I almost bought the iPhone 15 Pro Max. I went on the Apple.com website, configured the phone I wanted, and put it in my Apple shopping bag. In addition to the phone, I added the AppleCare warranty.
Since the iPhone 15 was just released, none of the Apple stores in my region had the phone in stock. So, to get the phone, I had to wait about two months to have it delivered via mail. Apple gave an approximate date of when the iPhone would ship.
iPhone Shipped Earlier Than Expected
Much to my surprise, Apple notified me that they had shipped the phone, and I should receive it by November 1st. That was two to three weeks ahead of schedule. Yay!
November 1st came and went, and there was no phone. I waited a day or two, and there was still no phone. I checked the tracking information and found it was delivered to a local UPS facility. It stayed at that facility for a few more days.
Something is Not Right
I’ve had Apple devices delivered by mail before and never encountered this type of delay, so I called Apple regarding the non-delivered phone. As expected, they charged my credit card not only for the phone but for AppleCare, too. I explained that the phone had not been delivered and that I believed it was lost (or someone else was using the phone I had paid for). As such, I wanted a refund for the non-delivered phone.
Apple opened an investigation with UPS, and I received a flurry of texts and emails both from Apple and UPS regarding the missing package. UPS also called several times, requesting me to confirm that I had not received the package.
Package Still Not Delivered
After a week of the phone not being delivered, Apple promised to refund the money. On November 9th, I received two refund amounts. The first amount equaled the cost of the AppleCare insurance. The second amount was a partial refund for the phone. However, when I did the calculations, it looked like Apple reimbursed me for the phone’s total cost but not the amount for AppleCare.
I called Apple and explained the problem. They told me I should call AppleCare. The Apple customer service rep also gave me the serial number for the non-delivered iPhone. He said that AppleCare needed it to cancel the coverage.
Now the Fun Begins
November 10, 2023:
I called AppleCare to request a refund. After a half hour of being transferred from person to person, I was disconnected. So I had to call them again.
The second call lasted an hour and four minutes, and the situation remained unresolved. I had to repeatedly explain that I had not received the phone and, therefore, did not need the insurance. I requested that the AppleCare policy be canceled flat (as of the inception date) and the money returned. I should have recorded my explanation because I had to recite it again and again to five or six different people.
I finally ended up with Danyelle. She explained that she was unable to issue a refund because of internal system problems. My claim had to be escalated to the Engineering Department. She told me the engineers needed to override the system or create a back door so she could enter the necessary information to refund the premium.
Danyelle sent an email to me with a link. That link was to give me direct access to her. She promised she would take ownership of my claim and I wouldn’t have to go through telling my story repeatedly to different reps. The conversation ended with her advising that she would call me on Wednesday, 11/16/23, at 8:30 am with an update.
Tuesday, November 15th, 2023:
I received an email from Apple Support with an Apple Care+ Proof of Coverage document. The email listed the product’s name, serial number, agreement number, and coverage end date of October 30th, 2025.
When I received the Proof of Coverage, I assumed the Engineering Department had done what it needed to do, thus resulting in the email being automatically sent to me. I was guardedly optimistic that things were moving in the right direction. Now that proof of coverage had been established, they could cancel it and refund the money.
Wednesday, November 16th, 2023:
In preparation for Danyelle’s call, I had the Apple watch on my wrist and the iPhone within reach, ready for the agreed upon 8:30 am call. Imagine my surprise when, at 8:22 am and again at 8:23 am, I received emails stating, “We tried to reach you” and “We’re trying to reach you.”
To make things worse, they sent yet another email at 8:34 am saying, “Thanks for contacting us.” And if I needed further help, I should call them back.
AppleCare Did Not Call
What really frosted my liver was that they didn’t call my phone. It didn’t ring, and I looked through my call log…there were no such calls. Someone wasn’t telling the truth! So, I called them again! I also sent a message using the link my “I own this claim” representative Danyelle sent me. That link was not a direct line to her, as promised. It was a line to the general number for which I needed to stay on hold forever to talk to several other Customer Service Reps.
Rep after Rep after Rep
This time, it took three people to finally get things done. The first person did not have the proper credentials to help me. She transferred me to someone with the credentials to issue the refund, but she needed her supervisor’s permission to do so. Why did she need a supervisor’s permission? Because Danyelle had claimed me, and this rep didn’t have the authority to unclaim me from Danyelle. She had to get permission from higher-up to do so.
Finally, with permission granted, the rep started to initiate the refund. All was going well until she said, “I just want to let you know. The refund will be pro-rated.” Huh? Pro-rated? It was pro-rated because the coverage began on 10/30/23, and we’re “canceling” it on 11/16/23.
Oh No She Didn’t
Nope. That was not acceptable. I worked in the insurance industry for more years than I’d like to count. I wanted a flat cancellation with a full refund. The first rule in issuing an insurance policy is there must be an insurable interest. I did not have a phone; therefore, there was nothing to insure. Charging a premium would violate the first rule of insurability, not to mention that it was just plain sleazy!
And Yet Another Rep
Not having the authority to override the system, I was transferred to yet another rep. This one had the power to do what needed to be done and assured me she had initiated the refund. It would take 15 business days (a.k.a. 3 weeks) to receive it.
I asked for confirmation in writing. I didn’t want the generic AppleCare email with links to send me into phone jail. I wanted something to confirm the refund and that I’d get it in the timeframe discussed. I received the email, and now I am waiting!
This little fiasco reinforced my belief that cell phone insurance is a ripoff. I had fallen victim to buying AppleCare coverage for every device I purchased. I used AppleCare once when I cracked the screen on my iPhone 12. In doing so, I had to pay a co-pay of about $29 to have the screen replaced. In the grand scheme, I spent over $1,400 buying AppleCare insurance for various devices and had to pay an additional $29 to replace a screen.
In the future, if I drop my phone, I’ll just have to pay out-of-pocket to replace the screen. I’m disappointed in Apple and AppleCare. One should not have to jump through such hoops to get a refund for coverage on a non-delivered item.
And Then Came The Survey
As is the habit nowadays, we always receive a survey for any contact with a company. True to form, Apple asked me to complete a survey, and I did. I’m sure you know how that went.
I received an email from Apple with the subject line, “Your request is complete.” The email advised that my money was on the way and I should see the credit within ten days.