Finances & Money

Warranties, Good to the Last Day

warranty policy, warranty on gadgets, warranty information


“Dad, one of the buttons on my phone doesn’t work anymore.”

I took my son’s iPhone as I asked him to point out which specific button wasn’t working. At his direction I pressed the volume down button and noticed the absence of that “click” action that would normally accompany the visual indication on the phone that the volume was being decreased.

The phone had a one year warranty, but I was sure we were getting close to the one year mark since we had purchased the phone. I called our cell phone carrier, who told me that any warranty claims would have to be made directly to Apple.

Wonderful, I thought to myself sarcastically as I realized that the nearest Apple store was about 80 miles away.

I knew that our best bet was to mail the phone to Apple for repair and wait for it to return. If you’ve ever suggested to a teenager that they give up their phone for an indefinite period of time, you’ll know it’s an understatement to say that my son frowned upon this idea.

This is how things sat for a couple of weeks.

When my son woke up Saturday morning, I asked him for a final answer as to whether he wanted me to send his phone in for repair, or if I should just forget about it. It was his phone, he paid for it, and I wanted it to be off my “todo” list for good. He said he would live with it as it was, since he could adjust the volume using a feature in the IOS software.

A few hours later we were waking through the mall and saw what looked like an Apple store. Obviously we had not been to the mall for awhile. We inquired within, and found that while it wasn’t an Apple store, they were an authorized Apple retailer and could deal with warranty issues. They plugged in the serial number and verified that it was still under warranty. They checked it over to verify it was defective, and that no other damage had been done to the phone. A new phone was brought from the back of the store, the SIM card exchanged, and they handed my son a brand new phone.

My wife exhaled in relief when the employee told us there was only three days left on the warranty.

When we got home, there was a little work to do. We had to restore the back up of his old phone from iTunes (always back up your phone!), and update it to IOS 7 since the new one came preloaded with an older version. He took the phone, poked some buttons to ensure his contacts and apps were all there. As he walked away he muttered under his breath, “I lost all the progress on my games, though. That sucks.”

Teenagers, you just can’t win.

Have you ever returned something extremely close to the end of a warranty period? How close were you?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

About the author

Brock Kernin


  • My father-in-law was having an issue with his GPS and kept putting off getting it looked at. He had a warranty through SquareTrade, and when he finally looked it up, he saw that it was set to expire the next day. You better bet he filed that claim right then and there!

  • That was a great result for you Brock. I haven’t returned things so close to the end date but I have let things slide past the warranty. It is a real downer to realise that you missed the end date by a week or two

  • Unfortunately, I’m typically the Oh-that-coupon/warranty-ended-yesterday dude.

    As a side note, if you are ever closer to an Apple store, they are pretty legit about doing their best to help you out even if past the warranty. They might not give you a brand new iPhone, but do their best to fix the one you have if not under warranty.

    Well wishes

    The Warrior

  • @Daisy – I never buy the warranty either – this was actually the manufacturer’s warranty. I thought we were going to have a little hiccup – the first guy we talked to said we’d get a new phone, but another guy came over and said that he thought they could repair it. Either way would have been fine as long as it worked…but I liked the outcome of a brand new phone better. 🙂

  • @theWarrior – We have our share of expired coupons in our kitchen junk drawer that were put in there with the best of intentions too. haha.

    Good to know about the Apple store, I’ll have to keep that in mind – thanks for the heads up!

  • Wow – that was lucky! Only 3 days left?!? That also sounds like great customer service to just switch it out like that. I wonder what value he’d place on the lost saved game progress? 🙂

  • @MoneySaving – I was surprised that they swapped it out for a brand new phone….but they did say they are unable to repair that button. As for the progress in his games, he was upset for about 2 minutes, then he was fine. 🙂

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