I don’t know the answer to whether Apple has a “one free drop” policy. All I know is I went to the Apple Store with my iPad2’s spectacularly cracked screen and left with a brand new one for free.
Here is what it looked like after I dropped it on my tile entryway floor (which will be ripped out as soon as possible because I’ve always hated it and now have a genuine reason to perform tile genocide):
You can’t see it very well, but the worst of the damage is at the lower left edge. It looks kind of blue, eh, from left edge to about halfway across? If you tilt your screen away from you and look at it from “below” you may be able to see that entire area is a mass of shattered glass. Clearly that’s the edge that hit first. I kept using it for a bit that morning and suffered “tiny shards of glass in my index finger” syndrome.
Because sometimes I’m not too bright.
It was chaos when I arrived at the Apple Store. CHAOS. TIP: If you’re going to the Apple Store, don’t go on Saturday. I’d never been to one of their brick and mortar stores before, having bought my iPad2 online, so was unprepared for the melee.
I thought making an appointment online worked like it does at DMV where you jump ahead of everyone who is too stupid to make an appointment. It does, sort of, but either they drastically overbooked or the standard 10-15 minute appointments took longer than expected because I wandered around the store for 30 minutes before my “genius” came to greet me.
BTW, if you’re new to the Apple Store and have an appointment, be sure to check in with any of the worker bees walking around with iPads. I wasted 5 precious minutes standing at the Genius Bar waiting for someone to acknowledge me so I could check in. I finally interrupted one of the “Geniuses” and was cheerily told to find anyone walking around with a tablet and check in there.
Then he laughed behind my back as I walked away and called me an Apple Virgin.
Not really, but I did feel the teensiest bit humiliated that I was DOING IT WRONG. I had, in fact, read the instructions online that said to check in that way but thought doing so at the Bar itself would be faster. VIRGIN.
My genius’s name was Estavan and I should have taken his picture because he was ADORABLE. Also 12 years old, or thereabouts. He began by telling me the warranty only covers hardware failure, likening it to a car warranty. If your engine falls out due to mechanical failure, that’s probably covered. If you crash into something, that’s what you have insurance for and there is no insurance for you iPad.
He said they don’t replace the screens on the iPad2, either, and a new unit would cost $499 (the original price) but he could offer me a replacement for just $279 AT THAT STORE ONLY (Modesto’s Vintage Faire Mall.) It sucked, but I said okay because I take my iPad2 to bed with me every night and can’t imagine life without it.
As he processed the paperwork and got my new iPad2, I chatted with the girls next to me who were there to replace an iPhone but couldn’t get the case off. Their male Genius couldn’t get it off either. My Estevan tried and only got half of it off. Then a female Genius picked it up and – boom – case off! The males declared they “loosened it” for her, of course.
So I go to sign the paperwork and Estevan says he’s going to take care of me today and I think, yes, yes, you’re giving me a brand new iPad2 for almost half price, but it’s still almost $300 so don’t get cocky. But then he makes sure I am looking him in the eye when he says, “so I’m giving it to you for free.”
“Uh…what?” I almost climbed across the Genius Bar and kissed his adorable little cheeks. Free. FREE. One of my Facebook Friends says they have a “one drop” replacement policy, which my Genius didn’t tell me, but I don’t care if it’s true or not. I’m just happy to have my brand new replacement:
Isn’t it beautiful? *sniff*
So I waited 30 minutes past my appointment time but walked out 15 minutes later a satisfied Apple customer. Apple’s customer service ROCKS.