Less than two weeks after Steve Jobs held a press conference announcing that Apple would be providing free bumper cases to dissatisfied iPhone 4 customers, reports indicate that the free bumper program is need of a ‘fix’ itself. According to BNET, customers have run into a variety of issues in trying to claim their bumper.
Some got notifications that their iPhones weren’t eligible for the program, even though they ran the app from an iPhone 4. As one customer noted, the app wasn’t guaranteed to recognize the type of device and that a call to customer service was necessary. The customer service rep’s answer was that Apple had to “get the information into ‘the system.’”
One person complained of downloading the app to a computer and trying to sync to the iPhone 4, at which point the computer froze. Another found that the app refused to take the user’s ID and password, even though the combination worked to download the app. A buyer who bought the iPhone 4 in the UK and who has a UK iTunes account received an email after using the case app that the order was cancelled because Apple doesn’t ship internationally.
Others have experienced frustrating shipping delays, as they are forced to order the bumper online and cannot simply pick one up at an Apple or AT&T store. As PC World reports, the timeline that has been created on returning your phone for a full refund and receiving a free bumper puts customers in a tough position.
It’s awesome that Apple is granting full refunds, but you might not get a bumper in time to determine if it’s an effective solution or not before the 30 day deadline expires. And, by the way, just because Apple is willing to give you a full refund doesn’t mean that AT&T is willing to surrender your contractual obligation.
The estimated shipping timeline on all of the bumpers and cases available from the Apple program is three to five weeks. AT&T contracts aside, it seems that Apple should provide a 30 day window from the time the bumper is shipped to give users adequate time to work with the Band-Aid solution and determine if it’s effective enough to warrant keeping the device.
It is quickly becoming clear that Apple’s proposed ‘fix’ is no more than a band-aid to the problem, and not a very strong one at that. “Antennagate” has not ended and consumers continue to demand a more appropriate response from Apple to their concerns with the iPhone 4’s defective design.
If you own an iPhone 4, and are interested in participating in our lawsuit against Apple and AT&T, please email me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.