stuff.... random stuff....


New Zealand's iPhone support divide

, posted: 19-Oct-2010 19:29

With iPhone 4’s dropping like flies and heading in for service I thought now would be an opportune time to share the delight that is the iPhone service process for New Zealand.

In New Zealand we have only the 2 ways to buy iPhones ‘legitimately’. Online from Apple or alternatively from Vodafone.  Being a sucker for handset subsidies I purchased my iPhone 4 from Vodafone.

A few weeks ago my iPhone much to my surprise developed a fault. I was no longer able to hear anyone unless they were on speaker phone or via headset. After some Googling and resetting to factory default I resigned myself to the fact that it was a hardware fault that would require fixing.

As this is my fist apple product to require such attention I once again turned to Google to find that Apple have a phone number that you can call for such emergencies. After a quick call with a rather helpful gentleman from Apple I was advised that I would need to take it into their service company, mobilefonerepair. After expressing my ‘concern’ at their technical prowess I was assured that they simply swapped the faulty handset for a replacement upon confirming the fault. Phew.

First thing the following morning I marched myself off to mobilefonerepair with my Apple care case number in hand looking forward to a short wait but a fixed iPhone 4. Like most things in life that result in a blog post I was sorely disappointed. Not only did I not have a shiny new iPhone 4 I had just wasted an hour dealing to Auckland traffic in the rain!

You see mobilefonerepair only will handle your iPhone if you purchased it from Apple! WTF? No matter how much I argued and explained that Apple had sent me with a magical case number, they still wouldn’t play. They were kind enough to give me the Vodafone iPhone repair agent’s number.

Next stop Brightpoint! Fortunately I engaged brain before battling the traffic from south Auckland to Albany and called Brightpoint before turning up. Brightpoint, unlike mobilefonerepair don’t deal directly with end users. They will only accept your device if you go and visit a Vodafone store. So faced with little other choice I visited a Vodafone retail store where they were most helpful at sending off my device and advised that it would be a week.

So to recap, had I purchased my iPhone 4 from Apple, I would have had my device replaced on the spot, however I bought it from the only official carrier Vodafone so it takes a week! Not entirely sure why my Vodafone purchased iPhone doesn’t get the same support.

For the record my iPhone 4 took 7 days to repair. It would have been 3 less had the Vodafone store correctly labelled the package sent to Brightpoint. It would have been an hour or 2 if it was bought from Apple online.

If anyone can shed some light on this I would be most interested…


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Other related posts:
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Digital Privacy in a digital world
Why I don't like CAA today








Comment by freitasm, on 19-Oct-2010 19:38

"You see mobilefonerepair only will handle your iPhone if you purchased it from Vodafone!"

I think it should read "You see mobilefonerepair only will handle your iPhone if you purchased it from Apple!"...

Chris021: Thanks for the proof read MF!


Comment by mike, on 19-Oct-2010 20:06

Easy, Apple look after their customers and Vodafone don't.


Comment by Dratsab, on 19-Oct-2010 21:13

Next time, don't buy Apple


Comment by Mark, on 19-Oct-2010 21:15

As far as I know (and this may have changed with the increase in supply these days) mobilephonerepair won't swap it on the spot. It's usually a 24-48hr turn around while they order one in from AUS?


Comment by antoniosk, on 19-Oct-2010 21:16

Also, carriers will get the units at a discounted price, but that comes with the sting in the tail being 'you must provide support'. Microsoft had this model with Windows Mobile - something I inherited with XDA - where the carrier got Office/ActiveSync and most licensing at nearly free rates, but then had to put it's own support structure in place for customers.

Not trivial by any stretch... you got a subsidised phone, they got it a cheaper price, but you get the same service grade everyone gets.

Stink.


Comment by Mark, on 19-Oct-2010 21:48

As far as I know (and this may have changed with the increase in supply these days) mobilephonerepair won't swap it on the spot. It's usually a 24-48hr turn around while they order one in from AUS?


Comment by lyonrouge, on 20-Oct-2010 09:26

I've had my wifes 3GS replaced twice now, with the standard one week turn around time. I was considering getting her an iPhone 4 in the hope it would be more reliable than the 3GS, but maybe I'll get her an Android (I understand a lot of iPhone app producers are porting their apps to Android so she can play angry bird and whirley word on that instead).


