First, I have some old news. Mrs. Geek and I got 8GB 3G iPhones last month. It was a real headache. We went to the AT&T store and waited for 45 minutes, only to be told that they didn't have any in stock. We then decided to try a nearby Apple store, only to be told that they and the nearby partner store were both out of iPhones. So, we had dinner and then went back to the AT&T store, where we ordered phones, got a Company O. employee discount on the phone service, and waited about a week for them to come in.
Now that we have that out of the way, let me get to the real news:
I got an incredible helping of iPhone karma today. I got a free upgrade to a 16GB iPhone from an 8GB iPhone! It began last night, as I was plugging my iPhone in to charge. The ringer/mute switch on the side of the phone popped off. As Mrs. Geek and I were out and about today, we decided to stop by an Apple store, using the web browser on the iPhone to set up the Genius Bar appointment on the way. When we got there, the Genius Bar guy exchanged my old phone for a new one, no problem. I thought I was only getting another 8GB phone. Therefore, I was much surprised to see that I had a 16GB phone when I sync-ed my phone with iTunes 8 when I got home.
At this point, I had an ethical quandry. Do I return the phone and report the error? Strictly speaking, this is the honest thing to do. On the other hand, the process to replace the iPhone at the Genius Bar involved about four different steps during which the capacity of the unit being given to me was shown to the employee helping me. If the bank makes an error in your favor, that's their problem after 30 days by law -- they can't ask you for the money back. Part of me sort of viewed the replacement process the same way... if, after all this procedure, why shouldn't I reap the benefits of a series of their mistakes? In the end, I asked Mrs. Geek and I asked my parents. They all said "take it back to the Apple Store". I ultimately agreed. It's not like I was going to end up any worse at the end of the day than when I started.
So, Mrs. Geek and I went back to the Apple store Genius Bar. Three people were working the counter: the supervisor, a young woman, and a young African-American man. After waiting for about 15 minutes, the woman ended up helping me. I started by saying "I was in here earlier and had my iPhone replaced." Her face started to fall, concerned that some sort of complex problem was about to unfold. "I came in with an 8GB iPhone" I continued, "and you replaced it with a 16GB phone. I just want make sure you are OK with that." I then handed over my receipt for the replacement. Concern immediately gave way to genuine puzzlement... or panic, because someone really screwed up. She consulted the supervisor, who then poked around in the computer for a couple minutes. He then gave me back the 16GB phone, saying that the account and warranty had been transferred, and I've got a 16GB phone now.
The supervisor then asked "Who helped you earlier today?" I said "I had an appointment at X o'clock this afternoon, and was helped by a younger caucasian man with really short hair." "And a sort of a goatee?" he countered. "Yes" I said. Mrs. Geek meanwhile started cracking up because the woman and the African American man behind the counter fist pumped and almost started to dance -- it wasn't possible for either of them to have screwed up. I said "I hope I'm not getting anyone in trouble." The supervisor said "No, you've given me feedback... that's good... and that will be passed along. You've also saved me from a big inventory headache that I was about to have."
The African American man then looked at me and said "You're a very honest man." Mrs. Geek then added "Well, we're in need of all the good karma we can get right now." Everyone at the Genius Bar wished us lots of good karma, and we left.
How much good karma did we get? Well, I figure (as Mrs. Geek kindly pointed out) it's got to be at least 8GB worth.
on 2008-09-13 at 8:48 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond