Loaner iPhone for All Repairs?
June 24, 2014 6:18 AM   Subscribe

My wife's iPhone 5 seems to have a hardware failure. I'm going to try taking it to the Apple Store tonight, anticipating they'll have to send it in for repairs. It's out-of-warranty, so we'll likely have to pay for the repair. The question I have: is there a loaner program? She needs something while it's out. I know they had one for a defect--is it available for all repairs?
posted by MrGuilt to Technology (8 answers total)
When I had an out-of-warranty hardware issue on my iPhone 4s, what they actually did was swap it out for a new phone. I paid the cost of the "repair", but what I got was a brand new was-still-in-the-shrinkwrap phone, to which I restored all of my old phone's data from its most recent backup.

I don't know if that's how they still do it, that was something like two years ago.
posted by Lokheed at 6:44 AM on June 24, 2014

Best answer: If it's something that needs to be sent away to be fixed or that can't be fixed within an hour or so, then they'll just swap out the phone for a refurbished unit of the same kind. I suspect Lokheed got a new unit because when the 5 was new, they didn't have any refurb units yet to replace it with. You'll get a refurbished unit with a new battery.
posted by inturnaround at 6:49 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I too was having phone hardware problems and took my 4s into Verizon last year. I had done every step before (restarting, restoring to factory, etc.). It was out of warrenty, and he added the extended warranty back on to my phone, then I got shipped a refurb 4s and returned my old 4s.

He did inspect the phone for damage or water damage, which there was none (it was nearly mint on the outside.) So, I agree that they will probably swap it out. (Mine was free.) Worst case, someone near you may have an old phone you can borrow.
posted by Crystalinne at 6:56 AM on June 24, 2014

They gave me a loaner when I took mine in for repairs last week. Is it the power switch by any chance? If so, you can check your serial number on their website to see if you qualify for a free repair.
posted by spilon at 7:16 AM on June 24, 2014

yeah, I had an old out of warranty 3GS with a bad antenna, and they just gave me a new refurb, no big deal (or cost!). This was a couple months before the 5 came out, and I told the genius I really just wanted something for the next few months before I could get the latest and greatest. I'm not sure if that helped or not, but I did end up with a new phone, and got a 5 when they came out.
posted by rockindata at 8:11 AM on June 24, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm actually in a similar situation - my iPhone 5 started acting up on Sunday and bricked last night. I think it's the battery swelling that is causing the issue, so I'm taking it in to the Apple Store today. Be sure you make an appointment for the genius bar, though, don't just take it in (this was news to me). I've been googling and have found a lot of people reporting that they received refurb-ed units for out of warranty phones, some for the cost of a repair and some for free, depending on the issue. I'll update on my result later on today, if I get home from the Apple Store & you haven't updated with a result on your end. Good luck (to us both!).
posted by AthenaPolias at 8:47 AM on June 24, 2014

If they can't fix the problem on the spot, you get a refurb right then and leave not having to return. Your old one becomes someone else's refurb.

I've never gotten or heard of a loaner until this thread. I have had plenty of instant swaps for a refurb, though. And yes, even out of warranty.
posted by emptythought at 12:44 PM on June 24, 2014

I've just gotten home from the Apple Store - they replaced my battery (for $79 + tax) in about 45 minutes and my phone seems to be working just fine (even though they're not sure if the battery was the actual problem or just a symptom). I was told my two options, aside from just not having it fixed, were trying the new battery or just buying a new phone for $269. My guess is, because they thought they could fix it there, I didn't get the option of a swap out (or loaner), as emptythought says. Hope you've found a good solution.
posted by AthenaPolias at 3:40 PM on June 24, 2014

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