Comment by almaznz, on 20-Oct-2010 13:39

I beleive the reason that the two different sources use different repairers is that Brightpoint (Vodafone) changed who they used for Mobile Phone Repairs earlier this year, and in this moved they no longer acredited MFR for any mobiles they provide (unless stipulated by the manufactorer that there was indeed nobody else).

This may not be the reason in this case, but i know that from a Retailers point of view if you get the product through brightpoint it won't be going to MFR.


Comment by ahmad, on 20-Oct-2010 21:50

The irony here is that any time you ask Vodafone about an iPhone problem, even if it somehow relates to Vodafone, you are told that you have to ask Apple about it...


Comment by vamsee, on 21-Oct-2010 13:50

Question - For those that have got iPhone 4, is it worth to buy the extended warranty from Apple? we can buy it anytime before the current warranty expries. I bought mine from Apple Store in Australia while coming back and got 10% duty back.


Comment by Foo, on 21-Oct-2010 22:27

So, was your iPhone 4 repaired or replaced? 

chris021: Replaced


Comment by Paul Brislen, on 23-Oct-2010 11:22

Just to dispell a couple of rumours here:

@mike, you're talking rubbish.
@ahmad, that's not true either. We have a dedicated 0800 number for Apple customers and a team that can help with most instances.

What we cannot do is assess whether your phone needs replacing/repairing and make repairs here at Vodafone. Apple's process is to send it back to an agent for evaluation and then back to Apple for repair/replace/refurb.

This is Apple's process. The Vodafone process is similar but uses a different agent.

The Consumer Guarantees Act still applies in either case to consumers of the product (not business users) so ultimately there will be no difference in outcome whether you're dealing an Apple-related issue or a non-Apple related issue.

@Chris, I'm sorry to hear you got passed around from pillar to post. That shouldn't have happened and I apologise.

Always go back to the retailer as per the CGA (preferably the same store you bought from) whenever you have a warranty issue. It's the best way to make sure you feed into whatever process there is in place.

Paul


Chris021: Thanks Paul for the 'official word'.


Comment by mikehayton, on 25-Oct-2010 18:04

"With iPhone 4’s dropping like flies and heading in for service".

Can someone tell me why? Is it just that the hardware naturally fails after a certain time?

I've been checking out the Windows Phone 7 and it looks quite good.


Comment by Jon, on 29-Oct-2010 08:24

What I can't get my head around is if it isn't a warranty repair - why can't I take my phone to the repairer of choice?

Seems very odd.


Comment by Jon, on 29-Oct-2010 08:25

What I can't get my head around is if it isn't a warranty repair - why can't I take my phone to the repairer of choice?

Seems very odd.


Comment by JohnM, on 29-Oct-2010 11:07

Chris et al

Interested in your dropping like flies comment about the iph 4. I am a long time mac user and as with all their new gear have delayed purchasing an iph until the technology has been sorted. About to buy an iph and deciding about the 3 or 4. Now the 4 has an identified problem with reception and with your comment about flies I'm a tad concerned. Also the 5 is on the way. Do you think the 4 a viable option or is it still too soon to move. I looked at the Samsung Galaxy (android) but was told it was not compatible with mac.
Comments would be apreciated

JohnM

Chris021: The iPhone 4 is still an awsome phone with good build quality. I have had no reception issues with it only the failed speaker. I would still buy one and I am not at all an apple fan.


Comment by JohnM, on 29-Oct-2010 11:07

Chris et al

Interested in your dropping like flies comment about the iph 4. I am a long time mac user and as with all their new gear have delayed purchasing an iph until the technology has been sorted. About to buy an iph and deciding about the 3 or 4. Now the 4 has an identified problem with reception and with your comment about flies I'm a tad concerned. Also the 5 is on the way. Do you think the 4 a viable option or is it still too soon to move. I looked at the Samsung Galaxy (android) but was told it was not compatible with mac.
Comments would be appreciated

JohnM


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Chris Hoffmann
New Zealand


Areas of Interest:
VoIP
Network Security
Computer Forensics
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