If the system for repairing devices covered by Apple’s warranty seems an absolute mystery with random results on different occasions, perhaps this document obtained by Business Insider help us get a little better idea of the logic behind the decisions of Apple experts.
The document 22 pages, which apparently leaked on Dropbox and was captured by the publication before it was permanently deleted, is dated March 3 this year and refers specifically to iPhones 6/6 Plus, 6s / 6s Plus and 7/7 Plus. It points out specific cases of malfunction or aesthetic defect and points out how professionals at Apple Authorized Service Centers or Stores should act in terms of warranty coverage.
On the page above, the document states that debris under the front glass, as well as misaligned FaceTime cameras, are eligible for free repair under warranty even if there is accidental damage. If the device in question has a consistent crack of just one “wire”, with no apparent impact point – meaning that the glass has broken by expansion or some other defect not caused by the user – it is also eligible for warranty repair.
Accidental damage, eligible for paid repairs, includes user-confirmed liquid damage, shattered or cracked screens caused by an impact point, malfunctions in the Lightning or audio outputs, crooked devices or with the front panel separate from the chassis and non-functional buttons due to falls. Devices that have characteristics different from those of the configuration code (for example, a golden iPhone with a code that indicates a silver iPhone), devices with missing parts, non-original batteries or with catastrophic damage (that is, totally destroyed) are not eligible for repairs in any way.
Another part of the document determines what the employees’ procedure should be if they suspect that a device has liquid damage and the device owner denies the case. According to the guide, if the device does not show external signs of corrosion or infiltration, it is necessary to open it and analyze the liquid damage indicators (LCI); if any of them indicate contact with water or if the device has internal corrosion, the warranty repair must be denied; otherwise, the employee must proceed with the service under warranty.
An important – and controversial – segment deals with cosmetic damage, such as scratches, peeling paint or dents: Apple maintains its position of not considering this type of malfunction worthy of warranty repairs; the guide makes it very clear that if the damage does not affect the functioning of the device, repairs or replacements cannot be carried out.
According to a Genius consulted by Business Insider, this is a document consulted only in more rare or difficult to define cases; in general, the procedures are already internalized by employees. According to the official, in some cases Apple advises that, if there is no clear indication of damage caused by the user, the device must be changed immediately – which shows that the guide is not a set of definitive rules, but simply a definition of general procedure lines.
So the next time you go to an Apple store and are denied warranty service, ask Genius to check the procedure booklet – or not. Most likely he will not know what you are talking about. ¯ _ (ツ) _ / ¯