How to get Apple to swap out your 3G iPhone running iOS4

Upgrading your iPhone 3G to iOS4 makes it almost unusable. Here's the way a friend got Apple to swap hers for one running 3.1.3.

A couple of days ago I highlighted the fact that Apple should advise against upgrading your iPhone 3G to iOS4. I also mentioned that a friend of mine had tried just about everything to rectify her situation.

Well, it seems that she had one more play in her playbook. She's now the proud owner of an iPhone 3G running OS 3.1.3. Here's how she did it:

  • Apple Store: during the visit she was told that there was nothing that Apple could do
  • Apple Store--with an appointment with a Genius: the Genius couldn't do anything for her because she hadn't backed up her pictures yet
  • Called Apple Care--she had the AppleCare warranty. She told the person on the phone that she was frustrated and going to leave AT&T and her iPhone behind. She demanded that Apple replace her phone.

The Apple Care person made her an appointment at the Apple Store and put this in the notes:

"Do not troubleshoot--replace with iPhone 3G running OS3"

Well, this final visit to the Apple Store did the trick. Apple first tried to reinstall 3.1.3 and when they couldn't succeed, pulled an iPhone 3G out of a drawer. According to my friend, even though Apple isn't selling the 3G anymore, they have a stash of new ones sitting in a drawer behind the counter. Instead of coming in a shiny Apple box, it came in a dark gray plastic case, with a serial number on the outside.

So, there you have it. A couple of visits to the Apple Store and a call to Apple Care and her new iPhone 3G is not on iOS4.

One more thing: her phone was a month out of warranty but she believes that because she had paid for the Apple Care that they were a bit more understanding.

If you try some of the steps above and succeed, share your story below.

UPDATE: Another friend went into the Apple Store earlier this evening (6pm EST) and made an appointment to see a Genius. After complaining about the iPhone 3G being unusable after the upgrade, and after some back and forth, the Genius went into the back room and came out with a new iPhone 3G for him. The Genius also mentioned that Apple was working on a "fix", so stay tuned.

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