In the recent past, customers who purchased an iPhone directly from the Apple Online Store and in Apple Retail Stores have had 30 days to return the device for any reason. The only stipulation was that it had to be undamaged and include all of the original accessories. According to an internal document provided by one of our retail sources, Apple plans to change its iPhone return policy to just 14 days beginning on March 13th. However the return policy currently published on Apple.com already reflects this change. All other products purchased from Apple are already subject to a 14 day return policy.
Apple’s prior iPhone return policy was in stark contrast to its carrier partners who only offer a 14 day return window. During this time a customer may choose to return the iPhone to Apple within the 30 day period but if it was returned after day 14 they would still be on the hook for Early Termination Fees (ETF) or any other penalties from the wireless providers.
On the flip side, this policy was helpful for customers simply looking to exchange an iPhone for a different color or capacity because their contract would not be affected. However, it was confusing and potentially misleading to customer who thought they had 30 days to return an iPhone and not suffer any penalties from their carrier.
According to the document, Apple is making this change in an effort to have one universal return policy across all products and to match the carrier’s 14 day policy.