Apple’s iPhone trade-in program still causes headaches to buyers

In recent years, Apple has increasingly focused on the iPhone trade-in program. By offering profitable trade-in details, often in partnership with couriers, Apple can entice iPhone users to upgrade every year. This trade-in program, however, has caused users a number of headaches and the situation does not seem to improve …

I’ve traded a few iPhones with Apple over the years with no problems. This year, however, I received an email about a week and a half after sending an iPhone 13 Pro Max saying that the box had arrived at Apple’s trade-in facility, but that there was nothing inside the box. box.

When we received your trade-in kit, there was no device inside the box. If this was expected or if you have already contacted us regarding this issue, please ignore this email. If not, it is important that you respond with the following information as soon as possible:

– The exact item or items you placed in the return package

– A detailed description of how you packed and sealed the goods inside

This is an email no one wants to receive. The idea that you may suddenly be hooked on the over $ 700 trade-in credit you received on your new iPhone 14 Pro Max is stressful. And sure enough, Apple charged my card on file the next day for that $ 705 trade-in value.

When I posted information about this situation on Twitter, it quickly became clear that this is a common problem. Countless iPhone buyers seem to get an email like this every year, and the launch of the iPhone 14 this year doesn’t seem to be any different. A quick glance at forums like Reddit reveals that this is a fairly common problem.

The good news is that, in most situations, Apple solves this problem without too much trouble. If you respond to the initial email, the company will “investigate” the situation and credit your account with the trade-in amount. There are situations where this isn’t the result, however. And in any case, it’s a stressful situation that makes a customer less likely to buy an iPhone the following year.

Take by 9to5Mac

There is a clear problem with Apple’s iPhone trade-in process. The company relies heavily on third parties for crucial aspects of this program, including UPS and FedEx for shipping and other third parties for handling the receipt and inventory of exchanged iPhones.

What’s most likely going on here is that somewhere between when the customer delivers the iPhone to a courier (like UPS in my case) and when it is received at the trade-in facility, the iPhone is stolen from the box. Someone involved in that process opens the box, takes the iPhone, reseals it, and is shipped to its final destination as if nothing had happened.

In response to my tweet, one of the most common suggestions was simply to avoid trade-ins via email. Instead, people have suggested, you should always complete your trade-in at an Apple Store. This is great advice if you live near an Apple Store. Many people, myself included, don’t have this luxury. Trading an iPhone is meant to make the process of buying a new one as convenient as possible, and being able to send it by mail is a key part of that.

The best solution to this problem is for Apple to add some sort of “Trade-in Mode” to the iPhone. This could be a software mode where you entered your iPhone before sending it in the mail and completing the trade-in. More importantly, this mode could put your iPhone in a version of Find My where you (and Apple) can track its progress towards the final trade-in destination.

Have you ever had this problem? What has been your experience with trading your iPhone with Apple? Let us know in the comments.

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