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Angry Users Jump Through Hoops to Get $29 iPhone Battery Replacement

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In light of recent revelations about iPhone slowdowns, Apple’s new $29 battery replacement program may seem like a no-brainer. But customers are complaining that the process isn’t nearly as easy as it should be.

The first issue, of course, is Apple’s stock of replacement batteries. Twitter is littered with iOS users who are complaining that their local Apple Stores have limited stock of replacement batteries — or have run out completely.

In a few cases, iPhone owners reported making an appointment, driving to their local Apple repair location, and finding out that they were out of stock after making the trip.

Similarly, the availability of appointments is seemingly being impacted by the slew of iPhone owners who are taking advantage of Apple’s reduced battery pricing. One woman wrote that there were no available appointments in her area for the next 7 days, and added that her local Apple Store can’t schedule appointments further out than that due to “system limitations.”

Other iPhone owners simply report that the customer service experience when getting their batteries replaced was poor. In other cases, the elevated volume of appointments may be causing a bit of chaos with Apple’s support teams.

iDrop News reader Stephen Taylor, who said he had his battery replaced on Dec. 24, paid the full $79 for the repair procedure. Taylor reports having to jump through hoops to get the $50 difference refunded to him. “I went through the process today, spoke to 3 different people and took about 30 minutes,” Taylor wrote in an email. He added that Apple is only refunding the difference for iPhone owners who had their battery replaced after Dec. 14, 2017.

Other iPhone owners across the globe are also reporting confusion in getting their batteries replaced. Twitter user Apisit, who lives in Tokyo, Japan, said that Apple Store employees refused to replace his battery because it passed the diagnostic tests. That’s interesting because, at least in the U.S., Apple’s policy is to offer the $29 battery replacement regardless of those test results — though it’s not known if that policy is a global one, or if this is simply a case of the updated policy taking time to reach the rest of the globe.

Apple Support staff may also be giving conflicting messages about the effect of a battery replacement on a user’s device performance. Richard Hatherall wrote on Twitter that Apple staff ensured him a battery replacement would have “no benefit” for his iPhone 6’s performance. He had his battery replaced anyway, and his Geekbench testing results seem to prove otherwise.

The Cupertino tech giant began offering the $29 battery replacement program last month, in the wake of controversy following its revelation that it had been slowing down older iPhones as their batteries degrade.

The reduced battery replacement pricing is available to anyone with an iPhone 6 or newer, regardless of diagnostic test results, but the evidence seems to suggest that many users will need to wait a bit longer to get their batteries swapped than they expected.

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