Hinchada

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.

Thanks, Apple!

19 thoughts on “Hinchada

  1. You should be able to download podcasts via the Itunes store. I use the app Podbean to download podcasts. I don’t know if that app is available for Apple products but if it is I would give it a go, it is a free app

    • I’m just lucky I’m near an authorised Apple repair centre. I bet that in Maz, I would have had to get to Guadalajara.

    • Anytime someone tells me Apple is too expensive, I cry for them. Apple is replacing at no charge an out of warranty phone that I never even paid for!

  2. I have had almost no problems with Apple products in over thirty years of using their products, but when there *was* a problem, there seemed to be a suitable solution.

    I worked at Apple at the headquarters in Cupertino (1986 – 1994), and customer contact at that time was much less sophisticated. The company has certainly changed in this department.

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

    • My biggest gripe with Apple in the last few years is that they’ve gone to all digital so if I had an issue that required reinstalling the OS, it was a huge hassle because of the internet situation in Canada, something they couldn’t do anything about for me.

      I’m always surprised that I can reach someone at Apple!

      It’s neat that you worked for them!

  3. My iPhone 5 popped the screen just out of warranty and wasn’t replaced by Apple. They said that they would repair it but I would have to pay for the labour aspect. Up until then it was a pretty good phone I was never really enthralled by the camera and although I wasn’t too happy with them at the time decided not to buy the Samsung 7 which everyone was raving about and got a new 6s.

    When I buy a new phone I usually buy an older model but I’m sorry that I didn’t spring for the larger plus screen this time around.

    Even though you didn’t originally buy the phone it is still great that Apple did offer to repair or replace it. I’m not sure if you will get a brand new one but it will be interesting to see what you do get From them!

    When I went to Europe I thought I’d buy a local phone and got a Windows model. What a dumb idea. I gave it away, it was hopeless and although new my aging iPhone ran circles around it in every way.

    • In my case, the damage was from a known widespread defect. That’s the only reason I bothered to contact them.

      I can’t believe the difference in the cameras between the 5C and the regular 6! I was really hoping to get the Plus this time to get the huge screen, but the regular 6 is plenty big enough for my needs. I didn’t expect it to be that much better than that of the 5C! I couldn’t find a Plus in my price range anyway and I had to go used to even get into the 6 range.

      Once you go to Apple, you can never go back. Everything they make is superior. I have a friend who refused to pay for an iPad who went through I don’t know how many tablets (because he wasn’t going to pay the “ridiculous Apple prices”) until he finally caved and bought an iPad. There’s a reason Apple stuff is expensive — it’s well made! But except for my current computer and my last desktop model, I never buy new or at least not new in the current generation. That and selling my used things are the only way I can afford Apple products!

      The iShop tech said that I will get the exact same phone brand new in the box, right down to the colour. I did ask if I could get a pink one since that’s what I wanted from the start, but she said that it has to be absolutely the same one.

  4. I’ll probably get the larger screen next time around whenever that is in a few years. I preferred the camera on my 3GS over the iPhone 5 I replaced it with but the 6S is much better and this time I sprung for a 64 gig version. The 16 gigs just don’t cut it anymore, apps etc really bite into the storage. I really wish they fitted on board storage such as a mini SD card but I’m talking to the converted 🙂
    Probably a newer iPad will be the next thing on the menu.. as you say they are superior compared to the other offerings out there.

    • Having had a chance to compare the 6 and the 6 Plus, I’m glad that I didn’t go with a “phablet.” The 6 is a good compromise between the tininess of the 5C and the over the top size of the Plus. Portability is important!

      The only reason I was even thinking of going away from the iPhone was to get a phone with more hardware options, like being able to add an extra battery or an SD card. But, ultimately, I came to my senses and realised that the OS is the most important thing and there’s nothing better than iOS!

      My 6 is a 32, which seems to be the new 16. I don’t keep a lot on my phone, so 32 is plenty for me, just as 16 was plenty on my 5C.

      I have a full size iPad 2 and one of the first generation iPad Minis. I’d like to replace my full size one at some point since it can’t be updated anymore and the screen resolution is very grainy compared to the Mini, but the iPad is very much a luxury item/toy for me. I treated myself to the Mini a few years ago because I’d earned it and could afford it, but I don’t see myself being able to justify another iPad for quite some time. I really do like the size of the Mini, though, so I’d probably go that route over a full size one since they’re so much cheaper (the reason I got my current one rather than a full size). My iPad 2 was a Christmas bonus from a job I had in 2011, which I still can’t believe!

  5. I have an iPad Air and my wife has an iPad 2. The 2 is starting to slow down a bit and sometimes takes awhile to load a page. I can see us having to replace it in a few months. My Air is fine but every time I update it it works well for a while then it too seems to falter. Maybe it is a planned thing but I really think that the newer apps are optimized for faster chips or operating systems and the older iPads are just not up to speed to utilize the advances. The Air has a lovely screen and renders photographs from my Fujifilm camera really well. But there again 16 gigs doesn’t cut it but I got it for a great deal at the time.

    These days I tend to use the iPad more now than my laptop and it is so portable and then of course battery life is fantastic. I can send photos to it from the camera by wifi or use air drop from my iPhone to the iPad.

    The mini is fine and even more portable and a very popular touring accessory, it also has great battery life and blows most of it’s competitors out of the water. The only downside is removable storage and that is a common complaint

    • I find that iPads are getting replaced very often right now and it’s almost impossible to keep up. I’m going to wait until the market stabilises a bit before I buy another one.

      The lack of removable storage is one of my beefs with Apple!

  6. I’m impressed. My current phone is an SE because I didn’t want the bigger size of the 6. I hope I never have your battery problem but, at least, I live near an Apple Store.

    • I hated the size of the 5C (which is just like the SE) so much. Too narrow to fit will in the palm of the hand, screen too small to read, keyboard too tiny for my huge fingers… The 6 is just such a massive improvement overall and the great camera is icing on the cake!

      I now live near to Apple support, if not an actual Apple Store. Yay! 🙂

  7. Well consider your self lucky with apple. My daughter had one that was recalled because of battery issues. The repair shop killed it installing the battery so Apple sent her a refurb that lasted 4 months and then Apple would do nothing for her. And we had the additional 100 dollar warranty that was only out by a few months. Ridiculous that a refurb dies in four months and they say not their problem.

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