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back to article Reg hack hacked off by iPhone 5 repair notice

Attention iPhone 5 owners: your Cupertinian earslab may be defective. "Apple has determined that the sleep/wake button mechanism on a small percentage of iPhone 5 models may stop working or work intermittently," a notice posted on Apple's support website informed us iPhone 5 owners on Friday. "iPhone 5 models manufactured …

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I think this has been known for a while

Last summer I started having problems with my sleep/wake button taking several presses to work sometimes. It would be fine for a while, then take multiple presses for a few days, then go back to working again. I googled and found that others had the issue and Apple replaced their phone, so I figured I should do it before my warranty ran out. Haven't had the problem once with the replacement.

I guess this means they're going to replace even those phones that are out of warranty (one year in the US, I think the EU mandates a longer warranty over there) Sounds like good customer service to me...

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Re: I think this has been known for a while

Not necessarily a "known for a while" problem, buttons have failed on phones for years through wear and tear (I've had mine fail, waaaay outside warranty though so replaced myself). This one's a bit different in that they know there's a high chance it'll fail through a manufacturing error.

Still, most companies would just leave it and wait for customers to complain.

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Coat

Eh?

Are you sure you're not just holding it wrong ...?

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Angel

Re: Eh?

You meant pressing it wrong no?

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Re: Eh?

I think he meant buying it wrong.

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If your iPhone serial number is on the list, Apple will fix it no questions asked. The smart-a**es at the genius bar aren't going to do anything but set up the repair.

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Anonymous Coward

Genius Bar

Usually staffed by 19 year old droids.

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Re: Genius Bar

Read that as 'roids

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JDX
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Re: Genius Bar

Teenagers usually know far more about current tech than anyone else.

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Re: Genius Bar

"Teenagers usually know far more about current tech than anyone else."

Possibly so, but how about the concept of customer service and people skills? Not so much, I think.

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Re: Genius Bar

If that bunch of numpties are geniuses I am unfuckingbelieveable

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Re: Genius Bar

> If that bunch of numpties are geniuses I am unfuckingbelieveable

No, you're not unfuckingbelieveable. What is unfuckingbelievable is that in this day and age there are idiots not bright enough to differentiate between marketing hyperbole and reality.

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Facepalm

Re: Genius Bar

Teenagers usually know far more about current tech than anyone else.

LOLNO.

Kids Can't Use Computers... And This Is Why It Should Worry You

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Re: Genius Bar

"Teenagers usually know far more about current tech than anyone else."

Oh hell NO.

They just think they do.

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Re: Genius Bar

"Teenagers usually know far more about current tech than anyone else."

You've never seen the "tracer-t" guy then...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXmv8quf_xM

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Thumb Up

Re: Genius Bar

"You've never seen the "tracer-t" guy then...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXmv8quf_xM"

Cheers for the link, best laugh I've had all week.

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Re: Genius Bar

Judging by the new influx of trainee programmers and admins we get, no, they don't know more.

Start talking about processor branching efficiency, cache sizes and optimisation of code for specific platforms and their eyes generally glaze over. They might remeber the spec sheet more easily, but that isn't knowledge about how the tech actually works.

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Re: Genius Bar

"You've never seen the "tracer-t" guy then..."

Ow! My brains!!!! Somebody just stabbed them with so much wrong information. It'll take weeks to push that brain damage back out again now!

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Re: Genius Bar

It's easy to confuse kids' abilities for testing and destroying with genius. The only rival to this illusion is their ability to complain about what they've destroyed. Clearly these youths belong in the QA department and not a bar!

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Don't get too excited ...

I took my daughters phone into a genius in Vancouver's Apple Store, told him the phone was not powering off, my friendly genius was helpful and smiling and said no problem, he would check it out. I thought great, how helpful and friendly. He came back and said it had water damage and that it would not be covered under warranty and it would cost $279. I said I would think about it ..

