My iPhone began to have trouble two days ago, with the other party hearing nothing from my end, or hearing me, but with fade-in-fade-out static. I called AT&T and after spending time having the phone power cycled and removed/added from the network, it appeared that AT&T was likely not to blame. But because the issue was intermittent, it was not entirely certain.
So on a Friday night, I walked into the Palo Alto Apple Store, figuring I’d have a modest chance of a solution— worst case I would have to buy a new phone.
I walked out impressed. First, I was told I’d have an 8:10 appointment with a “genius”, but that got bumped up to 7:10, so I had to wait only about 20 minutes.
Second, the “genius” really was knowledgeable. He listened to my description (I figured it was a bad microphone), but he suggested that it could be that or a bad SIM card. After discussing it, we concluded that given the additional symptom of static (reported to me by the other party when the phone was working), that it probably was the microphone after all. A good thing, since Apple cannot provide new SIM cards.
At first the stated price was $199 for a new iPhone 3Gs, but the helpful Apple Genius ran upstairs to get the one remaining in-stock iPhone 3Gs. Upon return, he volunteered that it could be replaced for $79.99 as a battery replacement, since my iPhone’s battery was all but worn out. This offer was a very nice ending to the evening, and I walked out with a replacement phone with a 90-day warranty.
Problem solved right there at the Apple store at very reasonable cost, and I am one happy camper, since I need my phone to work every day. Kudos to Apple. Such service goes a long way for customer loyalty.
(Yes, I know that I could have gotten an iPhone 3Gs for $49.95 from AT&T— but with a 2 year contract extension, and by using up my upgrade eligibility, and I am hankering for an iPhone 5 in a month or so).