05 December 2016

Bad experience with Apple iPhone 6s replacement Program in Singapore

When Apple released the news that a very small number of iPhone 6s may unexpectedly, I was pretty sure that my iPhone is one of them.

you can check whether your iPhone 6s is affected by going to this page Apple

Once I confirmed that my iPhone was one of them, I quickly made a call to Apple Authorized service center in Singapore (a.k.a ALAB). calling them didn't bear any fruit.
I proceed to book appointment at A.LAB, this one even worse.

bookable slot is only a week in advance and no matter which date you choose you will only see the red notification "we apologize that there are no available slots for the date selected"

I don't have choice than to go for walk in. Wiped my iPhone 6s as per instruction in the replacement program. I arrived at 11AM, waited 15 minutes to get the queue number, the receptionist checked my phone eligibility and handed me the ticket queue number. waited for 2 hours+ to get serve. in the ticket it's written a little guide that pleas send your queue number to 8782 1920 to get notification when your turn is near but it didn't work.

the lady that served me was quite polite, she said "sorry for the long wait". after she verified my phone she said "Sir, you need to leave your phone 2-3 days because Apple do not have the battery stock".
Me: "I don't have a choice then, can you provide me with a spare phone?"
ALAB: "no sir, this is a replacement program so we don't provide spare device. you need to left your phone for 2 -3 days until the stock arrived"
Me: "Is there anyway I can get replacement phone?"
ALAB: "No Sir, you can take your sim card and use your own spare phone"
Me: "How about one to one replacement"
ALAB: "No Sir this program is only for the battery"
Me: "why there is no stock, apple should've provided more because of this replacement program"
ALAB: "I'm not sure, our stock supplied by Apple"

If I knew this in advance I would've waited for the stock or at least the receptionist should've tell me that there is no stock currently for the battery.

Well after I wiped my phone clean and waited for 2.5 hours, I don't have any choice than to leave my phone there.

Tips: please call ALAB to check the stock availability and asked them how long it's going to take for replacing the battery. get the name of the person as well so that you've a solid evidence when ALAB tell you something else. Good luck with the call I hope that you will be able to speak with someone.

I'm quite disappointment with the service that's provided by ALAB, they should've have mentioned this in their website / Facebook as well.

I got in touch with APPLE through the chat, and asked them about the stock and here is their answer

APPLE: What happens is the authorized service providers are authorized by us in order to provide support and service, but they work under their own policies. That is the reason why they provided you those options, and I really apologize for any inconvenience that it might’ve caused.

Me:how about the battery replacement? why apple is offering the program if they don't have enough stock or i would say that apple should've prepare in advance.

APPLE: What happens is that with authorized service providers it works a little bit different. They request the parts with some anticipation in order to be provided, we were having a little delayed with the repair due to part constraints so due to that it got delayed over there as well.

Me: honestly if i know that the service provider doesn't have any stock, I'll wait. the only reason that i left my phone because from apple website it suggested me to wipe the phone before going to the service center and I've waited 2.5 hours.

APPLE: In this case what we can do is to provide you another store contact so you can verify if they can proceed with the repair faster than the store you visited.

Ok here is the picture, there's a defect that took so long to be acknowledge by APPLE (I'm not surprise if my phone exploded, it was showing me an overheat notification before)
after APPLE knowledge the issue they provided a replacement program but there's not enough battery. after that  it's a cat and mouse game... they (APPLE and ALAB) don't want to take ownership and blame each other.

I'm writing this so that you don't have to waste your time like me. I'm also hoping that someone from APPLE / ALAB read this and improve their process.

in my opinion (i might be wrong because i don't have the full picture)

Apple:
  • please take the ownership and don't blame your service provider. if they are bad, replace them.
  • make sure that there's stock available, you can and should've included this during your assessment before realizing the replacement program.
  • you should've appoint someone to monitor this supply chain / connect with the provider, any layman understand that you need to provide extra stock because people will come and do their replacement after the announcement.
  • you owned the problem (battery issue) go an extra mile a little bit for your customer by loaning a phone if the they need to wait for the stock.
  • communicate program to your service provider in timely manner so that they can put something on their website to notify us.

A.LAB:
  • please listen to complaint from the user and improve it. (visited 1 year ago and no improvement so far)
  • should've a customer relation personnel to be stationed on ground.
  • your notification for queuing is not working, please fix that. 
  • please fix your feedback form in the website (captcha not visible) it doesn't work with firefox / IE only chrome.
  • 2 hours just to get served is too long, 1 hour is acceptable. can i see your SLA?
  • please provide update information on your website, if Apple don't provide be proactive.
  • please update your Facebook.
  • please open up your bookable slot to 2 weeks at least.
If you think i'm being unreasonable, please first go through the 113 user's feedback. 

PS: i will be very unsatisfied (and angry perhaps) if you hold my phone longer than 2 - 3 days as you've promised.

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