Thursday, February 2, 2012

Apple Genius Seizes and Screws With My Phone

Last year, there were reports that any iPhones coming in for servicing were being returned with tamper-proof screws swapped in, to prevent people from modifying the innards. The Geniuses and techs reported (off the record) feeling "icky" about doing this, but they had to follow orders. It was creepy, but probably borderline legal, since the phones were being serviced anyway.

Well, how about this? Yesterday, I brought my iPhone 4 and wireless keyboard to an Apple genius (sic) to help with a problem connecting the two. It was fixed, working perfectly, and I was about to thank her and leave when the genius abruptly told me she'd take my phone to the back room just "to make sure it works with her keyboard" ....and off she ran. With my phone. Stunned by the non-sequitor, I had no time to object. Reappearing five minutes later, she beamed about how, yep, it works with her keyboard! And my phone had the new screws.

This is a whole other level. If they replace screws during a servicing, there's weasel room to excuse the swap, creepy though it is. But if they grab your phone from you and do unrelated, unapproved, and unacknowledged stuff under false and ridiculous pretenses (wait, you want to try it with your keyboard? Huh?!?), that's well outside weasel boundaries and into impropriety and, likely, illegality.

I'm trying to decide how big a fuss to make over it. Anyway, I guess we need to treat Apple Store genius visits like prison visits - hold onto your stuff and don't let it be taken from you under any circumstances.

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