Monday, August 16, 2010

There’s An iSensor For That. (Sweat Voids iPod Warranty…really)

I thought I struck upon sheer iGenius.  Riding in this heat, I prefer to ride with my jersey unzipped with a thin base layer underneath.  If you like to use an iPod and do this, you run into an iKunundrum.  With the jersey zipped, the iHeadphone Cord is long enough to make it out and around the jersey pocket to your noggin, but with the jersey open, the iCord is not quite long enough and tends to tug at your ears when the jersey flaps in the wind.  My stroke of iGenius was to tuck the iPod Nano under my base layer on my shoulder blade.  I know!  I started singing the Homer Simpson song.  “I am so smart…s-m-r-t…I mean s-m-A-r-t!”  That was until sweat, detected by the iSensor, damaged my Nano and voided the warranty.  Really Seth and Amy?

With the Nano on my shoulder blade, it worked iAwesome.  In a riding position, the iPod rested flat; there was plenty of cord and no tug at the ears.  I tucked the excess cord in the back of my jersey.  The Nano is light and flat and after a warm up, I didn’t even notice it was there.  Guinness Brilliant!

Not quite.  After a few rides, I began noticing that the iPod wasn’t holding a charge as long as it used to.  Initially it would work for 3-4 rides.  Now it was dying on the 2nd ride.  Then, it died in about 2 hours.  Uh oh.  Then, it wouldn’t charge.  Then…dear iJesus.

I was upset.  I received it as a holiday gift only 7 months ago.  I loved it.  It was blue.  It matched my team cycling kit.  I used it a lot.  Bike rides last a lot longer than most people’s 3 mile runs.  It’s certainly possible that I could use up a battery designed to last for more than a year in 7 months, I rationalized.  After exhausting all the fixes on the Apple website, I took it to the Apple store.

“Did you make an appointment,” the young iClerk asked.  What?  Really?  I need to make an appointment to return a product?  It’s broken and I’d like to see if you could either fix it or replace it.  It’s under warranty.   I can’t just leave it with you?  “Our back room is very big and this (iPod) is very small,” eluding that it would be easy to get lost.  I nodded.  You really need to make an appointment with the Genius Bar, he pressed.  You can do it online.  iSmoke was about to blow out my ears, but I held it back.  So, what you’re saying, I said, is that I need to go home, make an appointment, and then drive all the way back here.  I think he saw my point and appreciated a calm demeanor, so he offered to look into my issue between appointments.  I faked my gratefulness.

A few minutes passed and he came back out with a fresh iPod Nano, some paperwork to sign and noted that the warranty period would only extend one year from the initial purchase.  Understandable.  Happy, I signed the repair form and went home to charge it up, load the music and ride. 

Two weeks later.  Same thing.  iPod Nano, iDead.

So, I went online to make a service appointment.  Click.  What?  You have to be kidding me?  In more or less words, the error message said, we’re sorry our system doesn’t work with your browser.  Please download and install Safari (Apple’s web browser.)  I blew my top in our living room.  How many (bleeeep) fiery burning iHoops do I need to jump through to get this (bleeeep) fixed?  Serenity now.  Serenity now.  Luckily, I found another link, I think the one for my specific store, and I made the appointment without Safari.

This has water damage.  The iClerk said when I came in for my appointment.  You see there’s a little sensor (pictured from Apple website) in here and it’s been exposed to water.  “Well I didn’t drop it in a puddle or a toilet.  I use it for cycling.  It’s been hot out.  It must be sweat,” I retorted.  He pointed out the iSensor inside the headphone jack.  Like a pregnancy test, it turns color when touched by water.  He said, it shorted out.  He wasn’t budging and the sensor doesn’t discriminate between sweat and water.  He offered a discount on replacing it, 89 dollars and change.  “It’s not water damage.  It’s sweat.  I’m not paying $90 dollars to replace a product made for exercising that isn’t impervious to sweat.”  He was kind, but unyielding.  I left in a huff, dead iPod in hand.

Later, I found this iPod Warranty post on the Apple website:
So be alert.  The world needs more lerts.  Sweat is made of water.  Sweat will kill your iPod and it won’t be covered by warranty.  I’m not the only person this has happened to.  Here’s another funny blog,  and another with links to a ton of comments about the issue.  So until Apple makes an iPod with better seals to address the problem that sweat can find its way into the electronics, you’re no better than a dufus who drops his iPod in the toilet.  Then, get ready to jump through the iHoops.  It’s you against the water sensor. 


gewilli said...

i have to admit to being impressed with the water sensor. That's actually pretty f'n cool.

i wonder if sort of old nano has that.

oh and you know you can always just slip it in a sandwich bag to keep the sweat off it? It ain't an olympus stylus tough type device.

dean schmiedel said...

always buy your electronics at sam's club or some other place like that...they don't know how to look for that kind of thing...returned many many many i-pods there dripping with sweat...i totally remember that "lert" sign on your brothers door...good times---