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  • Apple in Hot Water Over Moisture Indicators?



    Forget a potential lawsuit from Adobe, Apple is already in the legal cross-hairs of a woman from San Fransisco who is taking the tech giant to court over claims that Apple is wrongfully denying warranty coverage for its products that have had their moisture sensors activated.

    If you've ever dropped your iPhone in the bathtub or your iPod in the toilet (which, believe me, happens more frequently than you would imagine), your device's moisture sensors were triggered. As a result, Apple can refuse to service or replace the gadget since you were the one who obviously dampened your device.

    Well, it turns out that California resident Charlene Gallion has had enough with Apple's policies pertaining to moisture sensors and she's airing her grievances in court. In a nutshell, the suit filed "on behalf of herself and others similarly situated" alleges that the moisture sensors employed by Apple to detect accidents, liquid submersion, and other gaffes that would render null and void the Apple warranty are not accurate and, therefore, should not be the sole criteria used for denying warranty coverage.

    Gallion asserts that "external Liquid Submersion Indicators produce false-positive results," arguing that independent testing demonstrates that "Liquid Submersion Indicators can be triggered by, among other things, cold weather and humidity that are within Apple's technical specifications for the Class Devices." Apple, however, says that "These indicators will be activated when they come in direct contact with water or a liquid containing water. They are designed not to be triggered by humidity and temperature changes that are within the product's environmental requirements described by Apple."

    While it isn't exactly clear what the outcome of Gallion's efforts will be, she is certainly standing up for many folks who have been denied warranty service because their device was "dropped in water" even though it wasn't. Indeed, Apple's moisture sensors do, in fact, get it wrong sometimes. But how these occasional glitches can be dealt with in a legal setting isn't exactly clear yet.

    Image via tmcnet
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple in Hot Water Over Moisture Indicators? started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 56 Comments
    1. stlcaddie's Avatar
      stlcaddie -
      apple is give or take, I sent a 3gs in and forgot to restore it from a jailbreak , I MAILED OT THROUGH UPS. they sent me a replacement with no questions asked. But I won't try it again. I'm sure I was super Lucky.
    1. bigazeem's Avatar
      bigazeem -
      i agree all three sensors should be triggered but then this lady is saying she did drop it in water and thats liquid damage and No warranty covers that, shes just angry because she wanted to save money on getting insurance on her iphone which would have covered this. so basically in this case i think she should stop were she is or this iphone will cost her alot of money
    1. sami4021's Avatar
      sami4021 -
      Then when you have a cracked screen, how do they replace it in seconds if they are not allowed to open the device?
    1. awesomeSlayer's Avatar
      awesomeSlayer -
      Have she ever heard of getting a waterproof case for her iPhone?
    1. Zeal's Avatar
      Zeal -
      Its inside the phone when the thingy is tripped it turns red
    1. exNavy's Avatar
      exNavy -
      The final dispensation?

      Everyone denied coverage will receive $17, the lawyers will get $2 million.
    1. kiddjones's Avatar
      kiddjones -
      These sensors aren't tripped by humidity. They're tripped by liquid. Period. It doesn't have to be submerged to cause problems. Any liquid! Water and electronics don't mix!

      Apple has also eased up on this policy. If only one sensor is tripped, and they see no other evidence of liquid damage, they will swap the phone if its under warranty. I have had all 3 phones thus far and have never tripped my sensors. And so have plenty of people. They aren't rigged. There's actually 4 sensors. Two on the outside. Two on the inside. Plus, there's common indicators to back up Apple's case as well, like bright spots in the LCD, or corrosion in the dock connector. Both caused by liquid.

      "But, I was working out and sweat got in there."
      Sweat is liquid, folks.
      "Must have been rain/snow or something"
      Rain is liquid, too.

      Women throw their phone in their purse with a water bottle or something and don't realize that the condensation leaked into the bottom of their phone. People throw their phone into their cup holder in their car and don't realize that there's liquid in the cup holder. Moms and Dads let their kids play with their phone and when little timmy put the bottom of that phone in his mouth and gets slobber all in the dock connector, it's gonna cause problems.
      THAT'S NOT APPLE'S FAULT.

      Get a case. Be smart. These devices are expensive. Protect it like it is. Apple has the best customer service of any company out there. And the Genius's (technicians) at the bar would love to help you out. Trust me. They don't like to argue with you either. They want you to leave happy and quickly. It helps no one to sit there and argue.

