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iPhone battery replacement in Madrid - UPDATED

iPhone battery replacement in Madrid

Being an iPhone owner, I've always been happy with my Apple products for the most part, obviously after products get to around 2 years old and the EU warranty runs out they can need replacing.   For the past few months, I had noticed that the battery on my iPhone was draining quicker than usual and would sometimes just switch off when I got to 10% battery left I hadn't seen any apps using too much CPU or the phone getting hot as when the Facebook app goes rogue sometimes so figured that something else was going on. I found myself wondering how to sort out iPhone battery replacement in Madrid.

I decided to write about my experiences in using the phone before and after getting the new battery and the steps I took to get it here in Madrid as I'm pretty sure this information will be useful for many reading!

For those of you who would rather read a summary, click the TLDR link below!

TLDR

Turns out this has been a common thing, I had been following the news develop and watching for symptoms on my phone.

I couldn't say I had been experiencing any performance problems on my phone, but I don't play games on it, sometimes the safari pages were slow to load though so perhaps things were slowing down and I hadn't noticed. I mainly use the phone for communication (email, whatsapp, social media and email) and looking things up on Wikipedia. I often take pictures and video and also use Garage Band on the phone so I need the battery to last too.

As the phone was now around 2 years old, about the time I would usually replace it but other than the battery issue and sometimes not charging well (seems to be more a cable than phone issue) it was working fine.

I didn't really want to fork out the money on the latest iPhone 8 and end up in another 2 year contract with Orange as I was thinking of switiching over faster fiber optic with Movistar.

For 49€ / 69€ (since the 29€ offer has ended) getting a new battery and giving my phone a new lease of life would be a great way to save money, it would also help with the resale value if I did choose to sell the phone soon anyway, who would want to buy an iPhone that hadn't had the new battery installed, I'm sure the offer won't last forever!

What do you do to get a new iPhone battery?

Well, from what I understood, the easiest thing to do would be to pop into the Apple Store at Puerta de Sol, speak to a Genius and get the battery ordered. BUT, I've been in that store a few times and there's always a queue of people waiting to speak to a genius. It made sense to book ahead and avoid waiting around.

I asked on the Madrid Expats facebook page to see if anyone had done it already and if they had any tips. Most said just pop in and book, I figured I must be able to do this online and save myself a trip in the cold to pickpocket central.

Steps for requesting support online in Spain:

First Step is to go the Apple Support site in Spain. Click Here

You'll then get presented with the Apple support page. You may also have to log in beforehand to your Apple account using your Apple ID.

Below the search bar on the page you have the various products available.

iPhone category Icon

iPhone category Icon

Click the iPhone icon

On the iPhone technical support page that appears, click the option on the right "Opciones de reparacion"

You should now be on the Apple support iPhone repair options screen.

Select the type of problem you could be having, Battery and charging in our case

Select the type of problem you could be having, Battery and charging in our case

Problem with battery? Click this

Problem with battery? Click this

Click on the link below "Problemas con la batería o la alimentación" option

Click on the blue button "Iniciar un reemplazo de bateria"

You are then presented with a number of options for how to continue. The recommended option is to get support to call you. It's the first option and has a telephone icon.  

Select your support contact type

Select your support contact type

The telephone support option is the one that I took. You can wait for someone to become available and call you, or you can select an available date and time for them to call.

What happened next?

I requested midday on a Saturday and true to their word, about 12:02, I received a call from Loomi (I'm going to stick with this spelling) from the Apple callcentre in Barcelona. It was strange because on the caller ID it was a UK number from Bracknell calling me. I guess that's because I have a British iTunes account/apple ID.

Anyway, much like walking into a doctor's office with an embarrassing ailment the beginning of the call was awkward, trying to explain that the battery wasn't holding it's charge any more, something she had probably heard a thousand times.

At this point Loomi asked me if I spoke english and would I like to talk to her in English instead. I refused saying that unless she really wanted to practice english we could continue in Spanish as I need to use it as much as I can. That helped break the ice a bit and I was then able to continue talking in a more relaxed manner.

She was able to order me a new battery, she explained that demand was high but I would receive an email in the next few days telling me when the replacement battery would arrive in the Apple store in Sol. Then I would have 7 days to pop in and leave the phone there for a few hours. It was recommended that I did a backup beforehand and turned off find my iPhone.

In the meantime she also requested if she could connect remotely to me iPhone so we could go through the settings and check if there was anything else we could do to alleviate the symptoms in the short term. I accepted her connection request and then an arrow appeared on screen telling me where I needed to click and we went through the battery options, it was really cool but I was at home and on my wireless  connection. It might not work as well with questionable 4G coverage.

