After having my 3gs from the day they launched it has been in a silicon case and it comes out weekly for a wipe down and clean. I usually don't look to hard at the phone, but this morning as the weather wasn't very nice I was cleaning the phone and I noticed hair line cracks around the sleep/lock key and the sim holder.
Refurb models are ones that have had a fault that was able to be repaired. Take your phone for example. It gets returned to Apple and they replace the case on it. They probably replace the bezel and display to be on the safe side too. Then they test the other components work and repackage it into a plain box that can be sent to their repair centres. Your phone then makes it into the hands of someone else that has a faulty phone, as their replacement handset.
For all intents and purposes it is a new phone. Refurb products go through pretty strict QA before being sent back out to the field. That is why if you want a good deal on Apple products your first point of call should always be the Refurb section of the Apple online store. You can get some great deals in there, with full warranty just like a brand new item.
Yes Technology Centre is an Apple Authorized Service Provider, however Apple changed the warranty game for iPhones a bit. iPhone's need to be serviced by an Apple Authorized Wireless Service Provider and need to be serviced in the country that they are purchased in. Unfortunately this means stores like Technology Centre and Magnum Mac etc can't provide warranty service for iPhones. I work at an Apple Authorized Reseller, in fact I use to work at Technology Centre and this is really frustrating as it make us look like we can't provide a complete service to our customers, anyway there is no talk from Apple about opening this up to those authorized service providers that I am aware of.
The company Mobilefonerepair is an Apple Authorized Wireless Service Provider (and the only one in NZ - correct me anybody if I am incorrect). You can get hold of them via their website - www.mobilefonerepair.com or by calling them on 09 9174797 - they should be able to assist you with any warranty issues. If you decide to just visit them make sure you have a copy of your Proof of Purchase handy.
That's interesting phillw, i recently had a NZ bought iPhone serviced at an Australian Apple Store...
I guess the issue is whether you purchased AppleCare with your iPhone, or if you are subject to the warranty of the vendor you purchased your iPhone from. All of mine have their own AppleCare which probably makes a difference.
Thanks for letting me know that. It is quite interesting - Apple started restricting service of things like AppleTV and Time Capsules to country of origin and only gave global coverage to their main products. Although I believe they have now changed this for the AppleTV and TimeCapsule.
As for the iPhone I was pretty sure they were strict on it. Reading the iPhone APP & Limited Warranty T&C though it doesn't say you MUST it says they MAY: "Apple may restrict service provided under this Plan to the Covered Equipment?s original country of purchase."
Perhaps because Australia is still part of APAC we have the ability to order the same APAC iPhone, as Australia and NZ's iPhone's are unlocked. I suspect if you tried to get a replacement in the US it might be a little more difficult seeing as their phones are locked so I would expect the US refurb iPhone to also be locked.