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iPhone Return Policy Key Points You Should Know

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While smartphones are an integral part of our lives in this day and age, they can also be very expensive purchases. Whether you purchased the wrong model or you just changed your mind about owning one, it is important to know what the return policies on your iPhone are available to you.

As one of the biggest technology companies in the world, Apple has a fairly straightforward return policy for all of its products. With that in mind, it is still best practice to have a good idea of what the return policies are on any iPhone that you purchase.

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Here, Navi walks you through the key points of Apple’s iPhone return policy.

Returning an Apple Product Bought From Apple

Just because you bought an iPhone does not mean that you are eligible to return it to Apple. Pay attention to where you purchased your phone from, because if it was through a carrier or other third party then you are not eligible under the return policy. The device you bought has to have been purchased from Apple themselves, either online or at one of their stores.

Regardless of which phone you’ve chosen, the return stipulations are the same. For most of the year, you have 14 days to return the device if you want to get your refund. If you want to get all of your money back you need to make sure everything that came with the product is intact and available; this means the box, the cords, and any documentation as well.

Return Fees When Returning a Device Bought from Apple

With purchases of an iPhone or iPad, you will not get a full refund for returning the device. If you opened the box and the device is no longer sealed, a 25% fee may be applied to your refund.

Even if you did not open the box, a 15% restocking fee may be applied. Failure to return the device with the box and all of its accessories could result in the return and subsequent refund being denied entirely.

Returning Your Apple Device Online

To return your device at the Apple Online Store, just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Apple Order Status page and sign in with your Apple ID.
  2. Select the items in your recent order list that you want to return.
  3. Click ‘start a return’ followed by the ‘get started’ button.
  4. From here, the site will let you know if the items you selected are eligible for return.
  5. Follow the prompts, which will ask you why you are returning the item and whether or not you opened the box.
  6. Verify the item you are returning and the return address.
  7. Print the label and put it on the box you are sending back to Apple.
  8. A carrier will contact you regarding collection and your refund.

Returning online is quick and easy, and it doesn’t require you to leave your home. However, if anything is wrong with the device upon return then it could take some time to rectify the issue and see if you can still get your refund.

Returning Your Device In-person

Returning a device in person is more of a hassle, but it is also more straightforward and risk-free than returning a device online. Make sure you have your device, all its accessories, and the receipt before you attempt the return to save you from any extra driving.

A representative of the Apple Retail Store can assist you and make sure your device is eligible for a refund instead of having you wait for an online decision. A real person can also help you navigate the return policies in real-time, which is something you can’t do if you return the device online.

Once you have completed the return at the physical store, you just need to wait for the refund to be approved so that you can get your money back.

Apple Device Return Holiday Policies

iPhones are just like any other recreational product in that their sales go up around holiday months. This means that returns also increase around this time, especially from people who got them as gifts.

To address this, Apple extends its return period during holiday months. For example, phones purchased in the U.S. between November 1 and December 25 of 2023 all had a return date of January 8. The purpose of this is to incentivize people to purchase more during the holidays in the hope of attracting more customers.

As a result, pay attention to when you buy your iPhone as you may be entitled to a longer return period.

Canceling Cell Phone Your Service

Sometimes when you return your device you can choose to do an exchange and put a new device on your phone plan. However, if you do not do this then you need to make sure you cancel your phone plan because returning your phone does not mean that monthly payments stop.

If you use a prepaid plan, try to make sure you have it connected to a phone. If you get rid of your phone while on a prepaid plan then your data and minutes will be wasted.

If you don’t have a prepaid plan then it is best practice to call your provider to figure out what the procedure is for canceling after getting rid of your phone.

Returning an Apple Device Purchased from a Carrier

If you don’t purchase your phone from Apple then you need to figure out how to return the device to the organization you bought it from. Usually, this will be your phone carrier, whether it be T-Mobile, Verizon, or AT&T. Many of these will have very similar return policies to Apple.

For example, AT&T gives you 14 days to return your device either through online methods or through an AT&T branch.

The Bottom Line

Apple makes it simple to return iPhones that you don’t want or want to exchange, but make sure that you know the return policy so that you don’t lose eligibility for a refund. Refunding through a carrier is similarly simple, and you have to do it through them if you purchased your phone that way.

Because of factors like holidays, these policies will sometimes change, so pay attention to them and don’t assume that you know what they are just because you’ve used the return service before.

Whether you return online or in person, it is also important to note that a fee will usually be applied even if the box is still closed and sealed. Knowing the return policies of a product is a good idea no matter the device, and iPhones are no different.

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