I'll keep this post updated for when I get the battery availability dates and let you know how my phone is after the battery has been replaced!

UPDATE: 12/02/2018

I received an email this morning from Apple informing me that the batteries will arrive at the Apple Store in Puerta de Sol in 2 to 4 weeks. They will let me know when it has arrived.

UPDATE:17/03/2018

Still no news or email from apple. It's over a month now after they mentioned in their email it would take 2-4 weeks. Let's see what happens on Monday as I'm away for a week so this could go very wrong if it turns up and they end up giving it to someone else as I'm not around to claim it!

UPDATE:26/03/2018

As expected, early last week I received an email from Apple saying that my battery had now arrived in the store at Puerta de Sol and that I needed to book a genius appointment for before the following Tuesday or the battery would be given to someone else. Of course, I was away so there wasn't much I could do.  When I got back from England on the Thursday I called the phone number for the genius bar at Sol which had been included in the email and arranged for the swap to be done on Monday the 26th, the day I'm writing this update. I had to give them the reference number and then they booked me in. They advised me that as I was going in the evening I'd have to leave the phone with them overnight, usually the process takes 2 hours so if I'd been able to go earlier in the day I may have fared better. I'm writing this quickly during my lunch break at work now. I'm booked in after 19:00 tonight, the backup has been done last night, find my iPhone has been turned off on this phone so I suspect I'll get a bare wiped phone back tomorrow which I'll have to restore or something. As my cable connection to the phone isn't very reliable I hope I don't have any problems!!

I'll post again in a few days to let you know how I'm getting on!

 

UPDATE:02/04/2018

Not long after posting my last update and getting frustrated at my phone not charging I remembered that some people having similar issues mentioned using a paperclip to get the lint out of the charging hole.  I turned the phone off and straightened a paper clip, inserting it gently and scraping at the sides and back. Well let me tell you, quite a lot of gunk from my pocket came out of that hole! When I re-inserted the charging cable it went all the way in again and started charging with no problems!

Towards the end of my work day I spotted a problem with one of our systems so wasn't able to leave at 18:30 as planned,  I got to the Apple store in Sol around 19:10.

Oh my word, it's easter and Sol and the city centre had a lot of people for a Monday evening! I guess it's because it's easter break so the teenagers aren't in school and there are tourists in the city too. The Apple store was pretty busy. "Never mind" I thought, I'll just find the Genius bar and queue up. Pretty sure I've seen it there before, couldn't see it on the ground floor so headed upstairs... hmm, looks like there's just more display space there now and no "bar".

Perplexed, I asked a staff member where I had to go if I had a genius appointment. "Downstairs, you need to speak to my colleague" he instructed, all of the staff now dress the same whereas before, Genius staff had a different shirt. He lead me over to the balcony and pointed out a guy holding a tablet who was talking to customers "Go speak to him".

Down the stairs I trotted once again, frustrated at the lack of signage or obvious place to go. There didn't appear to be a line of people to talk to the guy so after he finished talking to one customer I tried talking to him, I was then told I was butting in and there was another person waiting "Oh sorry!"

It was then my turn to speak, I informed him I had a Genius appointment to have my battery replaced. He informed me that I would only be able to leave it there tonight and collect it in the morning, something I'd already been made aware of when I had called to book the appointment. After a bit of searching, he found me on the tablet and then, just like Richard O'Brien on the Crystal Maze, looked around frantically, looking to see where I had to go, he pointed to the window on the Calle Alcala side of the building and said "Go wait at that table at the end over there" Err, ok I thought and wandered over, there was no staff but it was near a long line of people who were speaking a person at the end of it. Err, am I supposed to be waiting here, or am I supposed to get in the line? The people in the line have noticed I'm standing closer to the guy they want to speak to than they are and they look like they've been waiting a while, shall  I go stand at the back of the line like a good British person?

I feel afraid to leave the side of the table, it's busy at the store and it's not clear what's going on, I look back towards the guy who directed me to the table, he is now dealing with a long queue of people who, unlike me, seemed to know to speak to him when they entered the store. Looks like I got inside just in time and beat the others. Some more customers have wandered over to my table and appear to be lurking. One customer is using a MacBook and the free wifi to support his mobile phone as he does a video chat using sign-language, his arms waving frantically and drawing an audience from Calle Alcala peering in through the windows. One guy is sat down at the table waiting, his coat on the table, I ask him if he's waiting for a battery replacement, he confirms.

