Controversy Over iPhone Battery Replacement
A controversy over the Apple's iPhone battery replacement program has come to
light at the end of July as a consumer protection agency and a non-profit organization
for consumer and taxpayer rights have written letters to Apple requesting a
review of its iPhone repair policies.
The Apple Corp. should revamp its customer service policies to make it easier
and less expensive for consumers to repair an iPhone, the New York State Consumer
Protection Board said.
According to Apple’s website, the program costs $79, plus $6.95 shipping
and it requires a full data backup.
“The repair process will clear all data from your iPhone. It is important
to sync your iPhone with iTunes to back up your contacts, photos, email account
settings, text messages, and more. Apple is not responsible for the loss of
information while servicing your iPhone and does not offer any data transfer
service“ the statement reads.
In a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, CPB Chairperson and Executive Director
Mindy A. Bockstein said consumers should not have to pay a $79 fee to replace
the battery in an iPhone. One solution, she said, would be a redesign to allow
a consumer to replace the battery instead of sending it away for a new power
The CPB is also objecting to the $29 fee that is charged for a temporary replacement
phone, as well as the 14-day trial period offered by Apple. The AT&T telephone
service that comes with the iPhone carries a 30-day grace period, in which a
customer can cancel without penalty.
Apple should also drop the 10 percent restocking fee charged when someone returns
"Finally we ask that Apple review its practices in disclosing contract
terms and conditions, warranties and return policies," said Chairperson
Bockstein. In Apple stores and online, these disclosures should be more prominent
and conspicuously displayed, she said.
"A high-end cell phone shouldn't have to have low-end customer service,"
said Chairperson Bockstein.
According to Apple, the iPhone battery offers up to 8 hours of talk time, 6
hours of Internet use, 7 hours of video playback or 24 hours of audio playback.
The standby estimated by Apple is 250 hours - more than 10 days. For those who
are unable to spend three business days until the replacement is completed,
Apple offers a loaner iPhone for $29.
Also the company said that the battery’s life is estimated somewhere between
300 to 400 charges, a usual value for any lithium-ion battery.
Also Apple states:”A properly maintained iPhone battery is designed to
retain up to 80% of its original capacity at 400 full charge and discharge cycles."
Earlier this month the battery replacement policy was attacked by the Foundation
for Consumer and Taxpayer Rights, a consumer advocacy group.
According to their complaint, because the details of replacement program were
announced after the launch of iPhone, the customers weren’t able to take
a fully informed decision.
In a letter to Apple, the group requested that the details about the battery
replacement policy to be prominently displayed in stores and on iTunes.
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