I bought an iphone 5 last year 16 October to be precise. At the time, they were not selling any iphone 5 cases, but the apple store chap did say that they had one just come in, the Incase Snap Case, which I promptly purchased. A grand total of £718.95

I’ve owned iphones for many years, but within a month, I it slipped just over 1 foot onto the floor and the screen promptly cracked. Ho hum, these things happen. No big deal, shame the case wasn’t up to much !

Skip to a month or so later whilst using my iphone at my parents house over their wifi. The iphone consistently lost the wifi signal, connected with 1 bar strength, data streaming stalled. Sometimes it would not see any Wifi networks at all. In order for it to work, I’d have to reset the phone completely and it would work for another 10 minutes or so. Bearing in mind, my iPad3 was connected to the same wifi network without any problems at all. It maintained a consistent connection, fast and working how wifi should work. Most annoying that my iPhone5 wouldnt.

Xmas 2012 released a new update to the operating system 6.0.2 which apparently would address some ‘wifi issues’. Applied this, but still the iPhone suffered the same problems. Searching the internet revealed a host of other iPhone5 users who were suffering the same problem. http://discussions.apple.com/message/19891867#19891867

I decided I should make an appointment with the ‘Genius Bar’ at my local Apple store (Brighton). Filling in the problems I was having with Wifi in the form.

When I got to the store, they said “Ah yes, problems with Wifi. Have you backed your phone up” implying that they knew about this issue and were likely to replace the phone. When the genius saw me, they said yes they could replace the phone, until they say the crack on the screen. Ah, you’ll have to pay £179 to have a replacement. I asked whether the cracked screen was why the wifi wasn’t working ? No, the wifi problem is a different issue.

I refused to pay £179 to get the wifi working as advertised, filling out the online survey that was sent to me asking how my ‘experience’ went. clue <Not good>.

Later that saturday evening, I received a phone call from the Apple store manager, Nye Wright. He wanted to know why I hadn’t had a good experience. I told him exactly why. I wanted my wifi fixed, so that it would work as advertised. He went on to reiterate that as my glass was cracked, they could not repair the wifi without charging me £179. I told him that the crack on the screen doesnt bother me, but the wifi problem does. Again, he reiterated that they cannot repair just the wifi, they would need to replace the whole phone.

This goes against the Trading Standards which specify ;

When am I entitled to a repair?
If you have ‘accepted’ the goods and you discover a fault, you can ask the trader to repair it free of charge. This repair should be carried out by the trader within a reasonable time and without significant inconvenience to you. If repair would be impossible or disproportionately expensive, then the trader may offer replacement or another remedy such as partial refund. For example, a cheap electrical item may cost more to repair than it would to replace.

Even if you have not accepted the goods, you could still opt for repair. If the repair does not resolve the problem, you could still reject the goods for refund.

The manager went on to say that if I had bought a car, wrapped it around a tree, then  found out there was a product recall, I couldn’t be expected to have that car replaced free of charge. Which is a bizarre analogy to use !

A more fitting analogy would be that if I had a crack on my windscreen and there was an inherent problem found with the exhaust, then they would refuse to fix the exhaust problem as the windscreen was cracked. This stems from the fact that Apple won’t repair the problem as it’s not cost effective for them, but replace the phone entirely and then use your old phone for spare parts and reconditioning.  Trading Standards quotes “ If repair would be impossible or disproportionately expensive, then the trader may offer replacement or another remedy such as partial refund.”

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