HAVE GONE BUMP BUT WILL STILL TAKE YOUR MONEY! BEWARE!
I sent my iPhone 4S to them with a broken screen. When I placed the order, I chose to also replace the rear glass and to change both to white (something I verified was OK by email before placing the order - got a strangely quick response to that enquiry). I even paid extra for 'Guaranteed Same Day Service'.
Sent the phone to Rotten Apples on the Thursday I placed my order and assumed that it would be back in my hands by Monday at the latest, allowing for the weekend. The weekend came and went, Monday came and went, no sign of my phone and no sign of any contact from Rotten Apples either.
I used the 'live chat' facility on their website to find out where it was and was told that there had been a problem but the screens had been replaced and it was now on it's way back. I was given a tracking number.
Tuesday arrived and the tracking number didn't work. Wednesday, same deal - tracking number didn't work. I rang them this time and was told that the technicians were out but someone would call me back within an hour. Two hours later, I called them again. This time I was told that the guy would find out what was happening and would call me back himself. He eventually did and told me that the phone had developed a fault and they'd had to take it apart to fix it. As the phone had been working perfectly for almost three months with a broken screen, I can only assume the 'fault' was either due to a poor repair or an excuse because they'd forgotten to actually fix the phone. I got a hearty apology and the guy offered a partial refund as I'd paid for next day service and hadn't got it. I'm still waiting for any sort of refund.
The phone eventually arrived back on Friday, over a week since sending it off. Now, normally, this would be acceptable service - but not after paying extra for same day turnaround, and not after having to chase the company almost every day to get answers on where it was.
I opened the jiffy bag and slipped out my shiny white iPhone. Running my thumb across the home button, I noticed the first problem - it didn't fit properly. It is slightly small in the hole and consequently moves just enough to be annoying. It also isn't flush, like it used to be (and like my other iPhone is), it is very slightly higher than the surrounding glass.
OK, not the end of the world. As I looked at it closer however, I realised that the thin plastic bevel around the glass was chipped and scored in places. I assume from clumsy installation. Flipping it over gave me the biggest shock however - the back glass has a pair of lovely big scratches, right through the mirrored Apple logo so they stick out like a pair of sore testicles. Tilting the phone around in the light showed up plenty more scratches too. The back, same as the front, also has a chipped and scored plastic bevel.
This severely annoyed me. I'm going to have a guess here; I assume Rotten Apples were out of white backs and so recycled one from another phone - meaning I've paid for a used product that's in worse condition than the one I sent in. I assume the poor fitment of the home button is down to crappy Chinese parts, something I specifically asked about before ordering and was assured that they use the same quality parts that Apple do. They don't.
Naturally, I sent an email immediately, highlighting these points and asking for a partial refund or a smaller partial refund plus a new back. There's no way I'm sending my phone off to them again, I'd rather visit the local phone repair shop, something I should have done in the first place.
That was over a week ago and I have had no reply as yet. I'm not holding my breath - the number their 0800 number forwards to has been disconnected, and the live chat remains offline at all hours. So, with no way of contacting them, my only recourse is to plaster the internet in warnings in the hope that if anyone else uses them, they can expect to be lied to throughout and supplied with shoddy quality repairs.
If they'd called me the day they received the phone and told me they'd run out of stock and were waiting for more to come in, I wouldn't have had a problem and would have been happy for them to hang on to the phone until they could repair it to the standard I paid for. Instead, I had to chase and chase to get a string of excuses.
If you need to get your phone repaired, you could take a chance and use Rotten Apples (after all, they have got plenty of good reviews so they obviously get it right sometimes), or you could go to a local shop where you can hand your expensive tech over in person and ask someone face to face if it isn't ready when expected.
They're not even cheaper! Avoid.
UPDATE: Within an hour of posting this, Ben from Rotten Apples rang me to apologise (apparently they're moving premises and it's affected their service) and offer a full refund. I wasn't after a full refund, rather a phone that I was happy with - so he's offered to take it back and redo it once they've completed moving premises. I'll update again once that's happened.
UPDATE 2: Months later, I've had no more contact from Rotten Apples. Despite their apparent good intentions, it seems that moving premises was just a convenient excuse to fob me off. I now wish I hadn't given them the benefit of the doubt and had accepted the refund. Avoid.
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