All this genius wanted to do was open the phone and check for water damage so he could ding me, I walked away feeling very deceived by this genius, he had no intention of wanting to help me in the first place .. out of principal, I won't give Apple $300 just because of how this genius deceived me with the pretence of wanting to help. He should of been honest upfront with what he was doing in the back room .. it becomes harder and harder to defend Apple and this is another reason why. These genius's are complete morons when they do things like this.

I am going to wait for the iPhone 6 to come and then decide whether to buy another iPhone or maybe I will go with an Android.

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Holmes

Re: Don't get too excited ...

@rapidwiz - "All this genius wanted to do was open the phone and check for water damage so he could ding me,"

I've heard this repeatedly about genius bar service. I buy all my gear at Best Buy instead, and get their no hassle warranties. Those guys love to help me. Cracked screen, water damage - they don't care. Handed me a brand new Motorola phone that was $100 less than my old, cracked Samsung two weeks ago. For the $100, I got a new two year warranty and found myself an Otterbox Defender series for the phone. And i had a much faster, nicer phone than the Samsung for free, with KitKat as the first update.

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Re: Don't get too excited ...

I had a problem with the home button on my iPhone4. I walked into the shop and asked "How much would it cost to fix?"

"Oh, we can't tell you that. You have to book an appointment." Not impressed, but I played along with their game. Came back two days later, waited 30 minutes (they were well behind) only to be told: "It's out of warranty, you'll need to buy a new one." What? I waited two days just to be told that? Why couldn't the floor staff have some done simple pre-screening and saved us all some time and hassle?

Totally not impressed...

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Re: Don't get too excited ...

The most important thing to remember about ALL phone shops not just Appoo is that they are above all SALES outlets, the (mostly) kids that work in them are at the sharp end of a huge sales operation. Sales people( I have been one though not for Appoo) are not necessarily the most ethical folks out there and even though Appoo's sales staff are not paid on a commission basis they are under high pressure to sell,sell,sell.

They don't know you or care who you are as long as there is a chance of flogging you a replacement in preference to you having it repaired, that is what they will try to do.

From experience in Spain, Vodaphone, Movistar and Jazztel will tell you anything you want to hear whether or not it is true and getting out of one of their contracts is almost as difficult as getting out of one of the old fabled Rank Xerox copier contracts so they don't care as long as they get the sale and their commission.

They know we need our phones and if you are already in the shop expect to be the victim of selling techniques.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't get too excited ...

Maybe it DID have water damage that caused the fault.......?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't get too excited ...

Surely you knew it was out of warranty so would be chargeable? The difference is Apple will sell you a replacement phone (even out of warranty) for a low price - think it was about £120 when I had a 3GS repaired (due to accident damage).

Now if you have Applecare Plus you get 2 incidents of accidental damage covered within the first 2 years with just a small excess - so smash the screen and get an as-new / new phone for about £50.

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a53

Re: Don't get too excited ...

From experience in Spain, Vodaphone, Movistar and Jazztel will tell you anything you want to hear whether or not it is true === A precursor to becoming a politician ?

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Trollface

Re: Don't get too excited ...

"Oh, we can't tell you that. You have to book an appointment."

Phobamacare soon!

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Pint

Re: Don't get too excited ...

Apple's "water" sensors are nothing more than bits of paper that turn pink when exposed to water, for example condensing humidity after coming in from the cold in cold climates, or going outside from over-air conditioned buildings in hot climates.

False positives - it's not a bug, it's a feature.

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Re: Don't get too excited ...

"Appoo"? Really?

And they said satire was dead!

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Re: Don't get too excited ...

"Apple's "water" sensors are nothing more than bits of paper that turn pink when exposed to water, for example condensing humidity after coming in from the cold in cold climates, or going outside from over-air conditioned buildings in hot climates."

Uh, and that condensate causes water damage. It's not really unfair to blame it on water damage when condensation has formed INSIDE the device.

