Woman reportedly charged $448 by Apple Orchard Road after iOS11 update bricks her iPhone

Thursday, Oct 05, 2017
Photo: Hardware Zone

Ex-loyal Apple fan, Mel Loi, posted about her recent experience on Facebook with Apple's Tech Support and Orchard Road Genius Bar after the iOS 11 update apparently bricked her iPhone.

According to Loi, she updated her iPhone (which model exactly is unclear) to iOS 11, but the phone went blank after she keyed in her iCloud password.

After 15 minutes of nothing happening she called Apple Tech Support and spent an hour on the phone and another half hour the next day talking to tech support who eventually asked her to have her phone checked out at the Apple Store.

Source: Screenshot from Mel Loi's FB post

Taking her phone down to the Apple Orchard Road Store, she was immediately told by the Genius bar staff, who apparently did not even bother to check the phone, that she would need a total phone replacement.

After further questioning, the staff tested the phone and determined that current was still flowing through it and that it could be a screen problem, which would cost S$200 to fix.

Source: Screenshot from Mel Loi's FB post

After two hours of testing, Loi was informed that it wasn't a problem with the screen after all, and that she would need a total phone replacement as they couldn't pinpoint the problem.

She was also informed that as the phone was more than a year old, the problem may have been due to Loi constantly dropping the phone, and may not be due to the iOS 11 update.

Source: Screenshot from Mel Loi's FB post.

Loi then states that the Apple staff finally acknowledged that the problem may have been due to the iOS 11 update, but was told she would still have to pay S$448 as a replacement cost.

Could this have anything to do with illegal tampering or unauthorized third-party vendors who might have replaced parts on the device previously? The circumstances leading to this replacement fee is currently unclear.

Source: Screenshot from Mel Loi's FB post.

When Loi said she felt unjustified at having to pay S$448 for a phone that died because of the update, she was sent back to Apple Tech Support who then spent another half an hour on the phone telling her she should have been given a service report by the Apple Store (she wasn't), and that she should go back to the Apple Store to get one, or alternatively, that she can get a second opinion from another Apple authorised service provider.

Source: Screenshot from Mel Loi's FB post.

Rather than pay the cost, Loi is apparently now looking around at other mobile phone brands after using an iPhone for the past eight years.

Source : The Straits Times, Reuters

The Apple Store on Orchard Road opened its doors at 8am on Friday (Sept 22) to customers looking to get their hands on the new iPhone 8.

Those who pre-ordered their smartphones were allowed to enter ahead of those in the walk-in queue.

The first to get his hand on the new smartphone was Mr Varis Sinthopruangchai, 20.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) finance foreign exchange student from Thailand was the first to pre-order and buy an iPhone 8 and 8 Plus.

He bought them as presents for his parents back home in Thailand.

Mr Amin Ahmad Dholya, 43, was the first in line, having arrived at the store at around 7pm. He said he flew in from India specially to buy an iPhone 8 Plus for his daughter as a wedding gift.

"I will buy two, one for my other daughter. This is my first time queuing overnight for something - I am feeling good now but it will be hard to stand all night," the businessman had said.

This is the first major product launch since the store opened in May. A queue had formed in front of the store from Thursday (Sept 21) night, in anticipation for the new smartphone.

Each person in the queue was limited to purchasing two each.

By 7.30am, more than 100 people were in the queue. When the doors opened, there were around 200 people.

The iPhone 8 retails for $1,148 (64GB) and $1,388 (256GB), while the iPhone 8 Plus retails for $1,308 (64GB) and $1,548 (256GB).

Here's the full Facebook post:

Updated at 7pm, October 4th: We've reached out to Apple for comments and we'll update this story when relevant. We understand that as long as a device is more than a year old and the problem encountered is not easily repairable, a replacement cost will be incurred to get an equivalent device. We've also reached out to Mel Loi to check on more details pertaining to her ordeal.

Updated at 7.20pm, October 4th: Mel Loi has unfortunately declined to comment further on this matter, but as of this update, her FB post is still public.

Updated at 7.40pm, October 4th: On further investigation via social media responses and this Forbes article, it's likely that select users are experiencing firmware issues only with iOS 11.0.1 updates. No complaints with regards to iOS 11.0.2 have surfaced thus far. Below are selected screenshots we've taken from the Facebook post's comments stream. In short, beware of firmware updates as they do have a history of causing issues, especially for the earlier iteration of a major update.

Meanwhile, you can check out this active discussion in our forums on this matter.

This article was first published in Hardware Zone.