up. Again it's not apples fault you have not been doing it. So they are not holding you to ransom, it is a issue of your own making.
    Life in the slow lane
  • robbie_28
    robbie_28 Posts: 5
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    Forumite
    Thanks very much all, hugely appreciated all I promise you. @ArbitraryRandom that's great advice and I will attempt quoting it and see where I get, as it's the marketing material that is the crux of my issue.

    @MattMattMattUK You'll have to forgive my initial poor wording but the Apple assistant in the shop said that the 2 pins were 'corroded', which to me sounds like damage from that water, not the drop? But having read your post you're quite clearly much more of an expert than me, and if it is likely to be damage caused from the drop contact, not the water, then that's absolutely fair enough.

    PHK said:
    Being water resistant is not the same as surviving a drop. You dropped the phone into a bath. The drop caused damage. That's not the same as taking a phone with you underwater. 
    If the damage was caused by the drop then I completely agree, but from my impression the phone has survived the drop but the damage was caused by the water, which to me is a very different thing if (and it's a huge if of course) I'm right on that. From the previous response I gather I might not be.

    I can cope with dropping it and smashing it, I can deal with that. I've done it before and paid, it's no problem, it's my fault. But dropping it from a *very* low height into water and suffering water damage when it was absolutely plastered everywhere about how great the iPhone is under water, feels wrong to me. As I said, if it wasn't for their marketing, I wouldn't have been using it near water in the first place.

    Ultimately as you say, it hinges on whether the contact caused the damage. To me, 'corroded' connectors sounds like water damage, not drop damage, but quite clearly I'm not an expert!

    You seem to be abdicating all responsibility to Apple - I can't see that they've done anything wrong.

    Absolutely not. As I've already acknowledged, I made a mistake, but it's a mistake I wouldn't have made if it wasn't for their claims. I very rarely complain at any company or about anything, almost never. But as much as I did drop it and that was stupid of me, I can't help but feel a bit cheated by Apple if it is purely down to water damage, considering their claims about the iPhone in water.

    If it does transpire that it's genuinely entirely from drop damage, then I'll accept full responsibility, it was my fault at the end of the day. But I should add it was from a very, very low height.
     

  • MattMattMattUK
    MattMattMattUK Posts: 8,225
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 12 February at 12:11PM
    robbie_28 said:
    Thanks very much all, hugely appreciated all I promise you. @ ArbitraryRandom that's great advice and I will attempt quoting it and see where I get, as it's the marketing material that is the crux of my issue.

    @ MattMattMattUK You'll have to forgive my initial poor wording but the Apple assistant in the shop said that the 2 pins were 'corroded', which to me sounds like damage from that water, not the drop? But having read your post you're quite clearly much more of an expert than me, and if it is likely to be damage caused from the drop contact, not the water, then that's absolutely fair enough.

    PHK said:
    Being water resistant is not the same as surviving a drop. You dropped the phone into a bath. The drop caused damage. That's not the same as taking a phone with you underwater. 
    If the damage was caused by the drop then I completely agree, but from my impression the phone has survived the drop but the damage was caused by the water, which to me is a very different thing if (and it's a huge if of course) I'm right on that. From the previous response I gather I might not be.

    I can cope with dropping it and smashing it, I can deal with that. I've done it before and paid, it's no problem, it's my fault. But dropping it from a *very* low height into water and suffering water damage when it was absolutely plastered everywhere about how great the iPhone is under water, feels wrong to me. As I said, if it wasn't for their marketing, I wouldn't have been using it near water in the first place.

    Ultimately as you say, it hinges on whether the contact caused the damage. To me, 'corroded' connectors sounds like water damage, not drop damage, but quite clearly I'm not an expert!
    Corroded is not really water damage, dropping in the bath and then being dried out is unlikely to cause instant corrosion. Water damage when talking about electronics is usually things shorting due to water ingress, or damage to display panels as water can ruin them, though chemicals in water can cause an issue more than the water itself if the device is powered off. Corrosion usually takes time and a continued level of moisture (or other corrosive), it is slightly odd that only two pins corroded. That being said with the right cleaning brush the corrosion might just polish off, where as an Apple Store would not even contemplate doing that. Out of interest when did you last try the charging port before dropping it in the bath?
  • ArbitraryRandom
    ArbitraryRandom Posts: 2,335
    First Anniversary First Post Homepage Hero Name Dropper
    Forumite
    edited 12 February at 12:49PM
    Corrosion usually takes time and a continued level of moisture (or other corrosive)...
    Remembering an entire generation who were trained to blow into the port to 'fix' connection problems! :D 
    I'm not an early bird or a night owl; I’m some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
  • robbie_28
    robbie_28 Posts: 5
    Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker First Anniversary
    Forumite
    Corroded is not really water damage, dropping in the bath and then being dried out is unlikely to cause instant corrosion. Water damage when talking about electronics is usually things shorting due to water ingress, or damage to display panels as water can ruin them, though chemicals in water can cause an issue more than the water itself if the device is powered off. Corrosion usually takes time and a continued level of moisture (or other corrosive), it is slightly odd that only two pins corroded. That being said with the right cleaning brush the corrosion might just polish off, where as an Apple Store would not even contemplate doing that. Out of interest when did you last try the charging port before dropping it in the bath?
    Interesting stuff thank you. I will have used the charging port that same day - I rarely use wireless charging (I had to buy a wireless charger as a consequence of this accident). The charging port itself was functioning perfectly until this point, so it was definitely caused by this one way or another.

    Thanks for the advice all anyways. I still feel a bit hard done by given that their water claims could well be nonsense in this scenario and it was a tiny drop in the grand scheme of things, but if it is likely that the fault in the phone is more down to the contact of the hit than the water then I can't really have any complaints.
  • Exodi
    Exodi Posts: 2,779
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    edited 12 February at 1:29PM
    robbie_28 said:
    legendary customer service
    That's made my morning.

    Apple is a regular topic on this forum for its opportunistic practices. The company is the epitome of anti-consumerism. To what circles do you belong to believe they have 'legendary customer service'?

    As usual with these threads, they will obfuscate the issue (while simultaneously denying it's due to inherent fault) and leave you with the options of either paying for a technical assessment of the damage (which they will inevitably also reject) or just sucking it up.

    Apple has always been like this.
    Know what you don't
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.7K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.2K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 606K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.5K Life & Family
  • 246.8K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards