Technology admins are busy ensuring an organization's existing systems are running properly and receiving recommended maintenance, while also keeping new software and hardware projects on schedule. End users are busy fulfilling their own professional responsibilities, while also meeting the demands of their personal lives. Who has time to track what computer equipment, smartphones, chargers, and similar components are covered by a manufacturer's extended return and repair or replacement program? I don't. Even though I write a regular column covering Apple technologies, I wasn't aware that the faulty non-Apple USB charger a family member purchased could be exchanged at Apple, where I could have received a genuine Apple model for just $10.
Fortunately, Apple maintains a website where users can immediately eliminate confusion regarding whether a problematic device or component is covered by a repair or replacement program. There's no need to search for recent relevant news articles or consumer alerts. The Exchange and Repair Extension Programs website lists Apple's repair and replacement programs.
Clicking on a listed program reveals the replacement or repair initiative's details, plus additional information as to how admins and end users can determine whether their device or component is covered. Apple's listing describes symptoms associated with a potential problem and provides specific steps that can be taken to obtain repair or a replacement, if eligible.
Apple even offers information about how to remove data from a device before returning it to Apple for replacement, as in the case of the most recent program covering iPhone 5 battery replacements. In the event an organization or end user previously paid for a repair covered by the replacement initiative, Apple provides instructions for how to receive a refund.
Three repair and extension program initiatives are listed thus far for 2014:
- iPhone 5 Battery Replacement
- Apple 5W European USB Power Adapter
- iPhone 5 Sleep/Wake Button Replacement, which actually impacted the original iPhone 5 that I received within my business
While only two program initiatives were announced in 2013 — one covered MacBook Air flash storage, and the second addressed problems with third-party iPhone, iPad, and iPod adapters — other repair and replacement programs are listed. Organizations and end users should check the site periodically to see if Apple announces new coverage initiatives. A quick spot check could not only help an organization or end user save money performing a repair, but correct a nagging issue that's been adversely impacting a device or component's performance.
Have you taken advantage of Apple's Exchange and Repair Extension Programs? Share your experience in the discussion thread below.
Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president of Eckel Media Corp., a communications company specializing in public relations and technical authoring projects.