Mr Simon Armstrong
I bought an iPhone XS from John Lewis. I chose JL because of its well-known 2 year guarantee for electronic products. The phone's Facial Recognition system failed after the first year. I returned it to JL under its warranty. That was in February 2022. Apparently they have a policy of fixing it within 28 working days. JL originally refused to repair it claiming their engineer's had diagnosed the fault as being caused by 'liquid damage'. They then offered me a 'repair by exchange' for £554 (sounded like a refurbished 'new' phone for me, presumably they kept my old one) I looked after my phone and could not understand how liquid damage was possible. The model is even meant to be waterproof to a certain depth of water for a certain time! But JL then doubled-down and said the only Apple Authorised Repairer they used - Amsys - had inspected and photographed the insides of the phone. They sent two photos with red circles around the 'liquid damage' marks. The purple colouring in the photos was odd. Independent phone engineers said the photos did not show water/liquid marks. I don't think it was even true that they just used Amsys - but the course of events was littered with lies like this. I had my phone returned and set about my own enquiries. I was told that if I obtained my own evidence, they could reconsider repairing it - almost like this had happened before..... An Apple Store's Genius Bar inspected the phone and found no signs of liquid damage. They said they would have replaced/repaired it without quibble (note to self:- ~Buy from Apple Store next time). JL surprisingly then said the Apple Store's Genius Bar was not sufficiently qualified to report on the matter. So I took it to another Apple Authorised Repairer which they did approve of. They also confirmed there was no liquid damage. Most interestingly, neither repairer found anything matching the purported photo evidence sent to me of 'liquid damage'. I have photos of the inside of my phone that show no such 'corrosion'. JL cannot account for these photos now and have been trying to pass the buck to Amsys. I have even been told they do not use Amsys any longer. They do not say it is because they realise they use fraudulent photos to support their diagnoses - but it is consistent with it. I take the use of fake photos to support their case particularly seriously and am owed a full and cogent explanation - which they have so far refused to give. On the strength of my own report, JL agreed to take my phone back at the beginning of August and inspect it again - this time not through Amsys. Without any expression of regret, apology, surprise or enquiry, they then agreed there was no water damage and would repair it via this different Apple Authorised Repairer. The chasing of JL by me then recommenced. I had wasted hours on the phone and keyboard as well as going to and fro from repairers. At first I was told it would be £314 to repair; that became £523 before eventually reaching £622. Phone calls over the last two months or so have been exercises in frustration - JL having to be chased all the time and then giving out clearly on-the-hoof information that withstood little scrutiny. The Managers who have since addressed my serious concerns refuse to explain what went wrong. All this "we can only apologise" is contemptible drivel. My main questions are:- how many other customers caved to a 'liquid damage' diagnosis and needlessly bought another Apple product? and, How on earth could such photos have been produced as evidence - and then be reiterated until they are proved wrong? What is really going on here as it looks like an attempt at fraud to me? Had I caved at the outset and stumped up £550, what would have happened to my original, impeccably cared for phone..... cheaply repaired and resold perhaps? The JL Myth:- 'we all go above and beyond to offer outstanding service to our customers' The JL Reality:- we take eight months to fix your phone under our own guarantee all the while trying to avoid doing so at every turn to the extent of putting the onus on you (when it was their responsibility); saying it was not repairable (when it was); claiming it was my fault (when it wasn't); forwarding false photo evidence (that was not of the inside of my phone or had been doctored); taking longer than their own timeframe to fix the phone when they eventually accepted liability. I've wasted hours and hours over the course of 8 months forcing them to do something they were required to do in 28 days! How many other people, understandably, caved in the face of such conduct? This is not the John Lewis experience I had come to expect. This all raises matters of potential public interest worthy of pursuit. RIP John Lewis Customer Service. I won't be buying any electronics from you again. Be warned everyone.
3 months ago
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