What’s The Deal With Screen Warranties Anyway?

There’s a lot of confusion on this topic, so let’s set the record straight: On most devices, including specifically iPhones and iPads, when you accidentally break your screen, your warranty is already voided before you take it anywhere. Most fine prints will have a similar section this one, which excludes:

‘cosmetic damage, including but not limited to scratches…damage caused by accident, abuse, [or] misuse…’ http://www.apple.com/legal/warranty/products/iphone-english.html

Basically, it doesn’t matter if you take it to an Apple Authorized Service Provider and have it fixed (you’ll have to leave Worth County for that option) https://locate.apple.com/service/?pt=3&lat=31.5282489&lon=-83.88970569999998, or the guy who lives next door, the warranty is voided before you do anything. The reason is because limited warranties which come with most hardware, only cover manufacturer defects, or

defects in materials and workmanship when used normally

not what you do to them. It also means that if you break your screen or other parts of your phone, you will be paying the out-of-warranty price for any repairs. The only exceptions to this is if the company decides to apply a courtesy extension to make you happy (happens, but not often), or you purchased additional coverage specifically for accidental damage, like AppleCare+ for iOS devices (must have the +), which currently runs $99 at the time of purchase and an additional $49 at the time of claim.

However, let’s say that you pay to have the repair done, did you know that you aren’t likely to get your actual device back? It is well-discussed across the internet and through personal experience that the go-to action is to simply send you a refurbished replacement device when they have them (http://images.apple.com/legal/sales-support/applecare/docs/081811_APP_iPhone_English_NA_v5.4.pdf Look for ‘Apple will return your iPhone or provide a replacement iPhone’ Also: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/2540000?start=0&tstart=0, http://www.everythingicafe.com/why-apples-iphone-replacement-program-cannot-be-trusted/2012/08/28/, http://www.iphonefaq.org/archives/971030, http://www.thetechgame.com/Forums/t=4620781/are-apples-replacement-iphones-new-or-refurbished-read.html). Unless you signed your device or put stickers on it, you’d never know, but usually you can get them to admit it if you ask. But even if they give you back your actual device, and not a replacement, did you know that as a matter of course

DURING WARRANTY SERVICE THE CONTENTS OF THE STORAGE MEDIA WILL BE DELETED AND REFORMATTED. http://www.apple.com/legal/warranty/products/iphone-english.html

This is done to protect them from having to worry about your data, and honestly just makes their job easier to do and explain whether they give you your device back or a replacement one.

Now, none of this is to rain on a manufacturer’s parade (especially Apple), because as long as you don’t mind redoing everything when you get it back, no one beats the repair/replacement service of the actual manufacturer.  But if your data or particular device is important for you to keep, you may want to consider using a local repair shop (AASP or not) to do it for you at their place. And do yourself a favor: ask them what they plan on doing to service the device. If they are going to reformat everything, then you aren’t really doing anything differently. If it’s important to you, make sure the service shop will not wipe your device before you leave it with them (I’ve heard too many horror stories of shops wiping devices without asking).

Lastly, don’t be tempted by offers of a ‘new warranty’ on a replacement screen, because if you physically damage the new screen, it will void that warranty too (unless it specifically mentions accidental damage). Screen replacement warranties are meant to cover material defects and original installation, not damages after purchase, so pick your repair method based on level of service, knowledge, and trust; not based on a fear of ‘voiding’ already void warranties.

The Sylvester Computer Guy is happy to say that we have replaced many screens, are certainly able to fix your device, won’t wipe your device unless you tell us to, and we have liability insurance specifically for your protection against anything that might go wrong. So if you’ve been waiting to fix your device because of warranty voiding fears, you have nothing to fear but fear itself, so let’s get that thing fixed now! 😉