Today's iPhone saga - hopefully, a conclusion.

So, today I picked up my new phone.  

"What?  I thought you just got a new phone?"  You'd be correct in that assumption: I bought a new iPhone 5S in September (I didn't pay for it, because the battery on my iPhone 5 died two weeks before the warranty expired, so I exchanged it for a new one, which, in turn, I exchanged at Best Buy for a gift card that ended up paying for a new iPhone 5S plus $6 leftover on the card, which I gave to a homeless person.)  That phone was replaced in December because it wasn't working properly.  Of course, the Apple store replaced it with a "Reconditioned" model, which, depending on who you talk to, is either a 99% brand new phone that has been 100% tested by Apple, or a conglomeration of parts from returned iPhones that has been 100% tested by apple.  Either way, it's a Frankenstein phone.  

Problem is, the Genius who set up my phone totally botched it.  Which I'm not blaming him for - everyone has bad days, or is new, or sometimes mixes steps up.  But he put in the wrong serial # for my phone, almost forgot to change the SIM card, and forgot to complete the activation properly before I left.  As a result, my phone has not been working properly for the last 3 months.  I haven't complained, because, at some point, a person has so many problems with his phone that he begins to think it's HIM and not the phone...well, turns out, yes, it WAS the phone.  

So I called Apple support.  Of course, their first suggestion was to wipe the OS and re-install it.  This is their normal troubleshooting suggestion.  Having done this many times, and realizing that this is basically their version of the IT Crowd's "Have you tried turning it off and back on again?", I said I wasn't going to do that.  I said that my current phone, which was a replacement for a new phone, was in fact either reconditioned or refurbished, and hadn't worked properly from day one.  I doubted that an OS reinstall would do much, and I didn't want to waste 3 hours of my life doing that for this phone, then doing it again for whatever phone would eventually replace this one.  I said I'd really just rather do it ONCE.  With a new phone.  So the Apple tech called the Apple store managers at my local Apple Store.

Eventually, they suggested replacing the phone I have with a brand new phone, which they would have to special order.  They asked me if that would make me happy.  I said, well, I hope it would fix the problems I've been having for 5 months, but I doubt it would make me happy with Apple products because of all the problems I've been having.  (My iPad is the only Apple product I have that hasn't been totally replaced due to part failures.)  So they asked me what could they do to make me happy...

I replied that I didn't expect that question, but off the top of my head, how would they feel about upgrading the replacement phone to the 64GB version (I have the 32GB.)  The manager immediately was very enthusiastic about that as a fair idea, but said Apple would have to approve it.  (You see, I'm fine if a product fails from time to time, as long as it gets replaced quickly and with minimal hassle, and occasional perks like upgrades.)  So the manager put it in the system and told me he'd call me back.  That was Saturday.

Knowing how CS works, I knew he wouldn't call me back.  So I called yesterday (I figured 4 days was enough time to get an answer.)  Of course, my phone had already come in, so they said I could come pick it up.  Went out there with my Dad....only they couldn't activate it.  Whether it was a problem with the new phone or with Sprint (I think it was the phone), they said I'd have to come back.  My luck continues.  I called the Apple store today to see if there was any progress - they said nope.  Still hadn't heard back from Sprint.

So I called Sprint to see if there was any kind of fire I could light to get them to get the process moving.  Of course it took 10 minutes for the CS rep to figure out what was going on (hint: read the notes, if they exist!) but in the end, there was nothing he could do.  

So I tried to call Evermore in Edwardsville.  Only this time, I couldn't make the call.  

Rather than continue with my boring timeline, here's what happened:  

After I called the Apple store, they probably tried activating the phone again, without positive results.  They then tried a completely different phone - which worked perfectly.  Yes, that's right - I was about to get another lemon product.  But I was saved at the last minute...  Of course, when they successfully activated my NEW phone, guess what?  (If you guessed that my OLD phone no longer worked...BINGO!  You win the white carnation!)  They found that out when they tried to call me to come pick up my new ph...oh, WE have his working phone.  Luckily, I had thought ahead yesterday and had them put my email address in the notes with instructions to contact me there if somehow this chain of events took place.  I know that they tried a new phone because that's exactly what the manager told me as much when I asked if we needed to replace the SIM card.

So, possibly because I was so pleasant the entire time, possibly because this is the umpteenth time I've had a product repaired or replaced by Apple, here is the end result of this saga:

In exchange for 5 months of a phone that didn't work properly (again, I sincerely apologize if you've tried to call/text me and haven't heard back!) and for getting a refurbished/reconditioned/Frankenstein phone in place of my new phone, I got:

  1. An upgrade from 32GB to a brand-new out of the box 64GB phone, meaning I can now put my entire music library on my phone (time to add all that Arvo Part and Phillip Glass back in!) and still have extra space left over.  This fixes the mistake I made originally when I purchased my iPhone 5 with 32GB thinking it would hold all my music.
  2. All the accessories from the brand-new phone, which is a good thing because the cables wear out really quickly.  Headphones, charger cable, wall/USB plug.  Forgot to get the stickers!
  3. A reset of my "purchase date" for warranty purposes to today, meaning my 1-year warranty starts today.  Meaning if something goes wrong with my phone in the next get the picture.  HOWEVER - I also got a surprise bonus:
  4. FREE Apple Care PLUS for 2 years.  I did NOT ask for this - this was something they did on their own, probably after discovering I almost walked out of the store with yet another defective iPhone.  Hey, I'll take it.
  5. Peace of mind that I am not, in fact, crazy when I feel like my phone has significant issues connecting to the Internet, sending/receiving texts, getting voicemails, etc.

So, as my phone charges and gets loaded with all the apps, books, and music I have in store for it (how amazing is it that we can fit all that in a handheld device, really?) I have to say, I hope this is the end of this saga for a while.  I hate complaining about my tech not working, I really do.  I don't enjoy doing all this.  But, eventually, it seems to work itself out - as long as you're persistent and you are your own advocate, it does seem like Apple as a company actually cares that you are a happy customer.  

Of course, I don't know how attractive my options would be if Apple finally got me to the point I reached with Samsung (I will NEVER buy another Samsung product.  EVER.)  I think my Motorola SLVR was a pretty good  And I would probably only use a Surface tablet if it was free...