I replaced my iPhone 5C in the spring with a 6. My 5C had given me nothing but trouble from the get-go and its battery was dying. I was glad to have an excuse to get a much better phone for daily use. But I kept the 5C, which has almost no resale value, thinking that I could use it as a music player when I get set up in my own home. My mother gave me a little charging dock for it that would let me set it up in the kitchen for listening to music or podcasts (once I figure those out).
However, my 5C, evil thing that it is, had other plans.
I’ve been helping a friend shop for an iPhone of her own and pulled out the 5C the other day so I could show her just how much smaller it (and the similar SE) is to a regular size iPhone 6. This is what greeted me:
This was caused by a bad battery swelling (hence the title of this post). This phone really has been nothing but a lemon!
Since I’ve contacted Apple several times about this phone, I decided to waste some time and contact Apple again so they’d have another 5C horror story on file. I also rather hoped that the rep would take pity on me and offer me an App Store gift certificate for a token amount, but I wasn’t holding my breath.
The chat start off as normal, with my being asked to explain my problem briefly. I wrote: “I didn’t realise that iPhones self destruct.”
I then uploaded the above photo and added, “The battery on it swelled up and destroyed the phone.”
Next thing I knew, my case was being escalated and I was transferred to a more senior customer service rep. Surprising.
This second rep said that all she could do for me was to have the phone repaired or replaced. I explained that I’m in Mexico now and she said that’s not a problem and she would see if there’s a repair place nearby. There was no way, of course, that I was paying for anything related to this phone, but I let her work since while I’ve gotten some recs for Apple repair people in Mérida, I haven’t been able to figure out who is officially sanctioned by Apple.
She came back to me with only one authorised repairer in Mérida, who happens to be super convenient for me to get to, and asked for some information so she could append some notes to the serial number. It was there that I confessed that I had no intention of having the phone checked out. Which is when everything changed.
Even though the phone was well outside of warranty, the repair or, more likely, replacement would be absolutely free to me.
This decision was made primarily because the battery swelling issue is a known problem with the iPhone 5s (all models, but not necessarily all phones), but also because she saw that I’d contacted them before about issues with this phone and not been able to get to a repair shop for valid reasons (like a repair shop being 16 hours away roundtrip and my needing my phone for internet access so I couldn’t just mail it in and not have it for two weeks).
So there was recognition by the manufacturer that my 5C was a ticking time bomb of a lemon! I feel so validated. 🙂
Today, I went into Mérida to the iShop at the Altabrisa mall. There, they scanned the phone’s serial number and it brought up the note that I should get a repair or replacement at no charge. The lady said it was a clear case of replacement and that I’ll get a brand new phone in 10 days!!!
Now, I’m glad this happened when it did, after I got my 6, because it really is a superior phone and I might not have bought it if I had a better working 5C. But it’s great to know that I have a solid backup replacement phone in case something happens to my 6 (which I bought used). A new 5C’s value in Mexico is quite a bit higher than in the US and Canada so I am also toying with the idea of trying to sell it, but I think I’ll be happier sticking to my original plan of using it as a music player. At any rate, I have options!
Apple continues to provide me with extraordinary value. Sure, I’m getting more and more frustrated with them and their offerings as time goes on, but this experience was a good reminder of what a mistake it would be to go with any other manufacturer and offered the final little bit of confirmation I needed that sticking with an iPhone was the right call.