Ask LH: Can My iPhone 5 Be Fixed Under Warranty?

Ask LH: Can My iPhone 5 Be Fixed Under Warranty?

Hey Lifehacker, I purchased an iPhone 5 when it came out in Australia on a Telstra plan back in 2012. Unfortunately, something seems to be off with the charging contacts (perhaps they’ve been eroded away) now because whenever I connect my Lightning cable, I need to wiggle it around and get it just so in order to get a charge going. I’m worried that the problem will continue to get worse so I was wondering if there was some king of statutory warranty I could hold Apple or Telstra to in order to have my iPhone fixed? Thanks, Uncharged

Dear Uncharged,

If you purchased the phone on contract, you’re definitely in luck. The iPhone 5 came out in September 2012, and Telstra only sold it on a 24-month contract — which means the earliest the contract will expire is in September this year. Telstra signed an agreement with the ACCC to offer warranty support on contract phones for the life of the contract back in 2010. While that deal didn’t apply to Apple phones at the time, subsequent harmonisation of consumer laws means that it’s now broadly accepted that those arrangements apply across the board.

So your first point of contact as a contract customer should be Telstra. Given that the issue relates to a basic function of the phone, asking for a repair or replacement isn’t unreasonable.

If you purchased the phone outright and have a separate plan, you can pursue the issue with Apple directly. See our detailed guide to how to request a warranty repair from Apple for details on how to approach that.

Bottom line? A two-year contract iPhone can easily cost you $2000 or more. At those prices, you’re entitled to a functioning device for the life of the contract. So be polite, but don’t be fobbed off.

Cheers Lifehacker

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  • I got an iPhone 5 back in September 2012 as well and only just had it repaired by Apple back in March. No questions asked saw the fault and repaired it on the spot.

    • I had a similar experience with Apple last month with my iPhone 5 they fixed it for me no questions asked.

  • Tel$tra will send your phone away and give you a refurbished model, in my case, it had more problems then the one I gave Tel$tra, and they could never give me my original device back.

  • If you’re near an Apple store, take the phone and cable – they should fix or swap it on the spot.

  • This sounds like a problem I had. I took it into an Apple Store and a person there took out a glorified paper clip and cleared 1.5 years of accumulated dust from the lightning port. No problems charging now!

  • Look inside the lightning connector slot with a bright light. If you stick your phone in your pocket, chances are that over time you’ll collect lint in there and end up compressing it every time you insert the charger plug. Get a sewing needle or pin and carefully scrape it out – ta da! Instant better connection!

    • This happened to me, didn’t I look like a fool when the guy at the Genius bar pulled out a large lint ball with a pair of tweezers from my charging port (iPhone 5s)

  • The exact same thing happened to me… telstra contract iphone5, outside 12months, charging failing, wiggling lightning cable sometimes helped… took it to an apple store and they went out back to inspect for 10min, then came back and said “it’s not really a warranty issue because there’s gunk on the contacts, but we’ll swap it anyway” – so I got a brand new replacement without any argument – from Apple…

  • I had the similar problem, It is noting but the cotton fibers from your trouser stuck in there. Take your mobile to the nearest Apple dealer, they will fix it for you within 2 minutes.

  • I had almost exactly the same issue on my 5 recently (it would only charge with the lightning cable in one orientation, and sometimes not at all). Took it to the Apple store and it was replaced on the spot. It was purchased on contract in September 2012, Apple honoured the 2 year warranty provided without me having to go through Virgin Mobile.

  • Was not only sold on a 24 month contract. Was also available for outright purchase or 12 month MRO.

  • Common problem with Lightning connector, take it direct to an apple store, their support is really good.

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