Apple store employee: iPhone battery replacement is a mess

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Genius Bar expert says Apple has "no real plan" to deal with problem.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple was quick to rectify the “random shutdown” problem affecting some iPhones by offering in-store battery replacements for affected customers. Unfortunately, it seems that already-busy Apple store employees aren’t too happy about the replacement program.

Given that each replacement takes between 20 and 45 minutes, and staffers are doing 15 to 30 replacements per day, it’s quickly adding up to “more than we [can] replace,” according to a longtime Genius Bar guru.

It would be one thing if this was only affecting employees. But customers are also bearing the brunt, reportedly facing lengthy delays and other challenges.

The iPhone random shutdown problem, and the resultant gripes about backups at Apple stores, is just the latest black eye for Cupertino. In recent weeks, complaints about pricey but glitchy MacBook Pros and irritation over long-delayed AirPods have tarnished Apple’s reputation for delivering impeccable hardware and meeting deadlines.

Apple originally said the battery problem in question existed only in a small quantity of iPhone 6s units produced between September and October 2015, which it committed to replacing for any customers who had experienced the fault.

  However, in a subsequent statement aimed at the Chinese market (which Tim Cook has been outspoken about believing will soon be Apple’s largest), the company admitted that a “small number of customers outside of the affected range have also reported an unexpected shutdown.”

The iPhone battery replacement might be fixing one problem, but seems to have created another.

“There is no real plan on how to actually get these done,” the Apple store employee told Business Insider. “Most stores are short-staffed, and they book us too much for appointments, so Geniuses are taking two to three appointments at a time. But we have these [battery replacements] come in nonstop.”

iPhone battery replacement comes at bad time of year

Of course, things will vary depending on where you live and the distribution of affected iPhone models. Nonetheless, this isn’t ideal for the always-hectic holiday season. Especially for a company that has always prided itself on its stellar customer service.

Have you been affected by the iPhone random shutdown problem, or have you noticed your Apple store being busier than normal? Leave your comments below.

Source: Business Insider