This isn’t my normal type of post, but a few weeks ago I did the unthinkable – I dropped my iPhone and smashed the screen!
Having never smashed a phone screen before I was absolutely devastated and so upset with myself – but since it was over the Christmas period it was so hard to get a genius bar appointment so I’ve been living with it for some time. So long, in fact, that bits of glass from the break started to crumble off. Gross.
In that time I’ve been reading about what to expect if you need to get an iPhone screen repair and was surprised with how little information on what to expect is out there. So I thought I’d share my experience just in case anyone out there is curious or (like me) completely desperate.
Lets be clear to start with. The damage was my fault, I don’t have apple care and my phone isn’t insured for accidental damage (for the first time ever – typical). Information on how much it will cost to fix the problem isn’t clear anywhere – some people report being charged £70 while others report more like £150+. It’s not clear how long it takes, whether you get a replacement or courtesy phone or anything. I had so many questions. Do they repair on-the-spot? How long does an iPhone screen repair take? How much does a screen repair cost? What if Apple can’t fix the screen?
The rubbish bit was that I’d previously reported a fault with my phone about 4 weeks before, and hadn’t had chance to get into the store to have it fixed before I dropped it. Obviously, dropping it voids any warranty, so I had to take responsibility for the whole thing. I didn’t know if my old report of a problem would overwrite the damage (note – it didn’t).
My phone was badly bashed in the top right corner – it still worked fine, and the touchscreen was working alright – it was just unsightly and annoying. I was really cheeky and popped in before my Genius appointment and asked them to take a peek and they weren’t sure whether it could be repaired – they said it was pretty dented (it didn’t look it to me) but advised me to bring it back and they’d do their best. The Genius told me it would be £99 for a screen repair or £199 for a replacement phone if the repair weren’t possible. Sounds a bit pricey, but I didn’t want to take it to a 3rd party – Apple know their stuff, and they give you a pretty good warranty on their repair work, whereas going elsewhere immediately voids your warranty completely.
When I went back on the day of my appointment I got to speak with Chris in the Manchester Arndale store, who was super sympathetic and really helpful – and didn’t judge me one tiny bit for being a butterfingers (yey).
He looked at the phone and quickly identified that the top rim was really scuffed (it was) and that their machine would likely reject it when trying to fit a new screen – which would be £99 down the pan.
He explained even if it did work, the chances are that it’d be more vulnerable to cracks and other wear than usual,and recommended buying a replacement instead. My heart sank – I was expecting a £500+ cost, but he explained it would be just £199.
That’s £199 for a brand new (not refurbished as I’ve read elsewhere) iPhone 5s.
I agreed and within 10 minutes my phone had been swapped and I was ready to go.
Obviously I understand that these situations can work tons of different ways, but the Genius did have some useful advice for me. Firstly, get it covered on your home insurance instead of with your network provider. Its better value about 100% of the time. Secondly, if you’re not doing that (and if you are, too) get a decent, shock-absorbent cover & good quality screen protector.
He also explained that Apple Care probably wasn’t that suitable for my requirements at this point, but its worth taking when you get a new product if your new product isn’t covered on your home insurance (10 points for honesty).
I don’t really have many tips for dealing with this other than if you can’t be careful with your phone, then at least be friendly and polite to the Geniuses. The lady beside me had a similar complaint but was attempting the “resolve-by-shouting” technique – which didn’t seem to be as successful as my plan.
Anyway, I hope this will help some of you. I don’t claim to be an expert, but this is all first hand experience – and an expensive lesson well learned!