      That's my 2 cents.
    1. Melech518's Avatar
      Melech518 -
      The policy is this: if either one or both of the outer water damage indicators are tripped, it tells the genius that they need to open the phone to check the SUBMERSION indicator. If the internal submersion indicators on the logic board are both white, the phone is under warranty still. If either of the two submersion indicators on the inside are tripped, then the phone is out of warranty. This is a new policy that went into effect about a month ago.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      We use an iPod touch in some cheapie speakers in the bathroom. It has never come in direct contact with water, but it does have its sensor activated, at least slightly. It is a pink hue. It is a couple of years old, so no warranty would make a difference, but still, I can see where this woman is coming from.
    1. gtemkin's Avatar
      gtemkin -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      so how about when you go to bestbuy and you get that special screen protector that you never have to replace? the instructions require you to dampen the iphone surface [with water] for application of the film.
      I think you may have hit on the real reason Apple removed all screen protectors from their stores a couple of months ago! Now it all makes sense.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by rhekt View Post
      so how about when you go to bestbuy and you get that special screen protector that you never have to replace? the instructions require you to dampen the iphone surface [with water] for application of the film.
      As far as Apple is concerned, that is your problem. They neither sell nor endorse those products. They cannot be responsible for damage incurred by accessories not made and/or sold by them. For what it's worth, these shields do so not to wet the devices directly, only the film you are to place on them.
    1. travelbytommy's Avatar
      travelbytommy -
      I would love to be part of some class action lawsuit against Apple in this matter. A few months ago my iphone went nuts so I had to take it in to get fixed/replaced. I was told the issue was corrosion between 2 pins on where the connector gets attached. Then the genious said that because the moisture sensor was activated they couldn't do anything and that I had to buy a new phone instead. I was furious, but left thinking I would call my lawyer and see if there was anything I could do that way. Before I got home, I decided I would go to another Apple store, and try getting a replacement based on the fact that I have cracks on the plastic back (white 3gs), and they also mentioned that the moisture sensor was activated, but had the manager approve it because the sensor and the cracking were not related. Now keep in mind I have had a case and a screen protector on it the entire time I have had it, and I haven't had it anywhere near water. One of the geniouses said that the sensor can even be activated by humidity from your finger plugging the dock hole while you are using your phone. I would LOVE to see Apple go down in the lawsuit.
    1. area51crypto's Avatar
      area51crypto -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      As far as Apple is concerned, that is your problem. They neither sell nor endorse those products. They cannot be responsible for damage incurred by accessories not made and/or sold by them. For what it's worth, these shields do so not to wet the devices directly, only the film you are to place on them.
      What about the screen protectors that was, not now, that was put on by APPLE EMPLOYEE!
    1. CByrdie's Avatar
      CByrdie -
      I can attest to this issue! Back in December I took my 3g in because AT&T said my phone was the reason for my poor service, so I took it to the apple store and the tech told me my sensor was activated. I about dropped to the floor 1 because I'm like how the hell did that happen my phone has never been around water and 2 i thought he was gonna deny me service. Luckily for me he replaced my phone anyway even though my warranty was up and it said I had water damage!

      by the way I still have terrible cell phone service and now I have a 3gs with the same problem as my 3g!!!!
    1. area51crypto's Avatar
      area51crypto -
      Quote Originally Posted by CByrdie View Post
      I can attest to this issue! Back in December I took my 3g in because AT&T said my phone was the reason for my poor service, so I took it to the apple store and the tech told me my sensor was activated. I about dropped to the floor 1 because I'm like how the hell did that happen my phone has never been around water and 2 i thought he was gonna deny me service. Luckily for me he replaced my phone anyway even though my warranty was up and it said I had water damage!

      by the way I still have terrible cell phone service and now I have a 3gs with the same problem as my 3g!!!!
      by the way I still have terrible cell phone service and now I have a 3gs with the same problem as my 3g!!!! Aint it the truth!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1. pojo644's Avatar
      pojo644 -
      Quote Originally Posted by area51crypto View Post
      What about the screen protectors that was, not now, that was put on by APPLE EMPLOYEE!
      Did the apple employee force you to get the screen protector? or did you ask them to put the screen protector on it? When I worked in retail, I would never do that for a customer, I dont care who you are, I know how that is going to turn out. You are going to drop your phone in water, and say it was the employee who put the screen protector on for you.
    1. area51crypto's Avatar
      area51crypto -
      Quote Originally Posted by pojo644 View Post
      Did the apple employee force you to get the screen protector? or did you ask them to put the screen protector on it? When I worked in retail, I would never do that for a customer, I dont care who you are, I know how that is going to turn out. You are going to drop your phone in water, and say it was the employee who put the screen protector on for you.
      No I wanted one and his Manager of the store TOLD him to put it on!

      And also Apple did not force me to buy an Iphone, but I did and they warranty the Iphone!

      And also you cannot say you know how that is going to turn out and I drop it in water and blame the employee, thats just your opinion!

      And also I can understand why you quit retail!
    1. shadow25's Avatar
      shadow25 -
      I've never had a problem getting a phone replaced with a tripped sensor.

      I've had 3 3G iPhones taken in with a tripped sensor. It was all the headphone connector.

      The Genius opened the iPhone and checked the 2 internal indicators, and gave me replacements.

      He said it was pretty common. Humidity gets the sensor, or the rain when using the iPhone outside since I live in Seattle
    1. scatman10's Avatar
      scatman10 -
      Bleach your water sensors using a Q-Tip (TM) and some bleach. Swab the sensors and be sure to dry the phone. Also dont use too much bleach bc it will leave a lingering bleach smell. Return broken/water damaged iphone. Walk away a happy person
    1. riku98523's Avatar
      riku98523 -
      A lot of companies (and Apple isn't any different) don't even turn on the device before sending a replacement they just throw it into their pile of "to be stripped for parts" piles and ship off a refurbished device which also most companies do they just send you a previously repaired device after stating they will send your device back fixed. Microsoft even got caught sending a refurbished 360 back to someone who was told he would get a brand new one.