Reader Jake B. (who apparently has been covered on Fox News) had a broken iPhone, one without an active AT&T contract as it happens, and judging by Apple's one-year limited hardware warranty he figured he could just walk it into the store and get it fixed. Well, there, not so fast...
Even though the hardware warranty should apply, and regardless of whether the phone was ever registered with Apple (note that Apple's reg page says " Your warranty is the same whether or not you register"), none of that seemed to help; in the video above, at about the 5:55 mark, the hapless retail Apple employee tells Jake that "without an active AT&T contract, or an active phone, there's no way to tell that this [problem] wasn't caused by some sort of third-party software, or an unlock." Oops. The suggestion was that Jake call AppleCare and see if they could work out a warranty repair or get the phone registered.
Anyone else run into this kind of end-zone defense when trying to get an unactivated phone repaired at an Apple store?
Update: By and large, our commenters "see this guy with the video camera as insincere (at best)," and downright devious/dishonest at worst. Granting the point that someone who does actually hack or unlock their iPhone should have no realistic expectation of warranty service, I think the other issue here is whether the retail rep should be making that call for a phone that won't turn on. What if the iPhone was a gift, given more than 14 days after purchase, with no AT&T service on it yet -- shouldn't someone in that scenario be able to get warranty service on a DOA handset, without the presumption that the device has been modified? I don't deny that the Apple employee was in a tough spot -- maybe policy says you can't give out a loaner phone to someone with no AT&T service, or maybe this store has seen a flood of hacked phones.
Without evidence of the phone being modified, however, I don't know that this was the correct response. On further review... comments note something I didn't hear correctly -- there was no SIM in the phone, despite Jake saying he had left the phone in the box. We call shenanigans.