A lady working for Apple arrives, she reads a name off her tablet, it isn't me, it's the guy I was just talking to, ok, they have a list, I should be soon then. She takes the phone from a few other people who were gathered around the table including someone who arrived after me.  Cool I thought, me next.

Almost an hour later I'm still waiting, another girl has been attending the people who have arrived at my table and have since left, they all had their phones taken away for battery replacement, she asks If I'm Miguel Garcia, I say no and she wanders off with the phones to the back room. In the meantime security have been alerted to a guy waiting in line to speak to a genius, he's got two phones in his hand and is behaving erratically, some kind of a cross between a junkie and a chav, the fashion sense of someone from Geordie Shore but not the build or the stance. I'm a bit afraid that it's going to kick off.

Eventually, the woman dealing with my table returns, I'm the only person left waiting. She doesn't ask me my name and just asks for the reference number I was emailed. I manage to find the email and read out the number to her. She finds me and asks me if I've disabled find my iPhone on this phone, yes I have. Good. Now I have to shut down the phone. Done: The phone goes into a protective padded sleeve and I have to sign a release form and am told to return after 11:00 am the following day. I'm also told I have to return with photo ID in order to collect the device! ok I wasn't expecting that but it makes sense, I think I'd be able to prove with my fingerprint that I'm me when the phone unlocks. She told me the phone should be ready and I won't need to do a restore of the backup I had taken. Let's see!


 

I return on Tuesday evening after work, I wanted to arrive before 19:00 to beat the rush I had experienced the day before, but alas I missed the bus and then when the next one I took arrived at Sevilla it couldn't park for a while so we were all stuck! Either way, I arrived to the Apple store a little later than planned although this time with some knowledge of what I would need to do. 

On entering the store, there was an obvious line of people waiting to speak to a staff member with a tablet. I waited patiently, trying frantically to connect to their free wifi as the data roaming didn't seem to be working on my British phone. Finally, I connected as I arrived at the front of the line and explained that I was here to collect my iPhone. The staff member looked behind him for another guy and ushered me in his direction, I had to wait to speak to him as he was with someone, he then directed me to another table, similar to the previous day, it was surrounded by miserable looking customers clearly suffering from iPhone withdrawal symptoms complete with twitchy fingers and blank expressions.

I had to wait for about 4 or 5 people to be seen in front of me, I could see they were presenting their photo ID's and payment methods and then were receiving their phones. It was the same for me. We turned on the phone and it was at about 15%. I didn't have to do anything apart from unlock it with my passcode, no need to restore the backup or anything. All of my notifications started coming through and I quickly put the phone into energy save mode.

I've had the phone back more than 24 hours now. I can say that the battery life seems to be a bit longer than before so that's good. I'm not putting it into battery save mode so soon. The big problem Apple had though was that with around 10% of power left the phone would switch off which was obviously no good.

Almost a week later and it's safe to say that the phone is performing better and lasts longer once again. I haven't updated to the latest iOS which has the BETA battery performance settings in there. That's a different topic really though!

Update:20/03/2019: One year later and my phone still works but, the last few months the battery is again draining quickly and has to be charged around midday. I’ve had the phone over three years now and will probably look at updagrading to a newer iPhone in the summer.

 

TLDR

  1. Use apple support to request a genius appointment at the apple store or for them to call you

  2. Hopefully, they will diagnose your phone will benefit from a battery replacement

  3. They order a battery for delivery to a local store of your choice

  4. You get notified that the battery will arrive at the store in approximately 4-6 weeks

  5. Wait 4-6 weeks

  6. You get a notification that the battery is in store and will be reserved for a week

  7. Call the number supplied in the email to book your genius appointment (try and book for the morning otherwise you may need to leave the phone overnight with them)

  8. When arriving at the store, look around for the person with the big tablet who organizes where people have to go, make sure you have your genius reference number from the email with you

  9. Before going to leave your phone do a backup and turn off find my iPhone (they'll remind you about find my iPhone and show you when you're at the shop)

  10. Come back at the appointed time and repeat step 8. You'll need to bring photo ID with you!

  11. Wait for your phone to be returned, show them your ID and hand over 29€

  12. Remember to charge your phone quickly as it will probably only have 15% on it

  13. Turn find my iPhone back on.

The whole process in my case took about 6 weeks, but now, one year later, after booking you can get it done same or next day. You get an email estimate from them a few days after you make the request.