As questionable as Apple's ethics are, this is a perfectly normal exercise in self protection. And Apple aren't the only ones doing it. Practically every phone has them, digital cameras have them, and even some external HDDs have them. Even our old VHS player manuals all talked about possible condensation damage if moving between hot and cold areas. It's not rocket science - just plain old regular guy science.

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In my experience, and this applies to all retailers, good service can almost always be obtained if you flirt with the staff. Not in an over the top, camp, way - just a little light flirting. Works with British Gas. Works with Orange. Works with Apple. Works whether you're male or female - people like to be liked, and if they think that they're liked then they can be persuaded to help out even beyond the strict letter of their job description.

I know this to be true because I've worked in a support role, and I've had occasion to try out my tricks (especially when I had an iPhone 3G - not a very good phone, but the Geniuses always replaced it for free (5 times no less), even when it was out of guarantee). I found when I worked in a support role that most people, even the nicest, sweetest people you could ever hope to meet, came storming in in high dudgeon and initiated the conversation with a complaint. No hello even. I was seen as being an obstacle, a minion to be defeated, on the way to getting their problem resolved. Needless to say, this got my back up and ensured maximum obstreperousness. When I was seen as a friendly facilitator and, yes, when I was flirted with, I became very, very helpful indeed.

Of course, sometimes there is just plain bad service - the trick doesn't work all the time. But you'd be amazed how far please and thankyou can stretch.

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Anonymous Coward

Preload the engagement...

If I were an apple employee of any grade - even low grade ones who have to dance around and hug and stuff at the beginning of a work day and someone rocked up saying "I've already written, and had published an article that about your dodgy button, now fix my phone" I'd either immediately pass the buck to my supervisor or get if fixed, tuning a blind eye to damp patches, termites, bent corners and so on give it a good polish. Good call on the planning front.

Obviously I'm not a low end apple employee - lets see how Genius they really are.

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Re: Preload the engagement...

When I was a support assistance, if some lousy hack had plonked his testes on the counter with a supercilious 'do you know who I am? I'm a bigshot journo and I'm gonna write bad things if you don't do what I want', I wouldn't have passed the buck. I'd have just mucked him (or her) about as much as I could (with a smile, of course). It's amazing how much you can muck a rude customer about without endangering your job.

Similarly, as stated previously, it's amazing how far above and beyond the requirements of your job you can help someone who is nice, and treats you nicely.

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Lol, I used to work in a bar back before the reality star explosion of 2000ish.... Had no end of "famous" people going "Do you know who I am?". "Sure, you're the guy* that has to wait like everyone else".

I'd love to work in that Apple store, just to throw the "do you know who I am" card back at you.

*Usually footballers of the local premiership club, trying to impress their dates/partners.

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No need to flirt.

I've found that being honest, reasonable, polite and friendly is the best way to get somewhere. And you know what? When people are the same to me, I'm more inclined to go the extra mile for them, than if they came in screaming and ranting.

"Do unto others as you would have them do to you."

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"Do you know who I am?"

"Is there a doctor in the house? This man doesn't know who he is"

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@45rpm

To a degree, culturally dependent.

My daughter spent a year at a German university and came back with a distinctly German attitude to life, i.e. regulation says this, therefore this is what happens. Because that would be amtlich. She then spent a year in Italy and had problems getting the post, so she went to the post office to explain to the staff why the regulations say the post must be delivered, she was not getting the post, this must be attended to. No post.

The correct technique, of course, would have been to go to the post office, burst into tears, explain she was a poor student who did not seem to be getting any letters from her mummy, and promptly several staff would rally round and the problem would be solved. Because that would be simpatico

The question with a genius bar is how you suck up to a 19 year old sufficiently to get what you want without obvious urinary extraction or (if you are male, white and middle aged and the genius is female) being arrested.

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"...sweetest people you could ever hope to meet, came storming in in high dudgeon and initiated the conversation with a complaint. "

Many reasons for that.

- Most staff are ignorant twits

- Most staff have their own attitude

- People are not happy about being ripped off.

