My Experience with Apple’s iPhone Battery Replacement Process

Apple promises to replace iphone batteriesWith 3 sluggish iPhone 6’s in my home, I was pleased to hear that Apple would replace the batteries for just $29 each. That sounds reasonable, right? Well, the price is reasonable but the steps to have it done are not.

Here’s how my experience went:

  1. I visited my local Apple Store to have the replacement battery installed. No luck. You need an appointment.
  2. I went online to schedule an appointment. The first available slot was a week away so I booked it.
  3. Three days before my scheduled appointment, I received a phone call from the local Apple Store saying they are canceling my appointment because I need to call an 800 number first (1-800-275-2273) to have Apple diagnose my iPhone remotely and confirm that it qualifies.
  4. I called the number and waited on hold for 34 minutes
  5. When I finally spoke with a Customer Service Representative, they didn’t run any diagnostics but assured me that it qualified for the replacement battery. This call was a complete waste of time and the entire step felt like an unnecessary delay in delivering on their promise.
  6. I was told that the battery would be shipped to my local Apple Store within a few weeks and that they would contact me then to set up an appointment to have it installed.

That’s where I’m at today. I’m still waiting to be notified that the battery arrived and, when it does, it’ll probably be another week before they can get me in to replace it. But remember, I have to go through this process two more times for the other iPhone 6’s that I have in my home.

This process is needlessly tedious and frustrating for customers who are already upset that their $650 smartphone is sluggish and loses power too quickly.

Customer Experience matters and this shift gives me some concern about Apple’s future. They have historically been known for putting the customer first.

Steve Jobs famously said, “You’ve got to start with the customer experience and work back toward the technology — not the other way around.”

I’m not giving up on Apple anytime soon but I hope they return to their roots by taking an obsessively close look at their customers’ experiences (via Journey Mapping) so they can surprise and delight us once again.

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