As the whole world knows, Apple offered replacement batteries for older iPhones at a reduced rate of $29 and $39 during all of 2018.. Well I was one of those procrastinators that didn’t get my battery earlier this year and left it for the last few days of of 2018.. Huge Mistake!
Epic Fail #1: Grand Central Station: My first stop on my hunt for a battery was NYC in mid-December, when I visited NYC to meet my daughter for our annual daddy-daughter date. That’s a story for another day… … I’d call Grand Central Station as the holy grail of Apple stores. An aura of peace and serenity comes over you as you walk up those golden steps. Now this Apple store is absolutely amazing, with the level of help that is available with Apple support staff in their red Shirts.
At this store, I found out the following things:
- There is a chance of data loss if an iPhone battery is changed. This one actually made me dizzy, as I didn’t know when was the last time I backed up my iPhone..
- My iPhone 6s has not been backed up for many many months and that was the first sign trouble. Yeah.. I didn’t back up the phone as I don’t typically read the mantra of backup which is: backup, backup, backup.
- I didn’t know my Apple Password.. ok.. that was just my dementia kicking in due to the excitement of actually being in the holy grail of apple.. a Store! I finally remembered my password
- So after putting my name on the list to see a “specialist” I wandered around Grand Central to do my business.. in layman’s terms.. to use the facilities.
- The cool Apple folks told me that I only had to wait 15 minutes or so before I was to go to the next step which is a technical specialist to see me and my pride and joy (iPhone). To me 15 minutes was not that big of a deal and I went along.. but wait .. this is where it gets interesting.
- When my name was called and went to the cavernous waiting area for a specialist, I was in pure Nirvana that I was in the actual place where the cool kids play. Within minute a techie came over and examined my phone and get ready for this.. He told me that my iPhone was not mine! my iPhone’s serial number didn’t match the serial number in the great Apple cloud in the sky. Which meant… as far as Apple was concerned, I had an “illegal or stolen’ iPhone..
- Now I started to sweat profusely.. and started to stammer something silly like: “Huh??”, “How could this happen?”, “What do I do now?”… Well my new best friend the Apple geek said: “Oh sir this happens all the time! Perhaps your carrier never updated the serial number for you iPhone when you purchased it a few years ago”. By this time, my head is hurting… I’m sweating and my iPhone world is crashing down around me! My new best friend, said they would escalate this to Tier 2 support and get the serial updated in the Apple cloud.. But as you can guess.. I was SOL (I think you know what those acronyms stand for).. this is a family show, so I won’t detail those acronyms (S*it out of Luck)..
- So my new BFF told me that this issue would be resolved within a day or so, and I will have to call Apple support to confirm.. I thought security would come rushing thorough Grand Central and take me into a holding cell and torture me into confessing that I had stolen my own phone! Yes this is my paranoia kicking in,
- So now I left depressed the cavern of joy (the Apple Store) , tears in my eyes as I had failed on my mission!
Epic Fail #2: Where is the Apple Store in Central NJ? You are in the wrong Mall!
- Fast Forward to December 28. Yes that’s how long, I wasted in moving forward. You can chalk that one up to sheer vacay mode or just laziness. In my case 90% of the second and 10% of the first.
- So while I’m home on my annual staycation (another topic for another day).. I called Apple support (on December 28th) and got confirmation that my serial number was now correct and I was green lighted to go my local apple support store to get the crown jewel of battery replacement.
- So I first went to the wrong Mall. I call this not knowing your facts 101. I went to Woodbridge Mall and asked the vendors.. “Where is the Apple Store?”.. One vendor sent me on a wild goose chase and after coming back to where I started, I asked another vendor and she said: “Oh You are in the wrong Mall! You need to go to Menlo Park Mall..” Which is about 5 miles away,. Yet if you know NJ traffic during after Xmas, you know that 5 miles could take you a minimum of 1/2 hour or more.. and that’s exactly what it took for me to get to my second Apple Store!
- I get to Menlo Park Mall and I find my happy place (The Apple Store), and wander around amongst the masses looking for help.. I’m directed to the front entrance and here’s my second epic fail for the day: the nice techie tells me due to the rush or batteries, they are NOT taking any more walk-in’s today. Keep in mind that this was at about 4:30 PM and the store doesn’t close till about 9PM.
- Needless say, I leave dejected and saddened again with tears welling up in my eyes as now I’ve been to 2 apple stores and over two weeks and have still not gotten a new battery!
- Leaving Menlo Park and going back to my home (in Middletown, NJ), was another epic adventure, with multiple traffic jams and the normal crazy NJ traffic. A trip that should take 30 minutes took me almost 2 hours to traverse… Yes that’s a word I now use, since I’ve been learning new words playing Word Chums on my iPhone!
So Now I’ve wasted 3 to 4 hours on a vacation day and gone to 2 separate malls with no success to my task at hand.. I was NOT a happy camper.. So I said to myself, I’m going to regroup and go to my third Apple store in Freehold, NJ and I’m sure, I’ll have better luck there! Can you guess what happened? Epic Fail #3.. The third time was not a charm!
Epic Fail #3: Freehold Raceway Mall
- I go to the Freehold Raceway Mall next afternoon and find the happy place.. and of course.. there’s a huge line.. as half of NJ is there.
- I get on the “service line” and the gatekeeper tells me…. there is a 5 hour wait for battery replacements.. She says to me “Didn’t I know that this was available for all of 2018 and everyone is rushing to get their batteries replaced“.
- So I take a number and wander my third mega NJ mall in two days contemplating my next move.. After an hour or so.. I said, it was not in my destiny to get a new battery and it’s better that I just give up and go home..
So after 2 weeks , 3 Apple stores, 3 Mega Malls in NJ, I am back to square one.. an iPhone 6S with a battery that lasts less than a few hours on a normal charge.. I guess the moral of this story is…
Lesson Learned: Don’t procrastinate when it comes being part of the Apple cult of iPhone ownership.. go early as possible and think about all the things that can go wrong.. Yet in retrospect, I did feel like I was entering heaven when I entered every Apple store where I saw my family (other Apple cult members) all with glazed expressions and intently getting their Apple toys!
So what’s my next move? I’m gonna go and upgrade my iPhone to the latest iPhone in 2019 and make sure I bow down to it and pray to the Apple god’s to make sure I don’t need a battery replacement!