- Most staff view a legit complaint as another chance to rip you off again

- Most retail business these day are about thinking the customer owes them a living

Yes, there are plenty of customers out there running their own scams or are such miserable wankers that no amount of placating and silver platter service will mollify them. But most people just want what they paid for and to deal with something that isn't working, costs them time and money not covered by any warranty.

The customer owes the staff no apology for a problem created by the company. To expect such is pure hubris. Something else customers are getting tired of.

THAT'S why they show up in high dungeon.

I've been on both sides of this from a lowly stock boy up to million dollar deals hanging in the balance.

And yes, starting off civilized goes a long way. But the onus is still NOT on the customer.

Back on topic: "just works" eh?

*snerk*

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"Most retail business these day are about thinking the customer owes them a living"

About 25 years ago, having been made redundant, I ended up in a sales job. The above is is almost word for word what they were preaching to the newbies. Each area of a specific size "owed" them a million quid per year and it was our "job" to get that money. All the "training" was about various ways to get that money, almost no time spent on teaching us about the product.

Fortunately, a week or so later I found a real job.

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"Do you know who I am?"

When people try that line on me, I usually will respond with "If you really are important, then why are you here in person rather than have someone else take care of it for you?"

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2 up and 3 down? Thanks for proving my point.

The customer owes the staff no apology for a problem created by the company. To expect such is pure hubris. Something else customers are getting tired of.

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Mushroom

You can't turn it OFF and ON again? We're doomed!

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Unfortunately this is a big deal...

Even if you can somehow wake the device and use it with the faulty button, these devices need to be reset quite often to work right. I work for a company where we have hundreds of these things.

I think the genius bar works just like any other bar. After a few drinks people feel like geniuses, charming, bulletproof, etc., while the truth is far from it. Only at Apple's version a few pints could only improve them.

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Genius Bar Droids

Yes, and the really pretty efficient one is called Ann Droid.

;)

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The Few

I like the fact that despite Apple coming out with the standard spin of only a very small number of devices being affected, everyone I've read about online says that when they've entered their serial numbers, they're one of these chosen few. Anyone been told they're not within the range?

Even happened to my iPhone 5 after I'd sold it on, luckily Apple carried out an out-of-warranty free phone replacement to the new buyer.

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Re: The Few

I would guess that the issue showed up after they start shipping them, and if it took many months to appear (as it did with me) they could have 100 million out there with the potential for the issue.

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Re: The Few

"only a very small number of devices being affected"

Ah, of my favourite lines.

Only a small number are affected. But, when cornered, yeah, it's "only" 100 million" out of a total 5billion devices sold across all product lines over the entire life of the company, so not really all that many in the great scheme of things.

The following day, shouted from the rooftops, "LOOK, WE SOLD OUR MILLIONth iTHINGY IN A MONTH, that's HUUUUUGE SALES GROWETH, ARE WE CLEVER"

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Anonymous Coward

Typical Wannabee Hack....

Everyone is a hack nowadays.... If you can comment online somewhere, you can pull the "press card". What makes a "hack" more influential than anybody else? Because they have a few articles on a two bit so-called IT website that is more satirical than serious? Get a life!!!!! If I was Apple, I would tell you to do one as you are a nobody that is not going to influence anybody to buy what you suggest....

Oh shit, I have just done what I said not to do..... Oh what a frigging carry on.... Oh & what sort of IT "hack" still has an iPhone 5??? That handset is SOOOOOO 2 years ago and a successful "hack" would have a 5S or a decent Android device, or even - SHOCK HORROR!!!! - a Windows Phone or Crackberry!!!!!!

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Paris Hilton

Re: Typical Wannabee Hack....

Not sure whether sarcastic. Still, 9/10.

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Anonymous Coward

These buttons are infamour

But being an Apple 'not bovvered'is the norm.

Dare to discuss it and tat 'you hate Apple' rears its magic head.

I guess the failures are simply accelerating with this one

The question is, did they wait until most were out of warranty to reduce options. You betcha !

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