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A man who wishes to be referred to as J. Hillard has reported to iDrop News that his three-week-old iPhone XS Max caught fire in his pants pocket. The incident reportedly took place on Wednesday, December 12, 2018, at 3:00 pm near Columbus, Ohio.
On Hillard’s lunch break, he noticed a strange smell coming from his phone which was located in a rear pant pocket. Hillard reports that he felt a “large amount of heat” as well as burning on his skin.
Moments later, Hillard claims green and yellow colored smoke began billowing from the iPhone. Hillard goes on to explain his story in immense detail:
“Left no other option, I had to exit the room since there was a female in the break room with me and remove my pants. I ran to the boardroom where I got my shoes and pants off as fast as possible. A VP of our company put the fire out with a fire extinguisher because he heard me yelling.”
“Once the phone was extinguished, I was left with a hole in my pants, fire extinguisher on my pants/shoes, and some pain/irritation in my buttocks region where the pocket of my pants was located.”
“From the time of first noticing the fire and between removal of the pants and taking the phone out of my pocket and placing it outside, I inhaled A LOT of smoke. Later in the day, the team told me about the video that the office security camera captured.”
Attempts to Resolve the Issue
“Later in the evening, I went directly to the Apple Store with the burned/melted remains of the phone, case, and plastic screen protector. Once in the Apple Store, I went to the back and asked for a manager. I explained my story and the leader, she said that she would send a senior tech.”
“I told her that I expected a call from customer relations and there was nothing that a tech could tell me about the melted phone. After spending about 20 minutes with an employee and answering questions, she removed the SIM card in effort to pull up my profile but it was melted.”
“The employee told me that she had to call the safety team and took the phone to a back room and did not return or update me on the status of my problem for about 40 minutes. After receiving this cold treatment with zero engagement from the team while waiting, I found a manager to locate the employee with my phone.”
“The employee resurfaced with the phone already packaged and told me that they were going to send it back to the engineering team. The manager then came up to me and said that this is the only way that I could receive a replacement phone.”
“I was given no other option and was told that nothing could be done for me in store if they could not keep the damaged phone. I asked about my clothing and they told me that they could make no promises until the phone was captured. I left one hour before the store closed and unsatisfied with the customer service in store, I took back the damaged phone and returned home.”
“Once home, I called the Apple Care line and was transferred to a senior specialist in the safety department. The specialist got information on the phone, incident, location, etc. I essentially started the entire process over again. I was sent an email and instructed to attach pictures of the damage to the phone, my clothes, and if there was any injury to also attach a picture of this.”
“I stated that I would send pictures of the damaged phone and clothes, but that even if there had been a visible injury I would not be comfortable sending pictures of such sensitive regions of my body.”
“I called back the next day and since the team member who I had spoken to only worked Sun-Wed, I asked to be directed to a supervisor. I was given to a supervisor still from the safety department but he said that he sat in the corporate office. He looked at the file and viewed the pictures and essentially offered a new phone.”
“I went to the doctor that night to get X-rays and get a checkup from the heavy smoke inhalation and exposure irritation. And for documentation.”
Hillard reports that a new iPhone isn’t an acceptable remedy for the situation, and is also seeking restitution for the clothes and shoes ruined in the incident, as well as costs to cover his wireless service which he was unable to use during his time negotiating with Apple.
Hillard notes that he’d like to brag about the great company that Apple is, however he seems to have lost faith in the company at this point in time. Hillard is currently contemplating legal action.