iPhone: a document unveils Apple’s service policy


How do Apple employees at the Genius Bar know if an iPhone that is brought in after-sales service needs to be repaired under warranty or not? They rely in part on guides, specially designed and supplied by the brand …

Apple’s after-sales service policy keeps large areas of shadow; it is generally necessary to rely on the testimony of employees – on condition of anonymity – to know, in general terms, the procedures they are invited to follow when returning a product. This time, it is Apple’s internal documents that have landed in the hands of our business insiders and we learn more about it. What to be able to better predict what is likely to happen if one visits an Apple Store with an iPhone to repair.


Visual Mechanical Inspection Guide (or “Mechanical Visual Inspection Guide”), this document covers the iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6s, 6s Plus, 7 and 7 Plus. It defines precisely what points the employees of the Genius Bar should check and how they should classify the smartphones according to their general condition. For example, an iPhone that is damaged or equipped with unofficial batteries will not be supported by Apple’s services. A terminal with a damaged Lightning connector, a broken LCD display, or corrosion marks may be accepted for repair, but the warranty will not apply. A small crack insulated on the screen, a misalignment of the foam surrounding the Facetime camera or a visible defect at the pixels will give them right to a standard repair under warranty.


The paragraph on the famous “LCI” or “Liquid Contact Indicator” is interesting to consult. It states how employees should react if they detect any of these indicators (presence of liquid behind the screen or corrosion of the Lightning port, for example), at the first inspection, which makes the smartphone contact with water. If the customer denies that his phone has been in contact with the water or the eventual breakdown is due to this contact, Genius Bar employees must then open the terminal to check the integrity of the various internal indicators. If there is evidence of corrosion or if at least one of the indicators has been “tripped”, the terminal will not be supported under warranty and you will be offered an out-of-warranty repair. On the other hand, if an external indicator that is missing or activated does not prevent an iPhone from being repaired under warranty, if the internal indicators turn out to be blank.


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